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Last Updated: Friday, 27 February, 2004, 17:09 GMT
Georgetown, Guyana

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Phil Long, BBC Sport's man with the Barmy Army, takes an alternative look at the cities where England will play on their tour of the West Indies.

Here, Phil casts his eye over Guyana and the capital, Georgetown, where cricket is played at Bourda.


England's Caribbean odyssey takes them onto the South American mainland briefly as they travel to Georgetown for the opening one-day international of the seven-game series.

Georgetown's reputation as the 'Garden City of the Caribbean' is spot-on as it is a gorgeous place with flowering trees and white painted wooden houses and a pleasant breeze keeping the heat down.

BOURDA, GEORGETOWN
Population: 210,000 (Georgetown)
Airport: Cheddi Jagan International, 40km south of CITY CENTRE
Money: 1 = 338 Guyana Dollars
Time: four hours behind GMT
Average temperature: 25-29C in April
Rainfall: two rain days on average in April
British High Commission: 44 Main Street, PO Box 10849, Georgetown
Matches: Tour match (16 April); 1st ODI (18 April)
Sadly, much of the city was destroyed by fire back in 1945 but some of the older buildings survived and are definitely worth a look.

The pick of these is the St George's Anglican Cathedral which, at 44m high, is reputed to be the highest wooden structure in the world.

The Botanical Gardens are also worth a visit for their ornate Victorian pavilions and bridges but make sure you don't head off the paths or hang around after the sun has gone down.

Despite its beauty, don't be fooled into lowering your security precautions whilst you're in the city.

Never walk the streets of the city at night and always avoid the Tiger Bay area just west of Main Street and Albouystown south of the centre.

One thing you definitely should do in the city is join what appears to be most of Georgetown and take an early evening stroll on the seawall as the sun sets.

If you have been sampling the high life in tourist central on the islands, then be warned that Guyana is, in the most part, a case of back to basics.

While Georgetown itself may provide everything you need, once you venture into the interior you're very much on your own. Much of the country is also a high-risk malaria area so precautions are vital.

If you are willing to take the precautions and travel away from Georgetown, the real must-see sight is undoubtedly the Kaiteteur Falls on the Potaro River.

Unspoilt because of their isolation, the Falls are over 100m wide and have a sheer drop of 228 metres, an incredible five times higher than those at Niagara.

Unfortunately, the water that has carved out the falls has also had a profound effect on England's cricket in Guyana in the past.

Locals rarely go anywhere without an umbrella and the rain was so incessant back on England's visit in 1990 that the whole Test was washed out without a ball being bowled.

And it gets worse. England have played three ODIs in Guyana and have been soundly beaten on all three occasions. You have been warned!



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