Jungle Juice

On the River

Iquitos is definitely a different world than the Perù that I’ve seen thus far. It is much more laid-back here, and the tourist feeding industry is not quite as rampant and savage as it was in Qosqo, maybe because it is a dead season for tourism here right now. The only other English speaking tourist that I’ve seen thus far was a girl from Wales who cornered me when I got off the plane to take a taxi with her into town. I accompanied her to her backpackers hostal to see if I wanted to stay there too, took one look at the room, and peaced out. Why would you pay 17 soles per night for a room with ten other people when you can pay 20 soles per night for a room and a bathroom to yourself?
People warned me about the women in Iquitos before I came here. Yeah, they are kind of aggressive. I go to eat lunch and the waitresses will linger next to my table making small talk and then try to set appointments to meet later on. I don’t mind the attention though.
These malaria pills are kind of zoning me out when mixed with cervezas. I’m contemplating terminating the pills, because there’s not really any mosquitos in Iquitos. I suppose it will come in handy when I venture into the jungle. I was just talking to a lady (who seemed to be quite honest because I talked with her for an hour) about staying in her lodge in the Amazon for 20 dollars a night. Seems like a pretty good price to me.
The interesting thing about Iquitos is that it still kind of retains that feeling of the rubber boom era, I feel like I’m in a Joseph Conrad book when I walk around here, other than for the everpresent roar of motorcycles and mototaxis through the streets.
I just went walking around looking for a bar to sit and quaff a few at, and found a little joint playing some of that sad kind of romantic music that Cesaria Evora sings. I ordered me a siete raices, an alcoholic beverage made with 7 roots that I believe also serves as an aphrodesiac, and that tastes like the wilder, stronger cousin of a bloody mary. Some older ladies came and sat at my table. This one lady kept saying slurred things to me in Spanish that I couldn’t understand, and then she was trying to get me to dance with her. Did I say the women are aggressive here? This old fat lady with missing teeth was tugging on my arm, not to be denied. But I had to turn her down, even with the siete raices coursing through my system.


Author: manderson

I live in NYC.

3 thoughts on “Jungle Juice”

  1. You are a bad Englishman, bad!!
    You’ll be happy to know that I’ve been watching a fair amount of futbol. Sundays are the futbol days here (makes more sense than Monday night football, don’t it?). After the night of partying Saturday, you sit around all day Sunday (in accordance with the divine canon, of course) nursing your hangover with pisco sours and watching futbol. Perfecto.

  2. sounds like a perect weekend, so glad to hear you are having a great time, the Jungle sounds perfect.

    so when r u back in the motherland?? r u going to here for winter weekend? if so will have plan a big night out.

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