Wednesday, May 31, 2006

What I'd Left Out

There just hasn't been time to update the blog over the last week and a half. I have to do a bullet point list of where I've been and what I 've done.

As I mentioned, we got to Iquitos in three days and three nights on the boat from Pucallpa. I'll put together a whole story on that some other time.

I was over a week in Iquitos. As well as the motorbike classes, I also participated in an ayahuasca ceremony, which I suppose did "cleanse" my body through repeated vomiting, but disappointingly didn't produce any psychdelic experiences.

We went to visit the Boras and Yahuas tribes, about half an hour from Iquitos by boat, and bought more miscellaneous arts and crafts, while they jumped into native costume, performed a brief traditional dance, and charged us for the experience.

We also visited the "serpentario", an animal santuary perched above the river which included a tame anaconda amenable to being photographed draped around the neck of tourists.

Not to mention the social life and numerous invitations to people's houses to be stuffed full of local cuisine.

Tuesday morning at 6:00 am I took the fast, but extremely cramped, boat to Leticia, wher the frontiers of Peru, Colombia and Brazil meet. I spent four days in Leticia, undertaking some investigations about which I hope to be able to write in more detail some time in the future.

There was another trip to a native community, and some more handling of another anaconda, this time wild, which had eaten seven of the local chickens, and had recently been captured.

On Friday the "dry law" started in Colombia; presidential elections were on Sunday, and no alcohol was allowed to be served throughout the country during the weeknd, presumably so all voters would make a sober choice. To address this inconvenience, we left the country - several blocks down the street into the Brazilian town of Tabatinga.

This didn't turn out to be such a good idea, as the next morning I very nearly missed my flight to Bogota, luckily being saved by my new Letician friends who came to my hotel and woke me up.

I spent the evening in Bogota at the comfortable house of a friend of a friend, and the next day took a taxi through the very quiet city to the airport to catch my flight to Santiago. Seven hours of pleasant flight in the company of a very gregarious girl from Bogota who was going to study in Australia, and I was at my second to last stop.

My uncle and aunt, who live in Viña del Mar, very kindly picked me up, and that's where I am now. My body has had soemthing of a "what the hell have you ben doing to me these last five weeks" attack over the last couple of days, but now I'm on the mend.

Tomorow I'm heading back to Santiago to catch up with a couple of people, and then it's back to NZ and to work. Another time, another place, another life.

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