Tue 19/03-2013 Day 427

View out of the tent at Palmira


Pos: here
Loc: Palmira
Acc: tent
Dist: 29.8 km

Start: 6:50 End: 15:45

If someone will ask me later about the toughest part of this trip – it’s the Caribbean…why? Constant headwinds draining you fast and slowing you down 2/5, camping out in the heat makes for skin problems and sleeping badly.

When I stop early and don’t find a camp site in the shade (usually), and when it’s sunny (mostly) and the beach has sand flies (mostly), life after landing ist just not pleasant. Either you get bitten being outside in a bit of breeze, or you sweat your ass off inside the tent, even with just the double sided fly mesh doors.You are laying inside and the water just runs down, like in a sauna. You are praying the sun goes down and night comes for a little fresh air, but before 3 am, there is no noticeable  temperature drop. And if there is a breeze, this also means tougher paddling.

I am crawling along with average 3,5 km/h, making maximum 30-35 km per day, instead of 5 km/h and 50 km. Reaching just Cartagena will probably take almost twice as long as estimated. I will need to look carefully into my food supplies and -resupplies. Water should be easier to get, as there are villages enough, and probably even sail boats may help out.

I wish I’d have some times dry skin. Either it’s soaked with salt water all day, or with sweat after my tiny fresh water shower at night. Not funny. I am even thinking to stop at a hotel with air condition in El Porvenir – if they have one and if it’s tempting on the way…maybe…

At least the next days is very low wind and seas, so no time for a hotel stop 🙂

View out of the tent at Palmira


The paddle today was with about 12 knots headwind, and high to moderate seas, but basically not very exciting. Landings are few safe ones, as the reefs make things dangerous to guess from outside of them. This morning I dared to stay inside the wide reef between the headland and a small mangrove island, as there will hopefully be an exit on the other side… well, yes, there was one, but with quite some messy water. Not sure if every one would have dared to go through it. I was finding the right path, and didn’t catch any wave, but this was not a good path to get out!

Tonight the only campsite within reasonable reach and with a safe landing was at a small village called Palmira, I am camped at the sheltered boat landing on the edge of a village with local people. I gained the respect of the local guys, and all treated me friendly, and even didn’t bother me too much. I got a bucket shower from a local woman to save my own drinking water, and am now loosing many litres of water (sweat) just lying here and writing…

8 comments on “Tue 19/03-2013 Day 427

Scott Evans

I”d loan you my tropical Hennessey hammock with intrinsic bug netting and asym. fly. It’s made for the tropics to maximize sleeping ability. It only weighs two pounds and fits in small space. A great alternative when there are trees close.

Randall Lackey

I never would have thought the Carrib would have been so tough.Sorry to hear of your days and nights being so bad on you.The summer heat and constant sweating plus fighting the wind on water and very aggrevating flies on shore is certainly taking a toll on you.I can tell in your posting you’re ready for some releif soon.May that hotel and a lovely shower come soon.Safe paddling

Mark Harrison

Yes , isn’t March 21st the spring Equinox, which means at 10 degrees North latitude the sun is overhead and it will be the hottest part of the year? But its always hot at 10 degrees. So Freya , I am sure you are already developing strategy to ‘catch the wind’ with tent positioning, and even maybe construct a wind catcher???/ And maybe a WHITE sun awning for shade may be cooler…
Fair go to have a pit stop in an aircon hotel. Tropical heat is debilitating and you do NOT want to get sick.
Oh and I had 7 years teaching Outdoor Ed at an international school in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Thats 40 degrees most days. I took the programme heavily biased to watersports….. Its cooler in a kayak, with rolls to enjoy. And some of my students loved to wear a mask and roll to look at the reefs….

Richard Mason

A good rest in comfortable surrounds could be considered a safety factor considering the conditions you are encountering. Your body can only take so much. Hope you get a chance soon and that you get a break from the headwinds.

Frances Price

Yes, careful of dehydration which could stop you in your tracks. I am happy to hear of the kindness of the locals, and that you are feeling safe with them. Hope you get your cool, dry hotel night soon!


Sounds very demanding on the body and mind. Hope you do not get dehydrated. Do you have electrolytes? Be careful. May a nice hotel manifest for you so you can have some relief. Until then continue being present with what the universe is presenting to you. In kindness , Karen

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