In 2019 October, at the end of our whitewater rafting season, we have travelled to the other side of the word to discover new rivers. The main purpose of our tour was to paddle on Maranon river a 300 km stretch. This is the longest river of the Andes, the main source of Amazonas river. 22 dams are planned to be built shortly on Maranon to provide energy cover for Cajamarca, the world's largest gold mine and to sell energy to the surrounding countries. It is only a matter of time before they destroy this beautiful river with huge dams.
Getting to our put in was already extremely adventurous, not as easy as in Slovenia, in the Soca Valley. We took our whitewater kayaks and paddles from Europe in three planes, then tied them up in jeeps in Trujillo to reach Chagual, a small village near Maranon River, after a 10-hour drive mostly on a dirt road.
We paddled down in the canyon for 10 days. In many places you could stop like on large sandy beaches, but we could only leave the canyon in two places: the first one was after 150 km, the second one after 300 km. Sometimes we paddled between large rock walls, but the canyon was not closed. However, it reached depths of 3050 m in several places. The biggest risk was that we couldn't buy a gas tank for our stove in Trujillo, so we had to trust that we would be able to make a fire for cooking every day. We were excited as we arrived at the beginning of the rainy season.
Our whitewater kayaks are originally 23kg, we packed them nearly 50kg with food, water, equipment, and paddles. Swimming was not an option, and if we were swimming, our kayaks, passports, airline tickets and almost everything would have disappeared.
We paddled a lot on flat waters, especially at the beginning, but then we arrived to the rapids. We had to overcome huge, chaotic waves.
Tipical rapid on Maranon river
The Mendanians who live along the river, are against dams. A stranger can get in trouble if he steps on their land without permission.
The main source of income for the Mendanians comes from the coca leaf. A few hours are enough to dry them.
On Peruvian rivers there are many gold miners searching gold.
The biggest rapid on our 300 km stretch the Linlin, IV+
Participants of the expedition: Bagi Attila (Kicsi), Hubik Attila (Bivaly), Matlag József (Jofó), Carlos Vizcarra, Császár Gyula (Csaszi)