For me, the Amazon doesn't become more interesting as I go farther into it; it becomes less interesting because it becomes huge and generic. Iquitos allows for the specific as it were if one is determined to dig a bit into the muck of jungle that surrounds the local life of eating and normal living. One is often faced with "jungle guides" hoping to take out tourists to see wildlife and so on, but I find the most exotic animal to be something one need not look far to find. This is, for me, a life-changing journey that explodes most of my assumptions about life and its meaning to date. Such will be the main focus of the rest of this installment of my travel notes about Iquitos, the strangest animals on the planet. Allow me to digress, of course.
I left Pucallpa for Iquitos to travel for six or so nights by cargo boat, in this case a leap into luxury compared to a similar trip by boat in Bolivia. This trip was also boring because of my extreme adventures previously, though it was far from the comfort most people expect, I would think, given the ubiquity of Norwegian floatels in the Caribbean.
But the chef was nice. Very nice. Very homosexual.
I made sure to wink at him and smile before dinner.
Often we would stop along the Ucayali river to unload and to find the boat visited by locals selling things.
Those living the local life live it as if there is no other, and they are as happy as one can hope for. Perhaps one travels to see what normal can be.
Normal has its differences from place to place.
Having arrived in Iquitos I took a taxi into town.
This is my return to Iquitos after a miserable time at Leticia, Columbia up river from Iquitos, four days or so by boat, a trip I took in a state of high expectation of beauty and adventure, not much of which happened for me. Thus, I returned to Iquitos, and here I am at a second or even third or, as I think it through, a fourth hostel here. I am staying at La Casa del Frances just off the main square.
More about that to come.
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