We had an interesting visit, and not in a good way.
First, we showed up at the airport in Port of Spain, Trinidad to check in. Everything was going well, until they said my wife’s yellow fever vaccination certificate wasn’t acceptable. 3 flights between leaving and now, and everyone had said it was fine. She didn’t have the ‘international’ card for her vaccination, and they wouldn’t let us on the plane.
Booked a hotel, ran to the clinic the next day, and had to buy another flight, since the same airline didn’t have a Trinidad-Suriname flight the next day. Brutal, but what can you do? Can’t stay in Trinidad forever.
After delays on take-off, we arrived in Suriname close to midnight. I’d told our hotel about the situation and kept them updated, and they were planning to meet us at the airport.
Then, the real fun began.
Americans need to pay a fee for the ‘tourist card’ on arrival. There’s an ATM next to the pay booth, but it wasn’t working. I called my bank (wonder how much that bill will be) from the airport, was told it was the ATM, not my card being rejected, and got in line to ask the cops what’s up. They told me to wait until the line was gone, then we’ll “figure it out.”
The solution was to take me to Duty Free, buy $40 of goods for the cop (that he can’t buy without an international ticket), and he waived my $35 payment. Ingenious, to say the least.
By the time we got our suitcase, met the hotel pickup, tried 3 ATMs that all said “your card doesn’t work here”, we finally got to the hotel in Paramaribo well after midnight. Because we’d lost over 24 hours, missed our intended tour, and had only 2.5 days in Suriname, that turned into less than a day.
We were up early the next morning for the long drive back up to the airport, had a decent breakfast at the hotel, watched nature & saw some birds along the way, and had a laugh about the ridiculousness of everything.
It was pretty easy to figure out which was our plane at the airport…
After a super short trip, we boarded Surinam Airways and were off to Guyana.
It was a visit, but not much of one. Back again some day.This entry was posted in South America, Suriname