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June 14, 2003

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Iquitos has proved to be a wonderful place to hangout for a few days. The nightlife creates a carnival atmosphere and it carries over into the bustling marketplaces during the day. The riverfront architecture varies from Spanish colonial to the tumbledown shacks of Belen that look like driftwood rafts turned into housing. For lunch we return to Belen's market for grilled fish and tamales. For dinner, our favorite eatery is a fifties-style diner called Ari's Burger on the main square. They serve full course meals for less than 10 nuevo soles (US $3).
In Belen "pedestrian thoroughfare" means planks laid over rickety wooden supports.
Belen hasn't reached the sophistication of Venice yet - the canoe taxis require self-paddling and the driver doesn't serenade.