June 21, 2006
Several of us got together today to do a thorough search for canoes. Before we even left town, the guy at the micro bus station told us of one that was for sale. We went straight to Puerto Varador to talk to the owner. He was a local from a nearby village who had just finished making the canoe by hand and intended to sell it. It was a beautiful dugout with double-reinforced walls that looked perfect, but it would only hold six. We will almost surely purchase it tomorrow, but we will still need to buy another canoe for everyone else.
This afternoon, more people showed up to go on the trip. George and Ashley, from Alaska, and Ax (I can't even begin to pronounce his real name) from Israel, will also be on the expedition. With ten people, we could put six in the new canoe and the other four in a smaller one. The only problem is that it's very difficult to find canoes here. For our last trip, we were in a town of 500, but we were shown four canoes for sale within the first two days. For this trip, we were lucky to be shown one. Even though Trinidad is a big city, the river doesn't pass through town, so it's necessary to go to the sparsely populated villages that are on the river. Most people have canoes, but they are needed for fishing and moving goods up and down the river. Even though we are gringos who will most likely overpay for a canoe, people simply can't afford to get rid of their only canoes. We'll keep looking tomorrow.