Je bekijkt de reis...
Reisverslag From Lima to Iquitos
30 augustus 2014
From Lima to Iquitos
While planning my route, I saw some bits of the tough life that Lima can bring. People sleeping in parks, policemen telling me that only the big man street is safe to go and also a fellow Dutch traveller that was robbed off all his belongings and had to wait for a new passport on the streets. Without people telling me to, I felt the need to carry my bag on my belly near the bus terminals. It was better that way. Besides people who wanted to talk to me, nothing bad happened. I did book a bus to Huánuco, a non-touristy city in the mountains in the middle of Peru.
Huánuco is not popular with Westerners. There are some nice archaeological sites nearby, but the city itself – besides having the best climate of the world – usually doesn´t offer much. I had been looking forward to some quiet time, so that was perfect. After enjoying some parks and rays of sunshine, I found a fruit juice shop and made some friends there. We even went to a stadium for some live music and dancing. Both the presenter and the camera man took a special interest in me, which gave some funny moments.
Bus companies were scarce around these parts, but I did find a bus to Pucallpa, my next stop. After walking around - again without seeing other gringos - enjoying the main square and some other parks, being stared at and approached my about half of the men on the street, I found some ways to get some quiet time. Of course, inside didn’t have much fresh air and did have the abundant noise from the streets, so outside was the way to go. There were two general ways to have some peace and quiet. The first was picking a guy that didn’t undress me with his eyes and hang out with him. The other guys would stay away. The other way was to not make any eye-contact, not look around (to enjoy the view) and focus on something nearby, like a book in my lap. People would still approach me, but sternly telling them I wanted to be alone, if needed asking them if that was possible, usually did the trick. Life felt easier after figuring out how to say that in Spanish.
When I wanted to hop on my long anticipated boat to Iquitos, the captain told me it wouldn’t leave for another three days, so I decided to check out the nearby town of Yarinacocha for two nights. During dinner I found my first new friend and soon after a second while walking around the harbour. There were many boats to roam the lagoon and see nearby villages with indigenous people. I’d see my animals later on in my trip, so I just went to a beach for a refreshing swim, with one of the friends of course. It was interesting how many people do not have a bathing suit, underwear or even money for a roof over their head the upcoming night. They very much live in the moment. Today is all that matters. You might be dead tomorrow. Why keep from eating ice cream or taking a motortaxi right now to save money for dinner tonight? It’s just not important and quite frankly, it feels very relaxing to live without any worries about the future. After some laid back days here, I still did want to take that boat though, and so left another town.
The river was big and so was the boat. It had about 230 people staying on it, of which maybe 30 had a bed. The rest slept in hammocks, including me. Napping in them is fun, but sleeping nights takes some practice. With a blanket from my neighbour and friend things got a lot better. The food brought a smile to my face, too. The kitchen surprised me by showing me ways of combining carbs I haven’t seen before (rice, yucca, banana, potato, spaghetti, beans). If there was a port, vendors would sell fish, takacho (banana balls – look them up, they’re awesome), soda drinks or phone calls. With a chance to go on land you might find some fruit. Most people were used to the diet though, and the atmosphere was really relaxed and friendly. The view was nice, a polite local singer warmed my heart with serenades and we were getting closer to Iquitos. This boat was a great experience.
During the boar trip, too, I made some friends (which was much easier after taking some quiet time) and together we have started exploring Iquitos. Sleeping in a bed feels good and seeing parks and different people, too. After two weeks without doing so I got to speak some English again, but improving Spanish is more fun. Markets are fun too, if you watch your stuff well enough not to get robbed. After promises of ‘lots of vegetables’ I feel like they knew I was coming and hid them somewhere only short people can go. But yesterday was a very good day in that aspect. A market stall had a heap of veggies (and gave them to me after insisting) and we persuaded a fruit stall lady to make fruit juice without water. Oh, the longing really does make these joys feel great.
While enjoying the local foods (there’s crocodile, paiche, many other fishes and many animals from the forest) I’m planning a trip. For the sake of your blood pressures I’ll tell about it afterwards. For know you should know I’m still enjoying my time here. I’ve started to look forward to my own cooking, hugging my family and dancing with my friends, but yes, for now I am enjoying every day around here.
PS. Internet here is really slow, so I'll try to upload pictures later.
Foto's bij verslag (17)
2 september 2014 21:20 | Door: Els aka Harry ;-)
Hé Karin, leuk weer wat van je te horen! Tijd voor jezelf is blijkbaar nog best lastig als je in je eentje op reis gaat. Pas goed op jezelf tijdens je volgende trip, ik ben benieuwd wat het gaat worden. Dansjes doen op het ETDS: heb er zin in! Liefs!
6 september 2014 16:46 | Door: Ben
Zo, dat klinkt al een stuk relaxter!
Ik ben erg benieuwd naar die carb-combo's en bananenballen. Dus we hebben wat te doen als je besluit naar Nederland terug te komen op een gegeven moment....