I met great people on the slow boat from Yurimaguas to Iquitos. Gildas (the film maker) wanted to meet a curandero who lived in a small community some hours from Iquitos. Me, Paulina, Maria and Mathias (the puppy) decided to join him for this trip. We wanted to stay in the village for 5 days so we needed to get food for four people for five days. We got 3 kg rice, 3 kg pasta, 3 kg tomatoes, 2 kg onion, some sweet potatoes, salt, sugar, garlic. For the curandero we also bought some amazon jungle tobacco for mapachos and batteries for his radio.
|Beginning trip on the big |
The curandero was living 20 minutes walk from the village Villa Esther. But this village was not easy to reach. Apparently twice a week there were direct colectivo from the biggest market in Iquitos, Belen, to this place. We wanted to take it, but early in the morning we were misdirected on the market and we missed this colectivo. None of us wanted to wait three days for a next colectivo, so we decided to find the local boats man to get us to the village. We found one, and we departed with all our belongings. All together we had lot of luggage, above all the food, all the cloths, everyone had his own hammock with mosquito net, Maria had puppy and a guitar (without one string), I had my own camera with three lenses, and Gildas had his camera with additional lenses, gear to record sound, two big tripods... We were a bit overloaded with all this gear. But we were very happy to find a boatmen that promised us to get directly to the village. We set off on a small peke-peke boat. After three hours trip we figured out that the boatman does not know where exactly is the village that we were heading to. He got us to the proper neighbourhood but the local people told us that in order to get to Villa Esther we needed to walk for at least 45min. It was possible to get there directly by boat to this village but we would had gone completely other route by boat. And from this point it would take more than 6 hours on peke peke boat or 45 minutes walk. We decided to walk.
|Small guide on a Canoe helped us to get |
to the begging trek.
|Overloaded with the gear at the |
begging of THE trek.
We were ensured by them that there is only one path and there is no crossroad on the way... Since there was not too much time before sun set we had to go fast on our own. The path was indeed clearly mark but was a very challenging one since there was quite a bit of standing water and a lot of mud. Very soon one stopped getting worry about getting shoes and trousers dirty, and shortly after wet, since there were places were we had to walk with the water up to our knees and the challenge was to keep the balance! In one place where there was seriously a lot of mud, Maria lost her shoe and was not able to find it....
|There was a mud to our knees!!!|
Just before felling a sleep I wanted to check a condition of my camera, lenses, my wallet, my mobile and my passport. They were all placed in water proof back in my rucksack. I opened it and everything seemed to be fine. Just in case I removed the battery from my camera and my mobile. While I was packing back my dry bag I accidentally pushed my mobile and wallet to the water next to canoe!!!! I fish out it immediately. Luckily my passport was not in my wallet, but I was not sure if my phone would be still functional....
All of us were very tired and we felt a sleep very fast. I walked up a few times in the night, but there were no vampire bats around. It was raining in the night, but just a bit, we did not get too much wet during the night.
When we woke up we started to shout for help. Luckily we were heard by someone. It took him almost half an hour to reach us. It was Diego, 20 years old guy living in the village which we wanted to reach. We were saved!!!! Diego was fishing when he heard us shouting. He came on a small canoe and luckily we somehow managed to fit on his and on the canoe that we found the previous day. We set off. Indeed the road was leading straight, the one that we had chosen initially the evening before.
|Children from neighbouring village.|
From this spot we had to paddle for the next 15 minutes until reaching the dry land. We would have never managed to find this path without Diego guidance and his help! When we reached dry land we still needed to walk for next 20 minutes to the first house of the village. It was a home of Diego sister who seemed to be younger than me and had already 7 children.
|Children from neighbouring village.|
Finally after one and a half days of traveling, during we used six different canoes, we reached our destination. In future I need to correct the local time judgment: the 45 minutes trek, can take up to 1,5 days.....
|Relaxing in the hammocks in the living room.|
|Curandero house in the jungle.|
|Grandpha: "Tranquilo i no mas"|
|On the way back.|