a 17-day self-supported trip down the Apurimac River

Fierce, remote and hazardous, the Apurimac River is considered the farthest source of the Amazon. From the glacial meltwater of the ridge of the Mismi, a 5,597-metre-high mountain in the south-western mountain ranges of Peru, the river starts less than 160 km from the Pacific Coast. From here it cascades to the North through narrow gorges twice as deep as the Grand Canyon. After about 850km it combines with the Ene river and later the Ucayali to start it journey east into the jungle lowlands.

In 1975, Calvin Giddings led a group of paddlers down the first descent of Peru’s Abismo de Apurimac. Now, more than 40 years later these six kayakers take on a 17-day self-supported trip down the Apurimac River. The adventure was to discover happiness, and for these guys, happiness is in a kayak.

“It’s the struggle we came here looking for, away from the comforts of our secure societies, the modern-man paradox. Or the art of putting yourself in a crappy position to feel alive.”