The Man in the White Mask
Martin has developed 2nd degree burns on his face and forehead. If he doesn’t find ways to avoid the sun, they will progress into 3rd degree burns, the skin will fall off and the area will become infected.
The team has devised many ways to help Martin combat the sun.
Today, we strapped a white pillow case around his head with holes for eyes, nose, and mouth. He complements this scary looking mask with an oversized ladies floppy hat. This afternoon, a big group of people paddled by in a canoe loaded with bananas. When they saw the swimming phantom, a little girl onboard began to cry and they quickly paddled away.

Swimming with the mask is frustrating for Martin. It’s hard for him to breathe and very hot. By the end of the day, the area around his mouth is brown with dirt that accumulates from the waves breaking on his face. His lips are blistered and constantly bleeding, and scabs are forming on his nose and upper cheeks. In addition, his eyes are very sore and swollen, probably from suntan lotion getting inside his goggles. Martin pushed forward another 108 km to the town of Pevas.

Martin attended a sunrise ceremonial dance with indigenous natives from the Yagua tribe. This peaceful group wears shredded palms leaves over their privates and red paint on their face.

The tribe, originally in the thousands, has seen their population diminish into the hundreds. Not coincidentally, they are one of few indigenous Amazonian tribes to use birth control. The Yagua tribe, native to the Iquitos area, has a custom in which the women are the primary breadwinners while the men spend their life pursuing leisure.

Late last night, Martin paid a visit to La Casa Del Arte, the home and gallery of famous Peruvian artist Francisco Grippa near Pevas. The two carried on like long lost brothers, sharing beers and cheese, exchanging gifts and even swapping shirts.

A sunny afternoon was interrupted by a wall of dark clouds. Strong winds kicked up out of the Northwest, bringing fierce lightning and sheets of rain. We pulled Martin out of the water, just as the wind ripped the sun cover off the top of our small boat and knocked the antenna from the top of the Cielito Lindo. The team sought shelter at the small pueblo of Santa Rita. 

More about the Amazon 2007  www.amazonswim.com

Sunday, 21. January 2018
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