Three days in hammock
We left Mancora after a week long stay in the Loki bubble of nothing but sun, booze and partying. We headed first to Chiclayo, a city 6 hours South of Mancora and straight through the dessert. We stayed in Chiclayo overnight before taking a 15 hour bus to Tarapoto, followed by a 3 hour car to the port town of Yuriagmuas. There isn't much to be said about either towns and we spent most of our time there preparing for the boat journey, stocking up on snacks, water and most importantly a hammock.
We took a motor-taxi down to the port at 10am to find the cargo ship headed to Iquitos. We were greeted by two guys, who were keen to make some Gringo dollar. Nevertheless they proved to be pretty helpful in helping to hang our hammocks and we also managed to get ourselves a cabin, essentially a small locker with beds but big enough to lock our bags safely away. The whole thing cost 300 soles (£75) but at 100 soles each to hang a hammock it wasn't much more of a stretch for a cabin.
The boat was due to leave at 2pm but this time came and went with the ship still being loaded up with everything from motorbikes to cattle and of course a lot of rice and potatoes to be traded down river with various villages along the way. All this was being loaded with pure man power and with the trucks still half full we did not hold out much hope for a swift departure. At 8pm when we were about to give up on departing that day the Klaxon sounded and we were off.
We soon settled into the routine of life on the boat, waking at 6am for breakfast which was delivered to our cabin (Luxury! Everyone else queues up at the kitchen with their tupper-wear to receive theirs) which consisted of a grey cinnamon flavoured rice slop with bread.
We then lounged in our hammocks watching the amazon rainforest go by, reading, chatting and occasionally getting up to go dolphin watching before a lunch of rice meat and the obligatory banana. We then returned to our hammocks for much of the same until a similar dinner. After a spectacular sunset on the amazon the bugs would arrive and it would be lights out and an end to our reading. After braving this a short while we would retire to our cabin before repeating the following day.
The boat drifted slowly down river occasionally stopping to drop off or pick up goods and people or for a launch to be sent out to do the same. In this fashion we continued for three days until arriving into Iquitos at 3 in the morning and thankful to leave the boat after what was quite some adventure down the Amazon!