Rafting the Amazon

Charles Brennick and his girlfriend had planned to catch a river boat in Pucallpa, Peru and float down the Ucayali River to Iquitos, located on the Amazon River. However, after being offered a raft and oars for a grand total of $3, their plans changed dramatically.

Without maps, experience in navigation or any idea of how long it would take, Charles and Pali paddled out into the Ucayali River and headed for the Amazon.

About the Author
Charles Brennick spent over two years in the Peace Corps in Paraguay as an environmental education teacher and did a one-and-a-half year internship in Costa Rica, where he worked to market sustainable development projects on the Internet.

He now works as a natural resource planner for Snohomish County Parks in Washington State and also directs a non-profit organization called InterConnection. The non-profit donates computers and websites, as well as Internet training, to organizations which are dedicated to benefiting local communities or the environment in developing countries.

Contact Charles: brennick@nvmundo.com

Follow his travels via the links below.

Pucallpa, Peru
The idea to travel down the Ucayali under their own steam takes root and the raft is a bargain!

Building the Raft
The raft needed some refurbishment, so a trip to a local sawmill was necessary.

Getting Permission
A permit is needed to travel on the river. Some borrowed life jackets and a small lie later and permission is granted.

The first day on the open water is spent learning how to control the raft. The mosquitoes make the nighttime miserable.

Pink Dolphins
Taking one of the smaller river channels that did not flow as quickly led to an interesting encounter with some Pink Dolphins.

Strong winds push the raft into a large whirlpool that was inescapable until the winds died down.

Indigenous Village
Strong winds mean slow going again. The evening is spent in an indigenous village, but the locals were not very outgoing.

The Final Stretch
A change in plans as tiredness, mosquitoes and fighting the river take their toll on morale.

The End of the Journey
The last morning on the raft in Contamana and a fire sale to get rid of everything.



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