That first sight of the Amazon (Jungle & River) from the plane was such an intensely overwhelming moment. Even now I'm still in disbelief that we're actually here, it feels like a dream! I definitely maybe did a little cry when we saw the beautifully green rainforest from a distance.
We had been told by the retreat that a taxi would collect us from Iquitos airport, and under no circumstance to get into any other unauthorised taxi so we found the guy holding the card with our names on and he led the way to the 'taxi'.
Now, this was a clear indicator of just how conditioned my mind is to certain 'luxuries' in life because can you imagine the look on our faces when this was our taxi?
What an adventure!
After dropping our stuff off we had a little tour of Iquitos with one of the 'tour guides' who honed in on us whilst we were admiring the Amazon close up (we learned this was a perfect place for them to pick up wandering Gringos) walking through a market, a shaman market (where we picked up some coca leaves and mosquito repellent - wow they do not let up round there!), the high street (where Ross managed to leave his bank card in the ATM machine never to be retrieved) and sat and had lunch in an Ayahuasca diet friendly restaurant on the bank of the river.
We returned and set off in Stacy's 4x4 to the retreat, collecting 2 other passeneros en route. Stacy owns Dreamglade, he's from London and moved out here around ten years ago, unsurprisingly as the place is beautiful and full of opportunity. On the journey we learned exactly why the 4x4 was necessary... The place is well, well off the beaten track, we bumped and got stuck several times, massive holes and big ramps whilst getting into thicker and thicker jungle. In a Jeep with 3 strangers the trust levels were necessarily high. We were sunburnt, tired, partially eaten alive (already) by the mozzies yet the excitement overtook all of that... Bring it on Dreamglade!
Here's some snaps from our time at the retreat, I'll update on our activities there soon!