This blog is titled From Perth to Peru, yet I realised that I actually haven’t really written about the country that my husband is from. Time to change that and do a few posts about Peru, a country that is obviously very important to us, and that we will definitely be visiting in the future!
I will start off with Iquitos, the town in the middle of the jungle. Iquitos is one of the most isolated cities on earth. The only way to get there is by plane from Lima, or on a long slow boat trip down the Amazon. Trying to overland is very risky, not only because of poor roads (if there even are any) but also it’s a bit ‘rough and wild’ out there. We took a plane on the newly formed (back then) Peruvian Airlines. I won’t lie when I say I prayed – that plane was made up of many different pieces of 737 I reckon! Different seats, different style tray tables, a crack in the screen… I was scared! lol
We came to Iquitos visit Mr R’s brother, a high ranking officer in the Peruvian Navy who was stationed with the Amazon fleet at the time. We stayed for free in a dorm room in the navy compound, were picked up from the airport by official navy vehicle, and were treated like royalty every time we came and went through security checks. The benefit of being related to someone of high rank!
We took a local boat to the Pilpintuwasi Butterfly farm and animal orphanage. Located on the banks of the Rio Nanay, we hopped off at a small riverside village and walked a bit to get here. This park is amazing, with a colorful array of butterflies and lots of local animals that are rescued by the German lady that lives here with her crew. Apart from seeing the animals of course, it was also great to be able to walk through a small local village, greet the children and see the stares from the curious onlookers at us dorky gringos!
From here we continued down to meet the actual Amazon River. It was a highlight, because of course, we’ve all seen the documentaries, seen the pictures, and we all know how mighty this river really is. To actually be here and see its scope and size, and abundance of life, was quite amazing.
The town of Iquitos itself is a bit ho-hum. There is nothing of interest here really. It is hot, dusty, full of motorbikes and three wheeler ‘tuk tuk’ style trikes that beep their horns constantly. It almost felt like being back in Asia. Our days were spent drinking ice cold beers, eating fresh river fish, and swimming in the navy compound’s swimming pool. Can’t complain!!!!