Off to the Amazon

It's 20.00 here in Lima and we're just whiling the time away before we leave for the airport at 02.00 to fly to Iquitos (02.00 - Exodus tu est assassins). From there it's then a three hour boat trip along the river to our jungle lodge for two nights and more creepy crawlies than you can shake an extremely shitty stick at.

Talking of which... the first dose of Montezuma's revenge has struck, so rather than going out for a meal with everyone else, I'm sticking within a 60 second dash radius of my own khazi and hoping that I'll be all nice and purged before I get on the aeroplane. I'm not even indulging in a quick pisco sour, which is a cocktail I have very rapidly fallen head over heels in love with. Gorgeous stuff.

Lima takes a while to relax into, especially for a lad from Baulking (pop. 51, some of which are probably livestock). Nine million people live here, many in extreme poverty in the peublos that have washed up along the local hillsides, and there's also an atmosphere of slight paranoia amongst the gringos. Keep your thumb over your drink, don't carry anything valuable, walk purposefully at all times...that sort of thing. I blame the Footprint South American Handbook which, as well as being the weight of a small brick, tends to go straight for Defcon 3 alert status at the drop of the hat. This is a book that should be twinned with Crimewatch ('Oh, don't forget... having scared you witless for the last 60 minutes, there's not really anyone lurking outside your back door...honest'), or at least ship with the words 'PANIC' emblazoned non-comfortingly on the front cover. Mine is sliced and diced with the aid of a Swiss Army knife now, and at least is proving good and absorbent when camping...

A wander round the city then today, down into the rich Miraflores area and looking at museums and some mightily impressive colonial architecture. Though we all drive each other slightly insane at times, this trip is turning out to be frequently hilarious and I can't remember when I cried with laughter quite so consistently. It started with my roommate Rob (El Diablo) sitting next to an American girl on the tour coach to a chorus of 'Smooth Operator' and continued up to just now when I found that Bath beat Leicester today. Not Wildean levels of wit admittedly, but this is definitely a fun way to travel. Unfortunately, as with cricket and rugby tours, what happens on the truck stays on the truck and most of it is unrepeatable even for a journo with well developed immoral principles like myself. Well, until I get home and out of reach of El Diablo's dirty washing bag at least.

Anyway, enough wittering. Remind me to go through and give all this blog stuff a damn good edit when I get home. Some photos are up now, and I'll put more online after Iquitos.

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