I left you in Peru shortly after I had visited Macchu Picchu, but am now in Colombia. The journey here started well, with a Steven Seagal film showing on the bus. In the film he was both wise and strong. You could tell he was wise because for the first half hour he wore a silk coat and looked confused. You could tell he was strong because he spent the next hour killing people. In between he was sensitive for about 30 seconds. You could tell this because when his wife died he looked both confused and a little bit cross eyed, then it started raining.
After arriving in Lima with aspirations to become both wise and strong, I instead became drunk. You could tell this because our dormitory got covered in rum and people were having sex and I walked in on them and because they were having sex in our room I couldn´t go to bed and I had to watch a Bryan Adams v Elton John song marathon on TV. I left Lima a damaged man.
From Lima to Iquitos I flew. There are no roads to Iquitos because it´s in the middle of the jungle. Half a million people live there, but as far as I could tell there is nothing for them to do. Apparently they make their money by cutting down the jungle, so one day Iquitos won´t be in the middle of the jungle, but I don´t think they have realised that yet. For now they drive around on motorbikes and sit in the hot evenings and drink cold drinks. They seem happy, especially the Indians who live in the jungle near Iquitos and wait for unsuspecting tourists who they charge lots of money to dance with them. The tourists feel sad that they spent all their money on 10 minutes of dancing, but then realise that as none of the girls are wearing tops it’s like visiting a strip club only cheaper and they are happy.
From Iquitos a boat goes up the Amazon to a point where Peru, Brazil and Colombia meet. I bought a string hammock to sleep in, but when I got on the boat everybody else had cloth hammocks. After sleeping in the string hammock I know why it is bad when dolphins are caught in fishing nets (fish don’t mind because they aren’t as clever as dolphins). There were so many people on the boat that if I turned in my sleep I could roll from one hammock to another without falling on the floor, although this is only a theory and I never tested it. As we floated down the Amazon we occasionally had to drop people off in their villages. To do this the driver turned the boat towards the bank and then crashed into it as hard as he could, which was quite unnnerving. The people who live in the villages would then run onto the boat and try to sell you things, most of which you didn´t want. The only thing they sold which was good was guaba, which looks like a giant cucumber, but has fruit inside. If you try and eat the whole fruit it tastes like mud mixed with leaves, but once you realise that you should only eat the skin it’s like eating a soft sugar soaked carpet.
Pink dolphins live in the Amazon, which is interesting because dolphins should live in the sea and shouldn´t be pink. People told me that they eat them, but I think this is untrue.
After 2 days the boat reached the end of Peru. We could see Colombia and Brazil over the river, but I decided to sleep in Peru, then cross the river the next morning. This was a good decision as lots of Peruvians told me that had I crossed the river at night I would have been killed, but I think this is more because they distrust the Colombians and Brazilians than because there is any truth in it.
Now I am in Colombia and I haven’t been shot. Parrots squawk in the trees and the spiders squashed into the pavement are tarantualas. In the forest that surrounds us are monkeys and snakes and hundreds of other animals that make noise all the time but can’t be seen. It is an exciting place, and in the evenings when everyone returns from the jungle there is music and dancing as people celebrate their lives. This is a good place
Hasta Luego
Sam

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