QuickPeek: Waiting for Boat

Amazon Journey Day 5

I woke up at 7 and walked about, of course hoping the boat was still there. Well, it was and the cargo seemed to have been untouched, I met Ricardo who was walking about and chatted a while. He had met the captain and found out that the boat was scheduled to leave on Wednesday and not Tuesday, which we thought was the case. Hmmm, One more day to be here I suppose. He also found out that the journey would cost us 100 Soles and was hoping that he might get to sleep on the boat tomorrow night on the day before departure.

Here’s a bit about the transportation from Pantoja. There are the ‘more or less’ scheduled ‘fast’ boats from Pantoja to Masan or to Iquitos twice weekly and costs 80USD. Yesterday, he encountered an unscheduled boat which left for Masan and might have been a ‘faster’ service and was expected to reach this small town in one day. That boat seemed to have an engine issue and was heading into town to get some repairs done. I suspect there are such ‘unscheduled’ boats once every so often and one could hop on one of these to leave Pantoja. The Slow boat which we plan to take was also unscheduled, costs 100 Soles (30 USD) and according to locals arrives once every 20 days or so. This was expected to be a 4 day voyage to Iquitos.

I suppose we were lucky to be able to get this boat with a 5 day wait than an expected 10 days average wait eh. Some of the people who had send me messages about this rate seemed to have gotten the boat in 2-3 days too and I suspect the turn around for the boat is more like 10 days instead of 20. But, really, no one seems to actually know more clear details.

We had a couple of Old Colombian guys in the hotel and I chatted a while with them at b’fast. They were on their first time trip on the river and seemed excited too. Well it’s nice to know that the journey is interesting for people living around here and not just a novel tourism experience. They were a couple of Alien Civilisation nuts (I say that in a humorous and respectful way) and it was fun chatting with them on superior beings living under tunnels in mars and how some tibetan monks tunnelled their way from the Himalayas to the Andes. Fun stuff, especially listening to that in Spanish.

I spent the rest of the day reading Murakami and watching some more videos. I decide to stock up on potable water and pump out another 7 litres of rain water using my filter and hopefully that will be good enough to last me for the journey ahead. Unfortunately, though the day was super bright and sunny and the water collected the rain barrels were all used up for more important toilet duties and there was none left for me to pump out.

We walked up to the boat and realised that some other tourists had already strung up their hammocks and we had limited space to work with, dang, I should have stuck much earlier than mid afternoon I suppose. One of the guys on the boat, who was a little like the ‘boss’ and not really the captain gave us some details on the charges and that we’d incur an additional 15 soles for the bikes, shucks. Anyway, With the limited available space, I went back and strung out my tarp to reserve two spaces for us. We decided to hang our hammocks closely so that one of us can keep an eye all the time on the stuff. The food options on the boat was going to be measly and I suppose we might have to go on a bit of a fasting routine to survive the 4 day trip. I just hope there is some form of edible carbs, bread, rice, maybe eggs or whatever we might be able to secure. And in addition may be we could buy some stuff when occasional vendors come on board too. We had some oatmeal bars that we had stocked up from Tumbaco, Diana has be awesome and gave us a sizeable number of bars and I suppose it will keep us alive thro this voyage.

We had a nice dinner (baseline, eggs and Yuca) and watched some Monty Python and headed in to sleep. I suppose tomorrow will be when we’d end up packing up our stuff and organise it on the boat. It’s a bit tricky to be able to keep many tiny bags together and away from potential casual theft, but I suppose we have a bit of a strategy in mind to manage that.

Track Notes

Expenses: SG$ 11.35
Comments: Amazon Journey Day 5