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Travel Stories & Inspiration

The Clemson Co-eds

I stood on the dock as they loaded provisions wondering to myself how this adventure would turn out. Ten five gallon jugs of water, a huge cooler full of food, tents and two Clemson co-eds and off we went. I’m wondering why we need 50…

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Iquitos – A Boom Town Yesterday and Today

Iquitos remained a sleepy little village stocked with Jesuit and Franciscan missionaries trying to convert the native Indians for many of the years since the discovery of the Amazon River by a retired pig farmer, Conquistador Francisco Pizarro. Although the Aztecs and Mayans had used…

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Road Blocks

Tonight I headed for Poppy’s House (the orphanage) to check on our new visitors, Annalise and Mary Vaughn from North Carolina. Everything was going fine until I hit a road block on the main street. There apparently was an accident and instead of directing traffic…

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Home Away From Home

It’s great to be back in Iquitos, it’s an unbelievable feeling to walk down the boulevard, the street kids see you their faces light up and they race up to give a hug and a kiss. I hadn’t seen Ruth so I went to search her…

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Wrapping Up Rio

The phone, quick get the phone! Oh No the alarm didn’t go off! The taxi is here and we need to head out for the airport NOW. Lou is ready in 10 minutes, a new world record. What a way to start our last couple…

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Carnaval and the Sambadome

Like Alice in Wonderland who fell down the rabbit hole and encountered a whole group of mythical characters, we stepped into the Sambadrome and encountered a fantasy world like none I have ever seen; complete with ghosts and goblins, gorillas and elephants, Captain Hook and…

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Carnaval 2011

Now I know why it is called Carnival, because it is one huge side show with clowns, freaks and animals everywhere. Rio is electric with one street party after another, hundreds of thousands of people who have lost their minds. Guys dressed up as girls,…

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Iquitos Woo

The 10 days with Lou seemed to fly by. Just like a new pair of shoes, a bit uncomfortable at first but after a little wear your best friend, Iquitos grew on Lou. She fell in love with the same street kids that I have…

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Al Frio al Fuego

We stepped out of our motorkar and down into a dimly lit path with stones marking the way. Eventually we hit a stairway that ran right into the water. Our chariot waited, into the peque peq we climbed. The familiar pek pek pek of the…

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Augusta in the Amazon

Not much sleep last night as the anticipation of playing the Augusta in the Amazon is more than I can bear. Looking down the number one fairway of the most beautiful golf course in the Amazon, I realize how long it has been since I…

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Peruvianized

I try to be punctual and efficient in my day to day activities, two qualities that go out the window here in Peru. David told me recently that he had an appointment the other day with another person at 7pm. He was at the appointed…

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Tamshiyacu

As we raced down the Amazon in a small narrow speed boat packed like sardines with local Peruvians, old worn out wooden seats, a couple chickens on my feet and the spray pluming two feet over the side of the boat, I knew that I…

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Seven Soles for Ruth

Each night I sit on boulevard in with the other expats and the sweet Amazon breeze, the harmony of the street players and the come-on from the hookers, when a tap comes on my head. I spin around to see no one there, than I…

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What if?

What if your street was not only your mode of transportation but also where your washing machine? What if the road to your house was also your source of food, entertainment, your shower and your bathroom? What if your street was the center of your…

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Birthdays, Funerals and Water Balloons

There are two social events here in Iquitos that occur on a regular basis, birthdays and funerals, both start late and go long. Even small children’s birthdays can start at 9 or 10pm and go to the wee hours of the morning; funerals are an…

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The Dark Side

Iquitos is the largest city in the world with no road to it, you can only get here by boat or by plane. This contributes to the dark side of this city of 600,000, a refuge for sexual deviants and pedophiles. On the boulevard less than…

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Moving in MotoKars

Never have I been in a city that depended so much on motorcycles and motokars. Eigthty percent of the vechicles in Iquitos are some sort of motorcycle.  The whine of engines grows at each stop light,  like the go-cart track at the beach when the green light shines, until like a…

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