Iquitos to Our Amazonian Lodge!

From Lima's 60 something to 90+ degrees Fahrenheit with high humidity; welcome to the Amazon! We flew from Lima to a port city in northern Peru, Iquitos, where we headed downriver on a tributary, Italia, and then onto the Amazon River! We traveled by a small covered motor boat down the river approximately 25 miles, yet the Atlantic Ocean is still 2300 miles away. Our guide Luis told us he grew up in a village of 400 people another 4 hours down the river. Today Iquitos where we started this journey has a million people with what seemed to be a half million of them driving 3-wheeled "motokars", while others had food stalls ready to serve any buyer interested in fresh fish, chicken, vegetables and fruit. Many are individuals who could not get a high school and university degree in their village so they went to school in Iquitos and stayed there, or as he has done work in some aspect of tourism.
The river is about 2 miles wide and we are at the end of the dry season so the river is about 30-40 feet down! Houses are on stilts, others are set to float; it is a different world when the monsoon rains fill the river. Right now, many people have planted rice and will harvest it before the big rains. Others burn a particular tree to have wood charcoal, some are fishing (piranha are present, eaten, and possible for us to try one day), farming …such as papaya and bananas, and I did see an oil refinery. We did pass a village, Indiana, of 8,000 people and many small houses and tents riverside.
Finally arrived at Explorama Lodge which now boasts in having a toilet, sink and shower per room! This is there 8th year with such luxury, yet we are only here 2 nights and after sleeping in a stuffy, hot room with no AC, and heavy-weight mosquito netting we may really want the upgrade at our next lodge! Who knows?
We hopped off our little boat, hiked the stairway which is low due to dry season and had a 15 minute walk to the lodge. Along the way Luis told us his father is the shaman and his mother is the midwife in their village where he grew up. He knows birds, flowers, etc and for us to take advantage of it we can join him at 6am tomorrow!
Luis pointed out a tree related to the eucalyptus tree; every 3 months the bark falls off and this tree is used to make wood charcoal. He explained people on the Amazon River do drink the water by collecting it, allowing the sediment to settle in a pot for about an hour, pour the water off and boil it. He shared much info about what children need to do if they drink any of the river's water while swimming…ficus tree sap I believe is what helps rid them of parasites, but I cannot recall how long it takes. Ficus fruit is medicine for animals; Luis had more info about that! He also pointed out a termite nest that was on a live tree. There is a relationship between termites and parakeets; apparently snakes then to do not bother the parakeets. More info was provided. I saw a huge iguana!
I am unpacked in my room, yet it is so warm in it I am writing this on a screened porch. Dinner is soon. Just across from me some squirrel monkeys were eating bananas and a macaw with its beautifully colored feathers walked through the screened area. It truly pushed the door open on his way out!
After dinner we have an open boat trip to check out constellations and listen to the night sounds..long pants, bug spray, and hope we see and hear lots! Will the temperature drop some tonight? Time will tell!

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