On Tuesday the 8th we flew to Iquitos in the North East of Peru. Iquitos is the largest city in the world not accessible by road, the only way in and out is by air or boat. Sitting on the banks of the Amazon and it's tributaries it feels like the end of the world.
The day we arrived we looked for tours into the Jungle, there are lots of local operators some more professional than others. Having access to trip advisor and the internet to vet the people who approached us was invaluable. Given our budget we searched out a recommended lodge in the village of San Pedro.
The trip by boat through the Amazon and it's tributaries was astonishing. The river even towards it's source is wide and brown. It's height varies greatly with the level of rain and given the recent downpours and tree tops poking up from what is sometimes the rivers banks.
At the lodge we met an American couple who were volunteering there and arranged a walk into the rainforest the following day.
Setting off at 8:00am we headed into some relatively untouched rainforest which we agreed to. We were shown plants and trees used locally for medicinal purposes. There was tree sap for purging, sap for clotting open wounds and vines for settling your stomach. I remember reading that a huge amount of modern medicine originates in the Amazon and from this short walk I could believe it.
Passed well trodden paths between villages used for agriculture and lumber lies rainforest that is much older. The tree's grow closer and the Mosquitoes form angry swarms.
The Amazon rainforest is everything you would expect, plants grow gigantic on what must some of the most fertile soil on the planet, there are ferns bigger than the tallest trees in the UK and Tree's the size of six story buildings.
At this point I was starting to get extremely hot so we turned back. This was the right decision as by the time we arrived back at the lodge I was starting to feel sick with the first stages of heat stroke.
Thankfully I was ok after dunking my head in the shower for 15 minutes and we spent the rest of the time at the lodge relaxing before being taken back to Iquitos by boat the following day.