What I Am Doing For You And What You Can Do For Me
I want to talk with you about the larger picture of what I am doing for you and what you can do for me. Those of you that are regular readers of the Captain’s Blog already know me well. I am grateful to see I have added many new readers who do not know me unless they go to the beginning of the blog and get caught up, so I thought it would be good to increase the mix of my personal life with the business part where I try to help you make the best of your stay in and around Iquitos, and you can get to know me better at the same time.
The photo of the sunrise was taken from my balcony a few mornings ago. I didn’t put it in photoshop or enhance it in anyway. That is what I saw. That is what I photographed. That is how it came out of the camera. Some sunrises are more exciting than others.
Where I Live
The best benefit of where I live is the beautiful view of the river with the boats and the jungle on the other side. My home is on the top floor above the Dawn on the Amazon office, the Amazon Explorers Club Lounge, and the Dawn on the Amazon Café, which are on the ground floor, facing the boulevard and the river at #185 Malecon Maldenado, across the beginning of Nauta Street from the historic pre-rubber boom chapel.
What I do
I see most sunrises because I get up around 5:00am without an alarm clock nearly every morning, brush my teeth, brew 4 cups of strong coffee and drink one of them on the balcony while I water and turn the house plants. We have an orchid that is blooming, a bromeliad that is budding, three different types of croutons, a charapita hot pepper bush that produces lots of fiery peppers every day, and a few other plants. I enjoy this quiet time in the morning. This is Dawn on the Amazon.
Around 5:30 I turn my computer on, open the curtain that also lets me look out over the river and the same view as from the balcony, only from my computer chair, and start work answering emails, studying google analytics, connecting with social media, checking blog comments and writing articles. I usually scan the New York Times for news that might interest me and work until 7:00. Then I wake up the love of my life, Marmelita, which is not always that easy to start her day. After we say our good mornings and visit for a few minutes, I take my shower and get ready for breakfast.
I meet my friend Mike Collis, the editor of the Iquitos Times, at the Dawn on the Amazon Café, next door to my office, nearly every morning at 8:00, and we compare notes, plot, plan, and scheme over coffee and bacon and eggs. When all of the above goes on schedule it is a good way to start the day.
By 9:00 I am back at my computer working. My biggest amount of time and effort go into maintaining as many relationships as possible through social networking and emails, writing blog articles, learning new computer skills, and researching the news and gossip about what goes on in and around Iquitos.
The computer skill I am trying to learn now is how to send out my new periodical newsletter using the Aweber automatic emailing system. Oh sure, it sounds easy. For those of you that have signed up for the free newsletter, thanks for your patience, I am sure I will figure this out soon.
I am also trying to get three new companies up and running, the Amazon Explorers Club, the Peacock Bass Club, and the Amazon Birders Club. As if that is not enough problems, I’m the manager of the Amazon Golf Course. I work hard but I must not be very smart. I could be retired and drinking beer on the boulevard with the other expats.
How I Try to Help You
Here is what I do for free nearly every day. I publish valuable information that you can use to enhance your Amazon adventure, or your visit to Iquitos, or if you live here, your life in Iquitos, in one of my 5 blogs, or provide it in my office or the Amazon Explorers Club Lounge, and some days I create an escape or inspiration for your imagination. Maybe you are working in an office or a factory in the middle of New York City or London, or Lima, or Sydney, or Indianapolis, and you read one of the stories of my expeditions, or my friends and peers adventures on the rivers, and in the rainforest of the upper Amazon, and you dream you would like to experience something like that.
I am just starting to get really good at creating the content that provides the free information that you need and want to help make your dreams come true. Have you checked out my articles, Hotels of Iquitos, Reviews, Rates, and Recommendations, my Favorite Restaurants In Iquitos Peru, my list of the Top Ten Things To Do In Iquitos Peru, and I have a dozen new ideas for posts that will help you turn those dreams into an adventure, such as Ten Tips for Terrific Amazon Trips, which is coming up soon, so stay tuned.
How I Make Money
Most of my money comes from my pride and joy, Dawn on the Amazon Tours and Cruises, providing my specialty three to eight day Amazon adventure cruises into the three large nature reserves, Allpahuayo Mishana National Reserve, Tamshiyacu Tahuayo Reserve, and Pacaya Samiria National Reserve. We also do an interesting overnight cruise to Monkey Island and the Yana Yacu River, and run the best day trips and half day trips in Iquitos.
We rent out a fully staffed and stocked Jungle Cabin overlooking a beautiful lake, near the boundary of Allpahuayo Mishana National Reserve for multi-day stays for fishing, hiking, bird watching, canoeing, swimming etc.
In the interest of full disclosure, nearly all of the lodges and other cruise companies offer me a small commission to send them guests. The commission is always off of their price, never added onto the guests price, so you get the same deal booking with me as going direct to the lodge or cruise company.
I make a small commission booking a few of the high end hotels. Again, the commission comes off of the hotel price, so you generally get the same deal as going straight to the hotel, except sometimes the Hotel will make a bigger discount if business is slow.
The Amazon Explorers Club Lounge sells wi-fi for your lap top, beer, exotic regional liquor, coffee and snacks. We also arrange special high end Amazon adventures that do not fit with what Dawn on the Amazon provides, and tours for those that want to rough it without frills.
The Amazon Explorers Club, Peacock Bass Club, and Amazon Birders Club are membership sites that cost $50 to join, and provide special services and a place for a community of like minded specialist adventurers to meet, connect, and interact.
How You Can Help Me Help You
Because I write this increasingly popular Captain’s Blog, I get a lot of emails asking for special favors. For years I pretty much tried to do every favor. As my businesses and readership have grown out of control and my time is taken, I need to ask a favor in return.
If you are coming to Iquitos to film a documentary about life on the river and want advise from an expert, or if you desperately need me to find your friend that you are supposed to meet but have not heard from in weeks, or you want me to find you an apartment with good security, or you want to know which is the best shaman for safe ayahuasca ceremonies, or do I know a good boat builder that could make a boat to go down the Amazon River all the way to Manaus Brazil and where can you get navigation maps, or a hundred other requests, that would take me hours of detective work or research with no monetary return, I ask you to please join the Amazon Explorers Club and for that $50 membership fee, my team and I will work with you to try to come up with the best solution for your special problem.
My friend Mike Collis and I give away more free information and services and donate more time to good causes than most of the other people in Iquitos combined, but I am also trying to make a living here and it is not that easy, so help us out, and join the Amazon Explorers Club. It is only $50. I am worth a hell of a lot more than that.
This is all about synergy, value, and mutual benefit! Lets be there for each other.
What do you think? Leave a comment and tell me all about it. Thanks.
What I Am Doing For You And What You Can Do For Me
Bill Grimes also writes for the Amazon Golf Course Blog