Normally when I arrive in Iquitos, I keep things simple. it's always on a Saturday. And I go out to dinner early and am back in my hotel room by 8pm. I'm usually exhausted form the journey to the city, and just want to catch up on some last minute digital things before I head into the jungle for a few days.
But with Hill and Bea being there with me, I knew they would want to get out and see things. They're both extroverts and don't exhaust as easily as me, the introvert.
So I had the motokar drop off us off in the plaza near our hotel. It was packed with locals, some selling stuff.
I walked them over to the Karma Cafe nearby to have a drink.
Pisco Sours. A traditional Peruvian cocktail with egg whites. It's really good. We ordered a carafe and sipped them while chatting about the week ahead.
"Drink up! These are the last bits of alcohol you can have for about a week and a half," I reminded Hill and Bea. The restrictions coming off of the plant medicine later would mean this would likely be their only chance to have Pisco Sours in Peru on their whole trip.
It was a small carafe. We polished them off and then headed out onto the promenade. Crowds were thickly gathered around various attractions, performers trying to earn a few soles.
I found this to be one of the prettiest spots in the middle of the action...
This young man had a creature hiding under the box. Spectators placed bets on the box they thought the creature would run to when it was uncovered.
He lifted h box to reveal the creature was a guinea pig!
After a few moments, he ran into one of the boxes opposite the noisiest part of the crowd.
I turned my attention toward a playground just below the promenade where children were playing. It was nearing 10pm, which was late for me to be out amongst such lively energy. And these kids were little and still up having a ball.
I felt jealous of their freedom from chaotic minds. The chaotic mind was what drove e to Iquitos in the first place a year and a half ago. These kids lived in the chaos of the dusty and crowded city every day. And they seemed to be thriving in it, where it was draining me.
We walked quickly back to our hotel. I laid down in my bed, and fell asleep wearing the same exact clothes that I had been for about 36 hours.
"I'll shower and change tomorrow," I told myself. "Right now, I want sleep."
I was asleep in a few minutes, and out cold till morning.