We woke up to cold weather and strong winds so that we had to make sure our tents were not carried away. Albert, our local man from Lunglei was racing across the camp site to save one tent that had just been blown into the river and would have gone downstream had he not seen it. A short boat ride took us down to Tuipui D where we had watered the boats originally and where our third engine was lying in store. Andy took the leg off the engine to take along as a spare while others went shopping for vegetables, filled up drinking water and organized more fire wood.
Then we set off again and enjoyed a beautiful ride downstream, through lush jungle and over many easy rapids. We stopped at a fishermen’s shelter to talk to a few men who camped along the river and admired their smoked fish and what appeared to be the head of a mountain goat that they had hunted for food.
Later, we made another stop at Vartekka, a village further down the river. We walked up into the village where we received a warm welcome and were even invited to tea. It was interesting to see how the villagers construct their roofs with fresh palm leaf which, as they contain oil, were rendered waterproof over time by the smoke rising inside the house from the kitchen fire.
Continue in Part II…