Spent most of the day catching up on internet stuff. Then it was like leaving home, Joe, Neto both said goodbye at Flying Dog...Neto is going to France in a month to continue his studies, language and communications degree. Joe continues on with his very possitive attitude even tho his father is suffering from diabetes and they have no money to get a transplant or anything...just pray. We will miss them, so very helpful and just nice folks.
Taxi to airport at 330 and plane here in Iquitos by 730 pm, we end up in LP hostal, Maflo which is very basic and just as expensive as Lima! Noisy city, tons of motor cycles and tuk tuks...the tuk tuk driver who took us to Maflo said it is because they manufacture them here! Really, it reminded me of Hanoi, the noise and traffic was incredible!
Spent morning checking out fast boats to Leticia...it is low season so we expected reduced fares...not so, instead, they cut out over half the boats running so any given day there is just one option! AND the fixed the rates between themselves so whereas our friend got a bargained price of $45 ea. haggling, we are paying $70 ea. since it doesn't matter to them, it seems the remaining boats are always full! They claim that there are lots of tourists...well, ya, when only half the boats are going all the seats fill. Plus, they say the cost of gasoline is much higher...we had mentioned friend Kathy's experience and cost of her ticket...did no good! We could go on the slow boat for 4 days of boring river and crappy food in addition to losing days we don't have.
It reminds me of Zanzabar where they charge more in low season because they still have to cover their expenses...not thinking that people might stay longer if prices were less, ha! Perhaps we should have flown all the way to Leticia but who was to know? Iquitos is just a big, humid, noisy city...we could attempt to go see a butterfly/animal rescue place out of town, but with the increased costs we bagged that idea a just hang in the hostal. Out budget is shot anyway since we know it's going to cost more for Amazon ahead of time.
While we are out shopping for fruit I see in the local paper that the Amazon is at an all time low, the lowest it's been in 40 years of records...maybe they have some claim.