Trip Start Nov 05, 2009
32Trip End Apr 26, 2010
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Having arrived at Tabachinga at 2am a small group of us from the boat decided to walk into town to try to find a hotel for the night. Three km later, many hotels and an unknown & unintentional crossing of the Brazil/Colombia border we finally found a place to stay in Leticia, Colombia.
Leticia is a wonderful place - very friendly with a real buzz about it. Due to its remoteness most people have motorbikes rather than cars. Our health and safety folks would have a field day here - it is very common for whole families to travel on one motorbike with only the driver maybe wearing a helmet - I saw one family with a tiny little girl sat at the front with her dad and then the mum on the back holding a baby in a carry cot - all without helmets
Leticia is the home to īKapax - the amazonian tarzanī - This guy is everywhere and always has a massive anaconda slung around his neck which I think is a blatant act of massive over compensation for something else ;-). Anyway he is a total legend around here because he does a lot to raise awareness for the protection of the forest by doing crazy things like swimming 1700km along one of the amazon tributaries battling anacondas, caimans and pirhanas on his way.
Visit this link to see a picture of the guy....my hero!
We had a very interesting cultural day where we visited the local anthropological museum and were shown around by a guy from one of the local tribes who told us about all the different costumes, musical instruments, tools etc. We also made it along to the zoo which had definitely seen better days..maybe 20 years ago. When we arrived the guy on the gate did a great sales job by saying that there were not many animals to see...I would say that animals are a pretty important prerequesit for a zoo. We decided to take a look anyway and as ever it is always intersting to see the animals close up but also very sad to see them in cages. The most upsetting was the poor Jaguar - Shakira - who was beautiful but in a very small cage.
At sunset in Leticia thousands of tiny parrotts arrive into the town parks to roost. It is a really stunning sight particularly as they have to contend with dozens of circling vultures to reach the trees
My last day in Letica was quite surreal...I woke up in Colombia, travelled on the back of a motorbike (most of the taxis are motorbikes) to Brazil to get my passport stamped and then travelled by a very rickety boat to Peru to also get my passport stamped. Three countries all in in the matter of a few hours. It is quite a stange concept when you pop over to Brazil to have a pizza!
I moved back to Tabachinga for my last night before catching an obscenely early boat taxi at 4am across the Amazon to Santa Rosa in Peru. It was quite an exhilarating feeling sat on this decidely dodgey boat in the pitch black scooting across the river with just a small spotlight scanning the water for logs and other boats. I dread to think what would happen if we had hit anything as falling into the middle of the Amazon at night would not be ideal. Itīs very funny that the drivers of these boat taxis only give you a life jacket just as you arrive at your destination.
I have been having some issues with my stomach since leaving the
boat...I guess it was only a matter of time as everything was cooked
and washed in the river water. Always good when you have a 12 hour boat