We are anxiously waiting for permission to paddle though the Cinta Larga’s land. We have been communicating with one of the Chief Marcello for several months now. We were supposed to meet with him today, but when we called him this morning he told us that he is still out of town and to call back tomorrow to set up a meeting. We spent the morning taking care of last minute details in Pimento Bueno.
In the afternoon Paul, Eurico, Tonico, Baca, and I squeezed into a 6 person plane. We flew 70 kilometers from Pimento Bueno to the Rio Roosevelt. Our goal was to check on the water level
and see some of the rapids from the air.
At first we flew over large areas where the rainforest had been cleared and turned into cattle ranches. When we reached the Cinta Larga’s land the ranches disappeared. We flew over a sea of lush, green rainforest that stretched unbroken to the horizon. The Rio Roosevelt appeared below us and the pilot snaked his way North following the river.
It was exciting to see the rapids, hills, islands, and other land marks that we have read about in Roosevelt’s book, Into the Brazilian Wilderness, and have studied in satellite images. We recognized many of the rapids where Roosevelt’s party struggled, lost canoes, and spent days building new ones.
Click here to watch a 1 minute video clip that Paul took on his iphone of the gorge, which is the most challenging section of the river.
We are filled with anticipation. Tomorrow morning we will call to try and set up our meeting with Marcelo and several other chiefs. If we are not able to set up a meeting or they do not give us permission to pass through the their land we will have to enter the river furter North and skip the part of the river that flows through the Cinta Larga’s land. After seeing the river from the air I really hope that we can paddle the section we flew over. Rio Roosevelt is a beautiful, wild river and I am truly amazed that Rondon and Roosevelt’s crew was able to navigate the river in giant dugout canoes 100 years ago.