Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Río Mapacho: V - Day 10

by Zak Sears
back to day 9
Elevation at take out: 644 meters


As the river nears its mouth, it flows swiftly with little whitewater through the ever-thickining jungle. We started to see rafts tied up on shore made of small diameter tree trunks lashed together with a little rocker in the bow, and a straight board used for a paddle. Then as we got closer to the confluence, we started to see open boats that looked like a long, skinny dory of about 4 meters in length.

It took us about 4 hours to reach the confluence with the Urabamba coming in from the south on river left. It is very large at this point and is flowing quickly with muddy water. The jungle overhangs the river on its shores, and the air is hot and humid. We paddled across the huge river to a beach where we waited for a motor boat to pass us heading upstream. After and hour and a half, an 18 meter long open boat came motoring up the rapid in front of us. We flagged them down, and we loaded our five kayaks in the huge boat with ease. The ride upstream was incredible. The boat would twist as half of it would enter the powerful current, and the other half was still in a boiling eddy, and the tops of the gunwales would dip within inches of the water. All the kayakers on the boat were nervous and the only ones wearing life jackets, while the boat captain looked like he could fall asleep with boredom.

We arrived in a town called Ivochote, where we found a hostel a short walk from where the boat was tied up. This is a small town but they have plenty of cold beer, and good food.

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