Our arrival

Santa Rosa de Dinamarca, sitting on a bench across the dirt road from la casa de Bernardo y Bertha (who have been living together for 18 years)

We arrived yesterday after a six hour boat ride upthe Ucayali river (well, headed south, but against the current), the most beautiful part so far of our tremendously long journey of over two days straight!

The river is beautiful, maybe a thousand feet across, maybe more, and along the sides are plantain trees, tall palm grasses (20feet), and occassional beautiful big trees. There are huge birds that look like cranes and other black birds that look like vultures and have a cute funny hop they do before flying. There are fish that jump and people who stare at us from passing boats and from the shores, and people who bring bags of food on board when we stop (like mandarins or already cooked meals of rice and meat all mixed in the plastic baggie), and the police dressed in full camo suits with guns who stop us to ask us where we are going and who make us show our passports, responding qith a coy ´thank you´upon disembarking.

And as their boat sped away (one with a traditional US motor that traveled at speeds far greater than any motor on any Peruvian lancha), all of the passengers on our boat broke out into some of the best laughter I have heard, remarking ´Mucha velocidad!´ (a lot of speed!)

Finally, after much scenery, some napping and snacking on little bread crackers, a bit of excitement, and a stop for one of the most natureful of nature pees I´ve ever had, we arrived at the shore greeted by a hoard of excited kids who must have been waiting for the boat and who all offered to help carry our bags.

After traipsing through the jungle 10-15 minutes, arriving at the pueblo at about 4pm, we promptly rested, caught our breath and drank about 2 liters of water! Following, was a dinner of fried plátanos, a scrambled egg and rice, and a bath out back (the kind you do with big containers of water from a well anbd a small bowl to fill and dump over yourself after soaping up). Then, scrambling to set up our mosquetera (mosquito net, S/.25, compare to EMS US$45), we laid down a blanket, sleeping bags and made it inside just in time to escape the sudden onslaught of mosquitos and other flying terrors that began attacking us. It was 7 or 8 when we went to sleep.

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