24.01.2009 - 28.01.2009
In order to get to Brazil and the Amazonas we needed to fly to the north of Peru to a city called Iquitos. Despite its size (600,000 inhabitants) it can only be reached either by boat or by plane. Our plan was not to spent long there but to get the first available boat to the border of Brazil.
As we get there on a Saturday we are informed that there is no boats until Wednesday and no other way to get out but fly which would be too expensive. So we have to face the fact that we are stuck in this jungle city for a lot longer than we expected. We quickly realise that it is a pretty run down place but we will really come to enjoy it despite its scruffiness. Best of all we are finally off the gringo trail as there are very few gringos around!
As it is Saturday when we arrive we decide to check out the place and we get to a bar called the Yellow Rose of Texas where we have a few beers. All the staff are lovely and we also get harrassed by a lot of street kids selling stuff. They turn out to be very charming and for the next few days they become our friends in Iquitos. As the waiters finish their shifts we are invited to go dancing with them and of course we say yes! The nightclub turns out to be great- not a gringo (well very few) in sight and a place of full of peruvians dancing the most amazing salsa. Myslef and Martin feel like stiff gringos but everyone is really nice to us and we have a great laugh.
For the next few days Martin is quite sick (travel belly AGAIN...) and we take it easy and just hang around the town. As said before the street kids become our best friends and as soon as we step out of the hostel they run towards us shouting our names and want to hang with us (well also get money out of us of course). Unfortunately we dont get to take pictures of our new found friends because although they are very sweet and all that we had a feeling that a hug from them could mean that our cameras would dissapear. So it turns out that the place we intended to spend little time in turned out to surprise us as the people in Iquitos were lovely and for the first time we really got to hang out with locals.
On Wednesday morning we took a crazy mototaxi (a moped with a little carriage behind it) to the river where we caught an early speed boat that would bring us to the three way border of Peru ,Columbia and brasil 10 hours later on the Amazonas river.