The village of Oroya straddles the Inambari River and is known for its gold. Spanish speakers may find this unsurprising as oro in Spanish means gold. Oroya, incorporating Puerto Manoa, lies adjacent the Interoceanic Highway in Carabaya Province’s San Gaban District.
Oroya/Puerto Manoa including a suspension bridge over the Inambari River, from near the Interoceanic Highway
Upon local advice in San Gaban town, we caught a mototaxi to Oroya for an October 2016 day-trip. Oroya, like San Gaban, lies at low elevation with a tropical climate and is part of the Amazon Basin.
Walking down into town from the highway we saw a monkey and several beautiful butterflies.
This monkey briefly entertained us before scooting away
One of many colourful butterflies encountered in Oroya, this one is coloured black and blue inside its wings
Clothes hang to dry on the Oroya light suspension bridge, the only bridge across this stretch of the Inambari River
A pretty coffee-toned bug on a green fern leaf
A black and orange butterfly on an Oroya road
Coca leaves drying on a roadside plastic sheet in Oroya; coca production is legal in Peru
I don’t know why the rooster and chicken are crossing the road
After exploring the pleasant town we negotiated with a local man to take us on a boat ride. A young boy joined for the river cruise.
On the boat we passed people panning for gold and a bulldozer moving earth as part of a commercial gold mining operation. Gold prospecting in the area requires the holding of a license.
Small-scale gold miners panning for gold on the banks of the Inambari River
The boy on the boat watching as we pass mounds heaped by a commercial gold venture
Motoring upstream along the Inambari River
Oroya’s biggest negative was the amount of rubbish, particularly next to the river. The litter blights an otherwise pretty location and damages the environment. It seemed that there was no waste collection service and the current solution was to throw it in the river.
Inspired by this visit, Rocío had a vision of combining local input and participation, education, design and technology together to create a sustainable waste solution. Oroya would then be an inspiration and role model for other Peruvian villages and the beginning of a movement to clean up this amazing country.
Rubbish dumped next to the Inambari River
This photo of a boat tied to a pole on the Inambari in front of the riverbank and mountains is one of my favourites
Following the boat ride we ate lunch at a local restaurant and began walking back to San Gaban along the highway.
The elevation on the Interoceanic Highway rises in only 103 kilometres from 580 metres at San Gaban to 4,315 metres at Macusani
This large, lightweight winged seed has evolved to travel significant distances in the air
On the way we saw a small snake stuck in the roadside gutter. I attempted to take it out of the gutter and place it into the scrub but it kept slithering off. The gutters were also huge as they need to be in a high rainfall, mountainous environment.
A small snake in the Interoceanic Highway’s gutter
Bromeliads growing on a tree
The Interoceanic Highway is not a busy road and few vehicles passed. A dual cab utility came and we hitched a ride back to San Gaban, sharing the tray with some bananas.
Rocío and I hitch-hiking in the tray of dual cab ute