A Travellerspoint blog

The Amazon boat trip to Manaus

So theres no shuffle board...


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So finally got the boat sorted and arrived first thing saturday morning for a 4 day boat trip to Manaus, slap bang in the middle of the Amazon. The vessel wasnt too bad, 3 decks, the bottom 2 full of hammocks and the top one had a few cabins and a bar.
Soon discovered that could have got a quicker boat as it stopped off at every single town down the river all the way to Manaus, be it 4 in the afternoon or 4 in the morning. Wasnt too bad during the day as got to check out some strange local towns that hardly any tourists see. P2100378.jpg
On the stop above manged to see a load of dolphins, even the pink dolphin which you only find in the Amazon. It was genuinly pink which was a strange thing to see.
Unfortnately there wasnt much to do onboard. Meet a few other travellers so ended up hanging with them. The average day on the boat goes something like wake up, play cards, bar, cards, lunch, bar, cards, bar, play the guitar, bar, bit more guitar, bar and then bed. Though if you sleep near the bar it streamlines the whole process, (theres the degree kicking in).
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So anyway finally arrived in Manaus 4 days later, our wallets that bit lighter and our heads hurting that little bit more than usual. Ended up staying in a classy joint which also hired by the hour, for those times when you meet that special lady. However didnt spend as long in Manaus as had planned, which was a pity as it seemed quite a nice place. Decided to move on to Fortaleza, via a flight to Belem and then a 24 hour bus trip, fun!

Posted by Snow21 13:46 Archived in Brazil Comments (1)

Santa Rosa, Leticia and Tabatinga

Where are we again


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After an 8 hour speed boat trip down the Amazon, the thing broke down twice. The last time it did we were drifting for a good 20 minutes. Finally got to the boarder region for Peru, Columbia and Brazil. The Peru bit, Santa Rosa, is little more that a Police hut and a few houses on stilts. So we decided to stay in Leticia, Columbia, just for the hell of it. Feck, Ive never seen so many military before, absolutely everywhere due to drugs, our friendly left wing rebels the Farcs and an equally nice bunch of seperatist rebels. Leticia itself is the nicer of the 3 places by far, though Tabatinga aint too bad.
Wouldnt even have mentioned it had it not been for the Biggest Muppet competition between Claire and Chris. Ended up having to nip over to Brazil to go the hospital there (a military one which was free and by far better than any NHS one Ive seen on my extensive visits of them back home) to check on Claires finger which shed banged before she came out. It was here that Claire took the early lead by having a mini tantrum with tears and everything when told she was gona need a blood test. Now I found this piss funny and was wetting myself, while as for the military doctor who most usually dealt with gunshoot wounds, he too found this funny. In the end had to go in with her. However Chris, unwilling to fall behind quickly caught up when it turned out was a tad bit of a hypocondriac. Manged to convince himself he had malaria while stood out in the corridor. A worthy attempt but Claire was still in the lead. Yet.... wasnt until the next day that Chris came from out of no where to take the lead. The easiest way between the two places is by a little moto-caneo. On the way back to Columbia the next day Chris was getting out, one foot on the jetty and one foot on the caneo, only the caneo wasnt tied to anything. Sure enough he went straight in, soaking his passport for the second time and gave the taxi drivers something to laugh at. Absolute quality!!
Anyway from there we got the boat which was 4 days long down to Manaus, but thats a different story.

Posted by Snow21 18:48 Archived in Colombia Comments (1)

Iquitos

And then there were 3

sunny
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Had a quality birthday down in Cusco, me and Previn ended up having Guinea Pig, it was by the far the funniest thing I have EVER eaten. The thing comes out whole and its just sat there staring at you before the waiter breaks it up. Claire, the vegetarian, wasn´t best pleased when we started playing with the things head and made her dead hamster come back from the dead to talk to her. She actually had to leave but me and Previn were in tears. Anway, after that went out after the hostel forced me to down Sambuca and beer, nice... Lets just say I had a good night.
Arrived in Iquitos the next day, holy crap this place is wierd. When we were flying in it was dark but the sky kept lighting up with the thunder and lightening, it was amazing to see. Iquitos itself is a strange place, a city in the Amazon which is completely landlocked. The only way here is by plane or boat. For the first night me and Chris satyed in this right pile of poo hostel called the River Fox, woke up to find a mysterious puddle in the middle of the room the next day, Dark Water or what! Luckly manged to check into this sweet place which is nice and quiet.
Anway Chris and Claire buggered off to do a Jungle Trek, would have joined them except I discovered I hate camping, creppy crawlys and things which go bump in the dark. Also wanted to save some $ for diving. So me and Previn had a couple of days before he buggered off to Trujilio on the coast.
We heard about this butterfly farm and so decided to check it out. Weren´t too impressed by the butterflys however, there kinda boring. However it did get better, I ended up getting the unwanted affections of a female monkey.
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The German guide found it quite funny, "she likes you yar". Actually was quite funny and thought nothing of it. Anyway got shown this Jaguar then these Guinea Pig looking things which we were told was used as live food for the Jaguar. Pity we missed feeding time. However by this time the monkey had decided it was madly in love with me and wouldn´t actually let go of me. These two keepers had to pri her off me, then when we were walking out it started to run after me. What can I say, its the Lynx effect.
Got a picture of the boatride back, this is the Rio Amazonas which flows all the way down the Amazon till it reached the sea at Belem in Brazil.
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The next day I ended up meeting some Isreali girl from our hostel called Anat who was also waiting for her mates. Decided to check out this beach we´d heard about. Wow, thats all I can say. Its a massive lagoon in the Amazon with an artifical beach. All I can say was that it was amuch needed swim. Though kept thinking about all the snakes and stuff while I was swimming.
Well we´re making a move tomorrow down river to the tri-border area of Leticia (Columbia), Santa Roas (Peru) and Tabatinga (Brazil), before catching the boat down to Manaus for Carnival!!
Addios

Posted by Snow21 10:59 Archived in Peru Comments (0)

Cusco and the Inca Trail

I thought it wasn´t supposed to rain


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Well... after an interesting 17 hour bus journey from Ica we finally made it in Cusco 2 hours late. We were then greated by a taxi with no electrics, the only way to start it was point it down a hill and hope the engine kicks in. The actual city itself is something like 3000 meters up, it takes a few days to get used to it. The first day I was panting from just walking the stairs.´The city hasnt too much to offer, its mostly used as a transit point for the numerous trails and stuff.
We´re staying at the Point which is actually better than the one in Lima, its only like 10 soles (1.50) for a litre and a half of beer, quality!!
Anway, on the third day we started the 4 day Inca trek up to Macchu Pichu, bascially this big ass Inca ruin which they built about 3,500 up on the edge of a cliff. I wished they´d built it on a beach or somewhere flat.
The first day wasn´t too bad, nice weather, gradual ascent. The campsite wasn´t too bad, basically a garden in one of the villages on the trail. However the toilet... I ain´t gona go there, all I can say is thank god for Imodium. Just before we all went to bed the guide decided to warn us about bears, pumas and big feck off spiders, sweet dreams.
I woke up the next morning remembering that I hate camping. I really dont see the fun in it. Why people enjoy sleeping in tents I´l never know.
The second day was the worst though, a straight 5 hour ascent to 4,125 metres, abuot 12,000 feet, i.e. the height sky divers jump from. I got some wicked views there though, you could see right down the valley when the clouds shifted. By the time we reached the top however it started to get a little damp which made the 2 hour descent a little tricky as the rocks got slippy. Ended up at the second campsite at about 1pm, only there was absolutly nothing to do there, and I mean nothing. Again rediscovered that camping sucks.
The third day wasn´t too bad, except for the heavy rain which never stopped, I wish I´d brought a better poncho. It was all down hill which made it pretty good, pity you couldnt see much due to the rain. Also Chris discovered the meaning of ´false economy´when his 7 quid ruck sack failed making all his clothes soaking wet, passport sodden and his ticket in pieces. It was hard not to laugh. When we reached the campsite we again had 5 hours to kill only there was beer and cards, i.e. poker with match sticks and crachers.
The fourth and finally day was by far the best. After 2 hours we reached Macchu Pichu, pity about the clouds but they gradually cleared.P1290220.jpg
The group we were in was 7 strong, not including the guide, there was the four of us, a German called Roland and Kiwi called George.P1290222.jpg
The guide took us round the ruins, was quite strange that no one actually knows what it really is, its all theories from Aliens to a Royal Retreat. Me and Previn discovered some holes which we felt had to be used from something.P1290261.jpg
We think we came pretty close here.
I managed to get some pretty good shoots of the ruins, heres just one but I´m going to add the rest on facebook.P1290296.jpg
After a couple of hours however Claire decided she wanted to do a nuddy shot with the ruins. Decided best to leave them to it, turned up 10 minutes later to find 2 very concerned secruity guards, one girl trying to dress herself and the other one promptly saying, ´crap they´ve called the cops´. Was one of the funniest things I´ve ever seen, we promptly had to make a quick dash off the ruins and hide our camera and memory cards. Absolute quality!!
We´re due to fly off to Iquitos in the Amazon tomorrow, but got a big night out tonight for my birthday bash. Anyway, addios all.

Posted by Snow21 13:35 Archived in Peru Comments (0)

Ica

Crap its hot

sunny
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After the joys of Guano and the slum called Pisca we headed to Ica, but more specifically an Oasis to the South. Wow!! The hostel had a pool so pretty much lived there.
The whole place was surronded by dunes to height of Canary Wharf. Ended up taking a buggie ride on this V8 monster up the dunes to watch the sunset and go sand boarding. Basically a plank of wood which you lay on and bomb it down the dunes.
The picture below is of the oasis we were staying at
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Also made a new friend
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We all decided to go out and managed to spent more in one bar than most people earn in a year.
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Anyway, I´m keeping it brief, I´m having a quality time.

Posted by Snow21 13:21 Archived in Peru Comments (0)

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