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SCENE Hard travelin' man If Dan Norris were to bet he could go around the world in 80 days, he'd lose if the whole trip went like his recent travels in one corner of equatorial South America during the rainy season. His experience, which was far from typical of travel between major cities in Latin America, was an adventure to remember. Dan, a senior accountant in H&S Miami, was to review the work papers of two Miami staff men who had been auditing Henderson's Portion Pak Di-vision of Borden, Inc. Dan was sched-uled to meet one man in Belem, Brazil; one in Cayenne, French Guiana; and from there fly with them to Paramaribo, Surinam, for a connecting flight back to Miami, From Belem to Paramaribo is only 850 miles, about two hours' flying time. Yet to cover this distance our men spent three days criss-crossing part of the torrid zone with unscheduled thoroughness. The journey started innocently enough. Dan arrived in the busy Am-azon port city of Belem, just south of the equator, where he met Kenneth Abrams of H&S. Accompanying Abrams was Keith Douglas, Borden's Division Controller. After completing their work in Belem, the three men intended to leave on a Friday morning to meet staff accountant James Beilly toiling in Cayenne, which is 600 miles northwest of Belem and just ashore of Devil's Island, the once-notorious penal colony for French political prisoners. Norris, Abrams and Douglas got as far as Belem airport, but their expected plane for Cayenne never arrived. Their 18 only alternative was to go aboard the one plane that was available. However, it was bound for Paramaribo, which is 250 miles past Cayenne. The men de-cided, though, that once in Paramaribo they could charter a small plane to transport them one step back to Cay-enne, where Reilly awaited their ar-rival. They had sent a cable from Belem to Cayenne explaining their plight, but the cable was never delivered and they were, therefore, unaccountably over-due during the remainder of their trip to Cayenne. "The plane trip was routine enough," said Dan, "except that it wasn't going where we wanted to go." At Paramaribo the following morning they then hired a four-seat, single-engine Cessna air-plane for the 250-mile trip back to Cay- enne. It was so crowded that they had to hold their H&S work bags in their laps. "After 125 miles, mostly over unin-habited forests and swamplands, and two hours of bouncing, the heavy rain and high wind forced us to land in a grassy field," Dan said. "We found we were still in Surinam. From there we walked out to catch a bus to go to the Surinam-French Guiana border. Before we were able to continue our journey, however, we had to fix the tire that blew out when we got on the bus. "The bus itself was kind of small, with room for about 20 people, but not a rickety old bus. It was OK as buses go." Unfortunately, it went only to the border. At that point, near the coast, the Surinam-French Guiana border is the three-mile-wide estuary of the Maroni River. One needs a boat to cross it. "We tried to rent a canoe for the crossing," Dan said, "but the Surinam police wouldn't allow it because it violated customs regulations. We finally crossed by ferry boat, which makes regular runs, but we had to wait three or four hours in the small, Dutch-speaking community of Albina for it." Finally on French Guiana soil, with almost half the journey still ahead of them, the three men rented a private car, a French-made Citroen, to drive through the jungle. "The driver carried a rifle," Dan reported, "and we hoped it was only because of animals in the jungle late at night. We arrived in Cayenne late Saturday night." About 8 a.m. the following Wednes-day, after Dan's work in Cayenne was finished, "we attempted to charter a plane back to Surinam to catch the scheduled flight back to Miami," he said. "Again the weather made flying impossible and again we drove over-land in heavy rain." In the Guianas, however, when weather prevents flying, it makes alter-nate methods of travel execrable. Over-land travel is by dirt roads, which are
Chas. W. Wolf, Inc.
Norris, Daniel M.
Campion, Robert F.
Haskins & Sells. Miami Office
Haskins & Sells. Philadelphia Office
|Abstract||Illustration are not included in the Web version.|
H&S Reports, Vol. 06, (1969 summer), p. 18-20
|Source||Originally published by: Haskins & Sells|
|Rights||Copyright and permission to republish held by: Deloitte|
|Format||PDF page image with corrected OCR scanned at 400 dpi|
|Collection||Deloitte Digital Collection|
|Digital Publisher||University of Mississippi Library. Accounting Collection|