Thursday, 12 February 2009

Leticia

After flying back to San Andres and spending one final day by the sea, I boarded the plane to Bogota and was back in the capital. After taking care of some admin – getting my sandals repaired and sorting out money – I was back on a plane to Leticia, a border town in the Amazon that skirts the borders of both Brazil and Peru. As we arrived I could see the dense jungle below stretching as far as the eye could see in every direction. I had been in the Amazon before in Bolivia and had enjoyed it immensely, the huge diversity of life. The Amazon river holds an incredible two thirds of the world's freshwater and the rain forests are essentially the lungs of the planet. As I stepped off the plane a wave of heat hit me. I met Antonio, the local operator who had been recommended to me as someone who knew the jungle as well as anyone, spoke English and liked to do things a little differently. Instead of plying the same route as all the other operators we hashed out a plan that would take us deep into the Amazon, with guides who had more than twenty years of experience. Antonio was excited about the idea too which I thought was a very good sign.

Leticia is a lively little town that has undergone a major transformation, once the haunt of any number of narco-traffickers, the town now is a very safe place and quite a prosperous one, though this prosperity probably has quite a bit to do with its nefarious past. So the plan for me is to go deep into the jungle with one of Antonio's most experienced guides, Wilson and stay three and half days in a remote cabin deep in the jungle and experience the real Amazon, far away from the where the rest of the tourists stay. From that base we will be able to discover both the highland eco-systems and the those of the flatlands, traveling up the tributaries in a small boat, and possibly camping out one night in the jungle, weather permitting. I am really looking forward to it.

Tonight Colombia play Venezuela in a key football match so I have found out where the action is at and will be heading out to cheer on Colombia as they battle it out with their age-old rivals.

- David

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