After our final breakfast, we make our way up the riverbank to where tuk tuks are waiting to take us on another journey through a typical Peruvian river town. This town is Nauta. The tuk tuk is a 125cc motor bike with two back wheels that enable a couple of passengers to sit in relative comfort to view the passing scenery and housing.
First stop is the market. Our guide for this visit is Ricardo who explains in detail the different fruits and foods and the benefits to the consumer. He also enlightens us in the ways the foods are prepared. I was interested to see rows of fruit juicers used to make the fruit juice for sale. It reminded me of the ‘boost juice bars’ in Australia.
The fresh food markets in this part of the world are the ‘pantry’ of the locals. Daily shopping for the day’s food is a chore that is the routine of everyone. Animals are carved up on the spot. You can then select the carved meat to be chopped ready for the evening stew.
One member of the group has a broken Scenic cabin bag that needs replacing for the next few weeks of travel. There are stalls with all kinds of goods available; chemist supplies; beauty needs, clothes, shoes, and some selling just ‘plain junk’.
The tuk tuks are waiting to take us to the city square and then to a large pond where large fish and tortoise are waiting for us to feed them some bread. It is 43 degrees and steamy, and the sweat is evident on everyone’s back.
After this venture, the tut-tuts take us on a tour of the rest of the town before returning us to the Aria Amazon for final packing and a chat with our Tour Director about what is coming up in the next few days; we are headed to Cuzco, via Lima.
It is always hard to say farewell to strangers that have become friends in a short period of time. Leaving the Aria Amazon has been one of those experiences where we met strangers who have become friends. We have trusted them so implicitly with our lives to gain the experience of this adventure on the great Amazon River. We will never forget their assurances and crafty ways of caring for us as we board the skiffs or enjoyed a new adventure with them.
After a 90-minute ride towards Iquitos, we come to a Manatee Refuge Centre. Manatees are large, fully aquatic, mostly herbivorous marine mammals sometimes known as sea cows. This animal is quite unusual as it has no front teeth and chews its food with its molars. They are very tame and enjoyed some salad type food, which was given to us to feed them by the keepers.
From here, we make our way to the airport and take the one hour twenty-minute flight to Lima and a further 50-minute ride to the Swissotel for a two-night stay.