So we set out from Pampa Hermosa toward La Morada, on foot following trails that the Inca had built 500 years before.
La Morada was the town that Don Beni and his wife had confounded. It was at La Morada that they split up, her staying and him heading further into the jungle with his daughter. It was at La Morada that Don Beni came back to and shot his son in law. It looked like the Añasco clan had split into two distinct parts, one for and one against the patriarch.
We didn't know which we were headed to or how we would be received by either.
It was still raining, all day we would walk through the mud and mist.
Strange dynamics had begun to form within our group. We were all exhausted from walking. But things were getting easier. We were headed down hill and the porter's packs were getting lighter -much lighter I'd find out later- as we ate through our supplies of food yet the porters were becoming sullen. The German was becoming withdrawn as well.
We would walk during the day, headed toward La Morada. When we would get to a farm or house in the evening we would ask for a place to stay and inevitably the 6 of us would cram ourselves into someone's corn crib side by side and spend the night. My pack was filled with camera equipment and not getting any lighter. So, exhausted I would sleep soundly even in tight quarters.
In the morning after a breakfast of quaker oats we would walk another day away. Wash, rinse repeat... The only thing that made the hours of walking tolerable were the stunning scenery and a healthy supply of coca leaves between my cheek and gum.
At each house we would ask after Don B. He was alive, he was dead, he had joined the terrorists, he was at La Morada, he was in Mendoza, is ex wife would be happy to see us, his ex wife wouldn't want to see us. Our task was getting even more confused -if possible...
Then one day we came across a trail crew working on a washed out section of Inca Road. It was headed by Fabian, Don Beni's oldest son. We were just around the corner from La Morada, Don Beni was at his place on the Meseta Grande just a few days walk beyond!
That evening we entered La Morada and set ourselves up in an abandoned house. The weather cleared, people came by to visit. It was civilization. The town even had an aguardiente still. It was nice to be in one place for a few days.
There was also the huge relief for me that even if I could not find Don B to make his portrait I had at least made it to his town and could shoot pictures there. Maybe we could even photograph his ex wife...