Tue 17/09-2013 Day 508

Antonio and Lucy, my friendly hosts in Carballeda, looking nicely after me not only with home made food. Thnaks very much!


My tent got soaked by a wave… 🙂

Pos: here
Loc: Caraballeda
Acc: Antonio’s and Lucy’s apartment
Dist: 45,1 km
Start: 5:45 End: 17:05

I really thought I had the perfect private and safe campsite for the night! I even afforded a second fresh water shower in full moon after dinner, as a hot well spiced spaghetti meal made the sweat run out of  ever pore, and on the gravel beach bugs were fortunately non existent. I just went back to my tent, feeling fully comfortable and on the way to be well rested, grabbed my e-book, but my feet up the tent roof and started to read. A noise of falling rocks and a bit of shaking made me wondering what it was – I probably only stretched my legs up too high on the tent roof, making the rock piles on top of the tent pegs falling off, no problem…I turned around and noticed what the noise and shaking really has been – a fucking naughty small wave sneaking over the sharp edge of the gravel ledge I was camping on and found it’s way through the fly mesh into the foot area of my tent!

A sharp edge on such a gravel ledge actually means for a long time there was no wave crawling over this edge, and it did not for all the long hours I spent already in the afternoon on this spot. I felt I judged the sea right, the swell was supposed to go down anyway, there is no tide here and my camp spot on the first gravel ledge was fully all right and safe. I had camped many times on similar spots and all was good. This time I obviously judged it wrong, and I got water inside my tent. No big deal, I was laughing about my own stupidness, stayed dry on my sleeping pad “island”, just my blanket was soaked on the side a bit. I mopped the water out, but better moved the tent in the full moon light about two meters further off the sharp edge. This must be a safe spot now!

I went to sleep, and was feeling good. But at 11.30 pm, another wave, obviously bigger than the other one which soaked me earlier, reached my tent and now put the whole floor space under water. F%^&*! This can’t be real! Fortunately I had only few bags left inside the tent, and I sleep with all valuables and bag contents closed securely away any way for “just in case”. And in this case, my whole tent got flooded by quite a big squall of warm water, but fortunately left my sleeping pad “island” with now only 1/3 of my dry blanket unsoaked. I had to empty the tent fully, rescue the last dry corner of my blanket and eventually moved up on the highest ledge, where I should have gone already from the beginning on! All jobs done in warm night air with full moonlight with no clothes on… 🙂

I went back to sleep, now feeling fully ok high up on the last ledge. I noticed next morning, this was really only the second and last wave going over the edge, as the spot where my tent was sitting was still dry. Where did this single rogue wave come from? No idea, but next time I will always camp as high up as possible! The night before on the sandy beach I slept close to the wash also, and nothing extraordinary happened, although on sand the water washes higher up than on gravel. Well…it could have been worse! I was due next day to sleep in “civilization” again and could use a washing machine!
Not that this was the very first time my tent got soaked  🙂 – sneaky tides already found their way inside, but usually with colder water and conditions! So it could have been worse.



The paddle to Caraballeda was without much incident, just a tough job as usual fighting against up to 15 knots wind. Not pleasant. I saw the city area passing slowly by like in a cinema, and I was not envying the people who living there with the noisy planes starting and landing on the international airport every 5-15 min. Maybe about 50 big machines were passing close over my head, fortunately no one dumped their trash into the sea in front of me. The stinging smell of polluted water came out from small rivers into the sea, and the beaches were eventually all artificially made between breakwaters, if there were any. The coastal highway was more important than natural beaches in this area. Most housing areas still had the blue water tanks on the roofs, meaning they had no access to the public water pipeline.

Arriving in Craballeda


Antonio Lirio and his wife Lucy were expecting me in Caraballeda, the better area on this stretch of coast around the international “La Guira” harbor. Many thanks to both for looking after me! They took me to their apartment in one of the fancy high rise buildings in kind of a ghetto area between the simple houses with the water tanks. The apartment was pretty designed and European standard, the view over the bay is magnificent. But I learned this was only their weekend and holiday apartment, they are actually living in a house in Caracas. So well…the difference between rich and poor is big and sharp like in most South American countries. Lucy loves Stand up paddle boards, and Antonio paddles a slim sexy Zegul Tahe Marine kayak, looking a bit newer than my own well worn workhorse. But my boat has “history”! And I am supposed to get a brand new “Freya” kayak here in Caracas. We’ll see how it goes tomorrow to get it out of customs! Antonio already prepared everything to make  it go as smooth as possible. Thanks!

Landing in Craballeda, Antonio Lirio helping me



1 comment on “Tue 17/09-2013 Day 508

Glenn Wilkes

Apart from the “natural” rogue waves, the large ships generate a lot of wake. In their hustle to get to their destination, they often ignore restrictions with respect to speed and people like you pay the price. Good luck with the customs, you may need it.

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