I can’t imagine what kind of person I’d be if I didn’t get stretched by traveling. I’m uptight enough as it is.
Our arrival in the Amazon last summer was not a super-smooth experience.
In Lima, we woke up at 4 am in order to catch our 6 am flight. We crammed everything into our suitcases. EVERYTHING. I was paranoid about what this upcoming boat ride was going to entail, and didn’t want a bunch of loose stuff when we arrived in Iquitos.
We then noticed our debit cards weren’t working in Peru. Never mind, no time to fiddle with our money-less situation — we had a plane to catch.
In my exhausted, stressed-out state, I snapped at the girl at the Peruvian Air check-in desk.
When we arrived in Iquitos… my small suitcase did not.
Our contact was not there to pick us up as arranged. No one was there for us.
The tiny airport quickly emptied, leaving us alone and bewildered. And missing a suitcase. Someone should’ve painted a picture of us. I’m sure we looked very pathetic.
We went to the Peruvian Airline desk, and found someone who spoke English. She called Lima, and confirmed that yes, my suitcase was sitting there at the desk in Lima. She then called our contact number, and conveyed our need to be picked up. This woman saved us with her brilliant phone skills!
It wasn’t long before we were rescued. We were put into a car with a guy and his buddy and sent us off on an hour-long drive to the river city of Nauta. We were on what must have been the only paved road for miles upon miles. We saw people along the road selling fruit, many abandoned buildings, hand-painted signs, lodges that had been seemingly started up and then closed down…
Okay I have to tell you about the guy in the passenger seat. It took everything in my power to resist tossing him out of the moving vehicle. I still remember with horror the moment he produced a burned CD with a huge grin on his face. I felt the dread well up inside me.
We spent our entire hour-long drive hearing the beginning of every wretched song on that CD. They were all terrible. All the songs were so, so bad. Plaintive amateur songs about love all set to the same techno beat. Made me feel violent. And the volume was tremendously loud. He’d play the first 1/18th of each song on that CD… and at first I was hopeful, thinking that maybe there were only 12 songs on there and soon he’d stop with the CD already. My hope began to wane as I watched the song count increase. There were more than 30 songs on there. More than 50. More than 90. It was the never-ending musical nightmare.
Furthermore, he heartily whistled at EVERY female we drove by.
I did not enjoy this.
At last, we arrived at Nauta with our lonely luggage item.
We then begun our 2-hour boat ride on the Amazon to our lodge. As Phil would say on the Amazing Race, it was the final leg of our journey. 😀
We were surprised to find that it was kind of chilly! Not what we’d expected… but we were happy about it. At least we weren’t sweating up our suddenly very limited clothing supply.
In spite of these stressful events, I was happy to be with Andrew, and absolutely stunned that I was now on the Amazon River. WHAT IS MY LIFE???? (Answer: fantastic.)
I’d never seen bananas like this before. Looking at the cargo we were sharing the boat with, we realized that this was how they got the food to the lodge. So whatever was there, was there. That was it. No ordering takeout. No vending machines. I let this thought soak into my brain as we zipped along the river.
We saw a lot of other boats like ours, out on the river. Probably all boats bringing supplies to other tourist lodges.
Getting into some of the smaller tributaries… getting deeper into the jungle.
This is the river right by the Treehouse Lodge. See the tiny hut at the far right? The entire time we were there, I tried to figure out what it was. Looked abandoned.
And… the entrance to the Treehouse Lodge. At last!
Home! (For three days.)