This photo-blog is designed to work either as a standard blog with images or - by clicking any image - a photo-album. To see an image in full resolution click to the left or right of an image in blog mode. The images were generated from video to give the best possible view of the journey.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Quillabamba to Kiteni

At Quillabamba, Jose Luis hired a truck and filled it with extra petrol to give the boatmen to cut costs when we get to Kiteni. We all piled on the back and took off in the morning rumbling slowly along the winding dirt track that leads along the side of the Urubamba through some small towns and villages with cultivated small holdings. Kiteni is the highest point at which the Urubamba can be navigated by motorized dugout canoe.

Many areas of the Peruvian Amazonas from Quillabamba to Pucallpa used to be dangerous to travel through due to the actions of the Shining Path, or Sendero Luminoso, but by 1999 when we passed through, their leader Abimael Guzman had been arrested and their violent activities had quietened down. Just today in 2012 their current leader Florindo Flores was captured in the coca producing area of Huallaga.

Women eagerly trying to sell us bread and snacks for the journey.

The Urubamba is still too small to be navigated even by dugout craft.

The road is again crossed by fords with few bridges.

One of the small towns en route.

A second town we stopped at at dusk for dinner.

Kids playing up to the self-portrait video viewer.

Giving me the 'come on' invitation!

The street butcher.

A VERY rickety suspension bridge!

A village stop in the night for snacks.

Bush burning in the night.

The road was blocked at a ford by a stuck heavy truck.
We just managed to squeeze past.

Finally just short of Kiteni at dawn a huge queue of vehicles piled up.

Eventually we made it into Kiteni to find the hold up seemed to be due to the police check point being closed over night.

We then continued on to the river terminal an hour or two further on.

One passanger had an armadillo in his pack either as a pet or for bush meat. It turns out that armadillos are major vectors of leprosy infection partly because the low temperature of their scaly limbs and burrowing habit favours the conditions for the spirchate's infection.

More and more clear felling of tracts of forest on either side of the road became evident.

The last little outpost town before our destination.

More hideous clear felling of native forest ...

resulting in plantation monoculture ...

Finally we reach the river terminal ...

where there are a number of motorized river canoes, one of which is a trading canoe our party is going to join.

A quick lunch in the cafe overlooking the boats before we set off.

Men crossing the river on a flying fox.

Jose Luis found to his dismay that quite a bit of the gasoline had somehow leaked out during the journey.

Packing into our trading canoe as another takes of with a load of passengers down the river.

Adam 'baptizes' himself in the river into Eden.

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