Leela Year Six - Across the Pacific

Well.... to our own surprise here we are

29 May 2020 | Cook's Bay, Moorea
14 May 2020 | Tahiti, French Polynesia
08 May 2020 | Enroute Gambiers to Tahiti
30 April 2020 | Rikitea, Gambiers, French Polynesia
26 March 2020
24 March 2020 | The Gambiers, French Polynesia
08 March 2020 | Taravai Island, The Gambiers
03 March 2020 | Airport Anchorage, Gambier
21 February 2020 | Kouaku, Gambier Islands
17 February 2020 | Rikitea, Mangareva, Gambier Islands
12 February 2020 | Rikitea, Mangareva Island, The Gambiers
25 January 2020 | Nuku Hiva
22 January 2020 | Ua Huka
14 December 2019 | Tahiti
16 November 2019 | Taiohae Bay, Nuku Hiva
07 November 2019 | Baie Marquisienne, Nuku Hiva, Marquesas Archipelago, French Polynesia
05 November 2019 | Baie Marquisienne, Nuku Hiva, Marquesas Archipelago, French Polynesia
03 November 2019 | Nuku Hiva
30 October 2019 | Nuku Hiva, Marquesas Archipelago, French Polynesia
20 October 2019 | Nuku Hiva, Marquesas Archipelago, French Polynesia

Amazon Adventure

23 December 2018 | Puerto Nariño, Amazonas
Wow.... That was an amazing (and exhausting) few days. We spent the first night in Leticia which is a fairly scruffy town but we actually liked it. The place is full of energy. Despite having no roads into the town and being more than 500 miles from the nearest highway the streets are constantly full of tuk tuk's, motorbikes, cars and people. The noise is awesome, with or without the parrots. Fortunately our Airbnb was out in a quiet area so we slept well.

The next morning we were picked up by Sergio, our (very organized) tour operator and taken to the public boat heading up river to Puerto Nariño, a distance of about seventy kilometers. The boat ride was an experience in itself. Firstly the river is incredibly wide even 1,500 miles from the river mouth. The boats are long and thin, like oversized canoes with huge outboards that travel at about 35kts while weaving through the floating logs that are a constant presence on the river.

Puerto Nariño is an interesting place. It has a population of about 4,000 but no vehicles at all, well, apart from a couple of community owned tractors. No cars, motorbikes, ATV's, not even bicycles. Everybody walks everywhere on reasonably well maintained concrete and brick paths. It makes for a very calm and safe place, with kids happily playing everywhere with no need for adult supervision. The atmosphere is wonderful. There is nearly always some kind of sport going on in the stadium. There are food stalls on the 'streets' and even where there are not food stalls people seem to pull their tables out and eat on the street anyway. There are a number of restaurants serving pretty simple food and lots of accommodation for the travellers that make it this far off the beaten track but the place does not feel overwhelmed by tourists.

I'm not going to give a blow by blow account or our experiences, in part because it is a bit of a blur and there are lots of Amazon tales online already. We spent some time walking in the jungle, both in the daytime and at night. They are having a lot of rain early in the wet season so mud was a dominant theme.... We spent a lot of time on the river and adjacent lakes in a small boat, both by day and by night. It was wonderful to see the extent of the forest and realize that it goes on for hundreds and perhaps more than a thousand miles in all directions.

The photos (here) tell most of the story but we saw many things that my camera could not capture including many monkeys, pink dolphins, three toed sloths and many different birds. I do need to talk about the monkeys we interacted with. Normally I don't like these canned animal experiences but all the monkeys we came into contact with we're rescued, mainly by confiscation as illegal pets. They we're completely free to come and go as they pleased but had clearly decided they were on to a good thing and stayed around the rescue centers. They also seemed to love the interaction. The howler monkeys in particular were incredibly affectionate and actively solicited scratches and strokes.

We spent the last day in a Peruvian village where we had a really nice lunch of local fish and vegetables before heading back to Leticia on the high speed boat. Well, it was high speed until it ran out of fuel about five miles from Leticia. We enjoyed a locerly peaceful sunset, drifting down the Amazon, while we waited for some fuel to be delivered. Nobody seemed in the slightest perturbed by this. Perhaps it is a regular event but nobody in Colombia seems to get perturbed by anything. I just hope I can eventually cast off some of my 'first world' angst and learn to treat life the way people do here.
Comments
Vessel Name: Leela
Vessel Make/Model: Bristol 38.8
Hailing Port: Portsmouth, NH
Crew: Graham and Janaki
About:
We are a Brit and an Australian now based in the wonderful community of Portsmouth, New Hampshire. We have a delightful home there but a couple of years ago we began to feel a bit over-domesticated so we thought we would buy another boat and head south. [...]
Extra:
Leela, a Bristol 38.8 has turned out to be a wonderful cruising boat for us. Some might find it a little cramped by modern standards but it feels like just the right balance of living space and storage to us. She sails like a dream. She is remarkably well balanced and is comfortable in pretty [...]
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