When Mr Jad Rahaman operated his tour company at the Barakara Resort in the Mazaruini River, he painstakingly kept the nature trail that leads to the Barakara Falls (opposite the resort) in a clear and clean state. Mr Rahaman, you will remember, received a Caribbean entrepreneurial award, some years ago for being outstanding in the development of his resort and the facilities and attractions offered to the tourists who used the trail to relax and bathe in the waterfall.
Since the closure of this resort, several tour companies have been using the nature trail to take their tourists to enjoy the ambience of the waterfall and its surroundings. For overnight guests, Jad even used flambeaus at nights which lit up the trail to the falls in a magical and fairytale manner.
Alas, now most of the tour companies have not been making an effort to keep the trail in a good condition and tourists have complained about this − overhanging trees and branches, and rocks along the trail.
There is one exception, however, and that is Mr Ray Boodhoo who owns and operates ‘Old Fort and Tours’ from Parika. He personally works with his workmen to keep the trail clear and clean for his tourists to negotiate the path to the falls. He even built a small pool area for children by arranging rocks in a circular manner. In my opinion this is unfair, and again (like Orinduik) the other tour companies are waiting to see who will bell the cat, and provide facilities, etc, at the falls, eg a small benab (as Jad had), a small changing room in the benab for guests to change from their swimwear to dry clothing. The changing room can be partitioned with palm leaves that abound in the area, seats around the benab can be made from the trunks of small trees whereby guests can sit and enjoy their snacks, drinks, etc.
All nature trails also should have at the opening of the trail, a signboard or graphic/pictorial representation of what can be seen along the trail, eg the bamboo grove, the kokerite palms and fruit, the Kissing Bridge, the granite rockface and deposits of mica along the ground. All this is meaningful to tourists, and aids in developing the tourism product and making it attractive.
Why, oh why can’t the various beneficiaries of Barakara Falls come together and work on the trail with cash or kind (labour)? Ray Boodhoo has led the way; follow him. Come on you gentlemen, bell the cat together.
Aka ‘Jungle Jim’