Paddle to the Amazon

I usually like to focus on children’s books, but today I decided I needed to mention a nonfiction book for adults I just finished—PADDLE TO THE AMAZON: THE ULTIMATE 12,000 MILE CANOE ADVENTURE by Don Starkell. I stumbled upon the book on a take-a-book-leave-a-book shelf. I hadn’t heard about it, but I love reading travel adventure stories, so I thought I’d give it a try.

I was fascinated. In 1980, Don Starkell and his two sons set for a grand canoe adventure. They started their trip in Winnipeg and paddled their way to Brazil. One son was discouraged and left the voyage in Mexico, but Don and his son, Dana, traveled over 12,000 miles in their 21-foot canoe. They were confronted with every imaginable obstacle from lack of food to crazy folks with guns, but they also encountered kind and generous people who helped them survive.

Don kept a comprehensive diary throughout the two year trip and this book was developed from those notes. It’s an amazing and fascinating journey. I love to travel and I love reading books about travel, but I typically like to read books about buying old villas and living a charmed life on a sweeping hillside. This wasn’t that, but what a compelling read.