Loc: Palapa de vaches
Acc: Hilleberg Allak 2 tent
Dist: 35,7 km
Start: 06:45 End: 15:05
My two rest days on the Puerto Arista beach were good for my body. I kept my tent halfway cool with additional shade of my sleeping bag, but pleasant ’beach life’ is something else. I took good care to give my body the rest it needs, but after two days, it is hard to find a reasonable position inside my tent. I looked into repairs on my kayak in the early morning hours when the beach was not boiling hot.
Finally, it is time to leave again! It is still some stronger north wind in the late afternoon forecasted – lets see how far I get today! If it will not be my full-day forty kilometers, I know for the next four days, the wind will be more mellow, and I am also further south where it is more mellow anyway.
Some friendly curious fishermen helm me pushing in, but the launch is very relaxed with getting afloat in a wide soup zone where I can wait on the water for the right moment to get through the outer break. All easy.
The scenery is finally pretts with a mountain range in the far back, and mellow surf relaxes my mind. I indukge in my audio books, and look forward to have only today and four more paddling days until I have a break at home for x-mas.
Nothing exciting happens, a few fishing boats to wave at, and I just make good progress. But around one o’clock, two ours after high tide, the wind turns the hot oven ventilator on and blows twenty knots from offshore. I can still paddle, but what bothers me most are my eyes in this boiling hot dusty offshore wind. The sea state is mellow, though I have to point to shore all the time not to get too fat blown out.
After thirty-five kilometers, five under my due forty for today, I think I can catch up with those missed on the other four days where the forecast is less blowing. I turn in, and land in a confused but not too strong breaking wide surf belt, about five hundred meters before some palm tree roofs.
Soon, a man with a machete (the standard tool in a real man’s hand here…) comes up for a friendly chat, and invites me to better camp in the shade under te roof. Thanks, I agree, launch again and make some five-hundred-meters soupzone paddle with quite some strong wash. I have to stop wen a family with five young kids tumbling in the shallows comes up to me, as I cannot control my heavy kayak that much not to get the curious kids in danger. They again invite me to camp under the shade of their roofs, and I continue for some more minutes with the kids out of the danger zone. It is fun! But my heavy long kayak gets beached two more times, once I get pushed back in by the guys.
When I unload and swing two heavy gear bags on my shoulders, the two men of the family like to escort me to the roofs, but suddenly they see themselves with my heavy gearbag one each on their shoulders walking to the roof, their wives laughing. I think I was clever! I unload my last bag load, and two other men carry my kayak up to the site. Thanks for your help and for the initation!
A whole family clan spends a nice afternoon on the beach, belonging to a farm inland. Cows run freely around, and point me to go for a short bag shower and change into one of the sheds for privacy. I strip the top, and feel a pair of eyes on my half-naked body – and look up to the ceiling! A shy animal looking almost like a porcupine clings like a large Iguana to the roof construction, probably very curious about how a topless human German woman is looking. I cannot recall I have ever seen a porcupine climbing roofs? I have seen some with much longer stings, crawling on the ground, sounding like a rattle snake when they walk. But when I am done changing, I call the family to have a look at this strange animal, and they confirm it is a porcupine! Amazing guy!
I sit for a while by their table, practicing my Spanish, until I need to lay down in the privacy of my shady tent for proper rest. The family leaves by sunset for their farm, but one man tells me the guys will be back at one o’clock at night to set a net at high tide. Thanks, amigo, for the warning! I do not fancy visitors at night, but they will just do their job, pick the net from behind my tent and disappear to the beach. At least I now know!