Amazon Expedition – Day 9
Blog written by George Legget
We often forget the day begins at 12am and not at the hour we wake up. Nine times out of ten, we are sound asleep, dosing peacefully in our beds. However on this expedition, almost every day has begun at 12am. In order to make the most of every minute of our time with the intrepid explorer Mike Horn, our sleeping patterns have somewhat been altered. After hearing stories of Mike’s incredible adventure down the Amazon, we made it to sleep around 1am.
A short but sweet rest of 6 hours was enough to refresh us for the day ahead. A beautiful view of the township of Barcelos accompanied by the sweet kick of a Nespresso coffee sparked the fire for a very long day of bargaining and discovery. After putting the finishing touches to our harpoons for spear hunting, we headed into the jungle city in search of pirogues for the final leg of our journey up the Rio Negro. Little did we know how difficult it would prove to be to bargain for the Amazonian kayaks. We spent all day going from shop to shop, asking the locals where we could find the best boats. Finally we found a small gathering of pirogues and began to bargain. After several hours of discussion with the local people and heavy bargaining for aged pirogues, which felt like cardboard, we stopped to reassess the situation.
After we roamed the streets in search of renowned locals, telephoning people and stopping motorcycles, we finally found an old lady who was known for her treasures. After a long discussion, a test drive of the boats and some hard bargaining we thought we had come to a conclusion despite the language barrier. Just as we were about to hand over the cash, the old lady was suddenly nowhere to be found and we were unsuccessful in the purchase of the pirogue. We will continue up the narrow channels of the upper Rio Negro as far as possible until PANGAEA can go no further, where we will explore the most inland reaches of the South American continent with the dinghy’s and our harpoons at the ready.