On the Way to Amazonia: Half the Fun is Getting There

Oh, it sounded like a challenge. 4 days and 3 nights in the Amazonian jungle in a wooden canoe with a couple of guides, camping and living rough, eating fish and rice, sweating and beating off mosquitoes. I thought of my friends and family and couldn’t imagine many of them doing this, but then again, lots of people have done so, and have the stories to tell. Usually when I do something that seems like a huge stretch, I am surprised at how much my imagination has overreached. It was a hot, itchy, mosquito plagued blast, and not so hard, after all.

We booked out trip with Huayruro Tours, which is an indigenous owned and operated business with all indigenous guides who spend at least a couple of weeks a year living and tending to the Pacaya Samiria Reserve. Our tour was less than $40 a day inclusive.

I went with a couple of friends first to the Peruvian river city of Yurimaguas, and then by fast boat to the small town of Lagunas, at the entry of the reserve where I would spend a short 4 days.

In Yurimaguas we stayed in a small hostel  on the river, the Alojamiento Yacuruna, for the night before we left. What a sweet little hostel! The owners took care of us, and we slept well in our little rooms before catching the morning fast boat to Lagunas.

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The fast boat loads at a small port. Life there starts before dawn, the touts and porters hard at work as we arrive for the 7 AM departure. Aside from a young Israeli and another young man from The Netherlands, we were the only non-locals on the boat. People were traveling to villages upriver with supplies and bread. (Yes, everyone had visited the bakeries in Yurimaguas and bought boxes and bags of some of the worst white bread ever. We would discover  that this was a staple for people in the Amazon.) There was a huge new speaker system loaded, as well as some smaller ones. Unfortunately the large one was headed to someplace close to us in Lagunas, and would be fired up as soon as the electricity came on (electricity in Lagunas: about 4 hours in the evening). There were tires, a small boat, and lots of  boxes of food and dry goods.

Yurimaguas waterfront 5

 

 

Yurimaguas waterfront 2
Our fast boat is the red topped one in the center

 

fast boat little boy 1

fast boat cargo

We arrived at Lagunas roughly 6 hours later. Most of life in Lagunas revolves around the preserve and the boats that ply the river Paranapura on their way to and from Iquitos and the Amazon. We were greeted at the port by a guide in a tuk tuk, or tri-mobile. From this point on up the River tuk-tuks are the main transportation on land.

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Port entry at Lagunas – Tuk Tuks

We spent the night in Lagunas and got up early for the market, which runs from 6-8 in the morning on the local streets. We bought our hammocks and a few incidentals and got on our way to our wooden boat and guides.

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Local men and school boys watch a war movie on a television in the market

 

lagunas road to reserva

lagunas women load boat
Loading the canoe for the trip

In my next post I’ll describe the actually trip into the reserve.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

9 thoughts on “On the Way to Amazonia: Half the Fun is Getting There

      1. Oh, thank you for the encouragement. I’m hoping to upgrade a little in Lima. A better lens for my little Sony. And I need to upgrade my skills. I’ve been able to slide on decent equipment and a good eye. Oh, and stellar material.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Well, no piece of equipment is better than a good eye. I recently bought my 1st Sony. I’m trying to get familiar with it.

        Let me know if I can help you in any way! I’m not the best, but I’m working hard everyday to get better!😀

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Damn! You are very kind. I’ve been hooked on the SR100 since it came out. Unfortunately it has a bad habit of getting fried with its lens. It stops opening properly, or at all, really. I now have an AX, but it is not as good as the RX100. I was able to buy it in Quito with my 3rd RX100 died (1 of the previous died, the other stolen, my third Sony stolen). BUT! The AX has interchangeable lens, so I may get a better one in Lima. Now I have to start learning, I am so seduced by the places I see that I have failed to improve my skills. Thanks so much for your interest!

        Liked by 1 person

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