Fri 25/11-2011 Day 88

Lisu, Olaf, Melina, David, Pablo .JPG
With the whole family of the Mirimiri campsite in Monte Léon National park

Pos: here
Loc: Campsite Monte Léon
Acc: tent
Dist: 0 km

Yesterday I didn’t stay the only guest in the public campsite of the National Park Monte Léon – two couples, I could tell by them coming in that they were Germans – visited the campsite in the National Park as well. One of them with a motor home stayed the night…it is again amazing for me how my perspective is changing! As I do own a big motor home myself, but am now traveling with my kayak and tent, I’m feeling quite awkward seeing those “normal tourist” traveling comfortable in their motor homes…especially when they park at night just next your tent and start running the water pump or make other such familiar car noises…

But it is the first (and hopefully the only) time I’m staying in a public campsite, honestly I rather stay free on the beach or in the bush. But the shelter was well appreciated, I got electricity, nice cookies, (no shower as there is a lack of water), had a pizza for dinner, and at some point, talking to people doesn’t hurt either…

Olaf y Freya - Kimiri - Monte León 2011.JPG
Olaf is a sweetie! Reminds me to my son Helge when he was young...

Also, last night Pablo, the son of the nice owner couple David and Lisu, also a kayaker, came with his cute 5-year old son Olaf and took over the campsite business for a night and day, as his parents had to be busy in town. It was a nice change as well to play with a sweet little boy! How I’m missing my own son…though he is not as little any more.

I slept in this morning as usual when I know I’m having the day off, my body and mind needs this rest. Blindfolded with my scarf, earplugs in, I was dozing five hours over my regular wake up time! This never happens at home…but there I’m usually not as worn out as here some days.

I learned already on my first night on the beach from a nice hand carved wooden sign about the presence of pumas in the area, but that night I had really other things on my mind. The campsite owners warned me again about pumas. When you see a puma, never run away, rather shout loud and wave with your jacket or whatever, making noise and rough movements. It is not said that they attack people here, but they have done in other areas…oh well…a puma on the beach behind my kayak would be a nice picture!

Today was rather the strong wind of 40-50 knots the problem of the day, but my tent behind a bush and hill was protected enough to withstand all gusts. The wind was really the strongest I have ever encountered! The sea was white, but with the off shore direction the waves on high tide crushing on the beach were low. It is so amazing how it changes!

I went for two beach walks, on the first one I took little Olaf, and learned again to look at the small things on the (short) way…nice!

Low tide impressions

Please see plenty more low tide pictures on my picasa picture website!


My second walk took me alone *around* Isla Monte Léon – on very low tide at 5.15 pm. This was VERY amazing and impressive! Imagine the tidal range of 11-12 meters. Then think of steep 30 m high cliffs, sometimes in cave formation and half circles, and the sea bed dry for about 800 meters out. It looks like a gigantic pool where someone has let the water out…really, this is a thing I was missing so far in my impressions of South America! It is quite a scary feeling walking on the sea ground, the towering cliffs besides you, and thinking in a couple of hours it is all flooded high again…

Plus imagine the extreme wind today of 40-50 knots, which almost blew me off the slippery cliffs on the foot of the island…well, this is not really an easy walk without wind, and this wind today made it really an adventure! I had to crawl on all fours sometimes, to avoid getting blown away! Especially on the corners of the island the wind was funneling like hell.

If I’d been paddling on low tide around Isla Monte Léon, I’d have never got that impression as I’d have to stay out wide. If I’d been paddling on high tide, it would look fully different again…so this “circumnavigation” by foot on lowest tide was really a great addition!

In the afternoon, more tourist motor homes and cars arrived, even three cars from Germany and France! Seems like it is easy and worth wile to take your own motor home over?

My kayak was tied to the wooden poles on the stormy day - with Pablo and Olaf

I had a quick look at my kayak baby staying by itself at the Restinga Norte, Pablo was driving me there, as well to have a look for himself at the kayak. All ok! Tomorrow morning I’ll keep on going…looks like the wind is going down.

I took my time today to mark as many possible way points for landing on my GPS as possible, by talking to people and by looking at Google Earth. But I learned as well that this long beach was the only possible landing around Isla Monte Léon! That I couldn’t see the other cliff gap in front of the camp site from the distance on that heavy rainy afternoon didn’t really matter, as on that tide level I found the perfect landing spot, sneaking in behind the reef! Well, I just missed the perfect landing by waiting about 15 min for a bit of more water to NOT have shaved my rudder fin off…

22 comments on “Fri 25/11-2011 Day 88

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Don Hebel

Sounds as if the adventure intensifies from here on. Please use that German common sense to stay safe. Remember,the PFD is personal for you not your kayak(:


Beware of the pumas! If I go hiking in the Harz Mountains sometimes I see lynxes, but they don’t attack me 😉

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