Today I'm super excited and itching to leave tomorrow for my weekend in the Amazon jungle. Mostly prepared but, being disorganised before I came to Peru, I neglected to remember to bring the essential hiking clothing, and so now have to make do with the few things I have. Fortunately I remembered to bring a rain jacket, which is probably a must when visiting the rainforest, and also my hiking boots, which have served me very well in the past when trekking the Brecon Beacons and Mount Kenya, but I am a little concerned that I am going to have make do with wearing my jeans and cumbersome jumpers, as my good gear is usefully sitting at home, in England, tucked away in my wardrobe. Ah well, nothing can dampen my excitement about playing with monkeys, swimming with pink dolphins and boating down the river.
With everything booked and now paid for, I am raring to go. Flight. Check. Taxi. Check. Hostel. Check. I am now suffering the familiar palpitations I normally get before a flight - well, before using an airport to be more precise. I am always so paranoid about missing a piece of documentation or arriving 30 seconds too late or some other such disaster occurring that every time I travel, I see the airport experience as a huge scary black smudge in my mind, obscuring the usually amazing holiday that awaits beyond.
In fact, last year, when holidaying with my friends, it got so bad in the car on the way to the airport with me constantly checking I had my passport and boarding pass (about every 20 seconds on average), that my friend actually took my bag away from me. I'm not sure what I thought would happen in a zipped up bag in a moving car on a motorway, but such is my fear.
So, providing everything goes well and I do in fact manage to get on the plane, I will be travelling to the more northerly Iquitos, the world's largest city that cannot be reached by road. It is Peru's largest jungle city and so very popular with rainforest-hungry tourists (like me). The tour I have booked is only two days long, but absolutely packed with activity from morning til night. Among other things, I will be holding anacondas, fishing for piranhas, and visiting a local tribe.
Once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, here I come....