03/16/2008 - 03/24/2008 77 °F
A lot has happened since the last entry. We´ll fill you in when we have more time and a faster internet connection. Here´s a short list of things that have happened or that we´ve done since the last report...
- Met Tim Theis in Latacunga
- Took a 4 hr bus ride on the worst barely-there muddy eroded roads I´ve been on since my trip to Costa Rica.
- Experienced a full bus fishtailing on those muddy roads, occasionally slamming into the hillsides and eventually getting stuck 3 feet deep in the mud, until we all disembarked and somehow managed to dig the bus out and make it to our destination. It got so bad that even the locals were standing up and peering out the windows at teh road´s edge along the way. Very reassuring, I tell you.
- Went on a stunningly beautiful and often exhausting 5 hr hike from 3850-meter high lake in a volcano crater down to the tiny town of Chugchilan.
- Wandered through the indigenous markets of Saquisili and Zumbahua, witnessing hundreds of bushels of rosemary (hi mom) for sale, along with guinea pigs, chickens, llamas, just-carved goats, donuts and screen doors.
- Flew from Quito, Ecuador to Lima, Peru.
- Met up with Ryan Rigoli and embarked on a 4 day Amazon trip to the Muyuna Lodge, where we saw gray and pink river dolphins, innumberable birds, tarantulas and caimans, and unsuccessfully fished for piranha. We also got about 40 mosquito bites apiece and visited a shaman in a local village built on stilts.
Right now we´re sweltering in a remote town on the edge of the Amazon called Iquitos. It´s crazy and wild here. There are hundreds of three-wheeled open-sided taxis whizzing by on the streets, the rumble and whine of their motors filling the air like white noise. It´s hot and sweaty, and there are flies and gnats everywhere. Today is Easter Sunday, and when we arrived back in town this afternoon it was quiet and sedate. Now that it´s 9:30 pm or so, the taxis are back at it, the whine of engines is back in the air and the Plaza Armas (the central square) is teeming with life.
Tomorrow we fly to Lima, stay overnight, then head for Cusco and a few days in the Sacred Valley before we begin our Inca Trail/Machu Picchu trek.
Pictures to come...sometime...