Mike and Karen's South America Trip travel blog

After a lovely sleep we woke up in Loki and had a random breakfast. Having not brought our entire backpack we were now wearing our clothes for 36hrs (me) and 60hrs (mike) respectively...we were ready to get new clothes! We left Loki in the AM - after stealing many packet of Coca tea (our new favourite...apparently you will test positive for cocaine after drinking this tea)- and made our way back to Monte Horeb to collect our backpacks. We checked in for our flight downtown and then mailed some stuff home. We hailed a taxi and were so taken aback by the "seis" in response to our cuanta cuesta that mike forgot to negotiate:)

Once at the airport we stopped to eat our tuna and had some oreos from our Machhu Picchu stash for lunch. It was yummy! Then we had a granola bar for desert. It is amazing what travelling for a little while will do to your appreciation for food...

As for the airport, well let me just say airports in peru are mildly crazy. Well maybe i should say SA...they all charge fees, domestic and international, which have to be paid somewhere between checking in ur bags and getting through security. which begs the question...what happens if someone can~t pay?? do they just take ur bags? meh. So at THIS aiport we had perhaps the most *ahem* interesting experience. Apparently not only are nailclippers and other such items dangerous to bring on board - the security guy decided that the top of our second tuna can container was dangerous (becuase a woman explained to us in english, the top could be taken off and that would leave a sharp edge, afterwhich we could take over the plane...apparently.) and started to confiscate it. Joel, you would be proud...we got a plastic cup, mike opened the can, and we transferred the food over. No way was that guy getting our tuna!! Mike got covered in tuna juice and we had to eat the tuna right after, but it was worth it. silly security man. i bet he was going to eat it for lunch!

On the plane i decided it was finally time for me to learn spanish. so mike gave me an impromptu lesson on the back of the LAN snack boxes. I can now count to 50! And say important sentences such as - where is the bathroom? "donda esta la bano?" and I like my nose. " Gusto me oso" hey - u never know when that one could come in handy...

After several invigerating games of thumb war, watching mike sleep (again!) and taking pictures through the plane window we arrived in Iquitos.

(mike taking over now after being fed 2.5 Caiprihinas)

The airport was cool in Iquitos, we got to get off on the tarmac and walk across the tar I guess where we were greeted by a guy who carried our bags for us, we assumed he was from the hostel, but we were wrong. He was a porter we needed to tip, really, we were backpackers we did not need a porter.

After being passed from the porter to the taxi driver, only 25 taxis are in Iquitos, due to the lack of road access many people ride motorcycles, probably easier to transport in.

As we had not heard from our girl at Flight Centre about when we would be picked up from our hostel we made a detour to Explorama, where we found out it was an early start the next day at 730 am.

We arrived at our hostel, when Karen decided that she needed to do laundry as our clothes were dirty from Machu Picchu. There she was, using a cleaning technique her mom taught her when she was 10. We used a universal sink plug, filled the sink with water, and I watched karen dipping the clothes in, scrubbing them and giving herself blisters on her fingers from the squich-squiching. After finishing though she realized...hmmm...it is very humid...is it even going to dry in time for tomorrow? turns out we took half our clothes wet to the amazon and things only totally dried after 2 days! After a few sink loads, and my pants of course made it the most dirty, little did she know how dirty they would get in the next few days, we went out to the downtown, as in every city, it was called the Plaza de Armas.

Being adventurous sorts we found a place that had to be authentic peruvian, called Yellow Rose of Texas, we realized that we were wrong. However, we did meet a guy from Vancouver Island, and two girls he was trying to pick up - I think we may have hindered that attempt. We learned a tip for booking online though through travelocity as one of them worked there. Get packages opposed to individual items, it is the only real deals.

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