Proclamations of death

Day 14,15 Brasil –

We are reluctant to make a stop at the next city though we need salt. As we deliberate I write a letter of complaint on Nina’s behalf to the company who manufacture NOS mosquito-proof socks. They do not work. They are added to our blacklist of shitty products. Also on the blacklist are a majority of Peruvian lighters (they melt if you keep the flame on for more than 4 seconds.)

Dear Sir/ Madame,

I recently purchased your product NOS socks. I was thrilled to have found socks that repel mosquitos from my ankles since my ankles are very delicate and go swollen when mosquitos bite them. So I did not mind the $20 price tag. On a recent Amazon trip I pulled on my socks eagerly at mosquito hour. The mosquitos alighted on the socks and bit right through! I thank your company very much for its false advertising and my raw blood streaked ankles. Infact I am still in the Amazon suffering each day and night and the socks are not magic mosquito socks I might as well have got a pair from a thrift store or tied some thin rags around my feet. Thanks a lot, I hope your company goes bankrupt.



maybe you can redeem yourself with coupons or money

We never sent the letter but I am putting it here to warn ye who may read this.

We decide to take the left fork to the city. The decision has lasting repercussions. As we approach the city a pekky pekky turns and belines straight toward us. A fisherman and his wife pull up alongside. The man is called Wilson and speaks spanish. He offers us coffee, then puts on a serious face and tells us what we are doing is very dangerous. He invites us to his house to rest. We want to rest, but we tell him we don’t want to go if he is going to spend the whole time telling us we are going to die. He half chuckles.

Do you want to die SI or NO – he roars at us back at the house. He stands over us as we sit meekly at the table and drink lemonade, our clothes smeared with fresh mud, twigs in our hair.

Over the next 48hours, Wilson does the best he can to convince us not to continue. He brings in ‘witnesses’ who have been recently robbed downstream. A skinny old man comes in. Wilson talks to him in Portuguese then turns to us and rages on in Spanish ‘Yes they are assalting! They’ll haul you to the beach and leave you tied up in the sun and push the canoe to the middle of the river! Don’t deliver your lives to the bandits!’ He tells us he was going to fish downstream but changed his mind because he didn’t want to risk his family, but we’re still willing to put it down to hysteria until he indicates a precise point on the map where the bandits patrol. Then we’re worried. I formulate a plan to quickly learn Portuguese and advance little by little downriver, asking communities as I go. But Wilson’s wife wants us to leave. So between impassioned rages about death and danger Wilson tells us it’s best we continue the journey, good luck. He gives us a new fishing net, an ore to replace one that was stolen at the port (people are opportunist thieves!) He is still raging on about killers downstream the next morning at sunrise as he hauls us out to the Amazon, waves us goodbye, and leaves us in the middle. We float and bob in the big blue expanse. We realize our boat is shaped like a duck. A sitting duck. Wilson has instilled the fear.


bandit patrol

from the boca of espiritu santu downstream we are told there is a high risk of robbery or death


Posted on October 30, 2014, in On the river. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. your last two posts have been vigorous. also want more beautiful pictures.

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