your internet guide to all things catfish
|Peru 2000 an Amazon Adventure (part 1)
by Allan James
Marston Bates/Where Winter Never Comes.
Flying over the Andes
Landed at Iquitos Airport which by the way has the longest name for an airport that you will ever see in the world, so long that I couldn't remember it.
Flying over the Amazon Basin
Cezar, the local manager for Margarita Tours, met us and if there ever was a man organised, he is that man. Off we went in the minibus into town to our Hotel, the short journey was memorable as I had never seen a place like it, there seemed to be a soap opera being played out on every corner and the taxi's were something else, a fantastic and vibrant city.
We arrived at the Amazon Gardens Hotel or Hostel as they are called here where we had a small pool situated just outside the reception area. The rooms were pretty basic but comfortable. We went for a short walk around to get our bearings then retired for a short nap to recharge our batteries. Before we went out for a meal at night we met our tour guides and operators Drs. David Schleser and Devon Graham who turned out to be the two most enthusiastic people I had ever met.
We took our meal at Ari's Diner, which was recommended to us and known to the locals as "Gringolandi" as tourists usually find their way here. This is were I ate something that I thought I would never eat, Catfish!, it was the local variety labeled in the menu as 'Dourada', and most probably the large Pimelodid, Brachyplatastoma flavicans, it was very nice and I put my guilty conscience to the back of my mind.
Siamese fighters at Rio Mamon
Rio Mamon is run by an Austrian who breeds believe it or not Asian Siamese fighters which were lined up in rows on half a dozen shelves. They had lots of Cory's here notably C. fowleri and C. aeneus (Peru Gold stripes). We then headed for the second exporter, Yacarunas International Enterprise that had some nice Loracariids and Characins. In the afternoon we visited the fish and food markets an experience in itself. In the evening myself, Devon, Jools, Clare, Steve and Alan went for a few beers, the Peruvian beer is to be well recommended. We then went on to a Chinese Restaurant for a great sweet and sour and a few more beers of course.
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