Thursday, October 11, 2007

Peru Update #12

The following are some random updates that have been sent to riders going on the Amazon Cycling Tour next week. I hope they give you some insight into the conditions and people we will meet along the way.

Update #12
Hotels on the Route

Our accommodations in Lima will be similar to a nice American Holiday Inn with bathtubs and plenty of hot water. We are staying in the Mira Flores district of Lima which is the upper class area. The outdoor restaurants are similar to the type you might see in Paris, France. The neighborhood is safe and it is interesting to walk in the big Kennedy Plaza near our hotel.

The hotels at Tarapoto, Yurimaguas and Iquitos will not have bathtubs, but they will have air conditioning and hot water showers. These towns are not as fancy as Mira Flores but they do have several nice churches and interesting sites to see. Iquitos was considered the Paris of the jungle in the year 1890 as the wealth oozed from the pockets of the rubber barons as freely as the rubber sap did from the trees.

At the end of our first cycling day we stay at the hotel at Caymarachi in the middle of the jungle . It is the most basic hotel of our tour with the bathrooms and showers down the hall. Most of the walls are concrete and the accommodations are crude. It will be hot there so cold water showers will feel good. The only thing good about this hotel is that it is the only place to stay for 40 miles in either direction.

When we arrive in Yurimaguas we will go shopping for a boat that is ready to depart. The Edwardo Boat Company has hot showers and fans in the cabins. We will try to travel on an Edwardo Boat if one is departing on our time schedule. We might need to buy electric fans if the cabins do not have fans. You have the option to buy a hammock or foam pad in Yurimaguas for sleeping on the deck. The boat cabins are made of sheet metal and too hot to stay in during the day. Our support crew member Nayda will be our cook on the boat. She can prepare custom meals for our group. We will all go shopping before we get on the boat and plan a menu of what we want to eat for two days.

Our hotel in Iquitos is owned by a cyclist who wants to be a good host for us. The rooms are clean with good air conditioners and we are within two blocks of downtown. We are in Iquitos for four nights so we will have a chance to try many restaurants in the area. A family I know has invited us for dinner at their home located in the dirt streets of a shanty neighborhood. I have eaten at their house often and the mother is a great cook. It will be a memorable dinner with plenty of food.

During our tour we will participate in many activities not usually open to gringo tourists. We will get to meet and hangout with many local people and see their lives outside of the usual tourist areas.

I am working out a schedule of who and where we will visit. Our group is very popular and we have more invitations to visit people than we have time. I think our days will be very full but I don’t want to overbook our time. I want to allow you enough flex time for you to spend more time at the areas that interest you.

More updates later.....


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