The Dash, part 2

Tarapoto Travel Blog

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On the boat from Yarimaguas to Iquitos, a dude with his monkey
We arrived to Tarapoto around 630am. Tarapoto is a nice little sweaty hot town where everyone rides scooters or motorcycles and there are a ton of mototaxis. There are very few cars out and about which is cool. We went into the center to grab some breakfast and take care of some travel business. Unfortunately, we recieved the sad news that the Renda´s beloved dog, Holly, passed away a few days before. She was a wonderful lovely dog and she lived a very long full life. She will be missed. Afterwards we headed to grab a combi that would take us to Yarimaguas (transportation # 5 in "The Dash" for those keeping track), where we would grab a boat to Iquitos.
So, we get to the combi, we start loading our things on, when a fellow backpacker pointed out that it is not leaving until 4pm (it is 9:00am). We ask the driver what is going on and he tells us that the route of Yarimaguas is closed and only opens in the late afternoon due to repairs, so we should come back at 4pm. In Latin America they only tell you important tidbits of information when you ask. Then we walked around for a while and killed time in our zombie-like state, mostly on the internet. Note worthy was an earthquake simulacrum in which the whole city was involved, and everybody had to stop. I mean stop. So everybody, except for us, because we are rational people, stood there or stopped their taxis or whatever for 15 minutes. This was all the stranger because the city, due to all the motorbike engines, is really noisy, so it was amazingly quiet and pleasant for that time.
Itchy! Yeeah, that's the spot... Hmmm...
Then it was back to normal.

Our combi left at 6pm, two more hours and a few beers after originally planned. Before getting started, the driver told us that it was windy road ahead and said that had puke bags if we need them. We should have seen it coming. We waited for another hour at a road block, and then we were finally off to Yurimaguas. Our driver was certifiably insane and so were a lot of other people in the road. We almost saw a car crash (avoided by no more than half an inch), all the while our driver passed every car in the road in a dangerous fashion to get to the front of a long line of cars and then sped up and down a mountainous windy gravel road. Final tally: We got stuck in the mud once, a woman in the back threw up once, a baby must have been woken up at least 15 times by the swerving driver, and everybody in the car wanted to kill him endless times due to his recklessness, which is a lot to say in Latin America. The man tried to pass in uphills, drove on the left side to cut time, tailgated, and put our lives in danger numerous times. Anyway, we survived, we got off, and would have punched him if it wasn't for the fact that we were so happy to be alive.

We took a motortaxi (bung-bung-choo) to the port and found our boat, we took a berth so we could catch up with our sleep, and the dash was finally over... Thank god...

The next two days we spent them floating down the river (a boat called Eduardo V). It was very relaxing as we laid in our hammocks all day reading and watching the river go by. We should mention that we were travelling in first class which is probably quite different from travelling in second class, since second class is much more crowded. So we hung out with these two British guys, a girl from the Netherlands, and just relaxed. Noteworthy, is that the food was at best frugal, and at worst just bad... and that was first class... We arrived to Iquitos on a Sunday, looking forward to spending a couple of days there, but, as it often happens in South America, it didn't work out as planned...
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On the boat from Yarimaguas to Iqu…
On the boat from Yarimaguas to Iq…
Itchy! Yeeah, thats the spot... H…
Itchy! Yeeah, that's the spot... …
Tarapoto
photo by: yadilitta