Peru, the Rio Marañon. Days 12 – 13, 10/10-11/15


Day 12

Chagual. We had breakfast at the same restaurant as the evening before, and Pedro went off to pick-up the new arrivals – Kym and Artie – and some supplies. We then re-packed the boats and shoved off in mid-afternoon, intending to go only a short ways downstream.

Chagual. Kathy re-packs her bag. Behind her, Karl hoists his packraft, while the local kids keep an eye on our doings.

Chagual. Kathy re-packs her bag. Behind her, Karl hoists his packraft, while the local kids keep an eye on our doings.

In the vicinity of Suchaca, we see Cerro Chuntulco downstream

The road to the downstream town of Vijus is seen on river-right. Also downstream, Cerro Chuntulco rises 3,284′ above the river. The Quebrada Hualango enters the Rio Marañon on the upstream side of this mountain.

We floated to the mouth of the Q. Hualango, where a dirtied stream entered. We had arrived at the Vijus gold-mining district, which included the Q.Hualango. Ore trucks were coming and going. We camped just downstream.

Day 13

Camp #13, on river right.

Camp #12, below Q. Hualango. The road to Vijus is seen downstream (Britt Runyon photo).

Nate prepares a big breakfast

Nate prepares a big breakfast (Kathy Miller photo)

It was a short distance into Vijus, a good-sized town built around gold mining, located on river-right. We pulled up to a cobble shoreline and everyone but myself walked into town. It was a Sunday, and lots of folks were out strolling along the river. Of course, lots of kids came around, and some hung out with me for the entire time we were there. People stopped, one guy gave me an orange and one lady in particular took an interest in our trip. She could speak some English, and left to get her husband and daughter. Her husband was a mining engineer, working his own holdings, who spent most of the year at the mine, while she and her daughter spent summers in Lima. They were very cordial, and her husband gave me a souvenir of a piece of quartz ore speckled with gold.

Pretty girl, in Vijus

Pretty girl, in Vijus

Girls of Vijus

Pretty girls of Vijus

Family in Vijus

Family in Vijus. The dad, an independent gold miner, gave me an ore sample flecked with gold.

A packtrain arrives on the opposite bank, and its goods are carried across the river in a cable car

A packtrain arrives on the opposite bank. Its goods are carried across the river in a cable car.

Meanwhile, our group was having a interesting time in town.

Fighting cocks

Fighting cocks and art work (Britt Runyon photo)

Cock-fighting ring

Cock-fighting ring (Britt Runyon photo)

A human-powered crusher

A human-powered rock crusher (Britt Runyon photo)

A hardscrabble town

A hardscrabble town. Nate said he didn’t care to visit any more such towns (Britt Runyon photo).

The group visited the pharmacy and returned with drugs: hydrocortisone itch cream, fungus cream and Cipro. The last was to combat diarrhea, which affected everyone at one point or another. The Cipro knocked-it out with one dose. “Another Cipro success story!”, I would remark.

A motorized boat.

A sleek motorized boat.

We again got underway, passing the big mine below town. We continued through unremarkable scenery and an absence of whitewater for about 15 kilometers, until arriving at the Cañon Asconta. There, we camped on a large gravel bar on river-right, at K. 242. The wind howled that night, blowing fine sand through the mosquito netting of our tent, which collected on us. This became a common occurrence.

Camp#14_3938-963

Camp #13, in Cañon Asconta, downstream view (Britt Runyon photo)

Day 14 would bring us to our first (!) lay-over camp. Because of the unusually low-water that we were experiencing, we were traveling much slower than usual, thus having lost two lay-overs so far. Here is the link to the following post:

https://believesteve.org/2015/12/24/peru-the-rio-maranon-day-14-15101215/

 

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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