Support Village Voice News With a Donation of Your Choice.
By Alva Solomon
British national Luke McKenna has completed an epic ride across Guyana, from the capital city of Georgetown to the border town of Lethem near Brazil.
On Thursday afternoon Mckenna completed the 549 mile long trip with his backpack and essential supplies strapped to his bicycle .
McKenna excited 160 kilometers of jungle terrain on Thursday crossing the mighty Essequibo River along the way. He entered the Rupununi savannah in the southern region of Guyana on Wednesday and stopped to take photos with passers-by along the way.
The 27-year old came to Guyana around 2018 to work along with the South Rupununi Conservation Society as part of a television production team. He told the Village Voice that he spent 7 months on the project and soon after he left for England where he worked with a company as a mechanical engineer.
He said after some time he decided to relocate to Guyana , noting that by that time, he found love on these side of the equator.
McKenna travelled across Europe to a number of countries and he noted that coming to these shores was nothing different. “ I have a experience doing this sort of travelling and it is something I enjoy doing,”, McKenna said.
As regards his bicycle trip to the Rupununi, he said he travelled along the Georgetown-Lethem trail in the past and at the time ,he suggested to a friend sometime ago that he would make the trip on a bicycle.
After spending sometime in the city sorting his visa and work permits, he then asked a friend to bring up his bicycle from Lethem, noting that his plan was to ride all the way back down to the border region.
“It took me six days ,” he said of the journey noting that he took a rest day during the trip. ”I always knew that I would have completed it, the only thing that would have stopped me is if my bicycle broke, ”he added.
He said that almost happened along the way when he felt an impact as he rode over a bump along the way. ”I was going about 40 kilometers per hour and I tried to jump a track but I wasn’t that successful,” he said. He said he was worried at the time but he noted that he was good to go.
“It was very hilly up to Mabura,” he said of his trip into the Hinterland area. He said he took his rest day at the Kurupukari crossing on the Essequibo River, noting that a welcoming family accommodated him. He noted the hospitality of his hosts there , adding that the area is an island in the Essequibo River close to the crossing.
He said he felt very tired when he arrived , noting that a friend rode down to meet home when he was about 15 kilometers closing in on his destination. He said Thursday was the “hardest day” of the trip , noting that he rode 130 kilometers that day from Wowetta.
He said he met his partner and close friends and according to him, they were elated that he completed the journey.
Many persons have undertaken the ride on motorcycles in the past while some have even walked the trip in the olden years when the roadway linking Lethem to Georgetown was only a cattle trail. But few have done it alone.