We fit a lot into my last day together in Iquitos. We head to the floating marketplace first, though it technically is only floating in the rainy season. In fact, you see the houses on the water? They’re made to float, so they are still livable in the rainy season.
Next up was the Belen Market, that we had checked out on our first day, because my dear friend Keely wanted to buy a machete like Josais. And I had offered to bring it home with me.
After recruiting a stall owner to help us find a good one (machete) and towels to wrap it in so it didn’t rip through my bag, it was high time for a rest. We changed it up this time though, and chilled in a cafe on the main strip (with internet!) instead of heading back to the hostel.
And then Keely and I had a little adventure of our own. There’s a manatee rehabilitation centre in Iquitos, and we thought we’d check it out. And there were more than manatees! There were turtles, eels, monkeys and even an otter that was being rehabilitated. It was an perfect end to our adventure together.
Then I decided to do something a little bit crazy. My dear friend Keely decided to go on a 6-month journey through South America with her friend Marilyn. And I decided to join them in the Amazon. For anyone who knows me, I dislike being outside, hate any kind of insect and spider, so I was planning to be really uncomfortable for my week in Peri.
The thing is though, I’ve wanted to go to the Amazon since I was a little kid and read City of Beasts by Isabel Allende. And if I wasn’t going to go when I had friends going, then I’d never go.
I flew overnight to Lima, met the group at the airport (Keely, Marilyn, and Marilyn’s friend Andrew who was going to join them for the 4 remaining months) and then we flew to the town of Iquitos together.
Iquitos is a cool place. It’s the world’s largest city that cannot be reached by road. You can only reach it by plane or by water. After we got settled at the hostel, one of their guides offered to take us to a breakfast place. And then we ended up at the towns biggest market, the Belen market. You can buy literally anything here, but it’s also pickpocket heaven.
We also found a few parades to see. Apparently they have parades most days here.
And then we were back at the hostel, preparing for 4 days in the Amazon. I really never thought I’d ever utter those words.