I arrived safely in Iquitos!
Flying in was like flying into a different world. I was expecting something Panama-like. It’s not at all!
You know I’ve travelled quite a bit, and I don’t think I have ever felt culture shock. But I definitely felt culture shock today on the mototaxi weaving in and out of traffic and on the wrong side of the road to advance. I don’t feel like I am still in Peru. The people are super friendly so that’s very Peruvian. They speak Spanish. Other than that it’s a whole other universe.
Walking out of the airport I was bombarded by taxi drivers. Two were competing over me and negotiated themselves down from 10 soles to 2 soles into town. There are almost no cars on the road, only mototaxis, motorcycles, and the famous wooden buses. They buses are constructed from wood and metal and have no windows. My taxi driver had me reach over and touch one to see at a red light.
I had a few places in mind for lodging but the taxi driver wanted to take me to a tour information place. I told him I didn’t much money so I didn’t think I could do a tour. I think the taxi drivers get commission on customers they bring to these places. Well, I’m doing a tour. They gave me a great price. I think I’ll actually end up spending a bit less than if I didn’t do a tour because it includes lodging and food and the fun stuff like fishing for pirañas and visiting the natives. I’ll be headed into the jungle tomorrow morning and spending the night in the middle of nowhere. We return to Iquitos Wednesday night and Thursday morning I’ll be on the boat to Leticia, Colombia/Tabatinga Brazil!
Iquitos is a beautiful place but much different than I expected. So, things are going great so far. It was weird to have to adjust to a new culture when I haven’t left the country. I’m excited for the adventures to come over the next few days.
P.S. this is Jose. He just wandered into the restaurant selling gum.