Monday, January 11, 2010

Peru 2009 ....Part 4

Peru 2009

PART..... 4

Iquitos Amazon Tour
We returned to Lima to begin the next phase of our Peru Projects. Brenda Pulley and her father Joe came from the United States and we flew to the jungle town of Iquitos in the Amazon rain forest. Brenda and Joe were major contributors to the new school we built 46 kilometers from Iquitos. We were going for the Grand Opening of the school and check the progress of the students and teachers.

We arrived in Iquitos in the evening and checked into the Safari hotel located in the center of town.  It is a nice hotel for 30 dollars a night with great air conditioning. The temperature in Iquitos is about 92 degrees in the day with thick humidity. You get used to sweating constantly and your shirt is always wet.  The only relief is in a cool hotel room.
Iquitos Bike Races
The next morning was the short criterium bike race on a circuit in the suburbs.  I went to the race with Brenda and Joe and we traveled by moto taxi across the city to the starting line. The novice cyclists would race three kilometers and the elite group raced 20 kilometers.  There were about 60 riders with all types of bikes.  Five riders came from Columbia who traveled up the Amazon on a boat to race.  The winner of the race was a bike shop owner from Columbia who had a good sprint at the end.
Later that afternoon we organized the birthday party for the children who live on the street.  We invited 25 kids to a secret restaurant that served them a full dinner of chicken, fried bananas, salad and cake. The hardest part of the night is only selecting 25 kids to attend since we only had three people in our group to organize the meal.  The good thing is the kids are very well mannered and quiet while eating. Brenda and her father Joe were impressed with meeting the kids.  For the next three days many of them would wave to us on the street.
The next day was the big bike race from Nauta to Iquitos.  The route was 90 kilometers on the only paved road across the jungle.  All the racers loaded up in buses and drove to Nauta in the morning.  The race started at 9:00 AM and it was burning hot already.  This was a race for the 40 elite riders. The riders were required to stay within ten minutes of the lead pack or they would be picked up by the broom wagon.  Most of the riders stayed with the pack that surged and attacked several times. There was a pack sprint and the fellow from Columbia won again.  The first three riders won 350, 250 and 150 dollars respectively and the first woman won 100 dollars donated by PAC Tour.  All the riders from both days of racing were allowed to choose a jersey or bike shorts donated to the Peru clothing fund from PAC Tour riders.  It was good to see all the donated items being cherished by the riders in Peru.


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