Being a solo women traveller and a single mother adventurer taking a trip of a lifetime in the Northern Jungles of Peru.
I’ve written about our time at Machu Picchu, Lake Titicaca and Cusco, now I want to delve into more details about our time in Iquitos, northern Peru.
On the way to Iquitos our plane broke down pretty much in the air so we had to take a layover in Pucallpa for 24 hours which was totally fine, we had fun and got to see another part of Peru. When we finally made it to Iquitos where the owner of San Pedro Lodge was waiting for us, he had been there the day before when our plane had been cancelled, he was very understanding. He helped us with our bags and we climbed into the tuk-tuk and away we sped into town.
We headed into the heart of Iquitos city, it was a surreal experience to be in the largest city within the Amazon Jungle. The weather was humid and hot, I honestly loved it, the lush greenery was like therapy for the soul. I felt like Lara Croft on one of her adventures. We were taken to a restaurant where we would meet some other travellers staying at San Pedro Lodge, there was a couple from Essex, England, we had some really nice conversations with them and Joshua took really well to the guy, while I got to speak about home and traveling with his girlfriend. Lunch was served which was very wholesome rice, plantain and chicken in sauce, we had fresh juices and a good time. After lunch we split up into groups, we remained with the owner, he took us around Museo Municipal which houses statues and exhibits on the indigenous tribes of the Amazonia.
He told us about the Amazonian rubber boom back in 1879 through to 1912, it was very interesting learning something I shamelessly admit I had no prior knowledge of. On the way to the Museo Municipal we found a tiny puppy on the brink of death, I gave him some water from my bottle cap, he was scooped up and claimed, he has been kept at the lodge where he would get to be part of the family, along with the monkey. In the below image you can see just how small he was.
That same day we also went to Iquitos Zoo, we saw many animals including pink Amazonian river dolphins, jungle snakes, a range of monkeys, macaws and an anaconda.
The next day we went to the Manatee rescue centre, we got to feed them milk, lots of manatees were rescued when locals had released them into the wild, with the flooding in the jungle many of them became trapped and eventually recused by the centre.
Back at San Pedro Lodge – The jungle lodge was really rustic and basic, we had a single bed each and a shared bathroom with next door, you could lock the door from within so the person in the adjacent lodge knew that it was in use. It had a toilet with flush, a sink basin and a shower. There was no warm water however the cool water was brown as it came direct from the river just a few feet away! I discovered this when I filled the sink up to wash my face, I didn’t like the fact it was a murky brown with black bits floating, but we didn’t have much choice.
Each bed had mosquito nets that could be pulled down at night, they had holes in, I remember sitting down under Joshua’s net before sleeping and killing the mosquitos within, they were so tiny with a really high-pitched buzz. After sitting and killing any I saw for about 40 minutes I would climb out and check intently for holes. I sprayed them with 100% DEET and inserted rolled up bits of tissue so Joshua wouldn’t get bitten while he slept. We were both on premium Malarone tablets which had cost me about £120 for a week and a half worth.
Joshua was lucky, he survived the Amazon jungle without 1 single bite!! I on the other hand suffered badly, he would sit on my bed and cover me in ammonia to sooth the intense itching, I react badly with huge swollen lumps with red streams running from the bite area towards my veins, it’s happened a lot to me during my life so I didn’t worry much about it.
The lodge was completely made of wood with wired mesh windows that offered no privacy! This was a challenge, I would put the bed sheets up when getting changed at night and in the mornings. We had a flash light each but the light on my mobile phone was more powerful.
We stayed at the lodge for about 3 days before I had decided it really wasn’t for us, we had a couple of weeks in Iquitos so I wanted to find something more comfortable. We took the motorised canoe and a tuk-tuk back to Iquitos city.
We found a hotel in Iquitos to stay for 1 night then searched for another lodge we could visit for a week or so. When we left the hotel during the day in Iquitos to explore the tuk-tuk driver we were using made mention of a lodge that he knew of which would suit us just perfectly. I instantly thought he was on a commission to bring tourists but he was 100% genuine and without him I don’t think we would have found the Samiria Eco Lodge, he took us to their office, I spoke with the man in charge and he showed my a catalogue of the lodge, it looked too good to be true and I was really skeptical so I had agreed to pay half the money there and half mid-way though the stay until after I had actually seen the premisses, he had no problems with this. The deal was done, we were going to an ECO LODGE in the AMAZON JUNGLE!
My next post will be about the Samiria Eco Lodge