After nearly 20 hours of traveling, and layovers at two airports (Atlanta and Lima), I am finally in Iquitos, Peru. There are no roads into Iquitos. If you want to get here, you have to fly or come by boat. When I told my dad this yesterday on the phone, his response was, "Well, it is the jungle. Duh."
That it is! And you get the sense of that as you drive from the airport into the heart of the city.
It's certainly not a glamorous city. Rundown buildings... Many people riding by scooter/motorcycle (children included - behind the adult) or my motor-coach (a motorcycle attached to a pedi-cab type of cart). I saw dogs digging through trash on the street.
It's what I expected. And reminds me a little of Phuket, Thailand, which I visited a little over two years ago. And loved. With cities like this, it's once you get beyond them where the "gems" exist. With Phuket, it was the beaches. With Iquitos, it will be the jungle. The Amazon.
That said, I do have a nice sunny view from my fourth floor hotel room...
A little park and church right outside.
Off in the distance, you can see the motor-coaches.
The streets are very busy here, even at 7:30am in the morning - which is when I arrived... Jet-lagged - even though I am in the same timezone as where I live. I blame the five hour layover from midnight to 5am at the Lima airport.
So a nice five hour nap was taken. And horrible room-service (food-wise, the service itself was very charming) was ordered. Now I am going to shower, and get out and adventure for a little while.
Off to the jungle retreat, where I will have no access to WiFi or electricity, for seven days.