At 2.47pm on Tuesday the klaxon blew and we pulled out of the harbour, that meant we had been on an anchored ship for over 26 hours! We were told we would leave on Monday at 3pm and to be on the ship by 12 to find a spot for our hammock so we did. As 3pm drew closer the ship buzzed with rumours of a late departure and slowly it got later and later until we were told we would leave at 10am the next day…which became 2.47 but as we pulled away I was relieved that we were getting closer to our real jungle adventure.
They serve breakfast and dinner on board, you line up with your bowl and spoon, it felt like Oliver Twist. I was starving by dinner time and was waiting for the bell to sound, as soon as it went off I rushed downstairs with mine and Lenas bowl, and hurried back. I handed Lena hers, tried to sit on my hammock, obviously in a way that you shouldn’t and fell off backwards, my piece of chicken and potato went flying past my ear and I landed with the bowl still in my hands with some rice left…I was devastated! I didnt even care that I fell because I was just looking at the chicken on the floor beside me. Thankfully Lena eats EVERYTHING so she was happy to eat my chicken and gave me hers (this is one of the reasons I love travelling with her).
The boat was taking us to Iquitos, the only city In the world that is not accessible by road, it was a city deep In the Amazon and although we were told our journey would take 2 days and one night, we were prepared by stories of friends that told us their journey ended up taking 5 days. We didn’t mind, we learnt to love the boat, to spend our days playing cards, chilling in our hammocks and watching the scenery as we floated through the Amazon.
There were several stops along the way, you were never told how long they would be but the ferry would collect cargo, often in the form of animals, or just more passengers. The second morning I woke up and didn’t feel too great, I told Lena I felt sick and shortly after began puking. It was nothing to worry about, this happened regularly to me in Peru, the food often didn’t agree with me. It carried on more then usual, a lovely couple who were both doctors came to see me at my hammock, they were from Germany. They gave me some medicine to make it stop and warned me that I should stay in my hammock as it causes dizziness… I got dizzy, the swinging of the hammock made it worse so I stumbled to the bench which was outside at the front of the boat and thought the breeze would do me good so I lay on it.
We had been stood still all morning, since about 6am at a village where they had been loading cargo. At around 10 Lena said she wanted to explore a bit and to get me something to make me feel better. I could see all these watermelons from the boat, literally thousands and I told her I was craving a slice. She went with Manuel, one of the Swiss guys, as she was walking off she said “Make sure the boat doesn’t leave without me” And I replied “If it leaves I will wave at you from my hammock.”
It was meant to be a joke but about 15 minutes after they got off I realised we were moving! “OH NO!!” I shouted to the other Swiss guy Peter and ran off to the captain to make him stop. He didn’t really care, he just said “too bad, they will have to get a car to drive them there.” I explained Lena had left her money on-board and they might be stranded but he just carried on driving very nonchalantly and it was really annoying me so that was the first time I got angry in Spanish. I told him we waited on the ship for 26 hours for him to leave and now he won’t even wait for 10 more minutes for them, we realised that the Daniel the ex-war veteran who was in his 60’s was also gone and so was the Brazilian, Eduardo! This did not sway the captains decision, I felt better that Eduardo was with them, he was this very cool and capable character. He had travelled the world and he was helping us with everything, he tied our hammocks on, told us about the various things we passed, showed me where the Amazon river really begins and how you can tell by the two colours in the water changing. He had all these amazing stories and just spouted knowledge and everyone on the boat knew him. Anyways I had to leave the captain to throw up and then I went back to my hammock, we were long gone by then. I was thinking about how I would carry all their bags and me and Peter decided they would probably have gone by car and will in fact be waiting for us there as its faster.
I heard a speedboat and some people went over to look at it, I just stayed in my hammock…they were all talking I was not really paying attention, just thought it was bringing more passengers but then Eduardo came up the stairs! I jumped out of my hammock and asked him where Lena was and if he even saw them. He said no he didn’t even know they were there!! Shortly afterwards they came up the stairs, he was joking! They all got the speedboat and we were reunited. “sorry I let the boat go, he wouldn’t listen to me” I said, “sorry I ate your watermelon” Lena replied. So I guess we were even…like I said Lena eats everything hahaha. That night we pulled into the harbour in Iquitos! We had made it!
We waited to get off but they wouldn’t let our boat dock, all these police boats were around and then we were told the small water taxi in front of us (which me and Lena take on our next trip to monkey island) had a murder on it. Apparently they robbed people and killed a woman and so we had to wait. Not the nicest welcome but I just thought logically that they probably wouldn’t rob trampy looking backpackers like us and they must have known those people had more to give then we did. I look forward to telling you about Iquitos and the monkey island, tune in for the funniest video of me getting attacked by a monkey, best places to go in Iquitos and how we lived with a family in the heart of the Amazon!
Ciao for now x
I’m back in Jo’burg from a four day trip to Cape Town, it was amazing! We were supposed to be there for three days but we extended it because we didn’t wanna leave (me and my bro). Theres so much to see and the City is rich with views scattered all over like jewels waiting to be found. Downtown is a different world to the coastline. On our first day we explored downtown, it felt unsafe and beggars follow you around relentlessly and every street corner is riddled with drug dealers and “dodgy” looking people lol. After that day we decided it would be wise not to wear or carry any unnecessary valuables and for the first time in my life I was without a handbag haha all I carried was my camera, lipgloss and some money in my pockets. Locals told us its fine to roam around but not after dark and to never look lost or scared (which is pretty hard when your following a map) We climbed aboard a local minibus which was 6 rand (50p) in comparison to 100 rand (£8) and we were told it was safe…I didnt feel safe at allll..the guy who we paid to let us on had ripped clothes and a passenger told him he stinks (which he did) and got off and then the bus driver seemed completely high he was singing and dancing to every song that came on the radio shouting at people on the streets and I have no idea what he was saying to me most of the time I just nodded and smiled while I clung to my suitcase and prayed that we would get off soon haha so after that we just got taxis everywhere. Without our valuables it felt a lot safer obviously the beggars dont target you if they see you dont have a bag.
We stumbled on a shoot for a cadburys ad in the middle of town where a giant purple hippo/cow pinata was floating in the middle of the street, two girls hit it and the most chocolate I have ever seen came out. We wernt allowed any though, only white people as they were the only people allowed in the frame so all the other indian/african/chinese people had to watch haha it was like the most racist thing I’ve ever experienced but I understood it was to do with marketing and South Africa is very backwards in that way due to there history. One black guy tried to run for the chocolate when the others did because he was just passing by and thought it was for everyone and I actually have a video of the white director yanking him back shouting at him and telling him it was for white people only not a free for all, we left after that…im thinking of sending it to cadburys and explaining that nearly 70% of the worlds cocoa is from west africa and grown by black people and that not just white people buy there chocolate and if they are gonna shoot ads in a black community they should be more tactile, also shouldnt employ racist people.
So day two, we went on the hop on hop off tour bus which went around the peninsula. We saw the amazing coastline where every beach was different to its neighbouring beach. The sea often lapped against the mountains and then the next beach would be against cliffs or boulders and then you would stumble upon a bay where the beautiful white sand was washed with turquoise water. I was trigger happy, I think in four days I took more than a thousand photos haha. We went to table mountain that day, we took a cable car to the peak and then walked around up there for about two hours just taking in the views. We were waiting for sunset which was amazing. It looked like the horizon was on fire and the sea was slowly extinguishing it as the sun sank. We dined on the waterfront which was buzzing with people, its a beautiful place to eat out and then theres a few pubs where you can go and enjoy amazing live music.
Day three was my favourite day, we booked a backpackers tour with Baz Bus along the whole peninsula to Cape Point. We stopped at Hout Bay where we had the option to go on a glassbottom boat to Seal Island, it was really nice and we watched the seals lazing around on the rocks. Our next stop was Simons Town to see the cutest penguins everrrr at Boulders Beach. It was sooo amazing and I wished I had my handbag I would have totally put one in there haha they were tiny and there little waddle was adorable.
The next stop was Cape Point national park, It had wild game roaming around, and we were told to look out for baboons but unfortunately we didnt see any. Only a deer like animal and wild ostrich. We stopped for a picnic and then the 6km uphill cycle to the Cape of Good Hope. It was so beautiful cycling along the coast and although the hill was a struggle it was so worth it when we got to the top. Going down was so much fun, as we glided down the mountain the fresh sea breeze was beautiful and the views below. Then we climbed to the summit of the Cape of Good Hope by foot, it was amazing at the top. I could have sat there all day but we had to get to Cape point where some say the Atlantic Ocean and Indian ocean meet but others believe its at Cape Agulhas, the southern most point of Africa.
We went out clubbing that night along Long Street, clubs are pretty dead on week days, more like bars and they were very casual. We went to Dubliners and Fiction and met quite a few people, a mix of tourists and locals who all told us that we should stay the weekend to party as this wasnt a good reflection on the nightlife of the Cape. They had bands performimg in a lot of the bars and they were all really amazing! I would recommend Rafikis its a really cool bar/restaurant with amazing pizza in Kloof.
Day four, Unfortuantely Robben Island was fully booked (book 3 or 4 days in advance) we were told to go and see some vineyards before we leave as they are very popular in Cape town so we went to see the oldest existing one in Constantia where all the diplomats and rich and famous live. It was beautiful and the scenery was epic. We did another bus tour and then had our final dinner on the bustling waterfront and then headed to a club called Cubanas which was really nice and chilled out.
I would highly recommend Cape Town, its one of the most amazing places I’ve seen with a rich history and amazing scenery. Theres plenty of things to do and I think to really enjoy it all you need a minimum of five days.
- Cape Point & Cape of Good Hope – Cape Town, South Africa (travelpod.com)
- Cape Town (jessieandstephen.wordpress.com)
- Cape Point and Penguins (seawhatisee.wordpress.com)
- !Cape Point Sideboard (standardfurniturepointsideboardstoragecsale.wordpress.com)
- Cape Town – again!! (suletta.com)
- Spotlight On : Cape Town (fly.co.za)
Heres a pic of the sunset in Zanzibar…I was sooo happy snappy on that holiday, everything was so beautiful…even the bugs:
Something about this picture fills me with a sense of freedom:
I am obsessed with the sky and amazed by the colours, when I fly I take like a 100 pictures of the sky from the plane…this is from the beach though.. so prettyyy