Peru, the Rio Marañon. Day 7, 10/5/15

Day 7 started with Cañas Rapid (Class III), after which we arrived at the broad and open valley of Huchus. Here, we observed construction under way of a bridge, which bridge is intended to support the building of Rupac dam.

Cañas Rapid

Cañas Rapid. The dirt bank seen to the right consists of landslide debris truncated by high river flows. This was a common sight along the river, due to the steep canyon slopes and frequent earthquakes.

Here's an out-of-focus photo of a Black-chested Buzzard Eagle. Have you ever heard of a Buzzard Eagle before?

Here’s an out-of-focus photo from behind of a Black-chested Buzzard Eagle (lower right corner) flying away. Have you ever heard of a Buzzard Eagle before?

While on the subject of birds with unusual names, we had also been seeing a bird by the catchy name of Black-billed Shrike Tyrant. Peru has 1800 species of birds, many of which are closely related species and hard to distinguish, one from the other. The latest theory on bird evolution suggests that birds went through an adaptive radiation in South America, following the extinction of the dinosaurs. Wikipedia states that: “In evolutionary biology, adaptive radiation is a process in which organisms diversify rapidly into a multitude of new forms, particularly when a change in the environment makes new resources available, creates new challenges, or opens new environmental niches”. Flipping through the 664 page guidebook, “Birds of Peru”, is an education in groups of birds that have no counterpart in the northern hemisphere. The ornithologists responsible for the original naming of the birds of Peru had, therefore, to be particularly creative. Here, for example, are the groups of birds whose names begin with the word “Ant”: Antbird, Antpipit, Antpitta, Ant-Tanager, Antthrush, Antvireo and Antwren. These groups account for over 150 individual species. Then there are the 75 species of tanager.

Another bird of interest that we had been seeing was the Scarlet-fronted parakeet, which flew around in noisy flocks, but never came close.

Nate, at a play wave

Nate, at a play wave

 A patterned limestone wall

A patterned limestone wall, similar to what one sees in the American Southwest

The valley of Huchus

Bridge at the entry to the Huchus Valley. The cloud-shrouded mountain in the distance is Cerro Huanchi, elevation 13,605. With the river here at 5330′, the  vertical difference is 8275′.

Looking back upstream at the limestone mountain at the head of the Huchus Valley, Cerro Ishlan

Looking back upstream at the limestone mountain at the head of the Huchus Valley, Cerro Ishlan, which rises 2484′ above the valley

Same as above, with the author (Kathy Miller photo)

Same as above, with the author (Kathy Miller photo). The Pelican box to my side holds my Nikon Coolpix P600 Superzoom (60X) camera, which I used for most of the photos seen in this blog series (when getting the camera wet wasn’t a worry).

Bridge building. Karl, in his pack raft, is seen at center

Construction camp at the bridge site. Karl, in his pack raft, is seen at center, while Pedro rows the cataraft.

The day ended at Camp #7 (K. 134), with a very pleasant riverside hot springs (aguas termales) located a short distance downstream.

Camp #7, at the hot springs (aguas termales)

Camp #7, seen from the trail to the hot springs

Succulent flower

Succulent flower

The hot springs rapid

Hot Springs Rapid

14. HotspringsCJ_SCN2890

CJ enjoys the hot springs pool

15. CurvingStrata SCN2896

Curving limestone strata in the mountain opposite

Tomorrow would bring another Class IV rapid, Mayas, (see below) and end at “Wasson’s Staging Camp”, followed by our siege of Wasson’s Landslide Rapid the following day.

Scouting Mayas Rapid (ClassIV), on Day 8

Scouting Mayas Rapid (Class IV), on Day 8

Here is the link to the following post:

About Evensteven

I am a photographer and author, and live in Embudo, New Mexico, alongside the Rio Grande. I 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: The Grand: I have also published six additional iBooks: 1. The Salt River: 2. Coyote Buttes: 3. Four Cornered, the Land: 4. Four Cornered, The Rivers: 5. Rio Marañon: 6. Rio Grande:
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2 Responses to Peru, the Rio Marañon. Day 7, 10/5/15

  1. Mundo Bravo says:

    I really am enjoying the chance to take this trip with you Steve


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