This is Iquitos. The internet stinks. Jill and I are raring to jump back to the U.S. but Peru continues to surprise us. Iquitos is a dirty, loud, pushy city on the doorstep of the largest river in the world and the largest rainforest in the world. Iquitos has a few pockets of charm though. It’s river walk is full of it. The buildings are gorgeous unkempt guilded age behemoths. All wrought iron and tiles with hints of pastel. The Iron House is one, built by Gustav Eiffel and shipped to Iquitos to be assembled. It’s kind of ugly but awesome with a big red roof. Most places have two stories and beg for bustled women in hats to be enjoying the view. The riverboat turned museum Apuaya gives a wonderful background of the city and the runner boom that made it grand.
The real treats lay beyond Iquitos, in the wild. Me, Jill, and two friends did a 3 day jungle tour. We based in a somewhat rustic lodge and cruised around the Amazon River checking out people, forest,and animals. First we visited some men and women in grass outfits. We tried a Blowgun and danced. Then they sold us some jewelry. We visited a Shaman to learn about some jungle medicine but he just treated a tour mate’s sore knee. He put different substances on her leg, brushed it with a duster, blew smoke on it. He finished by prescribing her some tasty moonshine. We visited a shady animal sanctuary/prison where a monkey stole our sunscreen. I don’t recommend that place. Other than that we fished, swam, and ate. We visited only large Ceiba tree around. They cut the rest down for plywood and lumber. The rainforest full of giant Ceibas must’ve been as beautiful as the redwoods. When we returned from our tour we found the Pilpintuwasi butterfly house and animal sanctuary. That place is what it says it is. The animals are well taken care of and the butterflies are grown and released. I saw an Ocelot named Harry and a Jaguar named Pedro. There was also a monkey trained as pickpocket in her previous life. Now she lives in a nice house with a couple other monkeys. We saw two toed sloths and three toed sloths. It was a lot of fun and hey take volunteers! I’m ready to do it now!
Today we will go see a nice lake and manatees!