Maldague Reaches the Amazon River
Arnaud Maldague found the Rio Negro River tough going. When we last checked in with him, he only had 23 miles to go to Manaus, but a headwind created waves and the river was so wide that whenever he stopped paddling, he’d drift backward quickly. “I had to paddle twice as hard to cover half the distance,” Maldague wrote.
After 11 hours of paddling, he eventually made it to the city of Manaus at the start of April. There he planned two weeks off to “rest a bit, prepare, and make some necessary maintenance and improvements to the canoe.”
In the end, he spent a month in Manaus, setting off on the Rio Negro River again on May 4. So far, he’s struggling to get back into the rhythm of life on the river. He reports that the boat feels heavier and is sitting lower in the water because of all the extra food and gear he is carrying for the next stage of his journey. This stage will cover nearly 1,700 miles to the city of Rio Branco.
Maldague is navigating using a mixture of topographic and satellite maps, but these sometimes cause him problems. He recently tried a shortcut to join the Amazon River but found he was about two months early. There was not quite enough water for him to link to the river. Still, it was a minor inconvenience in the end, as he reached the Amazon later that same day.