75 days and 75 nights - The plan was to go up the Orinoco from Puerto Ayacucho to Tamatama a small settlement just above where the Casiquaire splits off the Orinoco.
This down-stream bifurcation is very rare on such large rivers, and in-between such vast river basins. Basically 4/5th of the Orinoco continues as the Orinoco on its way to the north Venezuelan coast and empties into the Caribbean.
It is in-fact the largest natural bifurcation in the world. Once you get sucked into the Casiquaire it is a journey of ~330km to the military post of San Carlos de Rio Negro with just forest and a few indians in between. From San Carlos it is a further 1750 miles to the mouth of the Amazon. We had four weeks with Richard to paddle the Casiquaire and drop him somewhere where he has a chance of getting out - then me and Eric were planning to head up a tributary and try and get to, or as close as we could to Cerro Avispa, a little explored upland area of Amazonas.
Cerro Avispa and Cerro Aracamuni form a grouping of mountains more precisely known as the NeblinaAracamuni Massif. Between the Casiquaire and the mountains is 8,600 sq miles of pristine forest with very few people. We would first branch off up the Rio Pasimoni, then the Rio Yatua, and then explore an un-named river until we were stopped by either white water or ran out of food (or both).We paddled 987km reaching the foot of Cerro Avispa.
The story to be told in a separate blog for those interested - http://jonathanbarnaby.blogspot.co.uk/