(Correne Coetzer) The Polish canoeist arrived at the Brazilian port of Manaus on July 25th for a 4 day stopover. Here he connected to the Amazon River with the Rio Negro. In the process he completed 4,600 km of his 7,000 km journey across South America via the Amazon, Marcin Gienieczko reported in his blog.
He covered the last stretch of 1,600 km in 17 days. On the 24th, before Iranduba, he reached a speed of 13 km/h. "I ran into a large vortex, spinning me 40 minutes [...], but somehow I got out of it [...] something popped in the other oar [...] At Amazon, you have to have a strong paddle, not like on Mackenzie and the Yukon [...].”
Security and sleep
Marcin "was lucky” to survive an incident in the Brazilian drug traffic zone where some individuals with guns and machetes, asked him if he had cocaine. Fortunately another boat arrived. It is the same area where Aleksander Doba was attacked in 2011, says Marcin.
At other times a Navy boat accompanied his canoe.
The Amazon River is huge and wild and full of vermin, spiders and snakes, says Marcin. Crossing the river is difficult and it once took him three hours from one side to the other. He has already lost 13 kg bodyweight since the start. “I'm all spilled, hands and feet have blood.”
Every day Marcin wakes up at 5:30 and departs at 7:00. At about 12:30 he takes a 25 minute lunch break and at 17:30 he starts looking for a place to overnight. Recently it was very difficult, he said, because everywhere is water and jungle. A piece of available land was hard to find. "Every day is a clamor, every day is a struggle for survival."
Marcin normally camps on the river banks. Once he slept in his canoe, and a few nights ago he slept at a Missionary, leaving his canoe at a police station. Security is still a “mega-important issue”, he emphasized.
Latitude: -3.12776 Longitude: -60.05936
Marcin Gienieczko kicked off his expedition in Lima on May 17, 2015, and, with a support team, cycled to the Village of Chilca on the Pacific Ocean from where he turned inland to San Francisco (Peru). From there Gadiel Sanchez Rivera canoed with him to Atalaya, and later again supported him to Iquitos.
Gienieczko plans to end 7000km later in the East at Belem, Brazil, on the Pacific Ocean.
He uses a Mad River Canoe, Royalex 16. It weighs 30 kg and it is made of Royalex materials. Marcin has used a similar canoe the entire McKenzie River system and on the biggest Siberian river, the Lena.
Note: to reflect style. Marcin is claiming doing this expedition “solo”, but according to the Rules and Definitions of Adventure at AdventureStats, a solo expedition may not receive any assistance or car support.
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True source of the Amazon
Wiley Online Library Feb 2014:
Correct placement of the most distant source of the Amazon River in the Mantaro River drainage
True Source of the Amazon by Canoe & Kayak (2012, James “Rocky" Cantos)
From the Gallery: Peru’s Apurimac Abyss by Canoe & Kayak (2015)
South America traverse via Amazon website
(follow his blog in the Dispatch Feed on Explorersweb)
Charity (info below tracker map)