13th June (2018) Amazon River, Peru

This week: On a river boat travelling along the Amazon River, Peru.

13th June (2018) Amazon River, Peru

I was already sick of constantly putting on sunscreen and insect repellent. Plus wearing clothes that covered you us as much as possible, which made you hotter than the temperature was already making you. It was way too hot, humid and sticky for me. I would end up having three showers a day to cool off. In my diary I wrote: I must stop going to hot countries and doing this to myself. I forgot my electric fan and spray bottle, silly me. I was so focused on the cold part of the trip. Never mind. I’m surviving but I think I will look into the air-conditioned jackets again as the main difficulty was USB power but now you can get great power packs that I might be able to use as power!!! How cool – literally – would that be? Air-conditioned jackets are real things. I want one, but have not as yet bought one.

I changed constantly taking off clothes full of sweat, but I did not have enough clothes to be changing so regularly. Washing clothes wasn’t simple. Well, the chief difficulty was drying the clothes.

The cabins are air-conditioned but don’t cool down enough. We set the thermostat in our room at 21 degrees, but the room never cools below 24 degrees. That’s too hot for sleeping. I was struggling.

We went into a town called Nauta today and had a tour in bicycle taxis round town. The tour ended at a pond full of turtles. We watched them trying to get out of the water by climbing over each other. They all wanted to be on the same log. Not sure why.

When back on the boat, I hung out in the lounge reading. I tried the roof top area but too hot so went into the air-conditioned lounge. I usually had the room to myself, as everyone else preferred the bar. I was the only one that didn’t have a bar tab. Drinking water was included and non-alcoholic drinks as daily juice specials with meals, also included. So why would I need anything else? Most people like beer or wine when on holidays and with dinners, so you could put it on your tab at the bar, and take it to the dining room.

The windows were covered in insects like your car grille on a country drive. So many dead bugs. It ruined the view a bit. But my surroundings were elegant. I could stretch out with my feet up in air-conditioned bliss.

Amazon River, Peru
Wider lounge view

I would go to the dining room as early as possible, as not all tables were created equally. Some were at an angle because of the boat lilt. This could mean your glass or plates would slip down, or occasionally us short people would struggle to reach the table and cut our food. On entering the dining room, you were greeted with comfy padded chairs and neatly folded napkins on the table. They set tables for four, but there was one for five in the middle in the curve of the windows. There were five girls travelling on their own and we would mostly try to get a table together. Whoever was first would save a seat for the rest.

The dining room

We ventured on land again after lunch in the rainforest. The temperature drops when you are between the trees, so a welcome reprieve. Our visit started with an audience with a Shaman. She said she felt a positive energy from our group. It was interesting learning about the different medicines that can be produced from rainforest plants. I was often distracted, though, as a pygmy marmoset monkey was playing on a tree behind the Sharman. 

We ventured further into the rainforest on foot looking for local animal inhabitants. We found a tarantula, but luckily the guide warned everyone, and I walked in the opposite direction without even a peak. If I did not see it, then it was not there. That’s how I was making myself feel okay. I hate spiders and want nothing to do with them. I figure if I leave them alone, they will leave me alone. 

Even in the Amazon jungle, you exit via the gift shop. I came away with two souvenirs. One is a hanging sloth made from balsa which swings on my study door handle. The other a dolphin made from a porcupine tree wood. That’s what I was told. It sits on display in a dust requiring position, but I love it.

I am an old hand at getting wood into Australia. I know what to look for and I always declare on arrival. I was so close with my purchases this time round. The sloth was fine and the wood type of the dolphin was fine. But I overlooked the dolphin’s eyes, which could have been seeds. I was devastated as prided myself on getting it right. The customs lady tried to pry them out so I could take it home, but they were not budging. I loved it so much. After a previous disappointment I did not want to repeat, I paid my money and got it fumigated. The price had just gone from per piece to a flat rate. What used to cost $40 was now $100. The dolphin turned into an expensive souvenir. It is beautiful though.

The exact dates for this trip are muddled. Again, we did not follow the itinerary given to us. Please forgive me if you were on this trip and some details are on the wrong date. Everything happened within the dates I have written the trip on. I am just not completely sure what happened on each particular date.

Our river boat

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