October 14-22, 2021
Day 3 – the Rupa Rupa region between Tingo Maria and Pucallpa
NOTE: If you’re just joining us now on this adventure, check out Part 1 first.
On our drive from Huanuco to Tingo Maria yesterday, we descended over 4,000 feet, leaving behind the Yunga Fluvial region of the Andes Mountains and entering the Rupa Rupa, or the high jungle. “Rupa” is a Quechua word that means hot. With an altitude between 400-1000 meters above sea level (approx. 1,300-3,300 ft.), this is an amazingly beautiful area, full of natural wonders and diverse flora and fauna. This geographical region, which we would revisit on days 6-8 of our trip, was probably the one I enjoyed most of all.
We crossed over the muddy Huallaga River on our way out of Tingo Maria and after an hour or so the 5N highway began following the clear waters of the rocky Yuracyacu River. This gave the boys two new words to add to their list of toponyms, as the Quechua translations for yurac & yacu are white & river.
This river led us into the “Boqueron del Padre Abad,” a 3 kilometer long, rocky canyon that was discovered by Father Francisco Alonso de Abad in 1757 as he was searching for new routes to reach navigable rivers in the Amazon, while also trying to evangelize the Cashibo people.
The Yuracyacu changes names to the Aguaytia River in this canyon, and it also showcases the beautiful Bridal Veil Falls (Velo de la Novia.) Apparently these falls have become a well-known attraction only in recent years, with tourists taking day trips from Tingo Maria or Pucallpa to visit the area. A few of our Wycliffe colleagues who grew up in the jungle tell stories about camping at this place when it was still wild and unknown, and they were a bit sad to see the encroaching tourism in our pictures.
Ade and the boys also decided that there were too many tourists around for them to swim in the pool below the falls, but I wasn’t about to miss out on this opportunity. I put on my swimsuit and jumped right in with all of the other happy tourists!
After drying off from our waterfall adventure, we jumped back in the truck, drove through a 300-meter long tunnel, and came out on the other side to a landscape that very quickly began to look more like the low jungle rather than the “rupa rupa” of the Boqueron canyon. In fact, in just a little over three hours we had reached the city of Pucallpa, the next destination on our Andes to Amazon adventure. (Come back tomorrow to enjoy a few days with us in the Amazon!)