Saturday, April 7, 2007

Pigdog in the Amazon


Um, there might literally be a pigdog in the Amazon. An amphibious Slovene just swam 3,722 miles down the Amazon, coming up for air in Belem, a presumably delightful port of call described by the AP as "the capital of the jungle state of Para." I'm sure it's lovely this time of year. Martin Strel began his journey on Feb. 1, averaging about 50 miles a day. That's an incredibly long time in the water. But this is Martin's thing: he's swum 1,800 miles of the Danube; 2,300 of the Mississippi; and 2,400 of the Yangtze. Good Lord. Unsurprisingly, Martin came in contact with the pigdog plenty during his swim, what with dodging the piranhas and a face sunburned to the point of blistering. (Martin had escort boats that would pour blood in the water to distract the piranhas. Nice.) But it was the last few days that were, of course, when the pigdog arrived for real:
By Thursday evening, he was struggling with dizziness, vertigo, high blood pressure, diarrhea, nausea and delirium, his Web site said. But despite having difficulty standing and being ordered by the doctor not to swim, Strel was obsessed with finishing the course and insisted on night swimming.
I totally heart Martin Strel.

12 miles, 1:31:03: Running 12 miles used to be easy; it isn't now.

4 comments:

JPS said...

I have been meaning to catch up on this guy's progress - he's really appropriate for the pigdog thing.

The part of his trip that really got me was the danger of a small species of fish swimming up your urethra, deploying small barbs, and eating the flesh in there. I would rule the trip out right then and there...

Brian Morrissey said...

That's a definite red flag for me. Martin's Wikipedia page says some suggest he needs to tackle the Nile, but he rules it out as too crazy. At this point, why the hell not? The long-distance swimmer Lynne Cox swam there many years ago. Her description of it is harrowing: carcasses floating by, etc. She got really, really sick.

Jean said...

Have you read her book -- Swimming to Antartica? It's pretty good. She has quite a bit of extra padding to help her out, but the temperatures she swims in is absolutely inhuman. Pigdog is definitely around ..

Brian Morrissey said...

Yes, I have read Cox's book. She was basically born with a fat suit that keeps her warm in frigid temperatures. Talk about turning lemons into lemonade. Gotta play to your strong suits.