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Published: April 27th 2009
Although there was a sad farewell to Colombia, there was still one more place left to see before we said our final goodbyes. We had decided early on in our Colombian trip that we would love to see Leticia, a town in the far south of the country and interestingly a town that straddled two countries. It is from Leticia where the Amazon river is used to move produce and indeed people between the countries of Colombia, Brasil and Peru. Known as the 3 frontiers it is a weird and wonderful jungle town with intense heat and humidity and the potential for tropical thunderstorms at a moments notice. Unfortunately the only real way of getting there from Colombia is to fly, so we boarded a local flight down there with the intention of making our way to Peru in a slightly un-orthodox fashion.
Leticia itself is the town in Colombia, meanwhile it is joined with a town called Tabatinga which is actually in Brasil. There is no need for visas or passport control and it is easy enough to walk or jump a taxi across and spend some time in another country completely ( think the severn bridge but a
shit load more interesting!!) We did do this one day and although I would love to say it was a complete cultural change, it wasn´t, apart from the fact they have different beers in Tabatinga, and there are slightly different spellings of words. It was nonetheless a very enjoyable day out and in fact a day where we encountered the largest plate of food any of us had ever seen.
After a couple of days in Leticia we decided to move on and take a boat 3 days down river to the similar jungle town of Iquitos, in Peru. The boat journey itself was lovely with great views of the Amazon and its wildlife ( Pink Dolphins no less) and it gave Julia the perfect opportunity to buy a hammock and do her very best impression of roving explorer Bruce Parry ( although I doubt he slept as much as she did!!). The boat was basic to say the least with glastonbury-esque toilet facilities, but for 12 english pounds each for 3 days including food of sorts it cannot be sniffed at.
We were travelling at this point with a hilarious Aussie we had met in Bogota called
Phil, he was the most Aussie man you could hope to meet, but a real softy at heart, and was dubbed by our peruvian friends we met on the journey as Crazy Phil ( mainly because of his lack of spanish and love of beer).
We arrived in Iquitos and were pleasantly surprised at its size, which was much larger than we expected, the friendliness of the people and the quality of the food ( Aligator Ceviche being a firm favourite). We spent time there visiting a zoo for the princely sum of 80 pence and we both took the plunge and held a 7 ft Anaconda, although Julia was slightly more begrudging as the photo´s show, and generally whizzing round in the Motocarros, which were slightly larger and more manic Tuk Tuks.
We went to the local market aswell where there was an array of strange goods for sale including, many a herbal or medicinal plant, most of which make you hallucinate and any animal you could think of for sale. After a few days there it was time to begin our plan named the ´balls to the wall plan´ where we intend to see almost all
of Peru in 5 weeks, this is thanks to the lures of Colombia putting us well behind schedule.
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