Pucallpa and onward

We arrived in Pucallpa at 3am that night. Everyone stayed on board because Pucallpa is quite dangerous at night. The stories are that the taxi drivers take you off to some deserted place, kill you for a few dollars, and dump your body in the lake. Who knows if there is any truth to these stories but after the pirate incident I decided to head that same day for terra tranquila: Huanuco.

Pucallpa is a crossroads city, flourishing as the necessary junction from the river to several roads. Dirt roads. It is hot, humid and the dust from the dirt roads is intolerable. Every city in Lima has a plaza, some of which are nicer than others. But I think that only Pucallpa has an open urinal in theirs.

PUCALLPA IS DUSTY

PUCALLPA IS DUSTY

David, Lucy, Jarden and I all left the boat together in the morning and went exploring. Jarden is a Pucalpeño and knew the territory. The four of us visited the tourist strip: a mosquito ridden lake, quite beautiful but with litter and abandoned boats everywhere. It was much as one might imagine a tourist strip in the deep Louisiana bayou.

PUCALLPA IS FILLED WITH ABANDONED BOATS

PUCALLPA IS FILLED WITH ABANDONED BOATS

We then proceeded to the market where we ate watermelon.

JARDEN LIKES WATERMELON

JARDEN LIKES WATERMELON

Lucy Pucallpa, which is bad because she and Jarden are stuck there until they earn enough money for onward tickets to their next destination: Lima. Jarden’s brother owns a car in Lima and Jarden could rent it from him to use as a taxi. As I mentioned before, Jarden and Lucy intend to travel the country together, visiting family. Before they both had reasonable jobs that paid the rent and put food on the table. Lucy worked in a restaurant and Jarden was a mototaxi driver by trade. They each earned about 10 soles ($3.30) a day in income, which paid the rent but left no savings. It is hard to imagine that I used to earn in one day what one of them made in over two and a half months (of working every day, of course). It is hard to comprehend the fact, it is impossible for me to understand why. Here in Pucallpa their family didn’t approve of their unmarried status and they felt more comfortable sleeping outside than they did with Jarden’s relatives. They estimate that, working hard and sleeping outside, they could save the money they need (about $25) in about three weeks.

I gave them my sleeping bag and $1.50 (capable of buying a day’s worth of food) and I caught the evening bus to Huanuco.

1 reply
  1. Sharon
    Sharon says:

    So you finally got rid of your sleeping bag. Much earlier than expected, it seems! How much space do you have in your backpack now? Would you like your dice sent to you? Or perhaps your hammock takes it’s place.

    Giving your bag to Lucy and Jarden is really a lovely thing. I’m sure they appreciate it, and you can feel assured that your bag has good owners and is getting good use.

    I’ve just gotten word that I’ve been approved for an apartment, and I’m about to lay down a huge deposit check, which I’m somewhat frightened of, and at the same time completely not caring at all. I’m already paying more than I want to live in this place, but there are reasons why I’m willing to….however, reading this entry makes me think the place I’m moving into is pretty frivolous. I have more space than I need, a balcony…and here are people that are sleeping outside to save money. Makes me feel a bit sheepish, a bit like I have priorities out of place, a bit irreverent.

    But at the same time, I’m ready for this change in my life–and for me, it’s very exciting to be moving in.

    What a ramble.

    The fruits of your labour…
    -S

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