This is Why We Travel

Trip Start Sep 07, 2011
Trip End Dec 22, 2011

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Flag of Colombia  ,
Friday, October 21, 2011

Today has been one of the best days of my trip by far.  In fact, every stop along the way just gets better and better!  For 55,000 pesos ($28) per person we four hired a boat the entire day and just cruised around the Amazon and some of the side rivers.   The entire experience was like a full week packed into nine steroid fueled hours.  As the months wear on, the river will continue to drop back into its banks as we saw today.  Next spring heavy rains will begin the cycle anew by again flooding the area.  

In the course of one day, I held a monkey, parrots, anaconda, and a sloth; visited a remote indian village in Peru, caught a piranha, saw pink river dolphins jumping out of the water, and swam in the Amazon at a sandy shoal.   How many people can actually say they´ve dipped into the Amazon on a Peruvian beach??!!  Even fishing for piranha is a once in a lifetime experience using thin wooden branches with a fishing line dangling from it.   A small channel just off the main river offered up some of teeth filled beasts.   At maybe 7 inches long, they aren´t as big as I would have imagined but yes, they do have sharp teeth.   I really don´t think their grill poses much threat to humans as their mouths are quite small.  Then again, my unscientific theory is not one I care to test.

And as far as the Great All-Colombian Food Quest 2011 goes, my worst meal yet arrived on a wood platter shaped like a river dolphin.   We ordered grilled fish supposedly from the Amazon, and keep in mind the Amazon is freshwater.   So how in the hell does a piece of fish from a river taste like just like it's been marinated in an ocean bath?   This overcooked filet was so salty I couldn´t even touch it, and since when does grilling give food a pan fried crunch?  Opening my mouth and letting water straight from the Caribbean pour in would be a less saline experience. 

My food situation in this country is now like a bad joke that keeps on giving.  At this point I realize a change in strategies will let me just go with the flow and tolerate the local specialities even better.  Therefore, I am now looking for the worst tasting platter of fried crap as this contest will for sure yield some blue ribbon results.   I have only tomorrow to search out this meal so wish me luck!

Being so remote, Leticia requires a fair bit of work in terms of arrival transportation.   However, the long journey pays off like few places I have ever been in the world.   Instead of reading about all the Amazon and environs in National Geographic, I saw a tiny, tiny part of it up close and personal.   If you can find a place in the world you´ve always wanted to go, take the time and trouble to get there.  Trust me, the reward will more than cover the price of admission.

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