Hobo TRAVEL TIPS - Atuncocha Jungle Trip - Water Purification
Tip: Water Purification

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Atuncocha Jungle Trip - Water Purification

HoboTraveler.com Travel Tips Newsletter
And Updates on Around The World Trip

ISSUE:  059
DATE:  February 28, 2002
TITLE:  Hobo TRAVEL TIPS - Atuncocha Jungle Trip - Water Purification
TIP:  Water Purification:
LOCATION:  Iquitos, Peru


Hobo TRAVEL TIPS - Atuncocha Jungle Trip - Water Purification
Issue 59 - Hobotraveler.com - February 28, 2002
A Hobo trip around the world. Year 4


Purchased another domain for my favorite hostels
and paid for the hosting.
Added a database to:


~   HOBO STEW (A Dish of Meat and Vegetables)
~   Hoboguide.com GO THIS WAY
~   TODAY’S TIP - Water Purification
~   TODAY’S TIP FROM THE - “Peanut Gallery”


~   HOBO STEW (A Dish of Meat and Vegetables)


Went to the Jungle by river last week.
Got to stay one night in a local hut. It was fun
to see how the locals live. Simple and efficient.
I learned a lot about daily life for the people along
the river and how they spend their time.
I came back to BASE CAMP to regroup.

There is a tribe of Indians outside the city of Iquitos.
If you take a boat from the Bella Vista Port for about 8 dollars
US you can visit a small tourist type Indian settlement.
Oops... I mean people dressed in native clothes.
This is fun, and they sing and dance for you. They are a happy
bunch, and will sell you blowguns and handmade jewelry after
they are done with the dance.

a.k.a. Carnaval
What this means to a traveler in Peru is that they
get to become a walking target for people throwing
water balloons or buckets of water. Do not think because
you are old, dressed in good clothes, or carrying a
briefcase with valuables, or your backpack that you are safe.
That is just a temptation. If you do not want to get wet.
You cannot leave the house, or hotel.
WATER everywhere.
I really have no idea what Carnaval is? Other than
a party and water balloon fight. It is not clear what we
are celebrating, and no one else seem to know either.
But who needs a reason to celebrate.

I have now lost 4 umbrellas in my travels. The
lost umbrellas number just passed the Dictionaries last
week. I do not have many thing stolen, but I do lose a
lot of umbrellas and dictionaries. Anything that I carry
around and can place down on a table, I lose. My mother
say I would lose my head if it was not attached.

I read lot of Newsletters so I can learn about various
subjects. A lot of writers of newsletters make extravagant
claims about their newsletter. Just the other day
I was reading another travel newsletter and the editor
declared it the one the world largest. He said the number
and I thought to myself....
“Mine is bigger than that”
So, I have been thinking about this for a long time
and musing in my head. What does it mean?
“If I have one of the worlds largest travel newsletters?”

It is SAD to say, But with 1900 subscriber I have one of the
largest newsletter in the world. That is about
enough for big High School class reunion. I really consider
it like a grain of sand on a beach. Not that significant.

There are some big newsletter for cheap airfares and
guidebooks. These are really the largest travel newsletter
but more about saving money and not about a persons

Of course most budget travelers only go for a few months.
A few for a year, or more, and very few keep traveling for 4
years. Lots of people move to another place and stay there.
These are normally the “Expatriates”. I do not think of them
as true travelers because they do not move around, and
do not know that many places. I think of the travelers as having a
passport full of country stamps. I have only about 25 and that
is not many countries. I have few friends that have visited
at least 40. I think after I have visited 40 counties I will be
a be able to claimed I have traveled to a lot of countries.
But for now I can only say I have traveled for a long time.

I do not feel special and more than anything I just like to
communicate and hopefully give some other travelers help
and insight into the real world. But sometimes I get that old
feeling that I should try to market myself better. So my
pages will grow faster. I could make some big claims about
my newsletter and see if that helps. But I would have trouble
collaborating and comments I made, and I would get an ugly feeling
like I was writing for a newspaper. The newspapers and
TV writers are constantly making accusations, or claims that
are just gossip. Using the proper words to say things
so they sound better. I do not think that is me.
I am still trying to improve my grammar and spelling.


“Am I the only person doing this in the world?”

I read a lot of travelogues that are web pages people publish
“After the go home”.

I look and see photos that friends make that
“Live for a long time in a place”.

I have lots of owners of websites write me and talk
about their travel newsletter to me. But they are
“At home working on their computer”
Not out traveling.

I think a lot of my readers do not really comprehend
that I am in some real funky places, and typing on this
computer in very terrible conditions.

I finally am going to say to myself, and I suppose
you have to hear it also.

“I think I am the only person in the world that is...”

“Writing a newsletter, and making WebPages while traveling”
(Wooo... That one hell of a thing to come out of my mouth.)

OK., Relax. I know that is not totally true. I have found lots
of people that are sending out updates occasionally on their trip.
But they are only a group update and not more than a just
a simple email of their experience. But then again very interesting.
I know of few people that I have met that have made some
WebPages in internet cafes. Mostly just 2 or 3 pictures on
a page, and took them two weeks.

If any of you knows of someone that is writing a travel
newsletter and publishing photos “WHILE THEY TRAVEL”
I would love if you would send me information on them
and how to communicate or subsribe to their newsletter.

I do not like to feel lonely, but I think I am the only one.
That is writing an ONGOING newsletter on travel and
publishing WebPages WHILE they travel.
I am feeling LONELY....
Is it only me in the world?
That is doing this?
If you know of anyone else, please reply and
tell me who, when, where, what, and why?
I do not like to be ALONE.... hehehe
(Shakira are you listening?)

My computer took on another illness. Half the keys
on my keyboard stopped working. Another one of them
panic feelings. I was extremely lucky that an external
keyboard works. But this is NOT the best thing to carry in
a backpack. My Compaq Presario has visited
about 25 countries, and it is time to retire the old beast.
So soon I will scramble and find another computer.
I say a lot of nice things about my Compaq and would
highly recommend this computer. But I really think those
guys a Compaq could be nice and give me a new one.
Plus throw in a 4 WORLDWIDE warranty
Thanks in advance Compaq.

You too Shakira. Un Beso

La Vida Buena
Beso y Abrazos

Andy the hobo

Maybe it will help you to...
Be a Hobo, and leave your mark.

X     Hobotraveler.com was HERE!

Life is good.
The Hobotraveler.com

Article written by Andy the Hobotraveler.com
On year 4 of Hobo trip around the world.
Budget Travel, Jobs, and Adventure, etc
Subscribe to Free Newsletter at:
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THE EASY WAY... hehehe
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The Amazon River Jungle is six million square kilometer
or 2.3 million square miles of Jungle or Tropical Rain Forest

Ruthless, cruel, and violent.
I do not feel sympathy for the South American
Jungle. While the rest of the world is building four
lane super highways, this Jungle has only allowed
the human inhabitants to evolve to using a dugout canoe
as the normal form of transportation. We have a car,
and they have a canoe.

I visited a small village by the name of Puerto del Sol.
Located 12 hours south of Iquitos by slow colectivo hammock
boat on the Ucayali River one of the feeder rivers
of the Amazon. The boat cost 10 soles or about 3 dollars
USA for the trip. I left at five o’clock in the afternoon
and arrived early the next morning. The boat was a large
passenger and cargo boat carrying about 200 people and
every type of cargo and animal imaginable. This type of
boat goes ups and down the river daily and serve as a river

On the boat an older Peruvian woman takes me under her wing
and decided this Gringo needs help. She is familiar with
Puerto del Sol and knows where I must leave the boat.
She takes me to the Captain of the boat. A group
of men on the bridge nod there heads, and look at each other
in agreement, then say

I have no confidence whatsoever that they will stop the
boat to let me disembark unless I make a complete nuisance
of myself. Being extremely experienced in this task after
3 years of living and travelling from Mexico to Argentina by bus.
I will create an entourage of Peruvians that will agree
to either help me arrive at my destination or somehow
agree as a group to kick this gringo off the boat.
Either way my goal will be accomplished.

I am fluent in Spanish or Castellano but that does not
make me feel safe. My normal Western manners and logic
would dictate. Politely tell the Captain, and his mates where
you wish to leave the boat. They will place it on there
schedule and advise me when the boat arrives.
I have learned what really works too many times. I will
make a loud and ever present noise until I am there.
I will behave like a child, and pester the Captain until
I get my way.

Strangely this place is one of the most visited place on the
river by Gringos. I am taking a very rare and extremely cheap
way to enter this lake. But then I am a hobo.

There are three main ways to reach my destination.

1. Fast speed boat.(Moderately expensive way and the
normal manner for the local lodges and tours.)
2. Float plane (Very expensive tourist. Not common.)
3. Slow colectivo river boat. (Normal Peruvian way and
the more or less a river bus.)

Everyone can visit the same rivers or lakes and the same animals.
The cost or arriving at your destinations is what changes.

If you want a really unique tour you will need to take a float plane.
Or willing to take a month trip on the river. I am not sure but it may
be possible to carry a canoe on the float plane, and small motor to
up the trip. There are various people or groups
that will travel by private boat deep into the jungle to isolated
This type of trip will take from 2-5 days to arrive at your
That is why the float plane is much quicker and better is some ways.

To enter the realm of real adventure and truly arrive away from the
tourist path you would need to either spend a week in a fast boat
or use a float plane. However with a with the float plane there
would be no transportation available other than the locals dugout canoes
for transportation after you arrived. So in reality the best way is by
private boat for that really exotic tour. But you will need to plan on a

four week river trip into the jungle. Then comes the next problem.
Fast speed boats are not the best form of transportation in the jungle.
The river weeds and fallen trees in the water, and every other obstacle
that you encounters is difficult for the fast speed boat. In the end you

still need a canoe to enter the most remote areas.

So after all these choices and ways to enter the jungle are discussed.
The dugout canoe is still the easiest to enter the remote areas.

For me to have my dream adventure I would want to use a
“Peque Peque” motor on the back of a long cigar type wooden
boat. Then carry on the boat a small canoe with a 2-5 horse motor
so I could travel deep into the jungle, or paddle when necessary.
It would take longer to arrive at the destination because the Peque
Peque motor is slower, but is designed to travel in waters filled
with logs and river vegetation. This trip would take a minimum of
one month living on the boat, and could cost four or five thousand
in gas and provisions.


As the boat pushed its way to the shoreline a group of
children run to visit the boat. Jumping off the boat I see
lots of small people with dark hair and dark brown eyes
staring at me. I have arrived at my new home for a couple
of days.

The village has about forty homes, and 120 people in the
total. Two years ago the village was on the other side of
the river, but the river decide to eat away or erode the
land from below their house so all the inhabitants decide to
move to the opposite side of the river. The river appears
very slow, but this type of erosion is what makes it violent.
At any time the river could decide to change paths, or erode
away the river bank and remove their homes. They live in the
flood plane, and in a few weeks the river will rise about 3 meters
and there houses will become surrounded by water. They will
then travel only by dugout canoe. For eight months of the year
the river is at the high stage, and for four months the land is dry
beneath their feet. In this four months they grow various food crops.

I am walking through the village trying to locate one of the local
leaders or a person that will take me into the jungle. I will have
to be careful and trust my instincts, so that the person is reputable.
I am introducing myself to all the children, and people as I slowly
work my way down the river bank. All the homes are built
along the river, and the village is 40 homes in a row along
the river so I will need to walk from one end to the other end
to visit the whole village. I find a man that is the “gobernador” of
the village and there is a short-wave radio in his house. I stop
and discuss my goals. Telling him and his family, and a large
collections of curious people that I wish to find some animals
and see the lakes. This is not the time to be private.
Many of you like your privacy and do not want to consort with the
locals for various reasons. This can be very dangerous. I am entering
an areas very far away from normal civilization. They could rob me
and kill me, and no one would ever discover what happened. I am
going to set the stage for my small excursion. I will tell everyone in
the village what my plans are so that all can help me. This will
two things. I will start to become part of the normal village, and
they will be expecting me to return from the jungle.

I have traveled a long time, and secrecy is not a good thing.
It is dangerous and creates a situation for you to be robbed.
A criminal will keep you away from everyone so that no one
will know of the activity. The river in this area is extremely safe
and it is not common for this to happen. But then again, if it does
happen.... “No one would know”. Only your relatives at home
posting their missing persons report.

So I am doing my normal advertising of my activities and
mingling with the locals. Lots of fun, and very educational.
They show me how to build a dugout canoe, and where they
grow peanuts. There are yucca plants everywhere, and lot of fish.
The whole village either lives from fish or agriculture.

The gobernador takes me to Teofilo. An older guy to take me
by canoe the next day into the river. He is quiet, and tells me I
can sleep in his front room. I have a hammock and I set it up inside
the home. Then arrange my mosquito net. I paid a lady 10 dollars
US to make a very nice mosquito net especially for the jungle.
I slept great, and not one mosquito bite. But I went to bed at 7:00
and woke up at 5:00 the next morning.

Me and Teofilo take a small dugout canoe to a small entrance downriver
from the village. This is oxbow cutoff. In the distant future the river
will change course and this part of the river will become the main
part. But now it is overgrown with weeds. We work our way into
the entrance, and finally there is no way to continue because there are
too many weeds. Teofilo steers the boat to the shore, and we
get out and walk for 45 minutes to the lake called Atuncocha.

Manuel is waiting there with another canoe. He went earlier and
searched for the canoe and was ready for our arrival. It is a
community canoe and shared by all. I finally understand why
Teofilo is carrying his paddle. The boat does not come with paddles.

In about one month the water will rise, and you will be able to enter
this lake very easily by Peque Peque motor. In some locations you
will be able to enter with high speed boats. The lake that I am going
to go see is the same lake that some major tours enter and see.
The high season for tour companies is during high water. This enables
the tourist to enter these small lakes and view the jungle in the
of the boat. I had to walk about 45 minutes.

The walk to the lake was beautiful and dark. There is lots of
trees and vegetation. A few monkeys and lots of birds.
It is very interesting to see the plants, but also very confusing.
I do not know anything about them. Teofilo knows the Spanish
name for them, but I still would not know much. Manuel my other
guide is better at explaining the plants. Most plants are just
plants, and fun to look at, but nor really of interest. Then
there are plants or trees of special use for the natives. There
is a tree that they use the bark to make rope. There are plants
they use for medicines. There are plants that are dangerous.
There are plants they eat.

I spend the day walking and canoeing around the lakes.
Tranquil and so far away. It is now a memory, but a memory
that makes me feel relaxed. The river life is simple, and I
enjoyed this trip. I would not want to live that way. I got a
good feeling about the people and the river. They are happy
and content. They have everything they need. I am always
jealous of the amount of time they had to talk with me.
I still have trouble going slow, and listening to the people and
the Jungle. Teofilo and Manuel are not taking me to the
Atuncocha lake for money. I had to convince them it was time
to go home. They appear to love the water, and are part of the
Jungle. They would gladly paddle the boat for
hours and explore. They are not thinking about what they
have to do tomorrow like me. They are only thinking
about what we are doing now. That simplicity transfers to me, and
I felt good. A clarity.

If I was guiding a group or tourist through the woods I would
want to slow them down long enough to camp in, or live very close to
the jungle. To learn about the water, plants, and animals you
need time. With the millions of species of animals and plants
it is mostly just a glimpse we get of the jungle and not a real an

I try to go slow and understand the jungle and the people.
I find myself very very frustrated with the other tourist and
travelers that think they “KNOW” the jungle after a tour.
They will sit around and explain all the thing they know
and talk of facts and things they experienced. They did
have an experience. I have had the same experience, and
in reality closer and more real. But what I am sure I know
about the jungle is...

I know nothing about the Jungle.
It is a lot bigger than me.
It is a lot more powerful.
I am weak.
It is... Ruthless, cruel, and violent.

But at peace with itself and its people.


Maybe it will help you to...
Be a Hobo, and leave your mark.

X     Hobotraveler.com was HERE!

Life is good.
The Hobotraveler.com

Article written by Andy the Hobotraveler.com
On year 4 of Hobo trip around the world.
Budget Travel, Jobs, and Adventure, etc
Subscribe to Free Newsletter at:
You may publish this article for Free
on the internet If this box stays attached.




I think I could talk about this subject for days.
or... In the end the question is...
“Should I drink the water?”

Everyone is an expert on this, and everyone knows
nothing. There are lots of reasons people worry about
the water. Most just do not want diarrhea. Other have
some type of paranoia about catching some fatal
virus or getting poisoned.

There is no way to completely avoid contaminated water.
I suppose you could, but life would be just too difficult.
Anytime you enter a restaurant in another country you
get water either in your food or off the dishes, spoons, and
forks. So it comes down to common sense.

Taste funny
The locals will not drink it.

DIARRHEA a.k.a. Montezuma’s Revenge

I think the first week of a any trip is bad for lots of
people. After that their body adjust and they go on
with their life. They blame the water think they changed
something, so now the problem is over, and it is.
Anytime you go 200 miles or kilometers in any direction
the bacteria’s in the water change. You body may react
to these new things in the water and react. After doing
some minor adjustment you will be OK.

I have traveled with a couple of women that decide to
eat 5 mangos per day. Eating too much fruit or changing
your diet dramatically will cause the same reaction. I choose
my foods very carefully. For me this is a much bigger
problem then water. I was at a location where they grew
peanuts. I love peanuts, and thought.... hmmm I will eat
some. But then realized that I was going for a very long
walk in the Jungle, and I know what happens whey I eat
too many peanuts. They take a fast track though my body.
So, I decided to say NO.

I drink the water.
If the local drink it, if it smells OK, if it taste OK.
I drink it. I do not add anything.
I suppose I have faith in science that they can cure
anything that will enter my body, but I gave up.
“I cannot be bothered”. Life is short and living in paranoia
and drinking water with iodine, halogen, or clorine
is not my way of living. So I drink the water.
I do not recommend this, but it is my way.

I have been with various people though that thought the
solution was to not drink the water. So they drank
Anything but water.
They got very sick. Nice idea, but in reality.
Not healthy. Normal water is needed to be healthy.


I suppose I could teach you a lot of scientific
jargon and you could go tell all your friends all the
various microbes, diseases, and virus that live in water.
But I will try to keep this very simple. I have
been dealing with the water issue for 4 years of
travel around the world, and the majority of time
in the underdeveloped countries of Central and South
America. There are lots of ways to TRY to make
water safer to drink, and none are totally foolproof.


1. BUY purified water.
2. BOIL the water.
3. IODINE in the water ( My preferred way)

For me... I just want a


1. Taste is better.
2. You can buy it cold.
3. You can drink it and throw away the bottle.
4. The bottle can be refilled.

1. Expensive
2. The plastic bottles become difficult to dispose of
and pollutes nature.
3. People or companies bottle normal city water and
sell it as purified. NOT really purified. If they will
sell fake CD Roms, Clothes, they will fake the water.


1. You know who boiled the water.
2. It does kill almost all thing.
3. You can make coffee...

1. The water is hot, and not fun to drink.
2. People put tea or coffee in it, and it not normal water.
3. It is difficult to find a place to boil it.
4. Difficult to put boiled water into a plastic jar quickly
you must wait until it cools.
5. I am too lazy to wait.

NOTE: There is questions as too how long you need
to boil the water. Some say just make it boil, and other
say for at least 20 minutes. I lean toward the option
of just making it boil. But if you have the time, boil it


1. Very easy.
2. Very cheap
3. Can be purchase in every country.

1. Taste bad.
2. Does not kill every type or problem.
3. NOT trendy, or a fashionable thing to say to your friends.


There are these devices that have a filter on them.
They are quite popular and trendy. I do suppose
they work good, and really are a great solution.
I have mixed feeling on them. The cost can be so
high, and storing and maintaining the integrity of the
unit can be a very taxing problem. You friends will think
your are very intelligent, and at the cutting edge of
technology, and the local camping gear store
owner will think your are a great guy and very prepared.
For me....
More then I wish to deal with.

OK... For those of you that still have not had enough
information, and wish to grind the issue into the ground.
Here is even more information.



Hobotraveler.com was here.    X

Hobo’s mark your locations so we remember.
Have fun! Life is Good!

As always, these are suggestions. Please realize I am
giving guidance, and there are always other opinions.
“One mans paradise, is another mans hell”
This way we do not all go to the same place.

Article written by Andy the Hobotraveler.com
On year 4 of Hobo trip around the world.
Budget Travel, Jobs, and Adventure, etc
Subscribe to Free Newsletter at:
You may publish this article for Free
on the internet If this box stays attached.


TODAY’S TIP FROM THE “Peanut Gallery” Fun tips
Here's a little tip from me, to you, as an experienced traveler.

When coming up from behind a person.
Take care. They are prone to spitting.
You could accidentally be the next target.



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