Fri 04/02-2022 Day 656

Pos: 14.1740,-91.7504
Loc: Rio Verde
Acc: Hilleberg Allak 2 tent
Dist: 24,2 km
Start: 06:45 End: 151:00

A wonderful calm night, not even any fishing boat going in or out in the darkness. I packed early, and just have breakfast sitting on my kayak, ready to go, when Captain Edwin Loarca, the harbormaster, shows up again to wave me goodbye. This time in private shorts, not in uniform. His uniform cap from the Marina de la Defensa Nacional de Guatemala, I got yesterday as a souvenir. Thanks, a nice gesture! And a wonderful addition to my collection of Navy hats. It might be helpful to have it on when in touch with locals.
I paddle carefully to the harbor exit, noticing this morning, different to yesterday’s calm entry, heavy breakers rolling across the entrance. I have to wait at the crucial spot, and to time it right, or I might be smashed at the harbor walls. But all good, I can sit on the crucial spot, and hurry out in a lull. Edwin and some locals are watching me, and once safely out, I wave to them all is ok.
The morning paddle feels easy with following wind, but I know it is quite strong forecasted for the afternoon. Low tide is at eleven o’clock, and I watch carefully how the surf break develops and how steep the beach is looking to me. After about twenty kilometers, the wind blows already over twenty knots, the sea is full of white caps, and my chart shows a three kilometers wide reef area. It is to my advantage, as the steep swell is gone, the beach flatter and the breakers roll out mellow. Hmmm, it is a bit too early to call it a day, isn’t it? But the chart shows only here this tempting flat area, it is easy low tide, and the wind uncomfortable. I decide to go in after almost twenty-five kilometers only, but there will be better days coming. I land luckily upright, close to the river entry, but not close enough to be able to drag my kayak upstream on a wash. I am waiting in the strong wind for a strong enough wave to get my boat afloat again to drag it the last few meters, but in vain. I have to unload, and make camp at the upper area of the flat beach which seems to stay dry.
Unfortunately, the strong now over twenty five knots wind is also blowing the sand over the flat beach, and though I turn my tent with the backside into the wind, flying fine sand is everywhere. I know that fighting it now is useless, and do not unpack much of my gear bags. Oh well, there are nicer days at a lonely beach! I am feeling like a Schnitzel, covered with sand allover my bare arms and legs. Being outside in the wind is feeling at least comfortable regarding the temperature, but I would need to cover up to avoid too much sun.
I do a bit of beach combing, which is at least somehow interesting here. I find an endless amount of shoes, mostly flip flops or croc style, some sweet baby models included. One for a boy is looking like a small car, another one for a girl like a cute beetle. I find an undressed baby boy doll, clearly to identify, and another doll without head, and a head without doll. Many, many empty plastic bottles, some of glass, and a plastic box with a screwed on lid I am curious to open as it is rattling inside. After I see the content, I better close the lid safely again – a collection of empty syringes with pointy needles. A fully usable condom and many medicine bottles of unidentified contents adds to the medical collection. A small toy helicopter, a lucky pig, but not a single Japanese glass net ball anymore here in this latitude. I would not mind finding more!
I crunch down in my shady tent, better covering up from the sun and suffering flying sand than getting sunburnt allover. I call my man at home and my shop manage lady, so far I have enough battery power and reception is fine here. Ut typing the report on my laptop is not advisable in the flying sand. This has to wait until the evening when it calms down.
I get a visit by six men from the nearby finca, all armed with the local bush tool, a long machete. I know you rarely find a man here without such a threatening tool, and I am not worried at all. I greet them friendly; they are surely curious but absolutely friendly also, ask me if I have enough food and water, and even invite me to the finca. Thanks, but sorry I do not like to leave my camp alone.
Two other young men come down the river in a tiny boat and a round throw net to try their luck at the now quite flooded river mouth. I watch them for a while sitting on a log, but we do not talk much but wave friendly at each other.
When I lie later in my tent reading my e-book, around high tide at five o’clock, a sneaky wave dares to wash close to my kayak and tent, and I decide to better make a move with my camp up the small dune. The sea is supposed to rise tomorrow, I am not even sure if I like to paddle. And it is high time to clean up the inside of the tent from all the sand! I shake and wipe everything, and have a small wash and freshwater shower myself. Now, it feels all better! The wind is less, my camp is almost sand-free, and I can start typing and prepare for the night.