Untamed Land

Untamed Land
Untamed Land

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Amazon, Iquitos and Quistacocha

Before flying into Iquitos, I imagined that it would be a hot, humid, noisy, and dilapidated jungle town. It was all that and I felt immediately at home there. The people I ran into were open, informal, and welcoming. Most of the town is accessible by the ubiquitous tuk tuks that charged one dollar to take you just about anywhere.
The most interesting part of town is the flooded Belen district. Above is a traffic jam in Belen. People would park their boat, and step from boat to boat to get down the street.
People fished in the street,and used it as a sewer, laundry, bath, and I imagine they even drank from it. I made sure I ate no fish while I was in Iquitos. All of the buildings were either on stilts or floating on logs. The red and white store in the photo is a floating grocery store.
While I was there I  put a down payment on my future retirement home.
This house is protected by a vicious guard dog. I like how they painted their boat to match their house.
The Lesser Kiskadee is a common resident in town.
Laguna Quistacocha is a nature reserve/ zoo/ recreational area about 10 miles outside Iquitos on the only road in the area that goes 40 miles to the small town of Nauta. Above is a small caiman living in the reserve.
A pair of Cobalt-winged Parakeets were nesting in a termite nest in the reserve.
Wattled Jacanas were nesting in Quistacocha. The male Jacana incubates the eggs, and guards the young. They easily nest, and walk on top of floating Water Hyacinth.
Yellow-rumped Caciques nest communally in Quistacocha and around human settlements throughout the Amazon.
Caciques perform elaborate rituals at their nest trees.

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