In January or February 2016, I will be somewhere on the Amazon river, on a boat, sailing upstream, deeper into the jungle. I will be on the way to one of the many tributary rivers of the Amazon, and chance may well dictate where I will end up next.
There are basically three options:
- taking a boat to Iquitos in Peru and continue from there by boat further into Peru (the Fitzcarraldo route),
- catching a boat to Cobija in Bolivia, although I haven’t found any information about regular boat service between Brazil and Bolivia there and Cobija is cut off from the rest of the country during the rainy season,
- I can get off the boat at Tabatinga (Brazil) and walk across the border to Leticia in Colombia. This is tricky too because there is no river that connects Leticia with the rest of Colombia, and the nearest national road is 800 km away. I would need to walk through the jungle, which is scary in itself, but particularly scary in Colombia due to the civil war between the Colombian government and the FARC rebels who have been fighting there for more than 50 years. Scarily, FARC also have a tendency to kill foreign hikers whom they suspect of being spies because they have a GPS or a camera with them.
Just in time for my trip to South America, the last problem is being addressed and considerable progress is about to be made in this longest-lasting conflict in the Western hemisphere. The Colombian government and FARC are on the last stretch to reach a peace deal. That’s good news, although their deadline of March 2016 means that I will still be crossing the impenetrable and highly dangerous jungle during a state of war, or a ceasefire at best. But I just hope that everyone will be tired of fighting already and that the rebels will be more concerned with polishing their CVs and negotiating book deals than with taking hostages.
Now that this problem is out of the way, I hope someone will conclude a peace treaty with the piranhas and anacondas.
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If you are in Brazil, Colombia, Peru or Bolivia and know this area, I am curios to hear which option you would suggest. Thank you! ¡Gracias!