Demon River Apurímac: The First Navigation of Upper Amazon Canyons
One-fifth of the world's river water rushes down the Amazon River into the Atlantic Ocean. A tiny thread of that monstrous surge of water makes an incredible 4000 mile journey. This thread, the Apurimac, is the source of the Amazon. It thaws reluctantly from a sweeping snow field 17,000 feet high in the cold, thin air of the Andes of southern Peru. It soon becomes a rivulet of clear water. From that point, it grows incessantly, crossing a flat pampa between bare, windswept hills. Then, at 13,000 feet, the Apurimac begins one of the most spectacular descents of any river in the world, slicing into the Vilcabamba range of the Andes, pulsing through narrow gorges and unparalleled canyons, crashing its way toward the jungle. This is the whitewater wilderness that beckoned J. Calvin Giddings, who led the first navigation of the river in 1974 and 1975. This book finally brings his unique story to light.
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ahead Andean Apurimac balseros bank beach began bend beneath big rapid boat boulders broken camp Campa canyon wall capsized cataracts channel Chapi Chasm of Acobamba chicha Choquequirao Chuck chute cliffs climb cross Cunyac Bridge Cuzco dark deep demon river descended distance downstream drop eskimo roll expedition face feet final flow gear Gerry giant gorge Hacienda highlands hills Hiram Bingham hole Inca Indians John Wesley Powell jungle kayak land launched ledge loaded looked Machu Picchu maps miles morning mountain narrow navigate Nayhua nearby night paddle Pampas past path Perrin Peru plunged portage pueblo pulled pushed Quebrada Quechua Quillabamba Quishuar raft rain rapid roar rope route sand scouting shore shoreline side sight slopes soon steep stopped suddenly suspension bridge swim Teresa Teresa Gutierrez thought trail trip turbulent valley Vilca Vilcabamba walked watch waterfall waves Yauri