When American businessmen Rich Munson and John Adams made their first trip to Guyana as private investors in 1999 and picked up the rights to the 626-sq.-km. Toroparu concession in a remote part of the Upper Puruni River region, the only way they could access the property was by boat or helicopter.
“There was one helicopter in the country and it was an old, Russian one that Russia had left there from when they were there in the 1960s,” Munson recalls. “We did take it in a few times, and it was always kind of an adventure because it shook more in the air than on the ground.”
The rest of the time they travelled by boat. Typically, water access was only available during the rainy seasons in May to June and November to December, when the rivers were high enough to get over a series of rapids in the river. During high water, the trip took three to five days due to portages around waterfalls. Passage by smaller boat could be made at other times of the year, but could take between eight and ten days.
“We worked on the project for a while, and then John came to me one day and said: ‘We’ll never develop this project if we don’t build a road,’” Munson says.
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