Peru, Day Four (July 15, 2009)

First things first. I have to take a moment to throw some love at Hostal Killari. Two brothers run the place, Manuel and Alejandro; even though it´s only been open for 5 months, they´ve figured out how to run a good operation, and they go out of their way to help - whether it´s making your breakfast at 0:dark:30 so you can catch an early flight or driving like maniacs through Lima to get you to said flight. So next time you´re in Lima, look them up.

Speaking of flights at 0:dark:30, we took one this morning to Tarapoto. Only took about an hour, and then we hired a taxi to take us to Juanjui. The 3 hour drive was heaven - windows down, warm tropical wind blowing through my hair, mountains all around. I´ll take fresh air and a dirt road any day over a flying bus. We drove past picturesque thatched-roof houses, cattle drives, gorgeous tropical flora, and even rice fields along a highway lined with remants of rock falls from the 40-foot-high passes that had been blown out of the mountains. It feels good to get out of the city.

Juanjui is a small village but it has a beautiful hotel - Hotel Capricornia - that´s filled with tropical plants, hammocks, and verandas lined with comfy chairs. The walls in the rooms are made of brick, and the doors are made of beautifully-carved wood. My derriere is staking claim on a hammock as soon as we get back.

Lunch was at Restaurante de la Selva. There was no doubt the fish had just flopped out of the water this morning. It was pounded flat, lightly breaded and fried in some kind of crack. Also gorged on an entire pitcher of papaya juice. I regret nothing. (urp)

OK, weird moment of the day. This internet cafe is now blaring a Spanish version of Unchained Melody. It´s, um, interesting.

Tonight we´re meeting with Estaban Alayo, the administrative director of the Rio Abiseo National Park; tomorrow he´s taking us out in the field. Then off to Moyabamba the following day. I could get used to this.


Annie said...

Hum, this is beginning to sound like a gastronomy study trip. I think this whole "archaeological dig gig" is just a cover story.

Unchained Melody, huh? It's always a small pleasure, when traveling, to have a background melody seep into your conscious mind, but in a slightly warped way. "Wait .... don't I know that song? Why yes, it's Tip Toe Through the Tulips!" Seriously, it can be a rather surreal experience at times - imagine suddenly recognizing that the mariachi band is strumming a slow version of the Black Eyed Peas "Hey Mama". Drinking was not involved ... I swear : )

The drive up to Juanjui sounded divine!

Maggie&Bandit said...

Sounds like your trip is amazing....friends, beautiful sights, great air and more to come. You struck a nerve with us when you said you were hanging out the car window -- we recommend hanging your tongue out, too. It really enhances the experience.

We're hoping your jinx is done and all will be sweet from here. You should know Brad is posting hillbilly photos of himself on the internet. Not sure why, but I'm certain he won't get any dates from it.

The staff sends love!