A start as
agreed and the dinghies from Grey Pearl and Dawnbreaker set out on the Great
We reach the mouth of the small river
after scraping our way through the shallow bar at its entrance and slowly
our way up river through the mangrove
Mangroves and crabs
Hundreds of red crabs wave their arms at us as we glide
by carefully following the outside banks to keep in the deepest
After several miles the waters clear as the mud of the
mangroves gives way to jungle forest.
Rocks begin to appear on the bottom to add to the hazard
of sunken trees until eventually we spot a landing site and
path through the Jungle. Tying up to a nearby tree we
advance on foot, one eye on the path taking care not to tread
on any sunbathing snakes, the other searching out the
route through the tangle of trees and bushes.
Soon we come to and open cultivated area with Banana
trees and corn. Then its decision time as the path runs
out and we now have to cross the river. Another mile on
the track and then we’re there.
More of a cataract than a high falls, the river runs over
great boulders into a deep pool before continuing
it’s decent through the forest, meeting the sea at the
mangroves. Everybody jumps and the water temperature is
refreshing but not too cold.
Karine produces a picnic from here bag and Yves shares
some rolls with us. Lars has spotted a trail on the other side
of the river accessed by climbing along a fallen tree
that forms a bridge across the falls. So we decided to try this
avoid crossing the river later. All cross successfully
and head off down the trail which has several offshoots but we
in earshot of the river until the trail ends and we
arrive opposite where we had crossed the river earlier.
Once more into the river, Lars slips but
valiantly manages to hold his camera above the water as his dignity
beneath the waters. The journey to the
dinghies is uneventful, but the tide has gone down and navigation
difficult and groundings mean we have to
resort to pushing ourselves off and paddling with the oars.
Later in the afternoon we move the boat to the small
fishing village of Saco de Mamangua which is completely
isolated landward and can only be accessed from the sea,
where we partake of a few beers, Caipirinhas and prawns as the sun goes
Then all back to Dawnbreaker, Yves brings another fine
wine from his dwindling stock and Thomas rustles up
a Shepherds Pie. All suitably wined and dined, Onzo
decides to stay with the big boys while parents depart to
their boat and Rocky (who swam the back the whole length
of the river) is resting.