August 15. – 16.
The morning starts very cloudy. However, this is not due to bad weather, but to the fact that the forest fire is noticeable again and drives the smog into our eyes. It’s worse than two days ago.
You can see the yellowish tinge in the fog. The mosquitoes don’t itch and they relentlessly attack us. Breakfast is short and we are quickly on the river.
We are making good progress again and have to graze every now and then. The day approaches noon, then we come to a fork where the river divides to the right and left into a rock wall. We choose left. From a distance it looks like the water is pouring under the rock. But we have often had situations where the water flows to rocks and we were able to turn in good time. But my eyes had not deceived me and to our horror the water really dives under the rock. The current does not make a turn in front of the slope, but crashes against us mercilessly.
I turn the boat in time, but we can’t get out of there and are hit hard against the side with full hardness. Uli tries to use the paddle to lift us off the rock, but it happens very quickly. Our boat is capsized by the violent current. Our vehicle tips over and then I dive into the icy water. A pull pulls me under water and in a terribly long and calm moment I see the boat and the surface of the water above me.
I put all my strength into my arms and legs and bring myself up. I show up, wet and full of adrenaline. My breath is quick, frightened and cold. To my right I see Uli, who is already over water and is relieved when he sees me. We swim along the boat with the current forward and try to detach it from the rocks. We breathe very quickly. But it hangs on the wall with the top and cannot be moved, however hard we pull on the rope. I want to turn around the boat myself when Uli comes before me and loosens the air pump from the stones that had been lashed to our luggage and wedged there. Now we can free the boat and pull it to the other bank.
We fasten it and take our clothes off to dry our clothes temporarily. Now we can breathe again and almost laugh at it. However, the laugh still sticks in our throats. It is warm enough in the air, but today, just like the rest of the day, the sun could have shone.
In the evening we arrive at a large river bed and camp early to dry our things. The disaster is a long time ago and despite that we have covered the longest distance so far. After all, we now have the best weather and enjoy the evening with a big fire. We’re talking about what the villagers are doing all day, when we hear the sound of an engine. It sounds like a very, very large predator or a tank. Trees and branches bend about two hundred meters away and a great Urals breaks out of the bush. We wave and the monster changes course, leans into a river and just shovels through. With the dark hum of the octagon, as deep as a continental column, it rises out of the river and stops next to us. A funny guy with a baseball cap and a dirty t-shirt emerges, who comes to greet us in a kindly surprise with an outstretched hand and a foggy vodka flag. He introduces himself and asks us who we are and where we want to go. He is very surprised that we are coming from Sobopol by boat and asks us if we should not accompany him again in this direction for fishing. But our enthusiasm to turn around is very low and we refuse. Our friend is just a little disappointed. Then he sees our bait collection and wants to exchange some for a stick. But we have rods and his is too big for us, so we reject that too. His children climb out of the loading area and we are introduced to the whole family. His wife is taking care of the youngest, two rascals are gymnastics around the vehicle and are unable to get up and growl like the Urals of the brother, who is full like artillery.
Life goes through the guy and he always wants to shake hands with us again. After taking a few photos together, the driver takes a sip from his brother’s drunk brother’s bottle and the family outing continues. We are watching the deep hum and plowing of small trees disappear on the horizon and now we have the answer to our question of what the villagers are doing.
The next day is covered again, but this time with real clouds. It even rains lightly. We still pack our things and start paddling. We know that today we will reach Batagay-Alyta today at the same pace of the past few days. But we cut ourselves when we thought it would be easy. We have to go through several situations in which we have to drive through a strong mood and through countless stones that suddenly appear like islands. How wildly I put the rudder left or right into the water to maneuver us around a stone at the last moment, only so that two more suddenly appear, which I also have to pass.
Every water course in the amusement park is simply ridiculous. & nbsp; In another curve we see the deadly situation from the previous day. The current bubbles with full force against a wall and then it whirls against the corner of another wall, stones seem to be in between … This time we walk around relaxed.