SUP Wilderness Adventures Chantal Clarke (Dunbar) at Jordan River 10/10/2014
Date de la session : 10/10/2014
Matériel utilisé : Santo SUPs custom inflatable Wills & Harry Air & a Spare & Santo SUPs custom inflatable Adjustable aluminium
The Jordan is one of Vanuatu's longest and most sacred rivers. It runs through one of the most remote areas in the world; a place where warring "Middle Bush" tribesmen and pygmy tribes still live and few outsiders dare venture. A single dirt road provides pot-holed access to Espiritu Santo's volcanic interior and the Lape River causeway serves as the perfect drop in point. The current is extremely swift , but the water is clean and clear; filled with fish and with a black volcanic stone riverbed. The confluence occurred for us after sweeping past three hunters who were standing on the riverbank with a freshly butchered wild boar and machetes. There's a chute you're best to port around and an abundance of submerged logs, trees and other potentially terminal obstacles that you're best avoiding on the descent (especially if you're riding inflatables). Our two pumps both blew apart in spectacular fashion, so we ran the river on 2 and 6 psi respectively. We went in a few times; getting the skegs caught in shallow places (that soon became deep) and so all camera gear and electronics met a sad end. The valley is dense jungle and high limestone ridges that have caves where venomous snakes and bats live. It's not the kind of place you want to have a mishap as there are no rescue services anywhere on the island (or surrounds). Hence, I took along a local hunter who I knew could get us food and hike out out if worst came to worst. Phones don't work and the river can be extremely flashy; washing away villages when the heavens bust (as they did in the weeks leading up to our trip). This is not a trip to do unprepared or if you don't have a big diaper under your shorts. There are tranquil parts and it's a lot like being in Jurassic Park. But there are heaps of perils and you've got to get permission from village Chiefs, who you really don't want to piss off.