Iquitos is the largest city in the world which is not connected to other cities by road. To get there you must travel by boat or plane. Our lancha arrived early in the morning and although our guide book warned us that pickpocketing is rife in the Iquitos port and we felt prepared it still wasn't pleasant.
As we entered the port roughly 60 people boarded the lancha from various smaller boats, presumably to get work offloading the cargo. When the lancha actually landed on shore another 60 people borded. The resulting confusion and overcrowding meant that for the next 10 minutes Laura and I were busy pulling peoples hands out of our pockets and watching out for bag slashers. Laura exclaimed in a disgusted tone that she has never had so many people's hands in her pockets in her life. The only thing of value I had in my pockets was a notepad with hostel information and contacts, worthless to anyone but me. As I was trying to hold my pockets closed and maneuvor my way down the gangway I slipped and banged up my arm.
The primary mode of motorized transportation in Iquitos is by motocarro. Cars are a rare sight. Like in much of Latin America everyone who owns a vehicle is also a taxi. Travelling in this manner makes perfect sense in the roasting hot Amazon basin but it also means that the streets of Iquitos are likely the loudest you have ever heard. You know that sound when a Harley drives down the street? Now amplify that by several hundred all day and night.
We found a hospedaje which had a very complete kitchen which was a welcome change from lancha food. Laura cheered me up with a nice homecooked breakfast.
The Belen market is a very colourful market with a huge variety of fruits, clothing, and endangered animals. During our stay in Iquitos we frequented this market. The nice thing about staying at a place with a kitchen is we could make ourselves fresh juices and meals whenever we wanted.