Laura, Ness and Pip are now just over a week into their search for the source of the Essequibo River.
They are (as the crow flies) now 25km from where they think the source is. The coordinates are far from laid down in stone but they are on the longest tributary and they intend to get to the very very top!
The water levels are higher than they would normally be at this time of year. This is both good and bad. Some trees that they might have been able to pass under are now acting as barricades across the river. These have to be machete’d or chainsawed through for the boats to pass. The flip side of the higher water levels is that they had not expected to get this far upstream in the wooden dugout canoes – so the high water is also assisting them.
In the next day or so Laura will decide if its the right time to make camp, cache their kayaking equipment with the Wai Wai boatmen, and start the trek on foot to the source. Needless to say there are no paths and every single step of the journey will involve cutting a physical channel through the jungle to walk through. Its gnarly and dense up there – and they haven’t hit the reported bamboo yet.
Once at the source they will document it and then return to the boatmen. The boatmen will bid them farewell and return to the village and the team will begin to paddle the 1000+ kilometres of river to the Atlantic Ocean.
If they succeed, and these are three determined people, they will have done something that no human has ever done before. Pretty cool.