Saturday, May 20, 2017

Rio Urubamba

Explorica tells us that we'll be doing a river excursion several days into the trip.  As they describe it, "Raft through the Sacred Valley, which winds through major Inca sites and beautiful scenery. Ancient fortresses loom on cliffs high above, while the river makes its slow way into the jungle."


Some general information:

Urubamba RiverSpanish Río Urubambariver in the Amazon drainage system, rising in the Andes of southern Peru. It flows for about 450 miles (725 km) to its junction with the Apurímac, where it forms the Ucayali. The upper part of the Urubamba, there called the Vilcanota, flows past the towns of Sicuani, Urcos, and Urubamba and is densely settled by Indian farmers. Below Urubamba, in the Gorge of Torontoy, the river plunges from 11,000 to 8,000 feet (3,400 to 2,400 m) in 20 miles (32 km). The railroad from Cuzco to Aguas Calientes, popular with tourists headed to Machu Picchu, parallels this portion of the river. The lower course, downstream from Quillabamba, is sparsely populated.       from Encyclopaedia Britannica 
So, I'm not quite sure what all this means.  It sounds like parts of this river would be one of those dramatic, over-the-waterfall action movie scenes, while it could also mean a leisurely photo op.

Some other tour folks say this:

"An excellent river to raft on, the Urubamba River offers rapids up to the level of Class III to V. While passing through Huambutio, you will face torrents of Class II whereas fast-moving waters of Class III are waiting for you as raft through Ollantaytambo. However, for rafters who love tumultuous waves, the river brings in rapids of Class V in Chuquicahuana. The best season to float your rafting boats on the waters of Urubamba River is from the month of December to May. The expedition is sure to be an excellent one, as you pass through the magnificent valleys surrounding the Urubamba River! You can even get a glimpse of the lush wildlife while rafting down the river!"

A few folks have been given doses of antibiotics, in case they touch the water.  I'm not finding anything on water quality there, though this seems a really popular tourist activity, so I suspect it won't be lethal (sometime, ask me about my experience with river-water sickness, also in Peru, but on the jungle side, and I treated that in the pre-health insurance days--it was the 2nd sick-est I've ever been traveling.  But ok, I did jump in that river on purpose).

I guess we'll see.

later, bob

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