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Dragon Healers

9-17-08

Ross - Didn't get much sleep last night. Hopefully, we can make it up on the support boat. We sorted through our things and selected only the necessities for the Race. We left the rest of our bags with the hotel until our return after the Race. We grabbed a taxi and headed down to the harbor pier. The taxi is a motorcycle rickshaw type vehicle. Could take 3 people and not much luggage, which you have to hold onto with one hand. Anyway, it’s fast and fun to feel the wind in your face. We arrived at the harbor on time and no one is around. Guess we are early. But, after snooping around - we can't find the support boat. There are lots of locals hanging around who all are quick to spew advice, none of which is consistent. After running around in circles, all the others show up and so does the Race Director, Mike.C. He directs us about 4 blocks down. We load up on the support boat and all the other teams are on the upper deck. We head up there and observe the other teams hanging their hammocks. It seems everyone is staking out their territory. As we begin to hang ours it becomes obvious that there isn't enough room for everyone on the upper deck and we hear Mike C. suggest that some folks take the lower deck to keep he boat from being top heavy. So, all the healers head down below and set up our 'campsite' on the lower deck. Everyone is very excited and nervous. We shove off and up stream. The weather is very comfortable and no bugs. The river looks muddy, but really isn't. It just looks that way because of the tannins. We keep a watchful eye on the river hoping to learn more about it and how to read the currents. Parts of the river are wide and parts are not. We observe several fisherman, other small boat traffic, and very small villages along the way. After about 6 - 6 1/2 hours it is clearly the 'beer hour'. It didn't take much arm twisting. They were approx. 1 liter bottles for 4Soles (+/- $1.50). We received lunch and dinner, and it is good. After the sun sets, the insect nets come out and a few folks lather themselves in deet. The night is extremely dark, but the heavens are filled with more stars then any city folk has ever seen. The constellations are clear and the Milky Way is huge and bright. We all retire at a reasonable hour. Sleeping in a hammock is not easy and the boat’s engine is loud. In addition, the boat crew ran a generator. It wasn't until midnight before the boat crew shut off the generator. Everyone awoke when they shut it off and each had a spontaneously joyous response at the same time. We finally, arrived in Nauta at 2:00 a.m. and docked. Now with the boat engine off - we can finally get some sleep –

 


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