Every travel adventure will often require an over night stop over somewhere before the next adventure begins. Often these towns are surprisingly adventure driven and come with the biggest hearts. For me this was a small Peruvian town on the outskirts of the Peruvian Amazon called Puerto Maldonado.
We entered the quaint little town via touk touk, and it was clear that this town had barely been touched by Western civilisation. Whilst they had Wifi, computer and phone shops, there were no extravagant cars, houses nor sharply dressed business men. Instead there were family run corner stores, street vendors and a cultural presence that has not been lost over time or drowned by consumerism. There was not a whisper of English and my Espanol was very basic at best. This is going to be the toughest part as I hadn’t really been able to speak Spanish with anyone, since learning a little back at home in preparation.
We check into our hostel which is a lovely little family run business. Starving from all our travelling, we are recommended to eat at “Burgos.” They call us a touk touk and send us on our way (all of this conversation is in Spanish, so I am impressed with my skills and their patience thus far) We get to Burgos Restaurant and this is where I am really tested…. reading Spanish! All I wanted to make sure we did is NOT order the whole guinea pig on a spit – a Peruvian specialty! Winning at this dual language business we order pasta and Pisco Sours, another South American cocktail specialty! I would highly recommend Burgos Restaurant if you ever find yourselves in Puerto Maldonado the staff were incredibly accommodating and patient with my very slow ordering process plus look at that sunset over the Amazon rivers peaking through behind the jungle. What an incredible view!!
We decide to walk and find our way back to the hostel to get to see a bit more of this beautiful town, and also buy insect repellent as the mosquito’s were out in force! As we wandered the town, we realised we were the only caucasians in the whole town. There was something satisfying about exploring a rural town not littered by tourists and camera flashes. I love a good photo, but I felt as though this town deserved the respect of a less in your face memory. So I only have a couple of snaps to remind me of the beautiful town.
The next morning breakfast was once again a struggle that I quickly conquered before heading off to the markets in the center of town. A quick spout of shopping before we check out of the hostel, eventually after explaining the exchange rate between USD and AUD and how much we actually owed, we were then off to the Airport to start the adventure to the Amazon.
Puerto Maldonado was a special little town, the people were friendly, accommodating and very patient and, this is why it has left an impression in my heart. I may never get the chance to go back, although I hope I do.
All those who wander and not always lost.
Safe Travels Wanderers xx