Amazon

one of our first challenges in 2008 – copied and pasted from facebook

completed with Pam Bennington and Kelly

summary of the great river raft race Peru

Day one boat building.

Enlisted the help of two locals to help build the raft, organised chaos rained as we all scrambled to gather the straightest bent logs. just as well I took some spare rope as the rope supplied only just tied up the front of the raft.

That evening sat by a fire we made to try to stop all the huge flys and 2 inch long crickets from attacking us, slept in tents without ground sheets. Very hot and sweaty (the tents and us)

Race day.
Mass start from the beach, discovered that our raft liked to turn right all the time, and had the foward speed of a pregnant snail.
very hot as the day went on, factor fifty and still burnt.
hard day, very hard to find the flow.

The river Amazon is wider than several football pitches are long and the points in the distance take approx 4 hours to reach, in fact you don`t feel like you are moving at all so very soul destroying, especially having to always compensate for the right hand turn that our raft was enjoying.
Food was shit, dished up by local bare hands onto our plates for our own bare unclean hands to enjoy – no washing facilities.

Day two.
Informed that we had a beautiful small section to go through with monkeys in the trees, then a small stretch to the finish.
In reality we passed through a slighty narrower setion of river, probably the equivilant of a football pitch length, no monkeys in fact we didnt see much wild life for the whole trip except for large vultures that I think had their eye on us. (competion time, which of these did we see on the Amazon; Parrots, Crocodiles or Pink Dolphins).
when we left this “narrow” stretch we were met eventually by a support boat (these support boats were very sparse – one crew got into difficulty – two men nearly died it took 15 minutes for the boat to arrive and another 10 minutes for them to take any real action as they had to set up the cameras!!)The support crew informed us that we still had 4.5 hours to go (we had already been paddling for 5 hours) Man that was evil.

Slept in tents on a field, toilet choice (for over 100 people) was a “modern” hut over a hole in the ground, or take your chances in the surrounding bush.

Day three.
Last day felt much better mentally, but physically we were not so good (we had very sore arses, blisters, mosquito bites and sun burn). You could never find the flow and when you did you felt like you could of walked faster.
the last 1/4 of a mile was up stream (yeah)this was a real battle and was the hardest paddling we have had to do in a long while for the least amount of visable movement.

I think we finished around about 35 out of 50 crews.
all in all one of the worst most enjoyable experiences of our short lives.
all the best Gary and Ginette

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