Comrades on the Colca: A Race for Adventure and Incan Treasure
A modern-day, real life adventure, this book will take readers along for a rollicking ride through South America on a race to the bottom of the Earth. When the author first met Polish explorer, Yurek Majcherczyk on a commercial feasibility expedition down Ecuador's Quijos River in 1989, he did not know it would lead to taking part in a Polish race, stumbling upon a mummy-filled cave and even getting wrapped up in a legend linking long-lost Incan riches to a riverfront castle in Poland. As the adventurers plunge deeper and deeper into unknown territory, they discover a rival Polish team trying to usurp their goal.
The author seamlessly weaves these tales with his own exploits and adventures-climaxing with a tumultuous hike out of the canyon with both teams returning to complete their race the following year.
“A rip-roaring adventure, packed with weird legends, peopled with obsessive characters, and shot through with ambitions as big and unbridled as the great river that spills through this crazy, picaresque tale.”
—Hampton Sides, author, Ghost Soldiers
“It’s crazy, zany, and full of fun. High adventure, yes, but in the broadest sense of the word, mixing the physical adventure of a first descent into the deepest canyon of the world with a quest for gold, a race to the finish, and more wacko characters than you can stuff into a packraft.”
—Jon Turk, author, The Raven’s Gift
“Buchanan weaves the history and the exciting story of a contemporary expedition with the clean skill of an expert kayaker running a life or death drop. And he has earned every page, with his paddle and his pen.”
—Peter Heller, author, The Dog Stars
“[Eugene Buchanan’s] rich flashbacks to previous paddling adventures, like a fatality on the Rio Negro in Colombia, an exploratory mission on Ecuador’s Rio Quitos, and an ant-addled, jaguar-stalked, flood-ravaged descent of Peru’s Rio Tambopata—add penetrating perspective to his tale, lending it a depth that makes it an instant classic among legendary paddle tomes.”
—The Denver Post
“For devotees of over-the-top, no-hold-barred whitewater adventure, Eugene Buchanan’s Brothers on the Bashkaus has long been the gold standard when it comes to a truly epic river story. But with Comrades on the Colca, Buchanan appears to have outdone even himself (which is no mean feat). Hang on tight and brace for the ride of a lifetime."
—Kevin Fedarko, author, The Emerald Mile
“For a river-runner, Peru’s Colca Canyon – twice as deep as the Grand Canyon, far narrower, more technical and remote—is the Ultimate Challenge. Eugene Buchanan’s account of not just running the Colca but several more wild South American descents is a wild-river classic, worthy of every canyon corner and page turn.”
—Jon Bowermater, National Geographic Adventurer
“From one of the greatest outdoor writers, a terrific story of adventure and resilience.”
—Porter Fox, author, Deep
"In his new book, Eugene Buchanan, a renowned journalist and paddler, recounts the wild race between his team of explorers and a Polish group in 2008. Both teams were in search of Incan artifacts in part of Peru’s Colca Canyon. Expert first-person narrative tells of incredible adventure in a riveting tale of ambition, peril, and discovery. "
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Eugene Buchanan is the contributing editor for Powder and Canoe and Kayak, the editor in chief of Paddler, and a member of New York's prestigious Explorer's Club. He has written about the outdoors for more than 25 years, from covering the X Games for ESPN.com to working for NBC at the Beijing Olympics. He is the author of Brothers on the Bashkaus and Outdoor Parents, Outdoor Kids. He lives in Steamboat Springs, Colorado.