Without a paddle
Trip Start Sep 20, 2010
162Trip End Dec 18, 2011
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Where I stayed
Cabin 6, Eduardo II
While standing around waiting for the boat to leave and watching all the loading and unloading one of the crew started chatting to us
After we’d set off we saw everyone on the top deck around us grab their bowls and head down for food. We grabbed ours and headed after them to join the queue. After a bit of shouting from one of the cooks we learnt that there was no food for us till breakfast, and that those being fed now were booked in a special group. The worst part was that while queuing we had both leaned against a table and soon found ourselves, along with a few other people in the queue, covered in blue paint as the table had been freshly painted and no sign put on it. We spent the next few hours rubbing madly at our arms trying to wear the paint away once it had dried. Great start to 3 days without a shower!
The next morning we weren’t really sure how breakfast would work. I kept an eye out of the window slats for when everyone started heading down and when they did we jumped up and grabbed our bowls. Before we could head down though the captain stopped us and told us we didn’t need to go down and our food would be brought up. Next thing one of the cooks arrives up with 4 plates of food on a tray and hands them over. We were very disappointed as we’d been looking forward to using our bowls Oliver Twist style.
The rest of the day we spent lazing in our hammocks reading and staring at the river. Every now and again we’d pull into a village along the way to load and unload people and stuff and each time a stream of women and kids would come onto the boat selling fruits and snacks. I was a bit worried when we pulled off with them still on board but a few minutes downstream we pulled up to the bank, they all jumped off and started walking back to their village. No time wasted! I was amazed how many little communities there were all the way along, each a little collection of buildings usually centred around a football pitch all right on the banks of the Amazon. At one village a proper game was going on and due to the fact one of the goals backed on to the river, there were loads of little kids in the river ready to retrieve the balls
The food on the boat was a lot better than expected. From what we’d read we were expecting plain chicken and rice every meal but were impressed that each meal was different. We had spaghetti, potatoes, rice, a bit of chicken, beef or fish and even a tasty sauce. We’d been worried about going hungry so had stocked up on biscuits, nuts etc. but we didn’t need them at all. We did think maybe being in the cabin meant we were being pampered but we were pleased to see that everyone was getting the same stuff. Really impressed.
All in all the whole trip was really relaxing. We chatted(ish) to the people in the hammocks around us, played a bit of scrabble, read and when it got dark watched a couple of movies on the laptop. I was a bit disappointed we didn’t spot any of the river dolphins Herman had told us about but ah well. We were enjoying it so much we were disappointed when we found out we’d made such good time we would be arriving in the morning of the 3rd day rather than the evening . We wondered whether we should have gone to Pucallpa after all for the longer trip but Herm and his friend had done that and said the scenery on this bit was much better as there was a lot of logging on that route. Our Amazon trip was over sooner than expected and I hadn’t even finished my book!