The past week has been really productive! I've been crossing things off my to-do list that have been there for a whole moon phase! The roof is on the balsa, the balsa is in the river, and the river is calling for adventure! Woot!
All this progress has to be attributed to my first mate, and the first person crazy enough to join the crew, Dagan the Dragon!
I met Dags in Misahualli a few weeks earlier where I told him about the about the plan. He thought it was a sweet idea and helped with some work on the raft,
but wasn't fully convinced to join the expedition at the time... Well, last week I finally twisted his arm - and now I have a crew!!
First Officer Dragan the Dagon is a 26 year old cycling rambler from Canada. I don't know so much about his story, but it sounds similar to mine: doesn't have much to miss at home, disappointed with society, bored shitless of normal stuff and on a mosey to discover the life... Perfect resume for a Wilby adventure :P
In other crew news... Sashi Girl has decided to join the expedition!!! Super cute!! Since the raft has been in been in the water, she's slept aboard with me every night, and two nights ago, I could see in her eyes, she made the decision to come with me. She's a fucking smart dog... She knows what's going on... I could see her watching me building the raft and understanding that soon I would leave, and that she was invited to come....
The other night, she disappeared from the camp a few hours... I knew that she had gone back to the streets and hostels that she used to frequent and figured that when she returned, she would know what to do... Well, she came back, jumped on the raft, climbed into her bed and just gave me the most super cute puppy dog eyes ever, which clearly said "Nada para me aqui, Me voy contigo!” (Sashi speaks Spanish obvio).
So that's super awesome and makes 3 on the crew, which is enough hands and paws on deck to get this adventure started! Right now, we are making final preparations for the first leg of the trip: Misahualli to Coca. It's a bit under 100 km of river and we will go down 100 meters towards sea level. At that rate of descent the current will be quite strong and we'll even get a bit of white water :0 But I've built this rig like a brick shithouse, and I'm confident it will stand up to the challenge...
We've decided not to hire a guide from here to Coca, despite it being highly recommend to us, because nearly everyone in this town is a bullshit artist and, honestly, I don't feel like I can trust them. Although everyone claims to be a jungle expert, the reality seems that the real understanding of the Amazon here has been lost to the westernised, capitalistic state of mind that is spreading through this part of Latin America.
I feel like the further I get from the tourist route, the more knowledge people will have about the jungle and the more freely they share it... Not that I'm not willing to pay for the information, I just want everyone to have the right intention for working together - such as a cultural exchange for mutual benefit instead of a monetary exchange for personal gain. Anyway... If we decide we want to pick up a guide, we can find one in a community down the way...
And so! Everything has fallen into place as trusted, and the adventure begins... I printed out satellite shots of the river, finalised the last of the preparations, and we're all set to hit the river tomorrow :DDD I've even settled on a name for the balsa: 'Muskuy’ (Pronounced 'Mos-kwoi (ish)) – Which I’ve been told is the Quechua word for ‘enlightenment attained when tripping on psychedelics’…:P
Yep...it's going to be wild ;)
Will let yas know...
"Anything you need in the jungle, you find in the jungle."