Trip Start Jul 13, 2010
62Trip End Apr 08, 2011
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Where I stayed
Hotel Lomas del Paiyu
As soon as we disembarked the plane the heat hit us like a brick wall. After we were charged the usual tourist tax to enter and the rip off taxi journey into town we soon realised we didnt have a clue about where to stay or what the plan was
We decided to stay just one night in Leticia and head to a little town 60km up the Amazon river. This tiny little town called Puerto Narino is situated on a bank in the middle of nowhere. Before we headed off we had to book our boat tickets to Iquitos in Peru for the end of the week. These had to be bought in Tabatinga, Brazil, just around the corner. It felt quite strange to just wander into Brazil so easily but you could really notice the difference in countries, for a start there was shop after shop selling haviana flip flops. With the ticket bought we caught the two hour boat to Puerto Narino. Of course this journey wasnt without its hitches. Unsurprisingly twenty minutes into the journey one of the engines on the boat broke down and we had to head back to change boats. A quick change and we were back on the river, wizzing down at full speed, stopping off at little villages along the way. When we arrived at Puerto Narino we were really taken back by the beauty of the town. It has earned the title of the most cleanest place in Colombia and you could really see why. The pride in the locals was evident, the grass freshly cut and houses painted in bright happy colours.
We found a hostel that was owned by the only hotel in the town and we were very excited about it. It resembled a tree house, everything was made of wood and we were the only ones staying there so felt good to have our own little house. Little did we know.
During our typical dinner out of fish we met Richard. Richard is a 14 year old boy who with his mate literally run the town. They know everything about everything, take you on tours of the jungle and the river, sort out accomodation for you and even take you for dinner. He told us about his Dad who would take us out on a boat trip where we could fish for pirhanas and watch dolphins. He even offered his Dads place to stay but we were happy where we were so we denied his offer.
Returning to our little home, excited about our day trip tomorrow, we settled into bed and as we were falling asleep Sarah could hear loads of scratching noises. After getting no peace from Sarah, Phil eventually turned on the light only to see loads of rats scurrying around in the corner of our room. Not good. At that point we thought it would be a good idea to stay with Richards family.
The next afternoon Richards Dad, Mimi and his other younger son took us out on their small boat to a lake to go fishing. Using branches as fishing rods we fished for about 2 hours, unfortunatley we caught nothing, but Mimi and his son were very successful actually catching a couple of pirhanas amongst other types of fish. We then headed back down the river to a place called the ´Beach´. Here we stood on the side of the bank and waited for the dolphins to come
We spent the next day sitting around the village, sweating out, as we missed our morning boat. This meant once we arrived back into Leticia it would be a mad rush to get to the airport to get stamped out of Colombia then get across to Tabatinga to get a boat to Santa Rosa to get a stamp into Peru all before the immagration offices closed. We got stamped out of Colombia fine and then headed straight to Tabatinga. The town which isnt the nicest place at the best of times was in complete darkness with a power cut and at the horrible thought of having to get on a little boat across the river in the dark we decided on winging it and hoping it could be done before we got on the boat at 3am.
So up we rose at 2.30am to get the boat to Santa Rosa to catch the boat to Iquitos. Of course we got our passports stamped before so it all turned out to be fine, as usual, even with all the worry and stress from Sarah.
Twelve hours of speeding down the Amazon river we arrived in Iquitos. It felt good to be in Peru. Iquitos is the only city in the world to not be connected by any roads, only rivers. We jumped on a tuk tuk taxi and he took us to a very `nice cheap hotel that he knows` and for once we couldnt be bothered to argue. It turned out to be a nice place though with friendly staff. We didnt really do much in Iquitos apart from eat dinner in a themed American diner restuarant where Phil had the biggest plate of food he has ever seen, and that is saying something.
We had a flight booked for the next day as we were very excited about dicovering Peru and with what we had seen so far and how friendly the people were we had a feeling it was going to be good.