We LOVE camping in Buchanan. The beaches are beautiful, it's a great campsite and there's nobody around. More on Buchanan in the next post.
We had been hearing about Edina--an early settlement (1832) that is only accessible by canoe or a horribly long and impassable road --and so we decided to check it out...by canoe! We went to the end of the dusty road where there's basically a canoe port--canoes lining up to carry people and goods across the river between Buchanan and Edina. We were trying to figure out the system and waited patiently once we figured out there was some form of a line going on. There was one larger canoe that we thought we could all fit in, but it was loading a motorbike up to go across the river. The canoe driver said he would get a bigger canoe on the other side and bring it back for us. Oh, and when I say canoe, I mean a hollowed out coconut tree trunk.
[The front of the canoe and the back. Yes, you must wear a hard hat while operating]
He came back with another canoe and two younger, much more able bodied paddlers. We loaded up into the larger canoe plus three of us got inside a much smaller canoe. I was in the small canoe--which held me, Josh, a small boy and the canoe paddler--and it wasn't much wider than my hips andwe were about 6 inches higher than the water. It was AWESOME!
It took about 20 minutes to be paddled across the river, with a few stops to empty water out, but if you don't think about the situation, it's a beautiful ride! We were the stupid ones who decided to start this adventure in the heat of the day, and once we reached Edina we all reapplied sunscreen. I haven't sweated that much in a LONG time!
[The beach in Edina and the main road from where the canoe dropped us off]
Edina was beautiful! It was kind of fun disembarking on unknown land, and we really felt like explorers...not sure where to go and had no idea what to expect. And that lasted about 5 minutes, until a man was passing through and wanted to be our tour guide and wanted us to meet his auntie. We obliged and went to meet his auntie--a super cute, super old lady with coke bottle glasses, who hugged and kissed us all. Then he escorted us to the beach and then back to a few landmarks.
[President Cheeseman's home and the Baptist church, which was founded in 1868. The papie told us the benches and chandelier came from America.]
Us girls wandered off towards a steeple that we could see in the distance, and that's when a very drunk old papie wanted to be our tour guide. He showed us former President Cheeseman's old house, along with the Baptist church. We asked him how many people lived in Edina and his answer was, "five people go to the Baptist church and six people go to the Methodist church." (Once we got home and did more research on Edina, we learned that more than 15,000 people live there) After about 20 minutes or so of his tour and of extreme sweating, we decided we should head back to the canoe. We were paddled back across the river, paid our drivers and set off for our campsite in Buchanan. We ended up paying the canoes 100 LD per person, or less than $1.50US as a charter (they waited for us on the other side), and it was a fun little adventure.