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Trip Report Amy ((L)) Peru and Chile! (A possibly over enthusiastic trip report)

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I had posted my emails from the road, but I thought I'd better start again with hotels, photo links, and the like, rather than trying to bung them in at the end. So my apologies if some of this is old news...


Peru and Chile and Orlando, 22 July—09 August, 2010


Okay, so this trip was a heapin’ helpin’ of crazysauce in a lot of ways (like thirteen flights within two and a half weeks) but I surely did have a good time…just not a long enough one.

AMAZON RAINFOREST, PERU
The first weekend was in the Amazon rainforest outside of Iquitos, Peru. This is my third trip there, and just standing on top of the steep steps leading down to Explorama’s dock felt like a homecoming. I don’t quite know what I love so much about the rainforest, as humidity and mosquitoes are not really high on my list of favorites, but the mighty river, the lushness of the trees and plants, the ever-changing sky, and the bird song may have something to do with it. I stayed the whole time this time at the Explorama lodge http://www.explorama.com/exploramalodge.php which now has individual bathrooms…but still cold showers. I kinda miss the latrines with the bats flying in.

On my first full day we went out piranha fishing—you bait the hook with meat and just wait for one to bite—and I actually caught one this time! In fact, I caught two. Our boat had engine trouble, so we were sitting in a little waterway waiting for help, and the piranhas were biting like crazy there. There was a family on the riverbank watching, too; I think we gave the little kids their giggles for the day. A nice guy who was coming home in his boat from a job tryout gave us a lift, eventually. I tried a bit of the piranha for lunch; tasted like, well, fish. I also did some hiking, a visit to the Yanamano Indian village, and some hammock lolling while there; Explorama provides all the meals and transport, so it’s easy to relax and immerse in nature.

Here’s the link for the pictures of the rainforest: http://travel.webshots.com/album/578377317YUPbkI I have to admit that “mi hermano” Armando (my guide all three times) took most of the animal pix, whilst I managed the video camera. And binoculars. I clanked a bit.

Just as a note, I flew Peruvian Airlines to Iquitos and back; it was about ¼ of the price of LAN for the same route, and I had no problems and great connections. I had to go through www.traficoperu.com in order to buy the ticket, though; on www.peruvianairlines.pe you can order your own if you have a “Verified by Visa” card. My bank didn’t even know what that was, sigh.

For the remainder of my flights within South America I used a LAN South American Airpass package—I think. I do know that it was cheaper for me when I called and talked to the LAN rep than when I tried doing it online, but not as cheap as it would have been for a Chilean. LAN definitely does the “foreigner price” to a fare-thee-well.

Next up: Santiago, Chile

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