Death on the Amazon

Trip Start Sep 20, 2010
Trip End Dec 18, 2011

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Saturday, September 24, 2011

Almost a waste of paying for accommodation, we woke up at 2.15am for our boat to Iquitos. Being such great morning people we were very excited about this.  We got a taxi to Tabatinga (Brazil) where it's possible to get a boat that early in the morning to Santa Rosa (Peru) where our big boat was leaving from.  As we arrived one boat was already leaving but we were next in line when it returned.  As we were waiting some more people arrived and put their belongings ahead of ours.  Knowing they would try to push in front of us I jumped on the boat as soon as it got back from dropping the other people.  Lo and behold as Kevin was handing down his rucksack they started trying to tell us to take the next boat – apparently they had space for 3.  What they didn’t take into consideration that, as another girl from our hostel was with us, there were 3 of us as well.  And I was not getting off that boat!  May seem stubborn but it’s nice to win one of those fights for once! 

For some reason Kevin got all animated at around 4am when the boat left and I actually had to tell him to shut up so I could get some sleep after about an hour of his monologue.  The rest of the boat journey though was pretty uneventful, just long (10 hours). It was tough to look out of the windows because of the type of boat but we got to see some of the Amazon and tried to get a feel for the size.  It’s big!  Not particularly an event but one thing that did happen was that someone died on the boat…. We saw someone being taken onto the boat on a stretcher with a drip in Santa Rosa and about half an hour before the end of the journey the person died.  And as all the rest of the passengers got off the boat in Iquitos first we all had to walk past the body, respectfully covered up with a blanket.  One of the odder things to happen to us. 

When we arrived in Iquitos we went with the girl from our hostel in Leticia to the place she had stayed last time she was in Iquitos.  However as they didn’t have enough rooms we let her have the one they did have and went searching ourselves.  Big mistake!  This was the worst accommodation search we have ever done! We were walking around for about 2 hours and as we usually do settled for something too expensive over something disgusting when we couldn’t handle carrying our bags anymore!  

The next day we planned on doing some jungle sightseeing but first decided to go to the port to get ourselves on to a slow boat to Yurimaguas the next day.  You have to find a boat and then the captain in order to get a space so we didn’t want to leave it too late.  When we got to the port there were 2 boats going that way, unfortunately one was going that day and the other 2 days later.  For the first time since we’ve been away we felt a bit of a time constraint and realised we would lose time in Bolivia if we left it 2 days.  Therefore we got ourselves onto the boat leaving that day and rushed around for the next 3 hours buying water, food, plastic pots for food etc before going back to the port and getting ourselves on the boat. 

It was a shame we didn’t get to spend at least a day in Iquitos, however the point of coming this route was to take the slow boat into Peru and then head south to Bolivia.  We’re saving the jungle for our next trip! 
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