Mon 25/03-2013 Day 433

My last camp on an island in the archipelago de San Blas


Pos: here
Loc: Isla behind Punta Escoces
Acc: tent
Dist: 46,5 km
Start: 6:15 End: 16:00

The second last of those gifted days with following wind going south east – tomorrow another 29,5 km, and I am at the boarder to Colombia! I’ll cross the Golf, then it goes “uphill” again…

The paddling would have been quite pleasant, if I’d not been that tired. My scratching orgies kept me awake for a long while, and left horrible looking lower legs with fat lumps, some of them blisters. I carefully opened a few tonight, and right then put the Cortisone cream on it again. I may have a day off again at the border village in Colombia.
Besides, I heard some voices around 4.30 am, but no engine, and the night was over anyway. Are those guys with their cayucos also out at night? Must be…as long as I am not getting early visitors.

At least I paddled past a few cayucos in the early morning, and I guess the next village is behind me, so they must have been paddling at night. All waved friendly, some shouted to come close – but I can’t talk to them all and just waved back.

Yesterday night already and old larger ship was passing by, and the two guys told me this is a ship coming from Colombia doing some trade with the Kuna villages. I saw three more of similar size and quality today. As the Kuna ought to be big in trading, trading with Colombia must be efficient – I will see what my Colombia Navy guys will tell me soon.

My 'backyard' on my last camp on the archipelago de San Blas


I chose a shady beach of an island again for my camp site, this time no boat to be seen – hopefully all night. An old housing site, even built out of concrete, was hidden in the bush though, and a palm tree shelter with fireplace, but obviously not really recently used. I put up my tent on a clear space in the palm tree forrest, caring about the possibility of falling coconuts again… some pictures of the sites, some snorkeling on the bit muddy reef, and I jumped into my sand-fly free tent. Here there seem to be only a few big ones – easy to kill!

Temporary Kuna camp with 'bed' and fireplace
Someone was hungry on cocnuts here!


The scenery has changed over the last two days, the islands becoming a bit more rocky and less sandy, but also free of mangroves. As mangroves breed the tiny sand flies, I guess, this is at least something…

View on the weather side of my island
The concrete remainders of a house on my island


17 comments on “Mon 25/03-2013 Day 433

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Freya, die Zeit rast, vor einem Jahr warst Du in Montt. Meine Mutter lässt Dich recht herzlich grüssen. Ich muss ihr immer von Dir berichten.
Deine Berichte sind wirklich interessant und man lernt ständig etwas Neues. Ich hoffe, dass Du weiterhin gut voran kommst und das Dich die Mücken in Ruhe lassen. Vielleicht kann Dir die kolumbianische Marine Tips geben. Aber Du hast sicherlich alles dabei.
Alles Gute und frohe Ostern 🙂

Edda Post author

In Scotland they are called “Midges” and there’s even a song about them: “… with teeth like piranas they drive you bananas…”

Randall Lackey

I guess I assumed you were using a insect repelant already and the sand flies were still biting you. OFF has some really good sprays and lotions available;that I’ve used with good sucsess deep in the woods and along the river banks here in the states.Avon even has a skin softener called Skin So Soft that I ‘ve found to work good against southern monster mosquitoes.You know they’re the Florida state bird; don’t you? Not really but they are big and bad here in the south and the sand flies and no-see-ums are just as bad or worse.Hopefully you’ll soon be back in areas more free from them and have some time to heal from the little monsters from hell.Safe paddling and quit scratching!!!


Coconut oil is supposed to be a natural repellant for sand fly bites. Maybe that’s why all those men were leaving you coconuts!

Mark Harrison

I agree .VITAL NOT TO GET SICK. Tropical infections can have serious consequences and need to be treated seriously . But I am SURE you know THAT already Freya… I found good old fashioned DETTOL to be very effective in taking the sting out of mossie bites,AND as an antiseptic… Can you buy it in South America??? I am sure they will have something similar at least.
Good luck. Thanks for the blogs, Fascinating. And I think you will call in at the A B C Islands ( Aruba, Bonaire, Curacao) Dutch influenced. I am sure you can get Dettol theree!


Remember what I said the skin is the third lung. Let your skin breath. Even try watching your breath as you paddle. Watch your breath as you fall asleep and have awareness of your breath as you wake up. Obviously you have to be careful of all the lotions that you do use on your skin. However Ricardo is right there are great products for no see ums in the states. There may even be local remedies that you could ask about. Ask the Navy the will know what to use. They have to survive in that environment. You can also try purified water and add salt soak the areas effected this will draw out the poison. Train your self not to itch! Use the same will power you have to paddle to train yourself not to itch. Sometimes I put band aids around an area that has been bitten. Any way you need to get this under control before there is infection. Enjoy your pit stop.

Ricardo Hoffmann

Have you ever tried an insect repellent (applied to skin)? There are different quailties in the market, very good ones com from the US

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