I left for Chino last Tuesday morning. First took a "rapido" (speedboat) to the town of Tamshiyacu where I waited on the floating gas station for an hour before the "lancha" pulled in. One fellow kindly lugged my large duffel bag to the top deck where I sat on one of the side wooden benches and bought one of the cheap meals (one piece of chicken with beans, rice and yucca) and a bottle of cocona "refresco" (watered down juice) being sold by one of the vendors that hops on these boats at stops. I couldn't finish this starch extravaganza as usual and soon offered it to the rather old but chipper lady sitting next me. I set up my travel hammock near the back to read and rest a bit, but both were difficult because it was close to the large and loud diesel engine. As the boat made its way farther and farther up the Tahuayo River, more people got out at small dirt landings with their crates of bottles and bags of dried bread. As the magic hour of photography arrived before dusk, I got out my camera and telephoto to shoot the sunset and reflections in the water. It was dark by the time we got to Buena Vista where I needed to get out briefly. My headlamp was buried somewhere in my bag so I stumbled up the cement stairs, banged my shin on a unseen bench and finally delivered two copies of my passport (as always) to the police agent stationed at the official entry point to the Tamshiyacu-Tahuayo regional conservation area. Half an hour later we pulled into Chino somewhat ahead of schedule just after 7 pm. I was greeted warmly by friends there, hung up my large Brazilian cloth hammock in the upper floor of Estelita's house - the president of Manos Amazonicos - the artisan association of Chino. We briefly discussed the schedule for my visit and upcoming workshop before I retreated to the comfort of my mosquito netted hammock and sleep.
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