Iquitos, Peru

Posted: September 14, 2011 in Peru
Tags: , , , , , , ,

From Lagunas I caught another lancha towards Iquitos. The thing is that in these small towns you never know when the lancha (boat) is going to show up since timing depends on when the lancha left from Yurimaguas, on the speed of the water and the height of the water. During dry season, sometimes the lanchas stop during the night and only navigate during daytime but that all depends on the captains. Either way, I was ready to leave at 10am but the lancha showed up around 8pm.

This lancha was a lot bigger than the one I took up to Lagunas. It had 3 levels, better bathrooms with showers and also serve to it’s passengers 3 meals a day which were included in the passage price of around 30$. The thing is that the lancha was so packed that I had to set-up my hammock on top of some stairs and had to climb a metal guard to get in and out every time.

Here is some of the cargo at the bottom of the boat. The first floor was for food and animals such as cows, pigs, chicken…

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And more awesome sunsets…

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This is what the 2 in 1 toilet\shower looked like. It was actually pretty clean…

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Arriving into the Iquitos port

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And here is Iquitos…

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Like in most towns\cities of Peru, you will find thousands of mototaxis…

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The main and best part about Iquitos is the market. Some awesome ceviche I had there…

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The market in Iquitos also has one of the best witches sections. You can find here some of the most powerful plants and drinks from the Amazon and beyond. You can find perfumes that are especially designed to drive the opposite sex crazy, you can find spiritual plants, drinks for good luck, drinks for bad luck… etc… You can zoom in on the pictures in Flicker to see all the labels and try to google them up if you want.

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Especially designed perfumes to drive men\women crazy…

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Bones, skeletons and other tools with all kinds of different energies that Shamans use.

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Ahyawaska and San Pedro in powder

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Other roots and plants

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None of these remedies are FDA approved… 😉

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Here I bought some Guarana (main ingredient in Red Bull and energy drinks), some Maca and some magic mushrooms along with some Toe.

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While walking through the witches part of the market with my buddy Gianni we met this Shaman that was reading cards. He gave us a deal at 3$ each so we thought it could be fun. It turned out that he was actually really good. During his readings, he kept drinking small sips out of a special cocktail that contained ahyawaska. He was somewhere between our world and “the other world”. He could see into the future and the past. He told us dates and numbers that only we knew and he had no way of knowing. I tried to find him the next day for a more in depth reading but he was gone.

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He offered me to buy this amulet to keep me safe but I refused at the time. I wish I would have bought it.

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Anyone wanna cook some monkey meat?

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We bought some locally made Puma shoes for about 12$. Right away we had to take them to shoe repair guys to glue the sole in as the inner part of the sole doesn’t come glued out of the factory. Less than 1$ for the work was money well spent.

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We talked to the shoe repair guys about Belen, the poorest part of Iquitos and like everyone else, they told us that it was WAY too dangerous for us to go wondering in there by ourselves. So the solution to that was to go and talk to the chief of Police for the region and ask for help. The Chief hooked us up with a couple of his guys to give us a tour of Belen. How cool is that to have our own body guards?! This gave me a chance to pull out my Nikon camera and shoot tons of pictures in an area I would never dare to bring in electronics to.

The first part didn’t look too bad…

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This older gentleman had his cell phone stolen and was happy to see some police in the lower part of the city. The 2 officers told him that they were busy guarding us and that he should just go to the office and file a report.

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The streets started looking worse and worse. As you can see, we were able to walk there now but during the wet season, these streets are flooded and can only be accessed by small lanchas.

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Garbage, garbage and more garbage. Once the water rises, all this gets washed into the river.

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The homes are built to float

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The small covered up cubicle looking things are their toilets. They are a bit smaller than North American cubicles, but they do have access to natural light and fresh air…

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Remember, houses are made to float

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Trying to catch some dinner

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We rented a small motorized Kayak from a local for a ride around on the river

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Remember their poop cubicles? Next to them they bathe, wash their dishes, wash their clothes…

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Their church

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Guys playing by a floating bar

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And if you thought that all that garbage was the main reason for the pollution in the river, you were wrong.

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Signs of the Amazonian deforestation can be seen every few dozen meters. Wood is cut, treated, shipped and not a single tree is replanted. Most of it is done by foreign companies from countries that have laws against deforestation without replanting… but somehow the Amazon is part of a different planet and the same laws don’t apply.

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Here is the water treatment plant that “purifies” the water from the river

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The 2 cops that rode along with us. Funny thing is that the Shaman in Lagunas told me he could see 2 cops with me in Iquitos. He told me not to go alone in Iquitos and to ask help to the Police. I didn’t know what he meant back then.

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Gianni tired after a long day.

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The next day, I got on another boat heading to Pucallpas and Gianni was headed into the jungle for a few days. I hope that everything went well since the Shaman in the market told him that he’s gonna get robbed during the exact time he was headed into the jungle for.

  1. E- says:

    Thank you; great blog as always! You completely made my homework and provided the best possible material for my forthcoming speech on environmental issues and human rights.
    It was an absolutely great gesture from the local police helping you see the other side of their town and document the difficult situations they have to deal with. I hope some news channels and human rights organizations also follow your blog and learn about what really happens on the grounds, so that those brave people can be helped!

  2. Csabi says:

    intrebarea mea este legat de timpul obiectiv pe care o simti. Este rapida sau simiti incetinirea evenimentelor ?


    • pimptrix says:

      Hey Csabi! Sorry for the late reply but internet was not obvious in the past few weeks. I will write in English because my Romanian is that that great anymore? When I started the trip, I felt like I always had to do something and always had to be on the run since that is how we are thought in North America. Since then, I would say that time does feel like it slowed down, but the brain is still processing information in Huge quantities as every day is a new place and totally new information. So even though I feel like time has slowed down a bit, I am still constantly in a state of “dream” because of the constant new information. On the other hand, countries now are bigger, distances are longer and therefore a bit less things are happening in the same time frame as in Central America so months go by faster with less events. I guess it’s a bit hard to explain…

  3. Vlad says:

    Amazing story!

    So what kind of drinks did you buy? I strongly recommend you the “stay out of trouble” and “get to XXI century” cocktails.

    • pimptrix says:

      Since I don’t have room for heavy bottles on the bike, I skipped on the drinks, but I do have a natural pharmacy of really powerful amazonian plants… which of course I wont be able to bring back to Canada 😦

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