Friday, September 19, 2008

A taste of things to come.

My time here in Bocas del Torro is winding down as the last of my friends are leaving this weekend. It has been a truly wonderful two weeks and a nice little vacation from my vacation. I like to have time like this every now and then to cut loose and let my hair down a bit. It helps to keep my batteries charged. If all I did was move around and explore without ever putting some kind of roots down, I would get burnt out and stop appreciating what I was seeing and doing. After a few weeks of relaxing and having a truck load of fun with my new friends, I am really fired up to get back out on the road and explore some more.

So, my plan of attack is to make my way to the mountain town of Volcan, Panama. From there, I will climb the highest peak in Panama, a volcano of the same name as the town. It is a climb to just shy of 12,000 feet, and the trail is roughly 20 miles round trip. It should take me two days to complete. I will camp out at the top so that I can hopefully get the best views in the early morning where supposedly you can see all the way from the Pacific Ocean, to the Caribbean. This will be some good practice as I plan on making a very challenging 7 day climb in the Andes once I get to Peru in a month or so.

After climbing Volcan, I will then take a rafting trip through the mountains. The river I plan on going through has class 5 rapids, which are very challenging. The highest level of difficulty is class 6, but those are waterfalls. That should be a ton of fun and I have been dying to do some good rafting but with the bike it just was not very practical.

After that, I plan on making my way to Panama City, where I will take a sail boat to Cartegena, Colombia. It is a 5 day trip stopping at some of the Caribbean islands along the way. I have never sailed before, so I am really looking forward to this.

I will make my way down the coast of Colombia through to Ecuador and on into Peru, where as I said, I will make a tough climb up to the ruins of Machu Pichu in the Andes mountains. I will not be climbing the Inca Trail, but will be taking a longer and more challenging climb, solo up the back side of the mountains. I will go from Jungles up into the high mountains going through Indigenous villages up to the ruins which are meant to be some of the most impressive in the world.

After that, and this is the adventure I am really excited about, I want to make my way to the head of the Amazon river which is in Peru. From there, I am going to try and buy a little boat and sail it down the river all the way to the Atlantic coast, to a city called Belem in Brazil. It is a journey of 3,200 miles, the same as going coast to coast in the USA. Now, I want to say up front that this may not be possible to do, but after extensive research I am really confident that I can pull this off. There will be a lot of obstacles in the way however, and I still need to do a lot more research. However, if I am unable to buy a boat I will hire boats and hop from city to city with local guides. I would rather do it myself though and will try to make that happen. The nice thing about buying the boat in Peru and then selling it in Brazil is that with the currency discrepancies I should be able to turn a profit on it.

So, we will see. I think sailing down the Amazon would prove to be about as wild of an adventure as one could hope for and am really excited at the prospect and hope everything falls into place. Just the idea of the Amazon brings to my mind images of Anacondas, Native Peoples untouched by the outside world, thousands of acres of untouched wilderness and untold opportunities for exploration and adventure. I am really looking forward to trying to pull this one off.

So, that is the game plan for now. I am getting ready to leave Bocas in the next few days. I hope everyone back home is well and happy.



Tracing the entire length of the Amazon in a canoe or kayak has long been a dream of mine. One of my former travel mates Ben Kozel did it with a couple of his buddies and became the third team in history to have ever successfully traced the entire length of the Amazon. Hearing his stories lit a fire in my heart that I haven't been able to extinguish quite yet.

I think you should definitely go for it. Try to do it on your own -- or with some travel mates if you can find any brave and adventurous enough. Be prepared for anything to happen -- even some close calls with unsavory characters. This will be the thrill of a lifetime, and quite an accomplishment for any traveler!

Reecius said...

Yeah, i have been thinking about doing it this entire trip but it was not possible to do with the bike. Now it looks to be totally viable, and you are right, there are pirates out there on the Amazon but I doubt I will make a very good target in a little dingy. Well, i hope so anyway!

Anonymous said...

Just dress up like a pirate beforehand. It would be amusing.