Guest post by Leo Jones

That’s the threat my Brit buddy throws at me in the thickest Cockney accent you’ll hear this side of Liverpool, England. Dave makes the comment as I enter the Amazon Golf clubhouse the other day. Located smack dab in the middle of the Peruvian jungle—a thousand miles from the Peruvian capitol of Lima as the eagle flies—the Amazon Golf Course is the most isolated golf course in the world.

“Yeah … well. I guess we’ll have to see about that,” I reply, trying hard to sound confident.

“When was the last time you beat me?” he asks, smirking.

“I’ve never beat you, you know that. But today just might be the first time.”

He roars with laughter.

“Are you going to practice first, Senor Leo?” The question comes from eighteen year old Isabel, the attractive local woman who mans (or is it woman’s) the desk in the clubhouse.

“Don’t need to practice to beat this guy,” I say, regretting the comment as soon as it passes my lips.

“What about you, Senor Dave?” she asks him. “Do you …”

“As old as Leo is,” he says, grinning at Isabel, “I’d be stealing if I practiced.”

I thrust my index finger at the side of my head and make a circling motion. “Ignore him, Isabel. He’s just another crazy gringo.” Then I sling my golf bag over my shoulder. Carefully making my way down the steps, I stroll over to the first tee. It’s another beautiful day in Iquitos, Peru. The jungle sun is nine O’clock high and huge puffy white clouds wander aimlessly below the bluest sky you’ll ever see.

After five minutes of attempting to limber up my 80 year old body—something that’s becoming more and more difficult with each passing year—I call out to Dave, “You gonna spend the whole morning flirting with Isabel? Or are you gonna play golf?”

Actually I don’t blame him for flirting with Isabel. Girls in this jungle town mature early physically, and she’s no exception. She likes to show off her curvy figure by wearing her pink blouse and cutoff blue jeans as tightly as she can. If she dyed her long black hair blonde, she’d look like a sun-tanned version of the cute blonde in the television show, “The Dukes of Hazard.”

Soon Dave struts out of the clubhouse. Fifty years old, he’s one of the more interesting expats in town. A close friend of one of our mutual friends, Mike Collis—the founder of the Amazon Golf Course—Dave is the only gringo motorcar driver in town. Standing a tad over six feet, he’s built like a NFL linebacker. He’s the kind of guy if you ever get into a brawl, you’d want him on your side. “You want me to go first?” he asks.

I step aside and wave my hand toward the first green a hundred and twenty yards away. “Show me the way, Tiger.”

For a big man, he’s very agile. After two practice swings, he sends his ball into the sun, where it eventually lands softly on the edge of the green. Suppressing a grin, he exclaims, “Your turn, old timer.”

I take out a seven iron. “Hit the ball smoothly”, I tell myself as I stand over the ball. My backswing is nice and smooth, but when the face of the club approaches the ball it speeds up—and I hook the ball into waist-high vegetation fifty feet or so to the left of the green. Unwritten course rules allows each golfer one Mulligan for every nine holes. So I stick the seven iron back into the bag and take out an eight iron. My goal this time is to keep the ball in the narrow fairway. A smooth follow through this time launches the ball some twenty feet this side of the green. I send my second shot ten feet from the hole and need two putts to end up with a bogie.

Dave pars the hole.

After we finish the first hole, Dave is ahead by a stroke. “Don’t panic,’ I tell myself. “Stick to your plan.”My strategy is to stay within a few strokes until the beers Dave had drank before I arrived takes their toll—and the jungle sun starts wearing this big man down. We were supposed to have teed off at nine. I didn’t arrive until ten for a good reason. Like most Brits I know, Dave is fond of beer. While waiting for my arrival he’d drank two beers. Peruvian beer is twice as strong as Budweiser or Miller. According to my calculation, he’ll be sweating profusely by the time we tee off for the eighth hole.

The second green is 275 yards long. I’d planned on using a driver rather than a long iron. There are two hazards in this fairway: a small oval-shaped lake golfers have nicknamed Alligator Lake located 150 yards from the tee and a tiny stream zigzagging across the fairway in front of the green. Not yet warmed up enough, I slice my ball into the lake. Then, to make matters worse, I stub my second shot, dribbling my ball into the stream.

Dave pars this hole while I double-bogey it.

We’ve only played two holes and I’m already down three strokes.

I catch a break on the third hole when Dave dumps his second shot into the stream. But I do the same. And both of us double- bogey the hole.

I’ll gain a stroke on the next hole, I convince myself.

The fourth hole is only 100 yards long. But this green is a tiny oval-shaped island. And it’s surrounded by a Piranha-infested waist-high moat half full of wayward golf balls no one has been brave enough to retrieve. To be on the safe side, I take out my wedge and hit the ball ten yards this side of the moat. Normally, that’s good strategy. Not today. Feeling his oats, Dave whips out his nine iron and strikes his ball like he’s kissing Isabel. I groan as I watch the ball land a dozen yards from the flag stick. My second shot lands next to his ball.

I feel like shoving him into the water as we cross the tiny wooden bridge that leads us onto the green. It takes two strokes for both of us to sink our balls. We’ve played four holes and I’m down four strokes.

But I’m sticking to my plan.

As we approach the fifth tee I glance up at the Heavens. I mumble, “Come on, you’ve got to help me beat this guy.”

A confident smile creasing his beefy face, he asks, “What’s that, old man?”

“Oh, nothing.”

During the next three holes I remain four strokes behind him. I had hoped to gain a stroke on the seventh hole. A 500 yard par five, you have to avoid two meandering streams and the left side of Alligator Lake. This time both of us plop our balls into Alligator Lake. (There’s something about my golf balls that’s attracted to water). By the time we’d sunk our putts we’d both double-bogeyed  this hole.

As we hike toward the eighth tee– which is located 20 or so yards below the clubhouse—I glance over at Dave. He’s sweating profusely. But not enough. “I could use something cold to drink,” I say, licking my lips. “What about you?”

“I’m good,” he replies, taking a now sopping wet handkerchief from his pocket and mopping his brow.

I nod at Isabel standing in the clubhouse doorway. “I’m buying, Dave,” I say.

That gets his attention. “In that case, mate, let’s do it.”

“A bottle of water for me and a cold beer for my friend,” I call out to Isabel.

We drop down under the shade the tin roof of the rectangular-shaped structure used to provide shade when we’re practicing our shots—a poor man’s version of a Driving Range shelter.

A minute later Isabel prances down to us. After handing us our drinks, she asks in a seductive voice, “Anything else?”

We say that’s  all, and she sashays back to the clubhouse. Gulping down half the bottle in one swallow, Dave keeps his eyes on her until she disappears inside the house.

I drink from my bottle and say, “Ready?”

“I still have half a bottle left,” he complains.

I glance up at the sky. The sun is trying to hide behind some clouds. “Looks like it’s gonna rain soon, Dave,” I fib.

Standing, he gulps down the rest of his beer. “Let’s get this butt whipping over with, old timer.”

The eighth and ninth holes fairways are divided by a long row of coconut and palm trees planted some four or five years ago. It’s almost impossible to hit your ball out of bounds on the eighth hole. So both of us use drivers. Dave splits the fairway with a 200 yard drive. I knock my ball fifty yards short of his. This hole is a 360 yards par four. The only obstacle is a three foot deep water hazard called Anaconda Lagoon.

I’ve got to be honest with you, dear reader. I’m fairly confident there has not been an alligator spotted in Alligator Lake for years, and, though locals insist there really are piranhas in the moat surrounding the third green, I can’t swear there are any still there. But I know for a fact there used to be an anaconda in Anaconda Lagoon. My friend, Mike Collis, and I were there when a half dozen locals corralled this reptile while the golf course was being constructed some ten years ago.

At any rate, no one has ever tried to retrieve a ball hit into the  lagoon. Wisely, I take out an eight iron and lay up ten yards short of the water. Dave gives me a look that says, “What a wimp!” Then he proceeds to take out a five iron and swing mightily. Topping the ball, he sends it dribbling into the lagoon. “Mulligan time,” he exclaims. Wiping sweat from his face and neck, he uses a six iron, sending the ball into a water hazard on the other side of the hole.

With a pitching wedge, I hit the ball three feet from the hole. When we finish the eighth hole I’m only two strokes back. I stifle a grin as we head for the ninth tee. “Come on sun,” I mumble.

The ninth hole is 375 yards away. The only hazards are the left side of Anaconda Lagoon and a sand trap on the left side of the fairway 200 yards away. I use a driver and place my shot 155 yards in the middle of the fairway. Sweat dripping from every pore, Dave tops his ball and drives it into Anaconda Lagoon. Trying to make up for the mistake, he swings as hard as he can, sending his ball into the bunker. To compound this error, he tries to hit his ball out of the sand with a three iron. The ball catches the lip of the bunker and rolls some fifty yards toward the green.

Now we’re even.

Minutes later both of our balls are on the green. He’s huffing and puffing by the time we finally reach the green.  His ball sits 10 feet above the hole. My ball is 15 feet below the hole. This oval-shaped green slopes downward at a severe angle—so I can afford to be aggressive. I take out my putter and stand over the ball. Just to aggravate him, I start to shake like I’ve lost a grip on my nerves.

Dave isn’t amused. “Just hit the damn ball, old man.”

I give the ball a nice smooth stroke. It scoots upward like a magnet is drawing it toward the hole. It stops at the edge of the hole. Dave let’s out a sigh of relief as I reach for my putter. Then something strange happens.

The ball drops into the hole.

“All right!” I yell, giving a geriatric version of Tiger Woods pumping his fist into the air.

The noise brings Isabel out of the clubhouse. It also awakes the mongrel dog that guards the place at night out from under the shade of the house. Both wander down to check on the commotion. “Who is winning?” Isabel asks.

Dave takes out his handkerchief and mops his brow. “Leo will win if I don’t sink this putt,” he grumbles.

“Yeah, Senor Leo,” she says.

Dave had been studying his putt. “Will you be quiet,” he exclaims. Then, noticing the hurt look on her face, he adds in a softer voice, “Please.”

Smiling, she makes a zipping motion across her lips.

After several tenable practice putts, Dave looks over at me. “What do you think, Leo?”

“I think you’d better make this putt.” Then I quickly add, “Whipper-Snapper.”

Finally, he strokes the ball. It rolls confidentially toward the hole. Then, inches away from dropping into the hole, it veers to the right. “Oh, well,” I say, grinning, “you can’t win them all.”

Minutes later we’re sitting in the second floor of the clubhouse. Dave is drinking another beer and I’m nursing a Coca Cola as we gaze out across the golf course. Two things occupy my mind. I recall Mike Collis and I scouting this location for the possible site of a golf course a dozen years ago. It was a dense jungle back then. But Mike didn’t see it as a jungle. He visualized it as a golf course. And now it is.

The other thought occupying my mind is this: Beating a man thirty years my junior sure feels good.

I’m gonna beat your butt, old timer!

Guest post by Leo Jones

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Cattleya Amazon River Cruise Boat, The Facts

"Cattleya Amazon River boat with crew"

Cattleya Amazon River boat with crew

Cattleya was constructed in 2013  with 6 comfortable air conditioned cabins, in-suite bathrooms, warm water showers, featuring picture window views. The Cattleya Amazon river cruise boat has a capacity for 12 passengers and a crew of 8 to 12, including 2 knowledgeable naturalist guides fluent in english and spanish.

"Cattleya Amazon River Cruise Boat"

Cattleya, one of the most beautiful, comfortable, Amazon River cruise boats

The Cattleya is 75.5 feet = 23 meters long, the beam is 19.7 feet = 6 meters wide, draft is 6.5 feet = 2 meters deep. With a 185 hp caterpillar engine she cruises at 16 knots. The caterpillar 48 KW encapsulated generator provides power for the 220/110 volt electrical system. Communication is by UHF and VHF radios, and by satellite phone.

"Cattleya dinning room"

Cattleya dinning room with a view

All enclosed areas of the Cattleya are air conditioned, including all cabins, the dinning room, lounge, bar, and even the crews quarters.

"Cattleya gourmet"

Cattleya gourmet

Cattleya has an on board chef who creates delicious Peruvian cuisine so beautifully presented that you may want to take a photo before you enjoy your meal.

"Comfortable cabins"

Comfortable cabins

The Cattleya cabins have king size beds, bed side tables and lamps, air conditioning, mirrors, comfortable pillows, sheets, blankets, organic bathroom accessories,bathrobes, towels, electric plugins for 110/220 volts, shower, hot water, safe deposit boxes, and minibar.

"Cattleya skiff"

One of the two skiffs used for expeditions from the Cattleya cruise ship.

Cattleya cruises with two skiffs powered by 60hp mercury outboards, with capacity of 8 – 10 passengers, guide, and boat pilot, for excursions into small streams and lakes where larger boats can not go, for birdwatching, looking for pink dolphins, to trailheads for jungle hikes, fishing, visiting native villages, and swimming.

"Cattleya expedition boat in Pacaya Samiria National Reserve"

Cattleya expedition boat in Pacaya Samiria National Reserve

The Cattleya destination is Pacaya Samiria National Reserve, a vast wetland harboring one of the most bio-diverse eco-systems on earth.

To book your cruise, email me   bill@dawnontheamazon.com

You can choose cruises of 7 nights from Sunday to Sunday,  4 nights from Sundays to Thursdays, or 3 nights from Thursdays to Sundays.

Cattleya, For Your Comfortable Amazon River Cruise

Bill Grimes, President of Dawn on the Amazon Tours and Cruises, and the Amazon Explorers Club.

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Tourist Police

by Captain Bill

Guest post by Bo Keeley

“We are here 24 hours a day, every day of the year to help tourists in Iquitos.”

I’ve found it’s true. The Iquitos Tourist Police have helped me out of about a dozen legitimate jams in the past 15 years. Ex-pat may also ask for help anytime.

Their station is at 834 Sargento Lores near Plaza de Armas and the station phone day and night is 24-2081 or (51 94) 23-7067.

Some examples of things you may request, as I have in the past to satisfaction are:

Pursue a pickpocket, Extract me from a locked hotel, Trace a malecon thief, Dennucia, And today to give a tongue lashing to a shortchanging senora who tried to beat me with a broomstick.

The tourist police are the good guys (and ladies) who wear white shirts and wear white holsters. They are a specifically trained body of the National Police charged with the security, protection and orientation of tourists. Some speak cautious English but they can always call an officer who speaks better. They’re located walking and on motorcycles in the tourist environment around Plaza de Armas, the malecon, nice hotels, and wherever tourists are found.

Tourist Police Iquitos

Guest post by Bo Keeley, author of Executive Hobo, Riding the American Dream; available on Amazon.com.

Hi, Bill Grimes here. As always, the views expressed by guest authors are not necessarily the views of Bill Grimes, Dawn on the Amazon Tours and Cruises,  or the Captain’s Blog.

To learn more about Iquitos from Bo Keeley, click the links below;

Try My Dentist for Tourists in Iquitos;

Iquitos Doctor;

Iquitos Top 3 Restaurants;

Internet Recommendations In Iquitos;

The Gang At Dog Corner;

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Cell Phone Rentals For Travelers In Iquitos

At Dawn on the Amazon

Cell phone rental, Iquitos.

Cell phones for rent in the office of Dawn on the Amazon

To rent a cell phone in Iquitos Peru, come in the Dawn on the Amazon office, located on the boulevard, next door to Dawn on the Amazon Cafe, #185 Malecon Maldonado, near the first block of Nauta Street. We also sell minutes for your cell phone.

Our office is open Monday through Saturday, 8:00am to 7:00pm, with a break for lunch. Closed on Sunday.

Terms and Conditions for Renting Cell Phones

Our obligation is to provide the cell phone in good condition, with charger, manual, and new chip.

The renter will receive a receipt for the rent of the phone, and another receipt for the refund when the phone is returned in good condition.

The obligations of the renter;

  1. Pay the rent and the deposit when accepting the phone.
  2. The renter is responsible for the phone, the charger and the manual, and should check to make sure it works before leaving the office.
  3. When the contract is finished, the renter must bring the phone, charger, and owners manual back to the office in good condition, and bring the receipt of the deposit for refund. If the phone is not in good condition, we will charge 20% penalty or keep the full deposit.

The rent can be monthly, 15 days, weekly, or the minimum is 3 days.

Price to rent, includes new chip:

01 Month      S/ 50

15 Days        S/ 30

07 Days        S/ 20

03 Days        S/ 15

CLARO PHONES DEPOSITS:

  • NOKIA 106, black with white     S/ 80.00
  • NOKIA 205, white with orange, has social media  S/ 140.00

MOVISTAR PHONES DEPOSITS:

  • NOKIA 106, white & black     S/ 90.00
  • NOKIA 208, black, has social media and 2gb memory   S/ 200.00

The phones do not come with minutes. Minutes are sold here in the Dawn on the Amazon office.

Cell Phone Rentals For Travelers In Iquitos

At Dawn on the Amazon

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Efficiency Apartment For Rent In Iquitos

"Stairwell and balcony for apartment in Iquitos"

Stairwell to the left goes to your 2nd floor apartment with the balcony

Efficiency Apartment for rent, well located in an interesting neighborhood on the pedestrian only boulevard with a spectacular view from the balcony, and little or no motocarro noise. Rare in Iquitos.

"Balcony of the apartment for rent in Iquitos"

The balcony of the apartment for rent in Iquitos

Your balcony has tables and chairs and hooks to hang your hammock. Hammock included.

"Spectacular view from the balcony"

Spectacular view from the balcony

Possibly the best benefit for you of living in this apartment is the beautiful view day and night. Rare in Iquitos.

"Comfortable bed, adequate storage"

Comfortable bed, adequate storage space

Air conditioning, hot water, cable TV, modern bathroom, fairly fast wi-fi. Rare in Iquitos.

"Small refrigerator, closet with hangers, more storage space"

Small refrigerator, closet with hangers, more storage space

Small refrigerator,

"Desk, Table, Chair"

Desk, Table, Chair

Electric kettle for boiling water for tea.

"Dresser"

Dresser for more storage space

Electric bill, wi-fi, cable TV, water bill, and trash collection bill included in the rent.

"Modern bathroom, toilet, sink, large warm water shower, storage"

Modern bathroom with more storage

Your modern bathroom with more storage space.

"tiled shower"

Large tiled warm water shower stall

Your shower stall has a built in tiled seat, a screened in window and warm water.

"Dawn on the Amazon Building"

Dawn on the Amazon building

Your apartment is the one with the balcony on the second floor of the Dawn on the Amazon building, on the pedestrian only boulevard at the corner of the 1st block of Nauta Street, two blocks from the Plaza de Armas. Your view is of the boulevard and the Itaya River. The ground floor is home to the office of Dawn on the Amazon Tours and CruisesDawn on the Amazon Cafe, and the Amazon Explorers Club. This is a great location for you to meet interesting people, and make new friends.

In the interest of transparency, although street noise is minimized, there are other noises associated with human activity on the boulevard particularly on Friday, Saturday and Sunday night, and some holidays between 7:00pm and 11:00pm, as the boulevard is one of the best places to see and be seen. I think it is a cool scene, with musicians playing, clowns on stilts, comedians being funny, capoeira, preachers preaching, dancers dancing, and always surprises. Not everyone agrees. There are also kitchen and restaurant noises except on Sunday when Dawn on the Amazon is closed.

You have no kitchen, but you are only 2 minutes from Dawn on the Amazon Cafe, one of the best restaurants in Iquitos, number one according to TripAdvisor for over 4 years. We can deliver to your apartment when you don’t feel like going out.

This is a furnished efficiency apartment. You start out with two sheets, pillow case, towel and toilet paper to get you started. There is no maid service. The apartment comes with a broom, mop, and bucket. If you would like your room cleaned you can hire one of our crew to clean for you. There is a drop off laundry right around the corner. You can leave your sheets, towels and clothes there to be washed in the morning and pick them up clean in the afternoon. At the end of your stay, leave us the sheets, towel and hammock.

There is a “Portales super market” 4 blocks away to buy toilet paper, supplies, snacks and drinks to stock your apartment and your refrigerator.

Bill and Marmelita Grimes live on the third floor and are your closest neighbors.

Rent is $390 U.S. dollars per month, one month’s rent in advance for security, which will be refunded to you assuming you leave the apartment in the same shape it was when you moved in.

We prefer to rent by the month, but under some circumstances will rent for $40 per night.

No pets, no motorcycles.

Contact Bill Grimes at bill@dawnontheamazon.com to check on availability.

Efficiency Apartment For Rent In Iquitos

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