20 October 2023 Cuzco to Iquitos
In search of an ATM
“Life is difficult and disappointing and then you die..”the Buddha’s first realisation (truth for noble ones) paraphrased by VJC
Awake early and refreshed, so early to (another uninspiring but welcome all the same) breakfast, and again grateful for the coffee and banana. These are not five star hotels that I am staying in, indeed some don’t have any stars, or even call themselves a hotel. But all of these budget accommodations are quite adequate for my purposes… and pocket.
I walked to the main square in search of an ATM as ‘cash only’ is acceptable in certain establishments and some others charge a 5% credit card supplement.
After withdrawing some dinero, I had coffee on the balcony of one of the many cafés overlooking the square… watching Cuzco come to life. My contemplations were interrupted by daytime fireworks, for some reason, in front of one of the churches bordering the main square.
I collected my bags and took a taxi to Cuzco airport. I am flying with LATAM airlines to Iquitos via Lima. For both flights I have been allocated seat 3A which is a Premium Economy seat but I only paid an Economy fare. I suppose this seat allows passengers flying with a short connection off of one flight and on to another in short order as it were. It certainly suited me.
Luis, the owner of the Hospedaje Neydita in Iquitos, had messaged me to say the taxi rate from Iquitos Airport to town was 30 soles, so this took some of the ‘travel anxiety’ away, and eased some of my aversion to using taxis. The first taxi I asked how much to town said 30 soles… perfect the ride is yours.
The Hospedaje Neydita is basically a hostel with single rooms of various comfort levels. No breakfast is provided but there is a kitchen available to cook your own food.
I explained to Luis my intention to take a slow boat to Santa Rosa (on the border with Colombia (Leticia) and Brazil (Tabatinga). He said he would send me the sailing schedule by WhatsApp, and he might even have a hammock that I would be welcome to take away. Luis also recommended the Amazon Bristo as a good place to eat… “down 8 blocks to the river then one and a half blocks to the left”.
So, I had a nice walk and reasonable dinner (poor choice, on my part, of meatballs and fries). On the way back to the hostel I purchased some of the essentials for Amazon river travel:
- Toilet paper,
- Mosquito repellent,
- Chilli sauce
That’s quite enough for today. Oh, did I mention that Iquitos is incredibly hot and humid? Probably something to do with rivers and jungles! I had a cold (there was no other option) but welcome shower before turning in and falling asleep.easily.
- Coffee € 1.5
- Taxi to Cuzco Airport € 4
- CUZ-LIM-IQT Latam Airlines € 104
- Taxi from IQT to Hospedaje Neydita € 8
- Hospedaje Neydita (hotel though Booking.com) € 16 no breakfast
- Dinner at Amazon Bistro € 10
- Supplies and sundries for boat trips € 21