The Wandering #2

Another excerpt from my new book, #TheWandering. This chapter time-lines a two-week stint in northernmost Brazil during 2008, while covering the international #Ecomotion Expedition #AR Race in the arid Ceara Province. The book will be available for digital pre-order by early 2022, with print copies available by mid-year 🙂
We finally T-bone the turn-off to Granja, a dustbowl of a town with only one obvious redeeming feature: the Rio Coreau. Our timing is good in that we reach the river by midday – with the temperature now well into the forties – to find more people camping out in the water than along the banks.
The water is a translucent green and slimy cool, but the refreshing effect barely lasts a minute once you venture back out into the blast furnace raging on terra firma. An ice-cold Brahma beer from a local Chopp Shop assists in my attempt at temperature regulation, and I settle down to write my journal under the spreading branches of a paubrasilia tree. Hurry up and wait: that’s what you do at most adventure races.
Once again, the afternoon seems to detour into a ‘Coca Lord’ kind of weirdness (which, admittedly, could be linked to my day-time chopp consumption). An hour before sunset, I decide to stroke up-river to see if I can spot the first teams. I’m about a kilometre into my swim when the realisation dawns on me: I have zero clue whether there are alligators or crocs or anacondas lurking about in the slow, green flow of the Coreau.
I scoot up onto a algae-slick rock jutting from the sluggish mid-stream flow, as an even more worrying thought suddenly occurs to me … What about those tiny Amazonian fish? You know, the ones which sneakily wiggle their way up your urethra where they then lodge their bony barbs into your flesh? I can vaguely recall horror stories where a village doctor has to split your penis length-wise with a scalpel in order to remove the little suckers …

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