In Guyana, there are quite a few lakes: Capoey Lake in an Amerindian village in Region Two (Pomeroon-Supenaam), Calabash Lake, Tapakuma Lake, Calabash Lake and Hot and Cold Lake near Suddie, among others. However, one of the largest of these on the Essequibo River includes Mainstay Lake which I visited last weekend.
A resort has been built next to the lake which is located forty-five minutes by car inland from Anna Regina, and can be accessed through the resort on a twenty-minute flight from Georgetown to the resort’s airstrip.
Usually to be in the presence of nature’s gifts in Guyana one has to travel a good distance to get there. Not many of Guyana’s natural wonders are located or found without travelling beyond the niceties and conveniences our coastland has to offer. And a good bumpy forty-five minute ride by bus or car is what you have to endure to arrive at Mainstay Lake.
Interestingly, you have to pass the Amerindian reservation named Whyaka to get to Mainstay. Whyaka is a thirteen square-mile Amerindian community where mostly Arawaks live. The Arawaks also first inhabited the Mainstay area. It was called ‘Quacabuka’ meaning ‘in- between.’ One of the major economic activities in these villages is pineapple farming. There is also a pineapple canning facility at Mainstay-Whyaka. It was there that last year’s Amerindian Heritage Month celebrations were held.
Santa Mission, another reservation in Region Three, located along the left bank of the Pokerero River or Kamuni Creek will play host to this year’s Heritage Day celebrations in September.
Mainstay Lake is quite fascinating. There is a half-mile stretch of white sand at the edge of the lake. Of course, if one was to look at it this way, I believe the lake complements the resort and vice-versa. It’s amazing that a country that looks so tiny on your average globe is so vast and beautiful and takes hours upon hours to get from one natural wonder to the next. We spent over five hours to get to Mainstay Lake via roads, rivers and a floating bridge. Who gets an opportunity to cross all three majestic rivers of our beautiful Guyana in a single day? We also crossed four administrative regions to get from Region Six to Region Two. What use would it be visiting this magnificent lake and not capture the beautiful scenes? I have them all including pictures from this year’s Regatta at the resort at my website www.freewebs.com/leonjsuseran.
Leon Jameson Suseran