On Tuesday 9th Feb Neil got the team together via zoom for some virtual intros and a chat around the challenges ahead.

After a tiny delay from the technically challenged amongst us (not mentioning any¬† names Mick) it was great for us all to finally meet each other. Sadly Rob couldn’t make it due to a last minute call out but other than that it was the full team and the beauty of this modern world meant that Neil could share the recording.

During the 60 second intros it became clear we were a real mixed bunch with a common passion. There were life long friends, Uni buddies, Mother & Daughter, and strangers who had met once or for the first time… but all with a desire for adventure.

We had seasoned adventurers, SUPers with at least “1,2… or even as much as 2.5 HOURS” experience. Some had scaled mountains, jumped out of helicopters, been to the poles, and SUP’d round Easter Island where the Chilean Navy thought they were nuts. Others openly admitted they were really stepping way outside of their comfort zone.

It was fantastic to meet Jorges (pronounced horhay) who joined us from Peru. It was his first time using Zoom, and other than the usual talking whilst on mute (which we’ve all done) what a great job he did. He explained that the infrastructure in his part of Peru for the internet was basic and slow, and yet the hour we spent together went so quickly and it felt like he was in the same room.

In May it is the peak season for the water levels in the Pacaya Samiria National Park. The jungle will be flooded and the water smooth, so the currents won’t be too bad. We will be much closer to the canopy of the jungle where all the monkeys, birds and other wildlife are” he explained.

He went on to say “I’ve been a guide for 25 years and had led many expeditions or investigations parties into the amazon jungle but it’s the first time we’ll have done it with a group on Paddle Boards.”

Clearly the global pandemic is a massive unknown for us all. We discussed the jabs that we’ve either had or that may be needed, and we spoke about all the things both here in the UK and in Peru that could prevent the trip from happening.

There are so many things stacked against us right now but the team are a resolute bunch and all agreed that if we do have to pull the plug on the current May date, we are all committed to going so it won’t be a cancellation, merely a postponement.

The Pacaya Sumiria is at the confluence of three parts of the river, and the season really does make a difference to how the water behaves and the dangers it brings….

But we laugh in the face of adversity… and tweak the nose of danger



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