So today is the day, I’m sitting in a cafe in Iquitos watching the hours count down. I have six hours until it’s time to board the boat for the first leg of my Amazon River trip.
Amazon River, Part 1, Day 1, Iquitos
This morning started like so many others on this trip. I got out of bed and wandered down to the kitchen for breakfast. In the Flying Dog Hostel that consists of bread and coffee or tea if one prefers although I’m sure all those who know me know what my selection was!
With that accomplished I packed up my bags separating some things that I thought I might need into my day pack in preparation for the 3 day boat trip to Santa Rosa. The hostel agreed to hold my gear in the storage room for the day for me so that saves me from having to carry it around for the day.
Getting the mototaxi thankfully was the easy part since all you have to do is step out from the hostel and start walking. All the mototaxis seem absolutely certain that you just didn’t see them and really did want there services. They generally wave, honk there horns and hiss at you like demented cats trying to attract your attention. In this case since I really did want one of them it was kind of handy.
Shortly after getting in the mototaxi I got out again at Puerto Pesquero where I knew I would find the ship I wanted. I asked one of the locals which of the boast was heading to Santa Rosa and he pointed to one down the end of the row of boats. I picked my way across the muddy port to the boat and walked up the wooden plank where I was directed to another man sitting to one side.
Now my Spanish is fairly limited, well ok let’s be honest it’s almost non existent and unfortunately he didn’t speak any English at all. Still while he said they didn’t have any cabins he said there was hammock space.
Now this didn’t worry me too much since from everything I’ve heard the hammocks on deck are more comfortable. However I’ve also heard that it’s better if you are traveling with at least one other person so you can watch each others bags. If your by yourself they recommend getting a cabin since theft is apparently common on the boats particularly when they call into ports. So at least you have somewhere to lock your bags up.
So I went up stairs as directed to pay for my spot on the boat. That was accomplished easily. Then I asked about hammocks indicating that I didn’t have one and where I might get one. After a brief exchange he asked me to wait then went off somewhere. He returned sat down behind his desk and pulled out a different clipboard and wrote my name against one of the numbers.
What I think he said to me was that there was a bed in a two person cabin and he had given me one of the beds. I am apparently in Cabin 2 which is a two person cabin and from what I saw on the paper there was one other person listed for that cabin as well. I think.
My uncertainty is caused primarily because I ended up paying less than I was led to believe a cabin costs. I’m not sure if I totally misunderstood and I got ripped off for hammock space or they felt sorry for me and gave me a good deal on the cabin.
I guess I will find out this afternoon!