Peru, the Rio Marañon. Days 19 – 20, 10/17 – 18/15

“Camps” #18 and #19 were the two nights spent at the Hotel Villa Madrid in Celendin, which is a thoroughly pleasant  town. On the Plaza were an ATM, a pharmacy and a cafe (“El Rincon del Gato”) that sold good coffee (coffee concentrate mixed with hot water) and blended fruit drinks. What else could you ask for?

2. Plaza Oct172015_8952

The Plaza and a mototaxi

3. Plaza Oct172015_8955

The Plaza

4. WallPaintingOct172015_8956

Wall painting

6. Restaurant Oct172015_8957

Restaurant interior

7. StreetVendor Oct172015_8958

Street vendor

10. WomenTraditionalDress Oct172015_8959

Women in traditional dress

Women at the Mercado

Women at the Mercado

Flowers for sale in the Mercado

Flowers for sale in the Mercado

A new church

A new church

Street sign

Street sign


Portrait of Che Guevara adorns a mototaxi



“It is what it is”

We returned to the river and were packing the resupply items into the boats, when Barba got a call from Pedro, who was still gone. Pedro had been obliged to go to Cajamarca to pick up the replacement raft – but guess what!?!  A kayak, not a raft, had been sent from Trujillo! I found this news to be very disconcerting. We had had two rafts destroyed so far, and not for lack of talent on the part of those rowing them. The floor of the raft that Kathy and I were using was failing, and we were obliged to run it soft. We would, in any case, send CJ’s raft back, which would leave us with three rafts. If another raft were to be disabled or destroyed we would be in a fix. On the spot, I declared that I was ready to quit. I took the phone and told Pedro that. “What if we lose another boat?”, I said to him. “Well, we’ll deal with that if and when it happens”, he replied. In any event, since Kathy, CJ and Britt wished to continue, I backed down. Pedro had given us a talk at the beginning of the trip, in which he had stated that, when circumstances were not to our liking, his response would be: “It is what it is”. And so it was. We then started to figure out how to lighten the loads, which included getting rid of one large cooler, extra food, some back-up gear and more. We set off without Pedro in mid-afternoon, with CJ rowing the cataraft. He would follow in his kayak.

20. CelendinView Oct172015_8973

View of Celendin, as we leave on Day 20

View to the river

View to the river

View upstream

View upstream and the highlands across the canyon

View of Celendin, as we leave on Day 20

View downstream and the highlands across the river

31. Bridge@Chacanto Oct182015_8914

The bridge at Chacanto

35. Bridge&Plaza Oct182015_8916

Chacanto was not a particularly attractive town

Lunch in Chacanto

Lunch in Chacanto. Left to right: Kym, Artie and Nate

The three that had gone to Leimebamba – Kym, Artie and Nate – had enjoyed that town and the ruins at Kuelap. Nate had seen a Sword-billed hummingbird at a feeder at the KentiKafé in Leimebamba, which café receives a glowing review in the Lonely Planet guidebook. It was a town that I had hoped to visit, but we never made it.

37. Posters Oct182015_8918

Calendars in the restaurant

46. ChacantoRapid Oct182015_8922

Balsas Rapid (III), from the bridge

49. Balsas Oct182015_8923

Barba and a swimmer, in Balsas (just downstream from Chacanto). It was Sunday, and lots of people were down by the river.

50. BalsasBoats Oct182015_8925

Folks relaxing in a boat, in Balsas. Moments after I took this photo, everyone in the boat pulled out their cell phones and photographed us.

Approaching Camp #20

Approaching Camp #20, on river-right, at K. 370

Kym starts the fire

Kym starts the fire

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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