Adventures in...

Peru: Part Four.

Alfred is waiting in the lobby when I finally stroll out of my room to check out. It's just as dark out as it was when I wandered back to the hotel a couple hours ago. The slot machine casino across the street is just as busy and full of stale cigarette smoke as it was yesterday afternoon. I could really use a beer to get rid of this nagging headache. I'm sure it has something to do with all the beers last night and the lack of sleep over the last couple days.

Eventually I throw my backpack in the back of Alfred's moto-taxi and he kicks the engine to life. He's on a mission it seems. We are going as fast as his moto-taxi will take us. At least this morning I'm wearing my glasses to keep the sand from flying in my eyes. The streets of Iquitos are starting to come to life with the rising sun and heat. The fruit vendors are setting up and the stray dogs are already begging for scraps.

When we finally get to the airport I settle my tab with Alfred and wish him the best. Inside the airport I check in and in no time flat befriend some lady German backpackers who assume I'm a backpacker and not working. We drink some Cokes and make the meaningless chit chat you learn when you are backpacking. "Where are you from? How long have you been away?" And other questions you ask to make temporary friends while you are on the road.

Thick cold smoke spills out of the plane. I'm relieved to find out it is only the air conditioning. We taxi down the runway I look out the window at the tarmac, jungle, and the company's helicopters sitting there.

By the time I can see the Amazon river and become mesmerized as I watch the world get further beneath us I've forgotten those German girls names.