CARIFESTA: Arrival in Guyana

The biggest barrier to Caribbean integration is the difficulty of moving around in the region.All right, let's face it.  We were travelling from the northernmost point in CARICOM to just about the most southerly; there's got to be some challenge from moving from The Bahamas to Guyana.  But does it have to be this much?I don't know.  It would seem that the barrier posed by Cuba and Hispaniola to The Bahamas, the so-called "Gateway" to the Caribbean, is real.  You can't fly further south than Jamaica if you're flying directly from The Bahamas, not if you're flying commercial airlines. Everything else has to go through Miami, which is forty minutes to an hour out of the way.  So this is the route we took, flying on the routes that the airlines provide for us.  Now lest we imagine that the limitations on moving around the region are neocolonial, posed by the outside, barriers to movement controlled and managed by our former colonial masters, know this:  there are any number of local and regional carriers that I can name.  I'll start by calling the names of those I have already flown in my lifetime:  Bahamasair, Havana Air, Air Jamaica, Caribbean Air (the airline formerly known as BWIA), Liat.  Ooh, look:  five airlines that belong to the region!  And yet not one of them (Air Jamaica excepted) crosses the barrier created by the Greater Antilles to link The Bahamas with the Caribbean proper.The result:  it takes forever and costs a fortune to travel from north to south in the Caribbean, and vice versa.  Although it takes a mere 3 hours as the crow flies for a plane to get from Nassau to Port of Spain, and a mere 4 and a half, or 5 (depending on the Gulf Stream, I suppose) from Nassau to Georgetown, it took us from 12:13 (a quarter past noon) till 2 a.m. to get from Nassau to Georgetown yesterday.Part of the problem, let me tell you, was Caribbean Air.  I won't go into details now, but rest assured I will post about it.  There was a layover of 4 unscheduled hours in Trinidad and Tobago, a layover that was apparently foreseen but not foretold, a layover that has yet to be satisfactorily explained either to the passengers affected or to those people meeting us in Georgetown.We arrived here, eventually.  And we were comfortable enough last night, very well received, and treated with courtesy by the Guyanese.  But it didn't quite take the taste of our ordeal out of our mouths.