Paddled 50 km back to Humberto de Campo to get picked up by Jadiel
Loc: Humberto de Campo
Acc: Sandra´s apartment
Dist: 52,1 km
Start: 5:35 End: 15:40
How did I feel today? Mixed…physically just about enough to get through the surf and to paddle with the wind, mentally a bit guilty to stop already for this section, but also HAPPY about the decision and very much looking forward to beack home again very soon! I had all the time a stupid old German folk song on my mind…¨Hoch auf dem gelben Wagen…sitz ich beim Schwager vorn. Vorwaerts die Rosse traben…lustig schmettert das Horn…Felder, Wiesen und Auen…wogendes Aehrengold…ich moechte so gerne noch schauen…aber, der Wagen, der rollt!¨ – it´s somehow a happy song, somehow a sad one about a trip through the countryside…
I paddled back, into the ¨wrong direction…Ï can´t remember I ever did that on my trips for a full day…fortunately this was basically a run with the wind. When the current in the morning until 11 am was against me, the wind was strong and I still made headway into my now right direction. Into the river, I got flooded with 7-8 km/h. Only one mean heavy rain squall for ten minutes brought really headwind out of an amazing south west direction! Then back to the north easterly…
Peter had sent messages already last night to my Sao Luis hosts about they may be able to pick me up again…it took until well after lunch that I could get hold of Lucas on my sat phone with a bad connection and to get them all eventually to read the email. But all good eventually! Just in case I´d have stayed in Humberto de Campo for a night. Jadiel mailed he´d be picking me up at 6.30. I flooded slowly with the tide into the river, barely needed to paddle, I had time enough to reflect my decision and to rethink this last section. It was really the physically and mentally the hardest one of the whole trip. No wonder I was burnt out by now…
It was hot and humid with many mosquito bites and sores not healing and fungus and rashes on the feet and body and shallow muddy water with chances to get stuck any time and big breaking waves piling up out of nothing at night, around Cayenne and before the shallows with two offshore rolls, and the stupid dangerous Pororoca catch and the strong counter current of the Amazon with mostly headwind and the lack of solid campsites sleeping in the wet buggy mangroves in the hammock and the general solitude and kayak and electronics damages and camp dangers with water buffaloes and hunters at night…and now coming miles of sand dunes with mostly ugly surf to land and rough water at the rivers with more headwind and counter current…anyone happy to paddle this stretch solo and in this direction??? I won´t be that stupid again…but until Natal it won´t be a pleasure either.
Thanks again to Jadiel and Sandra and their crew to pick me up and to host me back in Sao Luis! The locals in Humberto de Campo were welcoming me curiously and friendly as usual, I had a brief shower and change in a garage, and was set for waiting some hours while entertaining the locals with them taking pictures from me and handing out some cards. Jadiel, Sandra and her son showed up already at 6 pm, and Jadiel drove back in dark night like a real South American, despite anytime some animal or person can be on the road…thank goodness I was half asleep and numb about any more dangers. I always feel me and my kayak are most in danger in a car and on the roads in South America… 🙂 – but we arrived safely back in their nice apartment, the first stage to ¨real¨home!