Order calendars via zakshawphotography@gmail.com or the secure Paypal option below.

Order calendars via zakshawphotography@gmail.com or the secure Paypal option below.
My 2014 calendar was entirely photographed on the western side of New Zealand's Southern Alps. "Land in the West" is printed at a size of A4 with twelve calendar month pages displaying stunning outdoor environment photographs. Take a look at my Facebook page to view all twelve 2014 calendar images! Order here via Paypal or email me at zakshawphotography@gmail.com if you would prefer to pay with online banking. Thanks for your support!
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Saturday, June 12, 2010

A return to the Apu

lhama's on route to the Apurimac. Image - Zak Shaw
Upon completing our Paucartambo descent we needed rest and Cola de Mono was the perfect place for it. JV’s shoulder had connected hard with a wall on day two on the Paucartambo and once the pain killers wore off it got worse. (JV will now have his hands on the oars of a cargo raft in the Grand Canyon. I hope his shoulder feels strong)

Back in Cusco a street stall selling bbq meat and potato kebabs forced JV onto a course of Cipro and our remaining days slotted for kayaking began to diminish.

With logistics sorted and food brought at 7am Gian Marco shuttled us thirty minutes out of town to a junction village called Izcuchaka.
Back on a mission it felt good to again be mobile. JV had returned to health and our wagon climbed high out of one valley and into the next headed for the Waipachaka bridge and the Apurimac River.

The entrance rapids on the Apurima's lower "Black Canyon"
Image - Zak Shaw

Image - Zak Shaw
At the put – in our friendly driver quickly turned on us and demanded twice the negotiated fare. Bargaining is standard but we stood our ground on our supposed “deal”
Things got worse and his persistence saw us pay a little more but nothing near double. With bad karma lingering our trip began.

Before leaving NZ a friend had asked me what my top outdoor job had been? It was not a one job answer but my time on the Apurimac seven years prior was high on the list.
As we floated and carved our way down into the canyon lined orange that time returned.It was better than I remembered! Big rock, gold pillars, vertical walls, cactus and good whitewater.

Image - Zak Shaw
The lines came in memory and travel was uninterrupted. We arrived at Pocutorio in the early afternoon. Massive smooth boulder and piles of wood was camp in the canyons tightest spot. The night passed too quick Pocutorio is a place you could spend days.

Justin in camp at "Pocutorio"
Image - Zak Shaw

Image - Justin Venable
Day two we hit the water early hopeful of catching a raft company and a ride home to Cusco.
The rivers bedrock sides gradually waned and for two hours the river rolled into large volume rapids. My memory of things continued to hold fast as we passed the camp of “La Mesa” Condor circled overhead soaring above us with wings like branches.
Soon we were above “Dola de Muelas” a powerful class five test-piece. We dropped in and felt the shove off the first horizon. I was looking for proof of improvement having run the rapid many times in 2003 but arrived at the bottom feeling like I’d been punched!

Our finish came in perfect time. Our friends at Mayuc rafting had just served lunch in the shade. Steak, chicken, roast potatoes, salad with cake and ice-cream for dessert!
Well fed the bus took off Cusco bound with our kayaks on the roof.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Zak. Great shots and write up. I had the privilege of running the Apurimac from Palpinto to Chacuro, (portaged the Abyss) great to see some people getting out there doing it. Nice Work! scottmartinimages.com