Thoughts whilst paddling through South America

In these days of glitzy Expeditions who focus on paper on environmental issues, but in reality is the main way to fund the Expedition, it is such a joy to introduce Christian Bodegren again to you readers. I have written about him before.  He is doing this amazing trip far beyond the media light both in his own country Sweden and the rest of the world. He is funding it all himself and, basically, he is just following his dream and for me, who have been with him from the beginning, it is great to see how he also develops as a human being. So I recently asked him if he could write about his thoughts and  his struggles. And so he has done in his very special English. Enjoy a true explorer!

Thoughts whilst paddling through South-America


Christian Bodegren

My journey began in Orinoco delta in the north off Venezuela more then eight month ago.  Then have I paddle on different river systems cross the continent South America.  Some rivers have I paddled shorter and other rivers longer than expected. Five off these eight months have I paddle against current on different river systems.

This is the hardest thing psychically and mentally I have done in my whole life.

And if you paddle against the current during the rainy season its make it even harder. When the rain storms coming caross the jungle with a sound like a big express train. And you are finding yourself sitting next to the riverbank crouching and holding a small branch waiting for the rainstorm to pass. Because you don’t want to lose that meter you have fought so hard for in the strong current. And another time when you don’t can’t find a solid ground with two trees to hang your hammock.

Because you are paddle cross the night and trying to navigate in the biggest swamp land in the world( Matto Grosso),with a leaking kayak.  Then you ask yourself if it worth the struggle and the hard work.

And the answer is very clear, yes it is.

Like now example when I paddle river Parana in Argentina, and the river is slowly pushing my kayak forward towards the Atlantic with lots of good memory’s in my mind. Because I wanted to do this expedition for many reasons.

And one of them was to see and document the nature and the rich wildlife on these rivers, and I have so many memories’ from different animals I have seeing.  One off my first encounter I had with a big  crocodile in south off Venezuela on river Orinoco was a good memory.  I was coming around the corner and this  crocodile was getting afraid like me and was trying to escape in to the small section off water, which was left between my kayak and the riverbanks. He was hitting the kayak very hard and I was losing my balance and nearly fall into the river, and that was making my pulse rise and giving me a memory for life.

Another  reason was to see an meet and document the people how living next to this rivers, because this rivers have being extremely important on a historical perspective. Because the first inhabitants off Americas came from Siberia across the Bering Strait.  And spread over north America continent and moved down to South America in several waves off migration.  And the rivers I have paddle and are paddle was the first humans also paddle when they colonize the very hart off the continent.  In northern part off South America is evidence off humans going back from more than 15,000 years if the information is correct.

I hope you like me have learning something about another culture and the animal life  during this journey. And I feeling  very lucky  to have being able to spend time in this challenge surrounding which the Amazon jungle is. Because we have knowing to little about the life on the riverbanks in South America, and I hope I during this journey I have inspire at least one person to open the eyes to the world and learn something new.

From Christian Bodegren in the jungle on the riverbanks somewhere along the river Parana in Argentina on the Continent South America.



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