Day 2- Lima to Iquitos.
We awoke early and exchanged messages with home, before walking again down to the park above the beach. Being Sunday it was quite on the street with runners out in the humidity and surfers in the ocean.
We were picked up by the pre-arranged hire car and took a lot of speed bumped back streets before getting on a freeway that took us someway to the airport. Petrol is expensive at 12 sole/Ltr (almost 4 times Sydney prices). Being Sunday morning the traffic was busy enough, but nothing like it is in peak. Surprisingly, there aren't as many motorcycle or scooters as expected with such high petrol price and congestion. (Read on as Iquitos is the polar opposite)
The flight to Iquitos was mainly above clouds and I was amazed there was a city of 1 million people carved out of the Amazon jungle. The river showed where it snake thru thick jungle when the clouds open up and we landed after a 1.5 hr flight time from Lima. The passengers included some very loud American looking more urban camper then us.
Iquitos has 5,000 Tut-Tuts mainly powered by 125cc Hondas. We took a taxi at double the price to our hotel. With no roads to access, cars are limited and shipped in. Our looked like it arrived when Madonna had here first hit.
We checked in, turned the air con up as relief from the heat/humidity and eventually headed out on foot mid-afternoon to site see.
Iquitos hit it peak in the early 1900s when Luis Morey, a rubber plantation baron turn it into a thiving port until the rubber boom finished in 1920, due to competition from Asian. Some on the old buildings remain along the river and around the town square of Plaza De Armos. The Casa de Fierro(Spanish for the Iron House) was designed by Gustave Eiffel and faces the square.
We are a late lunch in a lovely, Wild West bistro before watching the afternoon storms, along with many other, flashing lightning over the Amazon.
Dinner was down town with Karen getting her first Bisco Sour drink, before walking back in the drizzle and packing for our 3 days ahead. Tomorrow take a boat to a lodge 140km up the river to experience the jungle.