Loc: behind Punta Morro de Puercos
Acc: Hilleberg Allak tent
Dist: 44,1 km
Start: 6:25 End: 16:20
Tropical long distance expedition paddling is a torture. Most have the vision of happily paddling along in warm air and water and enjoying the sunset on the beach after a nice swim or snorkel session. Wonderful – if every evening an extensive shower and an aircoditioned room would be waiting to clean and dry your skin, and to give you a peaceful sleep without sweat pouring down in liters. I rather paddle in a dry suit and am halfway clean and dry in the evenings while cuddling in my warm cozy sleeping bag. You can cover up against the cold, but the heat kills you.
The skin is itching from bug bites, and a constant heat rash makes the skin prickling like with needles. After paddling your forty+ kilometers per day in eight to ten hours like a galeere slave tied to a chain as you mostly cannot land without effort, you wwork hard to shuffle your three gear bags and drag your kayak up the beach to make camp. I might take a few pictures around the tent before changing, but then, I prepare to be all inside. After a quick freshwater rinse which is better than nothing but does not clean your skin properly, you mostly quickly lock yourself down into that small prison of a tent to first lay a bit to rest, thanking god being alive and in one piece after a more or less lumpy and/ or long ride. You feel the skin slowly shrinking while halfway drying. In that half an hour, I drink two bottles of some sportsdrink to rehydrate from inside, but still barely pee as all liquid disappears through the skin. The bug nets are mostly quickly closed as most tropical beaches are infested with tiny sandflies which are a pest. When there is no breeze going, the tent becomes a sauna quickly with the closed bug nets, although the outside of the tent is wide open.
When I feel halfway recovered, it is office time. I check the weather, the charts and the satellite images, write my update, and might do other things online if in cell reception. Dinner is either salty cashews, salty peanuts, salty sunflower seeds or my good grainy Knäckebrot frm Sweden plus chees in a tube. When I am lucky, I still have some freeze dried cherries, pineapples or bananas to chew on, or I take a few spons of milkpoder as a sweet treat. My healthy bars I can only wash down, none of them tickles my fancy anymore, but feed me. Dehydrated fruit like mangoes and pineapples I also can only wash down anymore. I have to fill calories, but the choice is limited what keeps well in the heat. Only my grainy breakfast mix swallows well twice a day. No thoughts about cooking in the evening when the tent is a sauna, even if I would carry utensils. Ideally, I would recover every week in an aircondition room with nice people or in a hotel, but neither of it is regularly on offer. Thank goodness to ebough battery power to run my laptop, speaker on my kayak deck for audio books or music, and reading my ebook in the tent. And I would always prefer having a skilfull paddling partner these days.
Still, I changed my plans again and will finish the Pacific side this year, when the weather holds up. Strong northwinds are due, but I do not know yet when. I am hoping I will not only able to reach the Marina Buena Ventura where I get an apartment provided, although recovery there is very much welcome and needed. I like to close the loop to my South American round this year, even if I will not be home for x-mas. Who cares about holidays. My partner Peter and son Helge understand me.