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Davey du Plessis in his kayak on the Amazon before the attack.
courtesy Davey du Plessis, SOURCE

Amazon Davey reflecting the attack and help: “a spirit for adventure is very, very difficult to lose!”

Posted: Oct 21, 2012 09:46 am EDT
(Newsdesk) He has finally been given the all clear by the doctors to return to my normal active lifestyle, says Davey du Plessis in his latest blog update, after miraculously surviving an armed attack on his life while paddling down the Amazon River.

He expresses his gratitude to people helping him during the day and a half of travelling through the jungle and finally reaching the hospital in Lima; indigenous people like the old lady who washed all the dried blood and mud off his body, a man who sang songs to him, another who prayed or chanted what felt like blessings and protection, and a person rubbing his back every time he was throwing up blood.

He also tells about his attitude to life and his believes after the attack.

Helpful indigenous people

Davey thanks all the indigenous people of the Jungle area who helped him along the path to find a hospital. He writes, “I clearly remember an old lady taking the time and care to wash all the dried blood and mud off me, with a bucket and sponge.”

“There was another man who sang songs to me whilst I was being transported and another man who prayed or chanted what felt like blessings and protection.”

“A person, whose face I never saw, would rub my back every time I was throwing up blood.”

“It was the small things. I must have passed through the hands of 50 individuals that night, whilst on the way to a hospital in Pucallpa. Those individuals stood out but all who were involved are thanked and I am in the process of figuring the best way to reach the isolated communities and thank them personally.”

No Identity or money

Once he reached Pucallpa hospital he didn’t receive much medical assistance as he could not prove who he was or that he could pay, says Davey.

After the networking and calls for assistance, a South African brewery, SAB (or SAB Miller, as the company is known in Peru) managed to step in and stand assuredly for any costs incurred, he explains.

Eventually he was booked on a commercial flight and strapped to a row of seats in a stretcher and flown to Lima. “I remember looking across and seeing a child staring at me and probably hoping that he will never have to travel like that!”

“Once I landed in Lima I was taken to a first class Private hospital and received world class service and care thanks to great doctors and medical staff.”

Positive, passionate and optimistic

Davey says the few people he has seen and who have heard the story of the incident have often asked what has changed after this experience; found knew beliefs or realizations, will he ever do something like this again?

“The short answer is no, not much has changed. In my opinion, someone who decides to paddle solo down the Amazon for a cause, is already a positive, passionate and optimistic individual.”

“If anything, I have become more reaffirmed in what I believe, a little more confident and more respectful and in awe of just how amazing the human body and mind are – look after your mind and body; they will look after you. Oh and Yes! Yes I plan to carry on exploring great parts of the natural world for even greater causes, a spirit for adventure is very, very difficult to lose!”

Davey du Plessis summited the source of the Amazon, Mount Mismi, in the beginning of July, and started travelling down the Amazon River in a kayak and truck tire tube. beginning of August. His aim was to navigate the Amazon from source-to-sea all on his own. On August 25th he got shot by two unknown attackers while he was on the water and a survival story followed.

He lives in Cape Town, South Africa. He has previously travelled through the USA, Europe, the Caribbean and most recently has done a cycle adventure with Ricki Nethercote
from Egypt to South Africa. The two cycled just over 9000km, averaging 100km per day on a 5 day week routine between February and July 2011.

Gareth Jones & Aaron Chervenak, two Amazon wonderers , are currently also in the Amazon jungle, out on human-powered voyage from Brazil’s most northern point at Caburaí, to its southern extreme at Chuíon, the border with Uruguay; covering a distance of over 9000km (5500miles) by foot, canoe and bicycle.

Currently paddling the Amazon and reporting from Iquitos, Peru, yesterday, are West Hansen and his team who are attempting a source-to-sea in their kayaks. Their daily dispatches can be followed in the live Dispatch stream at the Pythom app and at ExplorersWeb.

Since 1970 the following expeditions have successfully navigated the Amazon River from source to sea using a combination of rafts, kayaks and boats (No. 1-6 courtesy of Ed Stafford):

1. The first was British explorer John Ridgway’s journey in 1970. This expedition used cargo boats and other vessels to complete the latter portion of the river.
2. " target="_new">The first expedition to run the Amazon in kayaks was completed by Piotr Chmielinski (Poland) and Joe Kane (USA) in 1985/6.
3. The first unsupported and solo attempt was successfully navigated on a hydro-speed by South African Mike Horn in 1997/8.
4. In 1999 Scott Angus (Canada), Ben Kozel (Australia) and Scott Borthwick (South Africa) became the first to raft the entire river.
5. In 2007 Slovenian marathon swimmer Martin Strel set a new record swim by being the first person to swim a large proportion of the Amazon.
6. In March 2008 Mark Kalch and Nath Welche trekked and paddled the entire route. They are the fourth team in history to complete the entire journey manpowered. (Martin Strel didn’t start at the source).
7. Ed Stafford walked the length of the Amazon River from the source to the sea in 860 days. He started April 2nd, 2008 and finished August 9th, 2010. A transient team of teammates and indigenous guides accompany him, with Cho (Gadiel Snachez Rivera) being the longest time with Ed.

Related: Swedish Christian Bodegren kicked off his Amazon jungle paddle from Orinoco in Venezuela. 280 days later, June 12th, 2012 he ended at the Atlantic Ocean at Tigre, Buenos Aires Province, Argentina.


Related links

Amazon Davey recovering fast

ExWeb interview with Gareth Jones & Aaron Chervenak (2 of 2): “Three Amazon fishermen schooled us for a few weeks”

First Amazon kayak run documented in comic flipbook

Davey Du Plessis, Amazon Wonderer blog



#Oceans #Trek #Medical