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entering la moskitia

Despite the dire warnings, the people I meet as I enter La Moskitia are, as always, curious, charming, helpful, amused.

Lem, pictured here in the plaid shirt, struck up a conversation and issued an warm invitation to visit his house and family in Brus Laguna. Brus is the largest settlement in the region and has a rough reputation so I make sure that I note down his name carefully in case I end up needing any kind of help before he sets me up with a ride in a pipante (dugout canoe) to Belem, my first destination.

Motor canoes are the main form of commercial transport in La Moskitia ...

... but there are a lot of people doing a lot of good old fashioned paddling.

The pipante I am travelling in has cargo consisting of sugar, salt and Pepsi and we stop at various settlements along the way to make deliveries.

My appearance attracts the attention of the river folk along the way.

La Moskitia children seems completely...

... at home in the water.

Everything is transported up and down the river.

The benches come in and out of the pipante to accommodate cargo or passengers according to need.

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