Kaiak: The Search Continues


         Yes, that's a kayaker at the edge of the falls. From last year's trip. (Courtesy of Caue Ito)

The following is the first in a series of dispatches from kayaker Chris Korbulic.

In 2010, Ben Stookesberry, Brazilian Pedro Oliva, and I faced some of the most difficult whitewater in central Brazil. Thanks to Pedro's desire to be the face of kayaking in Brazil, images from the trip were produced into a television series for a Brazilian network. (You can watch last year's trailer here.) To capture 13 episodes, we covered thousands of kilometers through the great diversity of the southern Amazon Basin, and met many challenges, but are back again! This year, we depart from Manaus and travel along the most voluminous river on earth, the Amazon, north to the tri-border region with Brazil, Venezuela, and Guiana.

                                    From last year's trip (Courtesy of Chris Korbulic)

Here, we will visit the mystical Highlands of Guiana, which cover much of Venezuela, Guiana, and the northern state of Roraima in Brazil. The region is home to the impressive tepui mountains and some of the world's most spectacular waterfalls. These tabletop mountains rise one over the other, like giant steps, with escarpments hundreds to thousands of feet tall, rain-fed waterfalls pouring over their edges: the perfect conditions to find big, runnable waterfalls.

The shield is one of the regions of highest biodiversity in the world and many national parks in Guiana and Venezuela protect the vast expanse of undisturbed tropical rain forest. The highlands remain one of the world's last frontiers, but development is moving in along the edges. Potentially enormous mineral wealth—including gold, diamonds, and iron ore—lies under the cover of dense jungle. Luckily, rivers in “The Land of Many Waters” are far from the heaviest power demands along the coast, but they could start to form the power base for further inland development.


                                Chris Korbulic, Andress, and Pedro Oliva

Ben, Pedro, and I will travel through the mystical tepui lands and meet the people of the region, filming all along the way to capture the adventure, awareness, and our unique obstacles. We will be joined by a new Brazilian team member named Andressa, a champion Hawaiian canoeist. The adventure begins the last week of February when the whole team meets in Manaus to start the trip north. This will be the second season of “Kaiak“, the first adventure kayaking television series.

Would you watch? Wait for the next update after we pack up to hit the road and river.

–Chris Korbulic