Mark Boyer taking a breather during a quiet bend in the river. "The beauty of this river was having no idea what lay ahead," says Tehrani.
Malcolm Starkey tugs his canoe behind Mark Boyer and Rob Buchanan ahead in the distance. "With the Djidji we never knew what was next," says Tehrani. "Sometimes we came around a bend to find an impassable river, other times rapids, and yet other times a scene like this, raised silt and sand beds that forced us to pull our canoes through shallow water."
"I believe this was our second or third night on the Djidji, a rare finda beautiful sandy shore just big enough for our tents and a campfire," says Tehrani. "The only one disappointed with this spot was Morgan Gnoundou, our resident fisherman, who knew he'd have no luck in that still water. Once we pulled ashore and got our wet clothes on a line and our camp built, it was time for a cup of tea. I took a canoe across the river to make this picture."
"Morgan found a seat in a tree on one of our lunchtime rest spots," says Tehrani. "He never quite seemed content with whatever the rest of us were happy to do, in this case pass out in the sand."
Christian Mbina amuses himself watching the others struggle to get their canoe over yet another fallen tree in the Djidji. "He knew, of course, that the joke was on him this time around because it was the metal boats (which we dubbed the "vaches de mer") that were the real bastard to haul over those obstacles," said Tehrani. "Each morning it was decided who would be in which boat, and ending up in one of the smaller and lighter polyethylene canoes was like holding a winning lottery ticket."
From left to right, Alex Tehrani, Malcolm Starkey, Mark Boyer, Rob Buchanan, Christian Mbina, Morgan Gnoundou, Bryan Curran, and Bruno Baert."The victory shot. This was the endpoint of our trip according to GPA calculations, and we were pleased to see that the numbers were accurate," says Tehrani. "We celebrated with a swim in the falls, and headed to the home of one of the local field coordinators for a cold beer."
"Near the end of the river run we noticed the landscape was changing drasticallythe flora was more palm-like and everything opened up a bit and felt more tropical," says Tehrani. "Turned out that it looked better than it felt...turned out to be a Pandanus forest where the froms of these trees were serrated and lethal!
"Christian was the most obsessed with cleanliness amongst our crew, soaping up and throwing on fresh shirts each day, says Tehrani. "Nobody really had the time or energy to be in awe, but it was impressive."
Christian, Bryan, and Mark combined forces to get a "vache de mer" down a rocky slope. "Man did we hate those boats," says Tehrani.
An idyllic scene of the river at the end of the day. "A bit cheesy," says Tehrani. "But I had to try a few slow exposures."
Old college buds, Rob Buchanan and Mark Boyer paddle their way downriver in one of the more peaceful moments of the journey.
Mark really looking the part and having a Heart of Darkness moment as he trudges alone with his canoe through the croc-infested waters of the Djidji.
A particularly rough area of the river.
The Djidji falls as seen from a windy heavily foliaged slope of the forest. "We were heading down to have our final celebratory swim in the Djidji."
The whole crew portages each of the four canoes, one by one, down the rocky banks of some falls that were beyond the capabilities of their boats or talents. "This was one of the final days of the trip when we reached a section of the river that we were convinced would be smooth sailing."