Over the last five days we have been travelling by bus and boat to Iquitos (Peru) from Quito (Ecuador). At least a 1000 km journey.
To get on the boat we went on a bus to El Coca. The bus was OK but the driver was really grumpy and looked like he wanted to rip someones head off. To make this journey more enjoyable we all took our first malaria tablet and Georgia reacted wrong to it and was sick on this really wobbly bus. The bus played the film Point Blanc, for those who do not know in Thailand when we were getting away from the island of Ko Phang Nang by boat, dad and I watched it seven times, so we were gutted that it was on again .
When we got to El Coca we had a fantastic meal, of meat, and enjoyed our last 24 hours in civilisation before heading into the jungle!!!
In the morning we got up early and went to the port. As mum and dad were lining up for tickets I started to feel sick, I thought oh no I bet this is the malaria tablet, I was right. I was sick right there in the middle of a busy port full of strangers. Luckily mum had come over for a drink and helped me, along with a lovely lady, although most of the others stood and watched. I felt really embarrassed.
On the boat we all had to wear life jackets and sit on a wooden bench (for 12 hours)! Our bench unfortunately kept breaking and we fell onto the wet floor several times . The rain battered down onto the boat and we all got soaked. On the boat there was a man who looked like Gandalf ( tall, skinny, with long greasy grey hair). He sat there eating beansprouts all day – random! We noticed him as he was the only other gringo on the boat aside from ourselves. Every time we were going through shallow water the driver had to be extra careful as the river was low ;however; we still got stuck. Lots of guys had to jump out of the boat in their pants and try to rescue the boat. We heard the men say ”gringo” quite a few times. Dad eventually gave in and stripped off yo his pants then jumped in and pulled with the local men, luckily dad has been doing his app but still didn’t look as Hench as the natives but he was close. I laughed so hard along with everyone on the boat as we had to rock the boat back and forth along with seeing a large pale gringo inn his pants in a river!. Later dad told us he was petrified that he would stand in a catfish or eel but all he felt was the smooth sand of the river and the water was lovely and warm but brown.
For lunch we were ushered out of the boat to a restaurant and were handed a bowl of soup, little did we know that it had two rather fresh looking chicken feet in them!!! Mum scooped them out and I still ate it but Georgia looked like she was gunna be sick (we still haven’t told Dylan but when we give hints he starts to gag)!!!
Finally we arrived in the village. It was small and basic. We needed to go for a walk to try and find the immigration office. We did and found that it was a shack with a dude we had to wake up. As we were walking, a guy came up to us willing to take us to Pantoja (the next village) for $40 with Gandalf.
The following day we found out that by boat the dude meant canoe with a lawnmower engine in the back. Gandalf, for the whole journey was discussing with dad about his cult and how mindfulness is the way to live life, I agree -mostly. So this is how we crossed the border into Peru. After we arrived we went to find immigration and get our passports stamped. Whilst mum and dad were getting our passports done Gandalf (aka Dada) started to pull his leg up behind his back. I nearly wet myself laughing as I was not expecting that to happen. Then he taught Dylan some yoga which Dylan sucked at.
When we finished at immigration we went to have lunch. Lunch itself was alright but the restaurant itself was special as on the floor there was a parrot called Dora chilling and on the right there was a baby in a hammock in a play pen just sleeping. Mum loved this as she is a midwife and loves everything to do with babies. The waitress was a lovely lady who severed us pork and rice. After lunch, we left we took our luggage and went to find a place to stay. We found a ‘hostel’ with the most unenthusiastic landlady ever who wanted to give us one room with one single bed in it only! We said NO very loudly so even if you didn’t speak English she new what we meant and ended up with two rooms, one had a double bed in it. Dad and I shared a single bed for two nights in a sweat box that was made of wood and the toilet was a toilet bowl with a bucket as a flush as the village had no running water. It was interesting to see how the village lived without it by having communal washing places and using the river.
After we had settled in our room we went out to play cards in the bandstand type thing. The card game was fun and a little girl called Mixi came and sat with us. When we finished playing Uno I rolled the ball to Mixi and she laughed and bounced it back. We then started to play catch and two boys came over called Miño and Michelle. We played name catch so we all learnt each others names. I am now going to write a list so I do not forget their names as this blog is like my diary : Fernanda, Ruperto, Esteme, Celeste, Judica, Joucce, Isebella and Santiago there were many more but these are all I can remember. We played catch and also with bubbles. Later we played volleyball and some kids brought banger’s to play with.Something I had never played with before and mum and dad say are banned in England however 2 years old were playing with them here and even with matches and machetes! It was a great day and we went back to the only restaurant again for dinner.
I will write some more tomorrow as we were very busy and it would be to much to write in one post.