We left Tabatinga Brazil and finally saw the little town where the boat was, Leticia, Colombia.  See the map for Colombia where the southern tip meets Peru and Brazil. Very small but inviting. It was market day and fresh fruit, fish, and breads abound. Shopped and then off to the boat or ship, depending on your  view of it from the shore - looked like the African Queen!  Getting to the ship was another adventure and some of the woman had shoes made for walking on the side walk, not walking around in the mud along the shore looking for a dugout boat to get us out to the Amazonas, our floating palace on the Amazon River!  There were lots of screams and lots of curses and lost shoes in the mud and slipping and sliding which made the rest of us break up with hilarious laughing which of course did not put us in the best light at the beginning of the river trip.

We were a little bored after being on the Amazon for a few days and seeing nothing but water and trees and beautiful rainbows in the distance, the captain told us we were approaching the river border between Peru and Colombia and there could be trouble. Trouble from mostly middle aged Americans on a holiday. Sounds like a lot of countries I have visited. The soldiers, mostly 18 or younger it seems, have a life time job with pay which makes everyone happy except the people that suddenly get interrogated for basically no reason.  My policy in this instance is to say, "Yes, sir!" and keep my mouth shut the rest of the time.

"Danger - Danger" Colombian Border Crossing!

In the distance was a military post on a hill in the jungle. Nothing else was around.  Suddenly soldiers ran out of the building and down the hill into  boats. They came after us and the captain told us to keep quite as we were passing the border of Colombia again. If we caused any trouble they would detain us with the excuse we might be smuggling dope into the country. They all had machine guns and looked about 18 years old. Well for once everyone kept their mouths shut while the captain had to argue about an hour before we could leave. He said this happens almost every time they go past this check point. We just stood there with our passports open and not even a smile. The last thing we wanted was to get stuck in some jail in Colombia, the fun capital of South America!  So the military base, the gun ho soldiers, and the river bank along Colombia was the only part of the country we saw and for the time being, that was enough!

We finally got back to Iquitos and there I had another adventure that was extremely funny and should be read just for the fun of it!


Return to the World Travels of Charles Walter Buntjer

  Charles Walter Buntjer

San Francisco California
Created on: 1994      

Updated on: 2015.03.25