Welcome (and Adios) to the Jungle

Im back in Lima now after four days in the Amazon basin. I could say so many things about those four days that I think Im going to have to stick with highlights like:

– Taking an hour long bus ride from Puerto Maldonado to the port of Infierno (great name, isnt it?) and then going another hour upstream to get to the Explorers Inn Lodge.

– A room with mosquito nets, light only from candles, and a cold shower, which wasnt bad considering that it was around 85 degrees and humid even at midnight.

– Awakening every morning to the sound of Howler Monkeys.

– Getting up for a 10K hike through the jungle that started at 5:30 AM.

– Taking part in a Shamanistic ceremony in a jungle hut.

– Boat cruises at night to spot caiman (think crocodile, only slightly smaller) on the riverbanks.

– Complete darkness and jungle sounds every night.

– Sighting (and sounding) frogs, lizards, tarantulas, butterflies, several species of monkey and more tropical birds than you can name.

– Waking up in the jungle, taking the one hour boat ride and one hour bus ride in reverse, flying to two miles high in the Andes (we had a layover in Cuzco) and then being here by evening in a coastal city of 8 million- how is that even possible?

Speaking of here, 60 degrees and foggy, just like when I left 12 days ago! I guess it is a good way to get reacclimated for a return to San Francisco. I did my first ever proper Lima activity this evening, since on the way in I arrived and then took the the bus out the next morning without seeing anything. Said activity being visiting Chinatown. Which was a lot like any Chinatown anywhere in that it was bustling, had great food and was pervaded with stores crammed full of nick-knacks. One of my favorites was the silicone butt pad, for those looking for a more ample rear. Another highly idiosyncratic feature of this Chinatown was that some of the hottest selling items there, judging by how many stores they appeared in, are Bollywood movies and esoteric books on Yoga, Tarot, magic and the like.

Tomorrow Im going to spend the whole day looking around Lima, and then Im on a flight back on Sunday. So one more update, then Im home!

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