Interior Waypoints is an absorbing exploration of the more remote parts of Central and South America by boat
Independent Publication, £11.20
Scott Burbank and Susan Aramovich live in Alaska. Their kayaking business is full-on but seasonal, offering them several months each year for their own explorations.
In 2002 they decided to experiment with a mix of separate and joint adventures to give each person room for growth without damaging their dedication to each other as a couple.
Scott was the more committed sailor, and this is his book.
Travel began together in Florida, sailing the Cascade 29’ Sirena down the Atlantic IntraCoastal Waterway.
Then there was a separation: Susan chose her independent path while Scott and set a course for the Dry Tortugas, then across the Yucatan Channel to Isla Mujeres where they were reunited.
Coping with challenge, however, is in integral part of travels such as these, together with the excitement of the unexpected and an in-built responsiveness to changed circumstances.
Scott and Susan rarely travel without their folding kayaks but were shocked to be told sea-kayaking was illegal around Isla Mujeres.
Instead, they settled for an interior exploration of Mexico by bus and feet.
This basic mix of sailing, kayaking and hiking, together and apart, set a pattern of seasonal adventures over six years as they explored Belize, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama, Ecuador until their arrival in Colombia brought the itinerary to some sort of natural conclusion.
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Though the earlier chapters of the book can be a little self-conscious, as Scott meditates on their new travel ethos, once the journeying finds its rhythm, the places visited are unfamiliar and interesting and the approach is perceptive and positive.
As he rightly points out, it’s very much easier to gain acceptance into a remote community if one arrives by low-tech transport, foot, paddle or sail.
Interior Waypoints does not contain maps and the photographs are uncaptioned. This was frustrating.
Although the authorial intention may have been a reflection on an approach to life and the dynamics within a marriage, for this reader, at least, it was the geographic journey that was absorbing.
And when destinations are intriguingly off-route, the world atlas isn’t enough.
Maps can be difficult to include in an independent publication but perhaps inclusion on a website might be one way to offer this extra dimension to an appealing and readable narrative.
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