Before the jungle trip…

January 10, 2008  
Topics: Ecuador


It has been already a week since we are visiting Quito – the capital of Ecuador. Here, for the first time in our lifes, we have tried bio-energetical treatment. Katja has already visited this doctor 3 times, will be waiting for changes… Meanwhile Augustas did it just for personal interest to participate in balancing of internal energy.

Pity, but Quito will be our last serious stop in Ecuador. On the 18th of January ends our 6 months permission to stay in Ecuador as tourists (maximum per chronological year). Before this day we should reach the Peruvian border in the jungle.

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We are leaving Quito latest on Sunday and hitch-hike to Coca – the town of petroleum industry workers and striptease night clubs. Monday early morning we should catch a 12-hour boat ($10-$15) to Nuevo Rocafuerte – the last settlement in the territory of Ecuador. We already have a contact of one family over here, so hope to meet them and have small chat about the life in the remote areas in the jungle.

According to the last information we have got, Nuevo Rocafuerte now has an immigration office, where we will get an exit stamp (earlier this was done in Coca). After all formalities are cleared, we will have to search for a motorboat, which would bring us to Pantoja – the first village in Peru. It should take a bit more than 2 hours and cost something around $15 for the boat.

Pantoja authorities gives us entrance stamps and we try to enjoy time in this village, as we will be waiting for the boat towards Iquitos – the worlds biggest town without road access. There are no regular boats that way, so we might need to wait for the transport from 1 day to a couple of weeks. While staying in this village, we are planning to spend some time with the family to which we have letters to deliver from other travelers who have done the same route in the past.

The trip to Iquitos takes up to 5 days and costs $30 or more. If we will get to the monthly cargo boat, according to the stories of other travelers, the trip will be extremely crowded, where people and animals mix up, hammocks hang above each other in three levels, and when having no space for additional passenger, the captain anyway picks up another ten.

In Iquitos (500’000 inhabitants) we plan to make a break of 10 days – do some work (writing and programming) and maybe to visit some shamans in surroundings.

Finally the jungle adventure should end by taking the last boat from Iquitos to another Peruvian town which has road access to the rest of the country (this might be either Pucallpa, or Yurimaguas).

The jungle – is not fun. Starting with 40C heat and 90% humidity, the malaria mosquitos will be another challenge for us. Another challenge – the poor variety of food. We have heard that in Pantoja vegetarians might survive with daily rice and egg. Imagine this for 1-2 weeks each day, if we get stuck there…

At the moment we are buying things which might be necessary in the jungle – mosquito nets, hammocks and ropes for them, a bit of food (nuts, oats, etc). We are collecting all the tricks for how to prevent being bitten by mosquitos – repellents, daily vitamin B intake, application of oil with vitamin E on the skin, and similar… Additionally we are searching for medicine in case we catch malaria, and in case we swallow by accident dirty water of rivers of Amazons.

By the way, once we are heading to Nuevo Rocafuerte, we will have no Internet connection before we reach Iquitos, which might last for 1-4 weeks. So, use the chance to communicate with us before we get disconnected 🙂

Greetings from Ecuador,
Augustas and Katja

Check also ourRio Napo Guide – travelling from Coca (Ecuador) to Iquitos (Peru)