On a remarkable 250 mile, 3 day journey through remote rainforest, Holly Morris travels by cargo boat down one of the remotest stretches of the Amazon, in Peru. Sleeping in a hammock at night, she shares deck space with over 200 local Peruvians, and countless boxes of vegetables and fruit, heading to the largest city in the Peruvian Amazon, Iquitos.
Marooned in the middle of the jungle, hundreds of miles from the nearest connecting road, Iquitos is the biggest city in the world that you can’t drive to, with a population of half a million. Exploring the history of this unique and remarkable city, Holly learns how Iquitos became incredibly rich a century ago during the Amazon’s rubber boom. Back then, high quality rubber could only be obtained from trees growing in the Amazon, and with millions of newly invented bicycles, motorbikes and cars all needing to run on tyres, the region’s rubber came to be worth a fortune.
After heading upriver on a small Amazonian boat known as a ‘peque peque’, in order to meet an indigenous tribe whose ancestors used to be rubber tappers during the rubber boom, Holly travels on the last leg of her journey, to the Pacaya-Samiria National Reserve.
Her means of transport amidst the beautiful and remote rainforest of the Pacaya-Samiria is an extremely historic, rubber boom era steamboat, which is the oldest boat still working on the Amazon today. Holly ends her epic journey through the Amazon surrounded by spectacular wildlife, including the legendary and rarely seen Amazonian pink river dolphin.
with special thanks to
DR RICHARD BODMER