AS the annual Rupununi Rodeo is set to make its grand return after a two-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic, patrons, foreign and local alike, are ecstatic about its return.
Two such persons are Johnny Pinell and his wife, Danielle Pinell from Louisiana, United States of America, who are set to make their way to the rodeo as part of a 40-vehicle caravan which includes a group of their friends from Guyana and even other countries.
The Pinells, who are partners of a local business here, have been in Guyana for just over four years and will enjoy their first Rupununi Rodeo experience during the Easter Weekend here.
According to Danielle, they, along with friends, are adventure-lovers constantly looking for exciting things to do.
The Rupununi Rodeo has been a long-standing Easter Holiday tradition in Guyana with thousands of persons flocking to Region Nine (Upper Takatu-Upper Essequibo) to look on and even take part in various events, including wild cow milking, bull-riding and steer roping, among others.
She told this publication that the COVID-19 pandemic put a damper on everyone’s exploring here and so they kept an eye out to find out whether the rodeo would be back on this year.
“We watched to make sure that it was opening again this year because, you know, we were not sure, and as soon as we found out, you know, we booked our hotel rooms and [are] getting everybody pumped,” Danielle said.
To this end, it was revealed that they have been able to visit a number of places and have various experiences since being here. So far, they’ve visited the Abary River and fished there, but have still been longing to experience the highly-talked-about Rupununi Rodeo.
“There’s so much amazing nature that’s here in Guyana and that’s what keeps us going, that’s our treat and now we’re looking forward to experience the Rupununi. We love the off-road journey and ventures and Guyana has so much to explore there,” she said.
As it relates to events that the Pinells are looking forward to, Johnny is eager for the journey itself going through the Linden to Lethem trail.
Meanwhile, Danielle stated that she is also super stoked about seeing how she can help to generate more revenue for places and events like the rodeo as she is interested in promoting tourism in Guyana.
She said she hopes to use her expertise and experience to promote the events to a number of persons. Mrs Pinell noted that, through her other business, they have been able to reach out to a number of expatriates who are interested in exploring Guyana.
“This trip that we have – I think it’s a caravan of like 40 vehicles going with us and we are excited about… so it’s locals and expats, people from Australia and even Canada,” Johnny interjected.
He added that a lot of people who were initially planning on coming to Guyana will be making the journey for the trip.
Danielle said: “So, everybody’s getting their trucks ready… which boosts up the economy as well, it helps with the economy the preparation for these things.”
When asked about how they expect the experience and the journey to go, they both said they are accustomed to riding and driving through trails and are ready to go through.
“We’re from the country in Louisiana… so we are accustomed. In fact, we brought ‘em here, we have our side-by-side four-wheel drive, we have three four-wheelers. This is going to hit right at home for us. We are pumped,” Johnny said.
Danielle added: “So, it’s going to be exciting for everyone… and people from Guyana, tons and tons of people, our friends that are from here that have experienced it that have been waiting for a moment for a break away, with COVID and everything else and work.”
Johnny and Danielle are expected to start their journey to the Rupununi on Thursday.