Tuesday 24 November 2009

On a boat!

So, we made it, we managed to leave Yurimaguas. We got up at around seven, had breakfast and took a mototaxi to the port, confirmed there was a boat later in the day.

Many hours later, we sit in our hammocks on ther Eduardo VII, my GPS telling me that what we had hoped would be a 10 hour trip, arriving around midnight in Lagunas, will almost certainly take 14 or more. It is nine-thirty and we're barely halfway there.

Slow, slow boat.

The experience has been interesting though. We hung our first hammocks, here on the blue-painted upper deck. People above, animals and engines and cargo below. When we had a look this morning, it was just a big, empty space. Now it is full of hammocks, two overlapping rows of them in all the colors of the market. Dozens of people suspended from the ceiling, their luggage and shoes on the floor, little space for walking. As I take my Ciproflax, killing my Typhoid one pill at a time, I listen to the guy cough four hammocks down and it occurs to me that this might be a good place to get that famous flu that has been going around...

We arrived late enough to end up at the very rear, by the dining table, the toilets, the rumbling engine below and now, after dark, the poker game. Not the best place to sleep, but we hadn't expected to need to. Ah well.

We have endured the curiosity and the antics of the children onboard. We have taken some pictures, of them and our surroundings. We have learned why, before we left shore, there were ladies offering tupperware for sale: because you need your own container for the food served onboard. They also sold spoons.

The food itself was simple and tasty: rice, a slice of a huge boiled potato, a piece of chicken.

I have learned a lot about Soviet spies, I just finished reading an entire book about them, one that Ewelina picked up in the hostal in Baños. Meanwhile, Ewelina has expanded her vocabulary and her mind, reading the copy of Fahrenheit 451 that I picked up in Cuenca.

And now I guess it is time to catch some sleep, my first nap on a hammock on a boat on a river in the Amazon basin. How very strange!

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