When Don Starkell and his two teenage sons - Jeff and Dana - put their 21-foot canoe into the Red River in Winnipeg, it was the start of an odyssey, ten years in the planning, that would demand every bit of their strength, purpose and courage. They paddled down the Red River into the Mississippi system, through the heart of America to New Orleans, then right along the Texas coast and into the Gulf of Mexico. The open seas of the Gulf amost killed them, leaving them struggling in the surf or stranded in pitiless heat in lagoons trying to avoid the crushing waves. At Veracruz, Mexico, Jeff announced he was quitting; to continue meant almost certain death. Not to be deterred, Don and his youngest son, Dana, chose to continue. They fought their way around the Yucatan Peninsula, along the war-torn coast of Central America, past Colombia, across the top of South America to Trinidad, and then plunged into the core of the continent, up the Orinoco and Rio Negro, to reach the Amazon, and finally, the sea. Don's log is an account of adventure and hardship. The natural obstacles encountered ranged from whales to piranhas, giant bees to crocodiles, and howler monkeys to anacondas.
They survived hurricanes, floods, landslides and gales that pinned them on a tropical sand bar for days as their food and water ran out. Their experiences, landing on shore at night, were just as varied. They were suspected of being CIA spies, drug smugglers or revolutionaries, and were shot at, robbed, searched, roughed up and even jailed. Just as often they were befriended, nursed back to health and given food by people who were themselves starving. This is a tale of discovery and self-discovery of a father and son traversing 13 countries and surviving a personal challenge.
Buy Paddle to the Amazon book by Don Starkell from Australia's Online Bookstore, Boomerang Books.
(228mm x 153mm x 24mm)
McClelland & Stewart Inc.
Publisher: McClelland & Stewart Inc.
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