Day 1, February 8, 2008- Our Amazon Adventure Begins
163 down 837 more places to see in Holly’s book “1000 Places to See Before You Die”. As with the past years we are keeping a daily travelogue of our travels to help us organize our pictures and thoughts when we return home. If our e-mails start to get too boring please use the delete button or e-mail us and we will take you off the list. Unfortunately we are not going to be able to send them daily because I don’t think that there is any internet access in the middle of the Peruvian Amazon so we will parcel them out when we return.
We left home for the Miami Airport at 10:00 am yesterday morning to catch our direct flight to Lima Peru where we spent the night and then this afternoon will fly over the Andes Mountains to Iquitos Peru where we will board the “La Amatista” for 7 nights on the Amazon. We were an hour and a half late getting into Lima so we didn’t get to our rooms until 2:00 am so it was a very long day. The reason we were delayed is all flights into Lima were cancelled the day before because of a volcano eruption on the Ecuador Peru border, I hope that is not a sign of things to come. Iquitos can only be reached by air or the Amazon River and therefore has been free of the terrorist activities that have plagued other parts of Peru for years. This is because Peruvians must show identification papers in order to travel by plane. Since terrorist usually don’t have such documents, they don’t come to Iquitos.
Having a place to take a hot shower and air conditioning at night after sloshing through the rain forest during the day were non-negotiable items when we selected our tour company. Also not having a bar on board could have been a deal breaker. Even though the boat looks old it was built in 1999 and patterned after the yachts of the rubber barons of yore. There are 13 cabins and we will be traveling with 22 other adventurers including Holly’s father, who turned 87 last August and is determined not to miss a thing, and a Smithsonian Institute lecturer who will be lecturing on the flora and fauna of the Amazon. Once on board the “La Amatista” we will navigate more than 445 miles into the most pristine areas of the largest wetland of the world traveling deep into the Peruvian Amazon. When the tributaries get to shallow or narrow for the “La Amatista” we will transfer to smaller boats that will take us into some of the villages and for nighttime and daytime hikes through the rain forest.
This is probably our last email until we return from the Amazon, on 17 Feb because internet will not be available in the jungle. We will pick up then where we left off because we plan on continuing to keep a log.
More to follow,
Tom & Holly