Peru, the Rio Marañon. Day 2, 9/30/15


We camped upstream of the Yesojirca Narrows on the first night of our trip (not counting our camp the night before at the gravel pit). It had rained that night and was still raining and cool in the morning.

11. Camp#1(HaciendaColca?) Sep292015_9674

Kathy is at the oars as we prepare to leave Camp #1. It was chilly and we were all bundled up.

We had been told about the considerable excitement that the Narrows had provided on the preceding trip, where the first boat had failed to stop and scout the rapid. That boat had bridged (got stuck sideways between the opposing rock walls of the Narrows), causing two of the following boats to flip as they ran into and got stopped by that bridged boat.

12. Villao? Sep292015_9676

We ran a Class III rapid, Villao, before arriving at the Narrows scout.

13. YesoricaNarrowsScoutPull-in Sep292015_9679

Pedro stands by with a throw rope, to ensure that all boats make the eddy, and not run the Narrows without first scouting it. It continued to rain, hence the water spots on the lens in the following shots. Then it’s our turn to enter the Narrows.

14. YesoricaNarrowsNateHammersRock Sep292015_9680

We eddy-out above the most constricted part of the Narrows, where Nate tells us that the cataraft had been cut while maneuvering through that spot. Nate is seen, with rock in hand, hammering away at the offending spur of rock.

14.0 BarbaP1000120

Barba helps us get through the constriction

16. YesoricaNarrowsKath Sep292015_9682

We’ve passed through the constriction, and look back upstream

17. YesoricaNarrows CJ Sep292015_9683

CJ enters the Narrows, in fast current … (Kathy Miller, this and following 3 photos)

18. YesoricaNarrows CJ Sep292015_9684

and bounces off the left-hand wall.

20. YesoricaNarrows CJ Sep292015_9686

With Barba to her side, and Pedro and Zacarias up front, CJ starts into the very constricted part of the Narrows.

21. YesoricaNarrows CJ Sep292015_9687

Fortunately, there is little current at the constriction, allowing for a very careful easing of the boat between the sharp limestone rocks

14.3 YesoricaPedroCJ_SCN2671

Pedro carefully pulls CJ’s boat through the constriction

Upstream view to the exit of the Narrows

Upstream view to the exit of the Narrows

29. YesoricaNarrows Sep292015_9696

Fluted rock at the exit of the Narrows. The cataraft was repaired here, and during that time, we saw a pair of Andean condors circle above.

Folded strata (limestone or quartzite?) at the exit to the Narrows

Folded limestone strata at the exit to the Narrows

 

22. YesoricaNarrows CJ Sep292015_9688

CJ, atop the Yesojirca Narrows

Highwater trash (Karl Swanson photo)

Highwater trash, atop the Narrows (Karl Swanson photo)

Like rivers elsewhere, trash is found along the banks of the Rio Marañon, and much of it consists of plastic bottles and containers. While many of us, in the United States, make sure that our trash gets to the dump, this isn’t happening to the same extent (or at all) along the Rio Marañon and its tributaries, where trash is often dumped down a bank and into the river, for lack of a better disposal method. In our first week or two on the river, every riverside bush and tree was festooned with scraps of plastic that had been caught-up on their thorns and branches. This trash load, which had been deposited into the river by the upstream riverside villages, lessened as it was strained-out and as we floated downstream into a less-populated canyon.

One of many creeks and rivers tributary to the Rio Marañon

Entering on the right, one of the many creeks and rivers tributary to the Rio Marañon

Ledges and cacti

Ledges and cacti

Cactus and a colorful hillside

Cacti and a colorful hillside

An extreme fold of the rock strata

An extreme fold of the rock strata

A canyonside village

A ridge top village

Villages were often located on or close to ridge tops, far above the canyon bottom, where springs and spring-fed creeks were to be found. Eucalyptus trees, an import from Australia, marked every village. Dry farming  of corn took place on the steep hillsides. Many of the villages were reached from the plateaus and ridges above by rough dirt roads, and most had electricity and cell phone transmitters. At night, we would see the village lights twinkling far off and high above.

A raft

A raft and fishing net

Movie of the confluence of the Rio Yanomayo, a good-sized stream which descends directly off of the Cordillera Blanca:

Camp #2 evening, upstream view

Camp #2 evening – upstream view to the Rio Yanomayo confluence

Camp #2 dinner - Peruvian tamales, wrapped in leaves

Camp #2 dinner – Peruvian tamales, wrapped in leaves

Here is the link to the following post:

https://believesteve.org/2015/12/12/peru-the-rio-maranon-days-3-4-101-215/

About believesteve

I am a photographer and have published a book of photography and accompanying text on running the Colorado River in the Grand Canyon. The first (print) edition is out of print, but a second edition is available as an iBook (eBook) through the iTunes bookstore. All Grand Canyon, river and nature lovers will enjoy my book: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/the-grand/id672492447?ls=1
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