The Tocache Expedition 2013



It’s been 13 years since Kathy and I traveled into the remote wilderness up the Rio Tocache. Our first trip in we had to be rescued from an Andean mountaintop by a Sikorsky helicopter (H-92). Everyone except Kathy had an injury of some sort and couldn’t walk the rough 85 miles out. We were told Kathy and me were the first “white” people to ever go in and come back out alive. That was certainly some news to us…

The 'Holiday Inn' Campsite

"We had been walking for days. The first few days we stayed in villages we passed along the trail. The jungle became thick and dense after Meta'l, and no villages we seen after this. After walking f8 hours we were told a nice house was just ahead where we would spend the night. We looked forward to this with excitement. Finally we could stop, clean up, and cook a proper meal. Energy bars were not filling our stomaches. We emerged from the jungle into a clearing. There before us in the distance was a lean-to... the house we had so eagerly anticipated. I set about to unpack the kitchen and got coffee water boiling while Jerry set up the Hennessy Hammocks. It would be a long dark ... and wet night."
From Kathy Wills' Tocache Journal 

 A few weeks later we went back in again. We had discovered a site we felt was important to share with the world. We only got in about 38 miles and had to stop. Two days later our camp was surrounded by Peruvian special forces. The commander and his troops escorted us out.

We were told weeks later they were there to protect us. You see, insurgents were coming for us.


It has been 13 years...

The Rescue Helicopter and Troops Jerry & Kathy in the center

Things have changed somewhat, though not a lot ever really changes there. The chain of lost cities Kathy calculated would be there, were there. To this day they remain hidden in the mountains, known only to the locals who wander through them occasionally. It feels a bit strange and apprehensive knowing a few weeks from now Kathy and I return to finish what we started so long ago.

Before, we only went in with a still camera. We had not even imagined Xpeditions TV at that time. We had no idea what we might see, or the importance of what we would eventually find. This time we are better prepared with state of the art video gear, satellite communications, and camping equipment (especially our dandy new Pahaque tents!!!). Providing all goes well we will go in, document the area, and get out safely... Then on to the next location.

Additionally, if it looks safe enough we plan to offer a special trip for you who are interested. Stay tuned... That announcement could be made at any time once we develop a better feel of the area. We are looking to develop a series of trips into this extraordinary Amazon Jungle/ eastern Andean slope wilderness. It's amazing to think there are still lost and forgotten places lying beneath the jungle here.

Last modified on
Login to post comments