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Published: April 27th 2009
Hand feeding fresh water dolphins
I’m about 9 weeks into my world travels 18 flights completed so far & find myself travelling around Iquitos in the Peruvian Amazon checking out the zoo which was a wee bit sad but had some cool animals that we hadn't seen on our amazing Amazon tour. The highlight was the pink fresh water dolphins that they hand-feed fish to so that you get a look at them out of the solid brown water...typical of most skanky wet places around the Amazon!
Alas it's time to leave Peru & my traves with Julz behind & head out on my ownsome to Colombia: The boat trip down the Amazon took 11 hours in what looked like the inside of an aircraft cabin, had waiter service & two toilets, but wasn't too bad...considering I was out until 2 am drinking the local firewater & doing my best for Scottish : Peruvian relations! My Spanish isn't that good but money talks when you're buying the beers! Anyway the taxi arrived at 5:30AM & I was off to the border between Peru, Colombia & Brazil, each country is divided by rivers & you get between Peru's Customs guys & Colombia's in a rickety water taxi.
Welcome to Colombia, I disembarked in Leticia: a small village on the Amazon on the Colombian side & had a couple of beers with some Australians I met then headed to bed in a wooden shack that was falling to bits with termites, hot sticky & very humid!
The bloody laptop saga! The next morning I needed to buy myself a new laptop bag as the one I was using fell apart after 17 flights & the carry-on was causing to much hassle at check-in time at the airport as it was the largest size carry-on bag you were allowed but given I was carrying nearly 50 kgs of stuff when I was allowed only 23 kgs checked-in & 7 kgs carry-on, so I needed another bag that looked like a laptop bag to fill with heavy laptop & electrical bits as they didn't seem to ever weigh them or even consider them at check-in time.
What a load of palaver to foil the check-in biatches world-wide! Anyway after much gesticulating & pointing & guffawing...don't forget my translator Julz had now left the country...I found the perfect bag but it had no wheels like the last one - I'm gutted! So had to live with the fact it would have to be carried along with the rest of my 50 kgs!
Alas I realised I hadn't got a stamp on the way into Colombia, essentially I was an illegal alien in a country with a history of bandits, drug cartels & kidnappers - yay!
So off I went to the Airport early where I met Danny-the couch surfer from the Isle of Man. Top bloke & he needed the stamp too. Unfortunately when we got to Customs the Air-conditioning guy had dropped the aircon unit on to the IT gear & nothing worked so we couldn't get stamped until later.......much later actually 35 seconds before our flight was due to leave & we hadn't even passed through security yet!
Anyway I got pulled over by the men with guns as they were wondering what I was carrying in my heavy Gore-Tex waterproof jacket that I was wearing in 40 degree heat & 99% humidity....it was 12 kgs of books of course - this jacket is magic, the perfect Tardis, for smuggling all your heavy guide books & Spanish phrase books & novels! When they worked out it wasn't a bomb I was allowed onto the plane.....the lengths you'll go to not pay excess baggage!
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