January 16, 2007
We indeed were awoken at 5:30 AM, about one hour before dawn. Soon thereafter, the four fat women began babbling again. This time, they mixed "Are you going into the jungle?" along with "I have one week of fuel..." and their usual deluge of Taki Taki as part of their mocking routine. At one point, the driver decided that the boat was unbalanced and asked Craig and I to move over, despite the fact that the women weighed five times as much as us. Maybe he was afraid of talking to the women after seeing how they treated us.
The women finally got off after a few hours. Omara asked me why I wasn't talking today. I told her "Because you somehow think it's funny that we eat food and like to try to sleep at night and you've laughed at everything we've done constantly for the last day." Craig threw in "You're the rudest people I've met in three years in South America," along with some other phrases that were not nearly as kind. Something was seriously wrong with these women, the one in particular, but at least we were rid of them.
The rest of the trip was quite pleasant. The river was low, so rocks were sticking up everywhere. This also created many sets of rapids for us to navigate around and over. There was also one case where we had to portage all of our gear around a large rapid. This was not at all like the Corentine on the other side of the country, which was wide and deep as far up it as we went. Surprisingly, the area was more populated than along the Conentine despite the rougher terrain. We passed Maroon villages and boats similar to our own almost constantly. This was probably due to a higher amount of mining in the area because most of the boats were full of fuel drums, and we passed many excavators in the river.
We made it to Maripasoula at dusk. We got dropped off at a fueling center and had to walk half an hour to get to the center of town. It was a bad time to arrive because we didn't speak the language, knew nothing about the town other than that it was a nice place to visit, and didn't want to pay $60/night for a hotel room. We decided to set up camp near some fishermen by the river and look for the visitor's center tomorrow.
The photo album for this entry is here.