So we decided to take the slow boat from Iquitos to Santa Rosa before heading onto Rio by plane. The boat was a combination of a huge cargo delivery vessel with 2 top decks available for passengers wanting to sleep in a hammock for the trip!
At £16 for 3 days hammock space including all meals, and a passenger capacity of 200-300 people it was going to be an experience...
We read advice to set up the hammocks on the 2nd deck and away from the toilets and lights! Arriving a good few hours in advance we achieved this and also got chatting to a few guys who pitched up around us. The group was made up of us, a Swiss, Argentinean, Belgian and an Italian.
The couple from Argentina and Switzerland were proper hippies, travelling South America with all their possessions on their back, earning money from street paintings and selling home made dolls, with a dog in tow! Interesting to say the least!
The boat turned out to be good fun, few beers, chilling, reading and chatting the days away. Views were good and sunsets amazing! Considering the horror stories we'd heard about the chaos and even the food, we were presently surprised. Was a great experience!
We've also now learned (just about!) how to hang a hammock and travel the local way. Would definitely do again!
The next few days we spent pottering around the boarder towns where Brazil (Tabatinga), Colombia (Leticia) and Peru (Santa Rosa) meet. Staying in Leticia as it was the largest and safest, we found a nice hostel with a pool and big grounds, took some walks around town with a few beers and local food!
Next stop Rio De Janeiro and cannot wait!! Flying from Tabatinga and an airport the size of Elstree aerodrome, via Manaus and then onto the 'City of God'!