Back to headwind with no helping current
Loc: my own private gravel beach behind Punta Vigia
Dist: 33,1 km
Start: 5:45 End: 13:45
A quiet night, besides the noisy dumping surf crashing up close to my tent site. I didn’t dare to put in ear plugs, as the possibility was people to come to bother me. But all calm, the youngsters kept their promise. Thanks!
It was fortunately a bit overcast today, but also I was back to the dreaded 10-15 knots headwind, with no more helping current! Where is it gone? Probably as the mountains were still high, but not as steep any more something changed.
Also changed were the beaches, many of them were not inhabited or with umbrellas any more, and I had many landing options. No need to go into a village beach! The motorboats today all mutated back to calm fishing boats, still many of them, with reasonable speed, careful driving and friendly waving three of four guys. Only three of four boats transported the last leftover tourists. I was wondering yesterday where all the nice big expensive white yachts from Puerto Cabello are going for such a Sunday holiday? I saw none of them out, all may have stayed in the marina. The destiny of many yacht owners… a lot of money, but no time… my own “yacht” is rather small and didn’t cost much, but I have time to use it.
I was hoping to make another 50 km today, but no way with back to the “old” conditions. I decided to paddle only as far as necessary that I can probably make it in slightly easier conditions tomorrow to the marina of Carabelleda, where Antonio Liro is expecting me to host me during my stay in the Caracas area. 42 km straight distance now left, so around 45 km real.
I could already see some ugly industrial towers and a larger village glued to the cliffs, and decided it is time to find a beach now! Most kilometers before, there were a bunch of wild unsheltered beaches between the main fine sandy inhabited ones, and turning around the windy headland of Punta Vigia I was hoping to find such a one also in the next wide bay.
I spotted a reasonable size gravel beach, with a bit of shelter behind a rocky reef. It had some surf crashing on it in the now 15 knots wind, but I also saw a small sandy spot in the middle, showing me it can’t be that steep where the wave is breaking. And the unprotected dumpers are still not as hard as the Pacific ones, so the steepness of the beach must be moderate.
I got closer, judged it to be a great campsite on top of the gravel ledges, but I had to watch the rocks to the sides. Not a place you can land as beginner, but it was wide and calm enough for me to land safely. Sure the main problem was to drag the heavy boat up the steep gravel ledge, but the waves rolling in on the sandy gravel ledge on the bottom were not so violent to drag the boat back out of my hand. All relatively harmless, I had it much worse! I quickly unloaded a few bags, threw them high up the dry gravel ledge and pulled the whole boat up.
A perfect spot for me to rest all afternoon and night! No motorboat can land here, despite a few curious guys making a few passes from the distance, probably thinking I may be shipwrecked… I love camping on gravel, it is so nice and clean! Almost no bugs around, it was overcast and quite windy. I dried my skin as well as possible, running around naked a bit in a bug free, windy and not too sunny beach with no spectators! The road goes along the top of the cliffs, but no way anyone climbs down here…but it is not too steep to be in danger of falling rocks. Just perfect for my rest privacy! And I even have internet…
I will rest now and sleep peacefully in safety on my “private” gravel beach, to be ready to tackle the last 45 km in my old boat tomorrow to the marina of Carabelleda. I will get my new kayak in a few days! All is on the best way to get it out of customs soon! Thanks to especially Antonio Liro to look after that business, but many more people were involved in that process.
Tonight in Denmark, Peter was meeting Edgar Lopez, the Venezuelan paddler helping me also very much here and who is getting my old kayak. He is participating in the world champion marathon kayak race in Denmark now. The world is so small…