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Iquitos Travel Blog

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Village dwelling

Day two involved getting indigenous with it. Uh, yeah, uh. Big fishing style.

Larry turned up with two fishing rods - pretty much sticks with a bit of twine and a slightly sharpened paperclip on the end. I had a slight suspicion that we would just be going through the motions.

On the walk to the ‘black river’ (well, quite dark brown) we passed through a village where one of the men who knew Larry gave him a couple of cooked fish and a bowl of some sort of cereal crop that looked like wood shavings but tasted ok. There was a lot of laughter - it turned out the type of fish was notorious for being a bit rubbish and boney - hence the generosity.

We then wandered to the river, borrowed some paddles from an old man in ethnicY-fronts and set off canoeing until we found a sweet spot - some still water behind a fallen tree.

Big fish, little fish

My skepticism was unfounded - there are so many fish in the Amazon that even a rank amateur with a bit of chicken on a paperclip can do well - I managed to catch a red piranha, a sardine and one of the not-that-good-tasting boney fish. I kept that one and gave it back to Foodmeister as a present on the way back. How we laughed.

We then paddled for the amount of time that is a bit of a bind if you’re not a regular canoe user to reach the home of the Yagua tribe.

The tribal village consisted of a central hut and then two smaller ones that were essentially jewelry stands. The chief painted cat whiskers on my face (probably just for shits and giggles more than anything else), put a straw mullet on my head and then suggested that I have a blow on his big pipe.

Cool bananas

The blowpipe was surprisingly easy to fire, and I hit the target a good few times. As soon as I had given up the pipe then three topless females appeared - a granny, a young woman and a girl a good few years the wrong side of legal. Everything is a blur of chunky ethnic jewelry and nipples from that point - after a few seconds I had bracelets on both arms, blow pipes in my hands, necklaces weighing me down - I was like an indigenous Mr T.

I’d assumed that it was a family affair, but as I started handing back tat to people it became apparent that they were three separate traders. I chose a necklace made out of beans and hoped it wasn’t made by the kid - bartering with a semi-naked pubescent teen would just be awkward.

Score - it turned out the necklace was made by Twentyyearold McPerkytits, who, granted, had an atypical name for a Peruvian tribeswoman. On hindsight, I may have haggled for slightly longer than strictly necessary…

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Village dwelling
Village dwelling
Big fish, little fish
Big fish, little fish
Cool bananas
Cool bananas
Really, my dear? Well, Im a littl…
Really, my dear? Well, I'm a litt…
Iquitos
photo by: Ileamel