First Day in Iquitos, Pearl of the Amazon
Iquitos Travel Blog› entry 84 of 103 › view all entries
Iquitos hid from view until we rounded the northern end of the island that separates the Amazon river from the tributary that Iquitos sits on. When the Eduardo pulled into the port, there was the band that I was expecting would be waiting for the victorious high school basketball champions on our boat. But it was like the band was waiting for us and I felt happy to step off the launch to musical accompaniment and banners and shouting locals. It even made all the mototaxi drivers and shills who boarded the boat a little more bearable. By now I´ve gotten used to just ignoring all the offers and walking ahead past the hulabaloo to select a calmer mototaxi driver.
The hostel they chose was in the Lonely Planet guide and was described as being clean and spacious but when I walked into the room I wondered what planet that writer was on when he wrote up the hostel. It was dirty, with cracked plaster and cracked dirty tiles. The fan was broken, there were was a naked light bulb hanging from the ceiling and the bathroom left a lot to be desired. And the crowning indignity in my book was a saggy, shabby matress. No way I would stay there. I went back to Hobo Hideout that was the first place we stopped. I had looked at the rooms and the others had not and I thought they were really nice, especially for the cut-rate, off-season price we were quoted. It was a bit more expensive than I was used to paying but the quality more than compensated and I feel it´s better to spend a few soles more on a nice room and place and have a good comfortable feeling than to skimp there.
I met Stella for dinner but Austin couldn´t come because he was sick enough to be confined to bed. Later he´d be diagnosed with a viral infection and put on medicine. He was out of commission for a few days at least. So I went with Stella to a pizzeria featured in Lonely Planet and this time they were on the money. The pizza was done in a brick wood-burning oven and it was the best I´ve had yet in Peru. We talked a lot about Cleveland, about travel and experiences, about going back home, future plans and all that.