Fri 17/12-2021 Day 652

Pos: 15.0207,-92.7221
Loc: Brisas del Huyate
Acc: Hilleberg Allak 2 tent
Dist: 43,89 km
Start: 07:00 End: 15:45

Yesterday’s landing effort has to pay off today! But first, I have to drag and carry my gear some more distance to the ‘real’ rivermouth, as the water is even lower this morning and to get afloat around the last corner of the entrance is not possible. The young ‘camp guard’ from the group of fishermen last night is finally helping me this morning to carry my gear bags. The ten-year-old young man is fighting hard to lift and carry my heaviest fully packed gear bag for the last hundred meter, but finally he gets the bulky lump on his shoulder and is proudly moving along. No way he lets me take the load off him. Not too bad for a ten-year old, mucas gracias! His reward is one of my last ceral bars.
How relaxing this second last paddling day will be! I LOVE inland paddling, for the change. But also only for the change, even the calmest and most beautiful mangrove channels are tiring over days. I have to orientate myself against the low sun and a large sand bank which way to go, but my waypoints are clear, I just have to navigate some shallows before I can enter the right deep water channel. What a relief, what a different world! Thousands of pelicans are resting on the river mouth entry, on the banks and on the trees which turned white from their droppings. Finally, the pelicans stop and the local mangrove birds take over. Their concert is better than any audio book or music, today is silence on the electronic side. I skirt the side where I get shade from the sun, it is calm water anyway and the wind has also no effect here in the narrow channels, all day. It is purely relaxing, I watch every so small new detail of this world of its own. Mayn birds think I do not see them when they sit still, or they fly off when I arrive with lots of noise.
A few fishermen throw a line into the tiny mangrove bays, one old guy even strings small nets in the corners. About six boats fish in the next sea opening, but this is not my way out yet! I paddle until a small village looking on the satellite image very local, where I plan a short portage. When I arrive at their main landing, a large sign confirms what I was sensing all day – this is crocodile country! But besides one big splash which might have been a small crocodile or also a fish, I could not spot any. No problem, I am larger than those guys anyway. My hands are soaked like babyskin from the last paddling distance in fresh water.
I unload my kayak and drag and carry everything to the first crossroad, when the locals spot me, and a young man with two kids on a motorbike seems to be keen to assist my portage. He carries my kayak on his shoulders, together with a young man of maybe thirteen, and a group of local kids assist me with one handle of each heavy gear bag. This works well! The second bag at some point jumps with the boy on another motorbike, and all stuff is soon transported to the ocean beach! Muchas gacias to all my helpers! I ask them man for a refill of one of my water bags, or I would be too short with the precious liquid for tomorrow’s last paddling day.
I set camp under the supervision of the group of helpful locals, but when the man with the filled waterbag comes back, they leave me alone. People are so friendly and polite here! When I look at the sea, it is not really calm in the afternoon’s strong onshore wind and almost high tide, but the locals confirm it will be calm tomorrow morning. Lets hope for the best for the last surf launch of this section!