Lost in the Amazon Basin
Trip Start Sep 05, 2006
90Trip End Ongoing
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My trip initially began in true Peruvian fashion. I was loaded onto a bus in Iqiutos and told that someone would meet me in Nauta to put me on a boat and get me to the camp. Of course, nobody was in Nauta and I was left on the side of the road with a 10 gallon water jug and a 5 gallon gasoline jug plus my personal belongings. I figured that with this much gasoline I could pretty much get myself anywhere, so I briefly contemplated going straight away to Colombia. Well, that was precicely when Andres who had loaded me on the bus came running down the road to get me. Apparently he was unable to get in contact with his man in Nauta, he said because of la Navidad and it was likely that Chamo who was supposed to greet me was still up drinking with his friends. This shook my confidence in my tour agency of choice briefly, but I was reassured by the fact that Andres himself had made the whole 2hr journey in a taxi, which costs a lot more, in order to ensure that I was taken care of. Eventually Chamo showed up and got our river transportation sorted out. As we pushed away from Nauta, Andres shouted to Chamo to tell my guide once we reached him that "el flaco alto alto quiere veer todo!" or " the tall and skinny wants to see everything" Ok, confidence level rising
The most comical part of this trip was our camping experience. The day after my arrival, I wanted to get even further away and asked Olmeno if that was possible. That afternoon, Olmeno and another young boy led me some 6 kilometres into the forest away from the camp to a small lagoon where the brough people like myself who just simply couldn't get far enough away. The place was beautiful and the walk was incredible. There were monkeys flying out of the trees, sometimes dropping as much as 20 meters to catch a branch. My amazement at the agility of these monkey and the crazy plant life made the 90 degree heat and 90% humidity bearable. This was all in long pants, a long sleeve shirt and rubber boots of course. The mosquitos are so bad that it is absolutely essential to have long clothing on. The plan was to fish for our dinner and dine on fresh fish. Well, we made two attempts at failing this endeavour. It took us the better part of two hours to catch two relatively small fish for the three of us to eat. Returning to set up camp and cook dinner just as it was getting dark, Olmeno pulled out the lighter and to his, and my dismay, the lighter didn't work. That's it, no dinner. As darkness found us, there wasn't much to do except go to bed. The mosquitoes were so horrendous that this was a very appealing option. I will say with complete confidence that this was the worst I have ever seen mosquitoes in my life
This trip may sound like hell to some folks, but for me, it was perfect! Seeing the sloths, pink river dolphins, playing with an otter and canoeing through the tiny waterways of this region is an experience unique to this part of the world. I would do it all again in a heartbeat.
Kristina returns to Peru tomorrow and will be meeting me here in Iquitos. From here, the two of us and some friends plan on getting a three day boat that will takes us further into the frontier, Leticia Colombia.
Photos comming, I cant be bothered with this internet place anymore tonight
UPWARD AND ONWARD!