Mon 04/02-2013 Day 384

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Lunch with the Contra Almirante Carlos Vallejo (2nd right) and CPNV-SP Roberto Jarp to my left

Pos: here
Loc: Esmeraldas
Acc: Navy
Dist: 29,5 km
Start: 7:10 End: 13:00

Tomorrow’s estimated landing: Rio Verde

The beach was quite empty this morning, and even last Sunday night there was no music anywhere. Was it because of the rain all night, or because it was Sunday night? My sleep was definitively better without music.

I launched easily through low surf with the help of the Navy guys carrying down my gear before. Back on the water! Quietness and freedom! I noticed the Navy escort boat late, and almost not at all. That boat had a light engine, and stayed away behind me nicely. They changed over at some point with a boat coming from Esmeraldas, and it didn’t take long and I was there – I thought…

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What a nice welcome to Esmeraldas...BLACK gray water flowing directly into the sea.

Yes, I was just across the first edge of the harbor wall, when I woke up out of my just paddling easy along on dead calm water and noticed my GPS showed only 1-2 km/h…dig in deeper, girl! Sure I knew the tide was this time *not* in my favor, it changed at 10 pm ebbing out of the wide river mouth. And I just had to cover maybe 300 meter along the harbor wall into the shelter, but the current came strong around the corner.

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Probably one of Ecuador's biggest Armada ships

I was working hard now, slowly gaining meter by meter against mid-current. But I made it! Not all too sure…see how it will be getting out north tomorrow crossing the wide river mouth, with the tide coming in…fortunately, there were no tidal waves like in Bahia Caraquez, but there I had the tide with me in and out.

I could land on a medium high jetty at the Navy’s, and bent down deep to unload my now again heavy loaded kayak after my last food shopping. All good! Soon maybe 6 Navy officers in white uniform were looking after me, my kayak got stored, I got driven to  very nice Navy area accommodation, this time with air condition, but no wifi. Air condition is for one night more appreciated than wifi, as I have my cell phone to read emails and can send my updates via satellite phone. Thanks for hosting me again!

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The woman in black is greeted by many white officers in Esmeraldas

I got the honor to have lunch with Contra Almirante Carlos Vallejo, and all highest ranking Navy officers of the site, about 16 people. My neighbor on the lunch table was charming CPNV-SP Roberto Jarp, with whom I had a nice conversation in perfect English. Thanks a lot!

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The captain's office and casino in Esmeraldas, where I had lunch with the Contra Almirante.

I got then driven to the Capitania, where they rather decided I should be driven first to the Policia International for my passport stamp. We drove about half an hour into town, but the office was closed at 3.30 pm. It was supposed to be opened at 4 pm…we waited for an hour, and it was still closed…now supposed to be opened again at 6 pm…

Ok, that’s Ecuador! We were driving back to my accommodation, where I at least could start writing my update and rest a bit. They picked my up again at 5.30 pm, qnd yes, it was open when we were back! Still had to wait for half an hour…but then I got my stamp out.

On the way back, my driver made a small detour through the city to pick something up, and Iwas able to have a bit of sightseeing in Esmeralda city. Nice! All built along the huge Rio Esmeraldas.

I could crash in my room at 7 pm…yahoo! Thanks for all your help and hosting me, Navies!

6 comments on “Mon 04/02-2013 Day 384

Karen

I like that Will! At least a hat or a Tshirt. So Freya would you have stayed longer at Esmeralda City. Would it be an interesting city to visit? Well, as you go from country to country I am really impressed with the care and attention you have been given by each countries Navy. Thank you to all the navy persons that have made this trip safe for Freya!
In Kindness Karen
Be safe in Colombia 🙂

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