|From the heights of the Andes and the Inca Trail to the hot, steamy jungle of the Amazon. It was a big week.
After saying goodbye to my friends in Urubamba, Alex and I spent our last night in Cusco having dinner at one of the restaurants on the Plaza de Armas and looking at the Christmas decorations.
The next day, we flew into Iquitos and were hit by the very hot and humid and very busy small city.
We had a transfer arranged already – a beaten up old taxi. But, at least it was a car. Most of the vehicles there are the 3-wheeler motos (like the moto-taxis I used in Urubamba). As we drove along, I sat back and took in the sights of the town. I eventually looked over at Alex who had a pained expression on her face. I asked her what was wrong. The response: “The driving. It’s the worst I’ve ever seen.” Poor girl was a bit stressed. I hadn’t noticed. Maybe I’m used to people driving all over the road, 5 vehicles lined up across 2 lanes, all trying to get ahead of the others. Oh well. We got to our hostel in one piece. Unfortunately, the place was a dump. No air-con. Just a flimsy floor fan and 2 beds. Oh well. It was just for one night.
We went out to dinner to some America-run place with American-style prices. Alex bravely ordered alligator nuggets. Of course as expected, they tasted like chicken. I just ordered the chicken.
The next morning we were picked up for our 4-day stay in the Amazon jungle. On the previous times that I’d gone to the Amazon jungle, it was further south and the rivers weren’t the Amazon (but fed into the Amazon). This time, we were ON the Amazon river. Absolutely awesome.
The lodge was about 1 hour – 1.5 hours away from Iquitos and it was just soooo lovely. They even had electricity 3 times a day! (Previous jungle stays have been at places with no, or very limited, power).
We were with a group of 4 Mexicans and there was already a group of 5 people at the lodge. That meant that there were 11 of us with the whole place to ourselves.
On the first afternoon there was a fishing excursion – I opted out as I can’t stand the thought of killing anything. Instead, I stayed at the pool. Just me. The gorgeous pool all to myself. Alex went fishing and apparently didn’t have much luck, but she enjoyed herself immensely.
We did more excursions throughout our stay. There were early boat rides for bird watching, night hikes for tarantula spotting, and also visits to local villages. You could opt in or opt out – totally up to you.
More people arrived over the 3 days but it never got to anywhere near capacity thankfully. The food was great too. Loved it there! The only down-side was the mosquitos. We both got eaten alive. Mosquitos love me. I was virtually bathing in insect repellent, only to find that the mozzies would avoid the exposed areas of skin (bathed in insect repellent) and just bite me through my clothes. All I can say is that it is a very determined mozzie who can go through pants and undies in order to leave a great big bite on my butt.
Anyway, I’ve pretty much stopped scratching now, so hopefully all the welts will heal and start to fade in a couple of days.
The long trip home has commenced. We left Iquitos yesterday and spent a short night in Lima. Early start for our flight to Santiago, so now we are just chilling out at a hotel not too far from the airport. The long flight home starts tomorrow afternoon. Then, it’s home for Christmas.