Flying from Iquitos Peru to Tabatinga Brazil and a Taxi to Leticia

I visited Lima on the Pacific Ocean and Cusco in the Andes. Then I flew to Iquitos in the eastern region of Peru near the mouth of the Amazon River where I spent a few days and then flew to Tabatinga Brazil. From there we took taxis into the town of Leticia in Colombia. See the map where the southern tip of Columbia meets Peru and Brazil.

 Flight from Iquito Peru to Tabatinga Brazil

Here is a view of the Amazon at flood stage as we flew over the jungle to Tabatinga.


We left Tabatinga Brazil and finally saw the little town where the boat was, Leticia, Colombia. A very small town but inviting. It was market day and fresh fruit, fish, and breads abound. It had rained so there was lots of mud all over. We were lucky, it rained for a short time and for the rest of the trip, great weather!

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.

 Amazonas Cruise Ship

Here is the Amazonas, our fabulous cruise ship to traverse the Amazon at it's flood stage. What views as we sailed east on one of the tributaries of the Amazon. We had no rain but often saw rainbows in the distance!

 Columbian Drug Bust

"Danger - Danger" Colombian Border Crossing!

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.

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!

 Iquitos Engagement

Iquitos Adventure!

I arrived at the tourist's agency with the rest of the group on the Amazon River trip at about 8:00 A.M. and found out that our plane to Lima wouldn't be ready until about six that evening so we were free to do what we wanted to. One of the young men named Jose at the agency took a fancy to me and since the agency was going to close down until the late afternoon, asked if he could take me on a private tour of Iquitos. I of course said "Yes!"

Off we went to tour the city, first the main square, then the river front, then he asked if I would like to have lunch at his house with his mother. We had lunch and I found out his brother was a travel agent in Lima and Jose wanted to go to Lima within the year to study and perhaps go to Spain to work in the travel business.

We then went back to the agency and everyone looked at me like, sure you got a personnal tour and we didn't. We finally boarded the bus to take us to the airport and as we walked up the stairs and into the plane, my 'friend' did the following:

  • rushed up and grabbed me,
  • gave me a kiss,
  • gave me his address and
  • put a silver ring on my finger!

Everyone just about had a heart attack! Several women said to the others:

"That beats everything, Chuck meets someone in the morning, tours the city, has lunch with the mother and gets engaged on the steps of the airplane all within ten hours!"

But this story ends like the movie 'Casablanca' for as soon as I got back to San Francisco I got on with my life after my South American trip in order to start looking for my next adventure in the world of travels.

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