were greeted at the door with drinks of cocona juice. And i thought the pineapple ice cream was good. That's nothing compared to this! Besides the fact that the flavor is incredible, it was cold! When the selva is, to put it nicely, an oven; there is nothing better than a cold drink. We recieved rooms and listened to the ropes of the place. Basically summarized in 1. don't leave, you'll get lost. The only other important thing was that we learned when meals are served. 7:30 am; 12:30pm; and 7:30 pm. I was basically ecstatic, i only had to remember two times. lol.
Thursday morning at 3:00 AM, my alarm sounded like the worst thing in the world. But the excitement soon took hold and i bid sleep goodbye for the next, 40 minutes. haha. I made it as far as the bus that we're taking to the airport before i was sleeping again. Easy getting through the airport, we aren't leaving the country, so no checking baggage or anything. It made traveling much more stress-free. Our flight was supposed to leave at 6 something, but we didn't start boarding until 7 something. We arrived in Iquitos around 9, i can't believe it, but i slept through the entire flight! Darn it! I didn't get to see Iquitos from the air... not that i can do anything about that now, but i am slightly ticked at myself. Using stairs to get off the airplane made up for it though. Yes, small things really amuse me.
For those of you who don't know your Amazon, Iquitos is the largest city in the Peruvian rainforest and the largest city in the world that is inaccesible by land. Water or air are the only ways in. We didn't stay in Iquitos; only stopped for a few minutes... in some small shops finding batteries for Hannah's camera. We went straight to the headquarters of Explorama Lodge. We're taking a 45 minute boat ride in order to get to our lodge. Our guide, Brasilio who met us at the airport, is incredible! He spent the entire bus ride telling us all about the Amazon and the plans he had for us. He's ridiculously smart and muy amable! One of the other girls on the trip, Patricia and I decided that we're going to start an "adopt your family from Peru" and Brasilio is definitely going to be part of it. Haha, the people here in Iquitos and the Amazon are basically some of the nicest people i have ever met. It's quite different from Lima.
So, we arrived at the lodge after forty minutes on the River Road, watching the shoreline go by and waving to basically everyone. Apparently, it's some sort of tradition or something because everyone on the shore always (and i mean always!) waves to the boats... so you just wave back. haha. Upon arrival, we
We had quite a few hours of free time, most people slept until lunch. Food here, is incredible! I wish i had written down everything i ate. It was certainly interesting, but really delicious! That wasn't the only weird part though, every meal, there are people waiting on you. And i've been struggling to get used to having a maid. This was worse. As soon as your water glass was 1/3 of the way empty, someone was there to fill it. as soon as your fork left your hand, someone was there to take your plate away. "Senorita, would you like tea or coffee?" "Senorita, can i get you anything?" "Senorita, may i take your plate" "senorita" "senorita" "senorita"... I've never been so formal in my life! By the end of lunch i was like, can i please just wash my dishes? Just to clear up though, I got used to it by dinner and enjoyed it after that!
We took a walk into the selva. It was basically awesome! It is soo green and the air is so clear! Although really really heavy. And i thought Lima was humid, i could practically take a shower in the humidity here. Saw lots of monkeys, and some huge bugs. :) We were randomly walking back and I saw saw basically the biggest spider i've ever seen in my life. At first i thought it was a bird on a tree branch, but then it crawled around the trunk and i was like, wow huge! Brasilio was really impressed that i saw it and afterwards kept asking me if i saw things because "i have good eyes". lol. I was amused. Towards the end of the walk we stumbled upon all of the guys (employees) playing soccer. It was intense.
During the hottest part of the day, lots of people chilled in the hammock area. Very nice! Rita and I were tired of 'resting' so we started walking around the lodge. It's actually quite large with sidewalks going all around the place. We maxed out the sidewalks though and since rule number 1 was don't leave, we figured we'd find something else to do. Not that getting lost in the amazon wouldn't be fun. :) We ended up playing monopoly in Spanish... quite fun. Thanks for letting me use your tactics Nate. haha, i won! Half way through the game, some employees of the lodge started playing music for us. Jose, (we met him later) on the guitar and another guy on the cajon - basically looks like a box with a hole in it and they sit on it and play it like a drum. it's pretty awesome! we were being serenaded for like an hour and then a whole bunch of other people came to eat dinner.
After dinner, they continued playing. This time more instruments...and singing. Some people were dancing and there were drinks of course (not for me, no worries); it was basically just a fun evening, but we all cut out fairly early cause we were still exhausted.