Imagine you ask me how far you had to paddle and I pointed to the horizon. You're like ' I have to paddle all the way to there!?!' I reply 'no, you have to paddle in winding circles between the other two horizons until you get here'. Welcome to the life of paddling through a flood plain. The scenery makes only minor adjustments, a lily pond here, a stunning tree standing alone in a field. We bounced between high forested hills in lazy loops. Riding in the back boat, we were rarely headed in the same direction as the lead boat unless we were two curves behind. We ended up paddling 34.5 km to move 15.3 km in a straight line. That is just over 2.25 km paddled for every km traveled towards our end point.
Been too long since you read about ichthyology? This week we have we added a spottail barb to the Angolan record. While it has been described and collected in the Okavango Delta, it has not yet been collected in this country. A cool little fish that mimics the striped robber. The robber has a dash that goes from the back of its body across its tail while the barb has a nearly identical dash that doesn't quite make it across its tail. The barb uses this common trait to find protection in from preditation, joining schools of the robber.
We dug in and made our way to a steep hill along the ridge of the plain. From this vantage point we can see the river we traveled and the river ahead, looking out onto a plain that disappears into opposing horizons. A red moon rose through hazy clouds over the hills facing us.
The river doesn't look like it is getting any straighter