A River Rodeo, Maldague Approaching Manaus
After a month of preparation and then a month of struggling with Brazilian bureaucracy, Maldague finally began the next stage of his journey on March 8. Maldague set off on the Rio Cauame river, in the hinterland Amazon of the part of north Brazil near Guyana, the country he entered from. From the Cauame, he paddled towards a much larger river, the Rio Branco.
As he progressed, the landscape around him became “more wild and dense” and he started to adapt to his new mode of transport. Using a canoe and camping with his hammock “requires a whole new gear system…I organize, reorganize, re-reorganize, until everything becomes automatic and makes sense,” Maldague wrote in a recent update.
He seems to have found his stride fairly quickly, covering 29 miles (47km) on his first day out of Boa Vista and 33 miles (53km) on March 10. On March 16, he paddled into the jungle and expects far fewer opportunities to update his social media with progress reports moving forward.
The next few days were extremely hot but he made good distances and managed to catch his first river fish, a piranha. On March 21, Maldague announced that he’d crossed the equator and on March 25 he passed another major milestone, changing from the Rio Branco to the Rio Negro river. “The Rio Negro is huge compared to the Rio Branco, which was already very big. The Branco was mostly 0.6 miles (1km) wide, but the negro is generally between 1.9 miles (3km) to 3.1 miles (5km) wide and 6.2 miles (10km) in some further parts,” Maldague wrote.
He’ll now follow the Rio Negro on towards Manaus.