Jungle Fever

This is a bit mad — I’m in the Amazon jungle right now! But more on that later…

I spent most of yesterday daytime in Lima faffing around with various admin. chores, such as getting laundry done and changing my return ticket back to the U.S. so that I can fly from Lima on the 15th September, rather than Santiago. This ended up necessitating a reissued ticket and cost me $150 at the TACA office (which is annoying because the flight back from Santiago had a plane change in Lima anyway), but at least it’s sorted.

In the evening, Peter the tour guide came to meet me at my hotel and we planned a comprehensive itinerary for the rest of my trip, although I made sure to leave a couple of slack days with nothing planned in advance: A few days in the Amazon jungle near Iquitos, a two-day hike in Colca Canyon, and then six or seven days in and around Cuzco for the whole Inca ruins/Machu Picchu bit before heading back to Lima for the flight home. I wasn’t originally intending to book everything without some shopping around, but he made it very easy, the price seemed very competitive and I appreciated being able to get everything sorted out quickly in one go.

After sorting out my itinerary, I went out for dinner at an average and deserted chirascurria (charcoal meat grill) in Miraflores, and then took a taxi to meet Eduardo. We had a few beers in Eduardo’s beautiful family home before his buddy Juan joined us and we took a cab to a fun bar/club called Sergeant Pepper’s, for yet more beer. We ended up eating delicious sandwiches at a late-night eatery before I finally took a taxi back to the hostel in the not-so-small hours for 1.5 hours of sleep.

The knock on the door at 6:30am came all to soon, and before long I was groggily in a taxi on my way to the airport for the flight up to Isquitos, a former rubber town in the jungle on the Amazon River. Isquitos has a population of about 300,000 people, and yet it can only be reached by either air or water — there is no road connecting it to the rest of the World!

It’s much hotter and more humid here than Lima, and so far it seems like a very friendly, lively and vibrant town. I have one night here, and then tomorrow I’m going by boat to a lodge in the Amazon jungle for a couple of nights. Should be fun!

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