|One of the friends I made in Lima, Marita is from Pucallpa and her family still lives there, she was going home aswell so I decided to tag along. Pucallpa a bustling city in the Amazon Jungle. They have everything there even a bustling nightlife. I spent 2 days in Pucallpa and went to a discotek aswell stayed with Marita's family. Pucallpa was alright, very very hot and humid. The best part of my trip there was the 3 days through the jungle on the Rio Ucayali.
I arranged for a tour boat and guide to go through the jungle, the agency asked me to be at the Marina at 5 AM, I got there and the guide was nowhere to be found, there were a couple of people hanging around and they told me the guide Gustavo lives right accross from where his boat is parked. I knocked on his door and a really sleepy guide came out and said why are you here so early, the agency told me we start at 8 AM. Oh well, I'll just wait around. Finally we started our journey through the Amazon at 8:30. It was me Gustavo and his 19 year old son Lucho who was the captain of the boat. The first couple of hours was me asking a lot of questions about what is this and that. After that we settled in and I just enjoyed the serenity of the river and the Jungle.
It was raining cats and dogs the first day, We had to get to our night camp which was a native community called Tacshitea they belong to the Shipibo tribe. All the native communities are along the river and during this season the river rises due to excessive rain and floods the villages, so the houses are built higher to accomodate the flooding.
For 3 months the whole town in under water and the only mode of transport is boats and small thin canoe's. Every house has atleast one of these canoes more often 3 for each family. Most of the huts have no walls at all, it's just a floor and a roof. They don't really beleive in privacy. And there is no electricity in most of these villages. So dinner has to be before the sun calls it a day.
We made a few stops before we got to our domicile village for the night. Our first stop was at a farmers house, he took us around his farm and I tasted some amazing fruit Cocao.
Here we ventured into the jungle aswell, but only for half an hour because it was very wet and it was getting impossible to walk around. Unfortunately this was my only walk through the jungle in the 3 days. Everywhere else we went the whole village was flooded.
Our next stop was a small vallage San Pedro, we picked some Mamei o Poma Rosa fruit here.
This was the best fruit I have ever had, it grows only in the Amazon forest. We kindof went crazy and must've picked arnd 50 of this fruit, which turned out to be a good idea because everywhere we went after that we offered some of that fruit to the families.
We finally got to Tacshitea after a few more stops to see birds and monkeys. The family was very nice, mom and dad, 4 kids, 3 monkeys and a dog. This house had walls so they were pretty well off. The kids were so cute, at night I was sitting in the boat and the six year old started talking to me in her jungle spanish which I did not understand much, but that did not bother her, she just kept going at it.
The lifestyle in these villages specially during this time of year is so laid back, there are no stores, the only thing people eat is rice and fish. You can fish in your balcony because there is water everywhere. I had the best fish, turned out that Gustavo the tour guide had amazing cullinary skills aswell. For 3 days this the staple diet was fruit, rice and fish.
The next day we left at 8:30 after breakfast and headed to Agua Negra, this is a canal where the water is black, pretty amazing, I could see a perfect reflection of the world above in the water. We cruised around all day and got to our second nights domicile a community called PatriaNueva another Shipibo tribe, here the hut we stayed in had no walls, and a hammock hanging in the middle of the house, this is where I spent my evening reading and absorbing the sunset above the jungle.
The third day was long, we left at 8:30 and headed back to Yarinachocha where we had started. It's a 8 and a half hour boat ride, got pretty uncomfortable towards the end since we did not make enough stops.
By the time we got back to Pucallpa we were all beat. The next morning I flew back to Lima.