Sat 23/02-2013 Day 403

Yuck! This was not one of 'my' shoes floating there for ages already, a breeding place for flies or whatever...


Pos: here
Loc: Bahia Solano
Acc: Navy room
Dist: 48,4 km
Start: 6:35 End: 17:15

No paddling tomorrow

The sleep on my tiny horizontal space behind the wheel was actually all right – until 4 am, when it started to rain…no Colombian night so far without rain. I was prepared to pull my tent fly over me, but as it was not only a light rain as usual, but quite a squall, I had a hard time to breeze *and* to keep the rain off my sleeping pad and blanket. Sure it was still running *under* my pad, and I was floating like kind of an island…

The boys made some noise and talks also in their poor efforts to spread the tarps over their hammocks or to put themselves into rain gear, so the night was over too early. Eventually I didn’t care anymore what may get wet, as I
knew next night I’d be in Bahia Solano in civilization with a laundry machine. So for one night it worked, but no more nights on this boat, please!

In first light and a brief light spell in the rain, I packed my mostly soaked gear, jumped into my anyway soaked paddling clothes, and was ready to go. We had to drive 7 km back to the coast, as the drift went offshore this night.

Just boarded into my kayak, the rain continued, this time not as heavy as last day, but much longer, until 12 am! Not that pleasant, as with the rain again came a moderate north wind, and this time I was going due north. I crawled along with 4 km/h, and couldn’t even enjoy much of the scenery in bad visibility. Life is hard as a sea kayaker! 🙂

Eventually it stopped, but my only goal for the day was to reach Punta San Francisco Solano, the headland turning into Bahia Solano. This is where I’d be stopping anyway (if I’d be allowed to camp on the beach…), as I will cross over the bay to Punta Nabauga the next time, and would not make the wide detour into Bahia Solano at all.

But I did appreciate again the hospitality of the Colombian Navy! I got a nice almost new air conditioned room, and my skin will be able to recover in dry and cool air. Thanks for looking after me!

Bahia Solano itself is a reasonable big village, maybe 1000 people, with air strip and cell phone connection. They even have a few cars here on the bumpy unpaved streets, plus a bunch of motor bikes. I also saw a few guest houses or small hotels, small shops and a bank, but with a beach wide and muddy on low tide only. So, life is quite all right here! Still Cristian, the boss of the Coast Guard in Bahia Solano, who picked us up from the wharf with a Navy pickup truck, was wearing his gun belt over his civillian shorts and t-shirt…The Navy battalion was again a small village of it’s own, and I felt privileged to stay there. Thanks!

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If it cheers you up, the Pacific area of Colombia you are now going through is the wettest place on earth according to some sources. So the silver lining is that least you get some portion of the day rain free 😉 That region, up to and well into Panama, is the quintessential tropical rainforest, as thick as it gets, and relatively isolated from the country’s much more developed interior. Thank goodness for pristine wilderness…

On the Atlantic side, you’ll get to experience the contrast of the northeast corner of Colombia (Guajira Peninsula) which is a hot and dry desert. So if variety is what you’re looking for, South America won’t disappoint you…

Aaron Loomis

Freya, I had to scrap Facebook , but rest assured I’m following your every paddle stroke from New Jersey, USA still! 🙂 You are a daily reminder that, if you set your mind to something you CAN DO IT! Make your own luck!

Richard Mason

So many guns – so different to Australia– must be unnerving.
I see you are about 120 km (as the crow flies, lol) from the border of Panama.
Looking forward to you next lot of photos.

Randall Lackey

Nothing like beginning a day of kayaking soaking wet.Life of a sea kayaker is tough sometimes,ha.Glad they put you up in good quarters,cool and dry. rest well.

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