Getting There - Aneel's Travelogue

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Iquitos Iquitos, Loreto, Peru, Tuesday, 29 March 2005 8:51am

I was probably primed by the guidebook's comment about Bangkok, but Iquitos does feel like it's in Asia.

The air was very different when we got off the plane, the very opposite of the thin mountain air we left: humid, still, thick... almost liquid.

Our taxi was one of the few four-wheeled vehicles on the street. The roads are dominated by scooters and little motorbikes, and by moto-rickshaws made by chopping off the rear of a motorcycle and adding a two-or-three person back seat.

The motorcycles here aren't very powerful (mostly 125-150cc single cylinder models), and the addition of the back seat means that the traffic is chaotic, but not very fast.

They are a lot faster than the cars and busses, though. A local politician (a mayoral candidate?) was on our flight. He was met by a cheering crowd at the airport. They packed into busses and started waving flags and throwing pamphlets out of the windows. Our cab was trapped amongst them for a while, but the scooters dodged around and through.

It was after dark when we landed, and there was a lightning storm off in the distance. The light drizzle in the city didn't seem to bother anyone. The streets were bustling and the brightly-colored buildings were awash with lights.

We had dinner at The Yellow Rose of Texas because Yuri was hungry for some protein. The restaurants here don't often serve beans, which are considered poor people's food, but the Texan expats attach no such stigma.