It is all Michael Power's fault! He and others wanted to go on a kayak trip high up on South America's Andes Mountains around 12,000 feet high. Michael asked me if I could design a boat that would transform from a double kayak into a Catamaran that would also go on land!! I said yes!!! I made this contraption welding aluminum up and putting a mast and sail from the ill fated Escape sailboat line that Ocean Kayak was making at that time. I incorporated big beach wheels. I used two Cabo double sit on top kayaks for each of 2 catamarans. They would float 4 people each easily
Mike came up alone to see what I was up to once I got the boat/vehicle working to see if I was really for real before the rest of the gang came up. He phoned back to the others then they all came up including Arlene Burns and Roger Brown who was producing and filming the whole trip to sell to some TV adventure channel.
There was some wind on the lake in front of my house and we sailed along faster than anyone had ever paddled so the trip was ON! A month before we left, I talked a dealer in nearby Chile to order 4 Cabo's and said we would probably buy them from him. When we boarded the jet they informed us that they couldn't take the Cabos but we were still covered with the kayaks in Chile. When we got to Bolivia there was a country wide strike going on which took 4 days to clear up. The police were on one side and the Army another. It was over foreign control of their water rights not many people got hurt.
The Trip was fabulous going on streams as kayaks with out being in the catamaran configuration, into Lake Titicaca then down a river that doesn't go to the Amazon but ends up in the Uni Salt Flats where the wheels were required. All of this but not in quite that order.
Getting the catamarans to the shore through the mud was easy with the big wheels and sailing down the river was pretty easy.
The Salt flats were at about 12,000 feet, very flat and went on for 80 miles with islands in the middle of this sort of ocean. The islands had ancient Coral on them and looked like you could swim through them. There was just a little wind and enough to go about 100 yards but not like we planned for.
In between locations we would load the kayaks up on the Land Rovers and head out. It was quite a sight. We saw many wonderful places including millions of high altitude Flamingos all at one shallow lake. The mud surrounding them kept them safe. Notice the plastic flamingo on top of the mast.
It was quite a trip. Let's plan another trip of a lifetime somewhere equally as exotic and far off. This lifetime is all we really have.