It's there rickety, rusty and squeaky old thing, and I love it. Spanning over the very wide and deep Demerara River for 2 KM is this incredible floating bridge. One of the young men daring it with me said ''Since I was a kid I wanted to walk it, Guru Maharaja, that's a wish since 23 years. You came here and we are walking it."
The bridge has its restricted time for pedestrians and hence authorities lock the entrance of the walk way section when it is about to open for a vessel to clear through. But, you know, Guyana is a land where enforcement is not a major issue. We saw cyclists taking a narrow strip so a dozen of us did also and no one said anything. From a walker's perspective, maybe less so a pilgrim, it is a blast moving over this grandfather piece of engineering ingenuity. This is also where you get a gust of great breeze as the water from the river rushed at incredible speed under your feet. The water, in fact, reminds me by its colour of Demerara brown sugar. Wouldn't want to drink it!.
My comrades for this venture clocked our selves at walking this beauty of a bridge at twenty-one minutes and three revolutions of chanting on the japa meditation beads. In addition to this achievement motorists got a hoot out of seeing us in our dhotis tossing in the wind. Many addressed us with a 'Hari Bol' and honked which demonstrates the carefree nature of the people. Of course, something can be said about the fact that it's Sunday.
Being Sunday we also had speaking engagements at two of our centres before and after the two bridge walks at Nimai Pandit Study Centre and a temple at Crane. There were great turnouts in both places and an initation ceremony in one. An elder couple, Bagoutie and wife Drupatee, received the names Brghu Muni and Dhara. They are fruit farmers. I was informed that a good member of congregants in Guyana are involved in the agricultural and food business.
Kirtan here is well appreciated, hearing from the Gita text, and jokes as well. These days I am told, rain comes down quite plentifully. In fact our treck over Old Rusty (my name for the bridge) was met with some wet. I am looking foreward to visiting Old Rusty again if time allows while on this land of rainforest, anacondas and jaguars and of course dhall puris and breadfruit pakoras are delicious edibles.