Getting food poisoning on an adventure is always an adventure within itself.
And that is just what happened the day after we arrived back at Cusco after Machu. Within four hours of eating at a local food market … a vegetarian dish; we both simultaneously started the many steps to the toilet. Claire with simultaneous pukes and squirts; me with just the squirts.
Biggest concern, running out of loo paper!
We let nature takes it’s place (within the toilet bowel) and we timed it to start taking the ‘Ciproflax’ medicine to knock the bastard on the head. It meant the next day sleeping it off and, postponing our overnight bus to Puerto Maldonado to the following evening so as to allow the health to improve.
The bus station was absolute madness and chaotic with people everywhere. Counter staff from competing bus companies shouted out the destinations for waiting passengers to hear the call and then there was bedlam as everyone hustled towards the gate to board buses. It was like froth from soapy water going down a plug hole. We joined in the fracas. Extra shit paper in our carry on – for that just in case back burp mistake.
It was a ten hour trip and there were lots of swaying as we rounded corners to descend from the altitude. Felt more so in the seats of the bus because they sit a fair way from the ground. We managed to doze until a lady a couple of rows back puked. A child sharing a seat cried. We didn’t need our toilet paper, amen.
When sunrise appeared, there was lush of green everywhere. We had entered the fringes of Amazonia. Hanging a left off the main road tar seal, we were on a dirt road. Could this be right?
Sure enough, it was. They still have dirt roads in Puerto Maldonado. We pulled into the back of the bus station, collected our belongings and exited into a large area that was similar to the one we left. Except all the companies were silent because no buses depart at the hour we arrived.
We had booked another airbnb for two nights and the host was going to meet us. We had arrived early and so we sat and patiently waited, hoping we had got it right. A lady approached the desk of the company we had used and so we stood. She turned and then held up a sign. Arrr, relief to read the words ‘Brent Ruru’. There was a greeting in both pigeon English and pigeon Spanish as the hosts spoke just as much English as we did Spanish.
Back at the host’s place, we had wifi to use the ‘tradactor’ app that allowed us to write and be translated. It’s how we communicated for the whole time we spent at Salvit and Cesar’s. And although a little older than us, they welcomed us as if we were their adopted kids coming home from a holiday.
Cesar’s face appears on billboards all over Puerto Maldonado as he is standing for local elections that are being held in October. It wasn’t until after the jungle and booking an extra nights stay that we learnt how serious it can be to try to fight against corruption.
Salvit helped us source a local tour company to take us into the Amazon jungle.
Three days and two nights with 80% deet repellent and a can of fly spray.
Did you know Caimen’s don’t give a damn about stuff like that.
Again, we carried extra shit paper. For us!