This is the fifth part of a serialized post about an assignment to find Don Benigno Añasco in Peru. It comes up every Monday.
At La Morada we were treated very well. People were happy to see outsiders, particularly our German ethnohistorian who carried accurate aerial photos of the area. Maps at the time were not accurate and the information in the aerial photos helped people know where they were!
Even Don Beni's former wife was happy to see us and talk about her life in the jungle. It was harrowing trekking into the forest, into the unknown for the first time.
She left Don Beni mostly because she was tired of constantly pushing on. Who wants to spend their life chasing away jaguars? Everyone in town wanted to share their stories about being in the jungle, on the frontier.
No one, however wanted to talk about the murder. To find out about that we were going to have to move on and find Don Beni.
After a few days we got ready to go. Our guides really did not want to. Honestly, I am not sure now that I wanted to shoulder that heavy pack and head out again, but duty -of sorts- called, and I could not bear the thought of going back the way we came.
The way ahead was even more unknown. We were to continue downstream, cross the now sizable river and head up to Don Beni's world, La Meseta. It was the land that he had seen as a young man and ventured into the jungle to find.