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Showing posts from November, 2014

Final Day in Iquitos

The day we left Peru we did not fly out until the evening, so there was still one final day to enjoy. After luxuriating in our wonderful hotel room and breakfast buffet, i set out to the Pilpintuwasi Butterfly Farm and animal rescue. To get there i took a 4 Sole tuk tuk ride from the hotel to Bella Vista-Nanay, a nearby town along a tributary of the Amazon. It had started to rain, so when i was dropped off at the muddy market along the river, i waited out the rain at a floating cafe and watched the boats depart.

I then found a boat heading to Padre Cocha, the village where my destination was located. I had been told that a boat would cost 20-30 Soles, but the going rate seemed to be 3, which suited me just fine. I got on a  simple boat with a thatched roof and run by a rickety motor. I was the only tourist on the boat which was mostly filled with locals and items going to or from market. The trip wasn't very long, but suddenly seemed to take forever when water began entering the b…

The Village in the Peruvian Amazon

Our third and final day at the Tahuayo Lodge in the Amazon was only a half day, as we were scheduled to go back to Iquitos by boat in the afternoon. After breakfast we took a boat downriver to a nearby village, nicknamed Los Chinos, for reasons i couldn't really determine. The village was simple. Huts with thatched palm roofs and many sitting on stilts were located around a central field along the river and on the edge of the forrest. The houses were very simple and were open at the sides. Few had walls, or had only half walls.

One man invited us into his home. It had a single room which served as living room, kitchen, etc. and then a separate area as a bedroom for him and his family.  It was very simple and completely open. on the fire freshly caught river fish were grilling.

Most houses did not appear to have electricity, but some central, shared buildings had wires and satellite dishes and there was a public phone outside under a palm shelter on a wooden stand.

We spoke with (t…

The Peruvian Amazon

Day two in the Peruvian Amazon began early - before dawn - so i could go on a bird watching trip. Full disclosure: i hate birdwatching. It's super boring in my opinion, but this was to be from a small boat on the Amazon, which sounded better than my last experience, which was standing in a wooden tower with binoculars.

The boat ride was lovely. The air was wonderful and the scenery was spectacular in the morning light. And yeah, we saw birds. It was a nice trip though i still am not excited by spotting a scarlet tanager, or whatever, high in a tree.

We returned to the lodge for breakfast, followed by a jungle walk that three of us and two guides went on. We walked for a couple hours, sometimes on pseudo paths and sometimes cutting our way through the trees with a machete. In some areas we were sucked into mid-calf-deep mud and in others we walked precariously along slippery logs. It was fun. 

We did see some wildlife: a tree rat, some monkeys, a lizard, a millipede, and more frogs…

Return to the Jungle

We were picked up from our hotel in Iquitos by tuk tuk and taken to a boat dock along the Amazon. This would be my second trip to Amazon, the first having been in 2010 in Ecuador. It was a great experience and one i was happy to repeat, feeling like last time i had conquered my fears of daringness and nuclear-sized spiders.

The boat sped us along the brown river until it got narrower and the vegetation closed in, and then, finally about 4 hours later arriving at the Tahyayo Lodge.  It was a welcoming sight, with its thatched roofs peeking out between the trees.

The lodge had common areas: a dining room, a hammock room, and a games room, and the rest was private cabins, some with washrooms and showers and some without.  Everything was high on stilts to accommodate the rainy season when the river rises as much as 15 feet.  The hammock room was the best, as it had lovely views over the river and a tree full of nests of particularly active and boisterous black and yellow birds.

Our room w…

The Belen Market, Iquitos

I never do this, but i am writing this post from Vancouver.  I wrote my last post on the Peru trip in Peru the day before we went into the internet-free Amazon and then i was so sick the one day we had back in civilization before heading back that i didn't feel like writing anything.  So as i write this i am am nestled in a leather chair, with a cigar, back in Vancouver.  But for now...back to Peru...

The morning before we went from Iquitos back into the jungle i went to the Belen market. I had tried to go the previous day but by the time i got there it was packing up.  The next morning however i had no such problems. Belen is an area in Iquitos, partly made up of a floating village and partly made up of the sprawling market. It is unquestionably a poor neighbourhood and much of what i had read about the market before leaving for Peru was that it was too dangerous to visit alone.  Of course i have heard that before and i know enough not to listen to such advice (which is usually j…