Everyone dies. Not everyone truly lives. -William Wallace "Braveheart"

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Off to the Amazon!

Mom almost burnt down the hotel with her hair dryer.  Apparently she decided it wasn’t powerful enough for her so she switched back the setting Alejandro had put it on and it all but fried itself when she turned it on. We all packed for the Amazon and dropped the rest of our luggage off at Alejandro’s parents.  We tried to hail a taxi large enough for the 4 of us and our luggage, but weren’t having any luck so Alejandro walked 5 blocks to the main road to look for one.  Well of course 5 min after he left we found one so Al ran to go retrieve him. 

We hopped on our flight to Iquitos (The Amazon) which was 3 hrs with a stop in Tarapoto.  When we arrived to Iquitos and stepped off the plane I couldn’t even breathe.  It was so humid that it felt like I was breathing underwater.  We picked up our luggage from baggage claim and walked outside where our guide Guido was waiting for us.  Alejandro and I hopped in Guido’s car and Mom and Al hopped into a Mototaxi (since mom had been dying to ride in one since she saw one) and Guido took us to look at a hotel.  We pulled up to this gorgeous blue and white historical building on the river with giant rooms, 15’ ceilings, and a pool.  It was $75 per room or a “really good deal” of $150 for one room with 2 beds lol.  In the states a $75 room would be nothing, but we were trying to keep it under $50 so we pressed on.  We ended up staying at La Casona Backpackers Hostal for $30 a night.  It was simple to say the least and it smelt of incense and mold, the latter of which we were promised would disappear when we turned on the A/C.  A/C! Why didn’t you say so?! SOLD!!! Shoot, at this point I would have paid $100 for a makeshift paper fan and an ice cube and we had only been there an hour!

Just a hallway in the really nice hotel

It was only 4:00 pm, but we were already getting hungry and taking into account that we were on “Peru time” we figured if we set out for dinner now we might actually be eating by 9:00 pm.  The mototaxi driver told us of a great restaurant on the river where we could even take a dip in the Amazon.  He took us down the road 10 min to a small market on the river bank.  We got out and he led us through the market, across a little bridge and toward this shady looking building which wreaked of fish from the nearby market.  To our relief he bypassed the shack and directed us to crawl into a small thatch roof covered boat.  A 15 min ride up the river and there it was! It was like paradise.  Completely open, floating restaurant, on the Amazon River, with hammocks hanging everywhere, pisco sours, the sun set painting the skies with vibrant pinks, purples, and yellows…paradise.

They brought out samples of juices made from various indigenous fruits, such as manu manu and starfruit, for us to try.  We got acquainted with our new friends from Canada Alaina and Sean, and finally, after an hour at least, our dinner came out.  We ate Paiche (the biggest fish in the Amazon) and Caiman (alligator) which was delicious.  Then we got back on the boat and went back to the hotel.

Paiche- the biggest fish in the Amazon

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