A hammock on the Amazon

The view from the hammock

Janne and Elin have been on a weekend trip to Requena, a neighbouring town to Iquitos. Since Iquitos has no road connection, that meant 15 hours on a boat, floating down the Amazon in a hammock. Janne blogs about her experiences:
It is 6pm, and I’m stretched out in my hammock, admiring the lush, green lanscape as we slowly float down the Amazon. The sun is slowly setting behind the majestic clouds, and the fresh breeze from the river alliviates the humidity of the air. Though the deck is crammed with people and their belongings (including a small cage with live chickens right behind me), I’m filled with a sense of awe for the vastness around me, knowing that I am surrounded by miles and miles and miles of largely untouched jungle.

In the hammock next the me, Elin is sitting upright, smiling and chatting with the young girl that’s brading her hair. Behind her, is another group of other curious kids surrounding us, one of them slowly tracing her fingers up and down my bare calfs (not sure if she is fascinated by my leghair or just wants to cuddle). The kids listen intently, and laugh from time to time, as they observe the spanish lesson playing out before them. Jenni, the 40-something woman in the hammoc next to me has made it her mission to teach me spanish in the course of the next few hours, and we move systematically through my notebook of vocabulary words.

”Re-co-no-cer,” she says slowly. Reconcer. ”To admit or aknowledge” according to my vocab list. Next she gives me an example of how to use it in a sentence: ”Tengo que reconocer que hice algo...” I quickly write it down. We continue with the next word: tacacho – the name of a typical Peruvian dish made of grilled platano (a non-sweet banana) mushed in pork grease. Sounds strange but is actually delicious. Jenni tells me that if I ever come back to Requena, she wants to show me how to make it. She even writes her phone number in my notebook, and says she means it seriously. I believe her. The sincerety and geniune warmth of the people here makes me feel at home, and as we curl up in our hammocks go to sleep a few hours later, it feels like I’m curling up to family.

Read more: Janne in Perú

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