A few hours in Tarapoto, Peru
Tarapoto Travel Blog› entry 16 of 26 › view all entries
Fresh from my 18-1/4 hour bus trip from Piura, I had tuk-tuk driver drop me off at the LAN Airlines office. It didn't open for another couple of hours, so I started to look for a hotel. I found one down near the square that had A/C and free breakfast. I got a few hours of sleep before heading to the office. There was a wait of about 45 minutes in the office, and when I got to the counter my conversation was hampered by my limited spanish.
I'm starting to feel pretty good about my language skills again. I took about a week to recover from my Quito difficulties, and to be honest for you I'm probably not any more understandable. But this was a pretty complicated conversation.
I got across that I needed to change the ticket to today, and that I knew that there would be a fee. The fee wasn't a surprise, but the ticket cost a bit more as well. My mistake ended up costing me $55 in the end. Mental note to be more careful in the future. Today's flight also happened to be 90 minutes earlier than the previously reserved one, so now I had to go.
I ran back to the hotel and quickly packed up. I checked out, and took a quick photo tour of the main square. Tarapoto is a nice little frontier town, and the road doesn't really go any further into the Peruvian Amazon. It is pretty clean, and has an attractive square. The town is populated by a thousand of the little motorized tuk-tuks you find in Southeast Asia. This device, also known as a moto or moto-taxi, is a rickshaw welded onto a motorcycle where the back wheel used to be. They are cheap taxi transport, and kick up a refreshing breeze on a hot day.
The best thing about Tarapoto is that they prohibit these little buzzing things from being within a one block distance of the center of the city. A very nice relief from the go-go nature of the rest of the town.
The flight was nice, and the views of the jungle were great. I actually slept on the short flight, a real testament to how tired I was. The plane & I arrived in Iquitos before it got dark, and at a normal time of day. The is the first time in several days that has happened, and there's less pressure to get into a hotel quickly. I talked to some of the hawkers at the airport, and settled on one that had everything I wanted. The representative got us a tuk-tuk, and we were off to the races.
The main hotel he represented didn't have any wi-fi access, so he chose another.
Iquitos at night was still very oppresive. I checked out the Plaza, and the Malecon along the Amazon, and things seemed to be really hopping. I was looking for some food, and the main problem I had was that I couldn't imagine eating in the uncomfortable heat and humidity. I've never really felt that way before, and I admit it's kind of wierd. I did grab some pork-fried rice at a chifa to take back to the apartment, and some waters and a huge bottle of peruvian cola.
The A/C felt great, and the food was tasty. I crashed into the nice bed, thinking of tomorrows city explorations.