LANSA YS-11 at Lima
Time to head for Peru's rainforests, though there was already plenty of rain in Lima this day! A LANSA flight took us from Lima to Iquitos, with a stop in Pucallpa, in about 2 1/2 hours. Views of the snow covered Cordillera Blanca, nearly level with the aircraft, were spectacular! After crossing the mountains from Lima, we entered the rainforest region of Peru with rivers now criscrossing the scene below. A Catalina flying boat was parked at the Pucallpa airport. An amphibian aircraft was certainly a practical means of getting in to this area of Peru where roads were absent and waterways plentiful!
Iquitos was a fascinating town at the headwaters of the Amazon.
Lingering signs of its 19th century propsperity as a rubber production center were everywhere. There was an opera house, the large and landcaped Plaza de Armas, and the Casa de Fierro, a prefabricated iron building designed by Gustave Eiffel. The latter was used as a market. The Hotel Turistas where we stayed probably dated from this period. It was like something out of Fitzcarraldo. (I know that film came out later, but it was still like it.) The residential areas of the city, where the indigenous peoples lived, were probably newer, but built with wooden structures giving a more rustic appearance. Many were built on stilts. We walked along the riverfront to the Barrio de Belén, where thatched dwellings were prevalent. They were consructed on raft-like foundations to enable the dwelling to float when the river waters rose. Iquitos was definitely a frontier town.