On The Street, Iquitos Peru, The Trog

by Captain Bill

The Trog lives on the street in Iquitos Peru.

Photo by Gart van Gennip

The Trog lives on the streets of Iquitos

Gart told me when he took this photo the Trog jumped up and hit him over the head several times with the piece of cardboard he is sitting on.

The first time I saw the Trog he was speaking to his flip flop like it was a cell phone. Not long ago he threw two “rocks” into the supermarket on the corner. Next he came to the boulevard with a rock in each hand and sat on the bench in front of the Dawn on the Amazon Café. I thought, oh oh here’s trouble, but luckily the Trog fell asleep and the rocks dropped out of his hands. When he woke up he forgot about them. We dodged a rock that time.

Caleb Whitaker wrote a good article about the Trog on his blog Jungle Love. Here is a quote…

“Because this guy is always around, there are a few rumors about him. I spoke to someone who claimed to have had the same curiosity. One day he went up and talked to him, and he learned that the guy was from Argentina, and that he had gone out to the jungle to one of these retreat centers to work with some kind of plant medicine, and whatever they gave him rattled his screws loose, permanently. Who knows how loose they were before he got to that point, but that’s the story I heard.”

The Trog lives on the street in Iquitos Peru.

Gart van Gennip took the photo. Check out the tourism page on his web site, Ikitos.com.

Bill Grimes is president of Dawn on the Amazon Tours and Cruises, among other things…

{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Scott Humfeld January 4, 2011 at 12:18 pm

As a former Psychiatric Nurse I object to that photo being taken in the first place and then being published. That man has a mental illness and should be looked on with kindness, not ridicule. I’ve seen him around for years and his behavior has always been in control, but it does sound like he may be escalating a little bit. If he is under treatment, which I believe he probably is, he should be stabilized soon.

2 Captain Bill January 4, 2011 at 1:35 pm

Thanks for your comment Scott. I respect you and your opinion. It was never my intention to ridicule.

Bill Grimes

3 Mike Collis January 5, 2011 at 2:34 pm

I quite like this guy and have often given him some money, but lately he refuses my help.
I believe that he would never harm me in any way.
A few weeks ago he walked too close to the Texas bar and the owner zapped him with pepper spray.

I like the photograph it reminds me of a film I saw as a child “Hercules Unchained”.

I sincerely hope that something can be done to help him, I bet he was a nice guy before he became mentally sick.

4 Mike Collis January 5, 2011 at 2:38 pm

I don’t think he should be labled “Trog” but as in my last comment “Hercules”.

5 Bernhard January 7, 2011 at 6:22 am

Dear Bill.
I’m glad for the answers of Scott and Mike. Especially for the opinion that this man should be looked at with kindness.
Last July and August I met him several times, every time I left some money with him, had some food shared with him.
As I do not speak Spanish (which I believe he does) communication in language was not possible, but kind movements towards him kept me from being suspicious or anxious. And I am sure, if there was a place that could be sort of home for him, all would be well for him. But of course, this is Iquitos, with many more people being in urgent need.
To explain my, our, background. We, my wife and I, spent some months at the surroundings of Iquitos to find possibly relief for my wife, after a life long illness of hers, finally looking for help in traditional healing. Didn’t work, as didn’t so many different approaches before. But it was, after all, still one of the most amazing journeys ever experienced.
And towards Iquitos and the Amazon, it’s easy to develop loving feelings to this place and its people.

6 Ian January 28, 2011 at 3:11 pm

What do you expect from the owner of Texas……
Ive been to Iquitos Twice in the last couple of years…and yes this man always fasinated me….but i have loads of fotos of him somewhere…
Next time he goes close to Texas and gets that i hope he puts the pepper spray right up where the sun doesnt shine…..
Dont think this man is danergous in anu sense….buy would love to know more about him….
Typical Mike same as me i suppose….ive also gave him money….but left to close to him and jumped on my moped a escaped:-)

7 Mark (salt boy) Sheldon October 16, 2011 at 3:29 am

Howdy Bill, I must admit to being quite fascinated by “Hercules” as he presents an amazing juxtaposition of traits that always keep you wondering what is going on in his head and what he might do (or not do) next. I got off to kind of a bad start with him myself, my first memory of the guy is him sitting in the Plaza de Armas peering at me through the slit in a Gillete razor blade (with various anatomy exposed). I kept an eye on him as I nervously walked passed, about one meter past him he said “Oh… I’m just taking pictures”. After that he always wanted money, and sometimes I gave and sometimes no. He tried playing being somewhat aggressive with me in his posture and demeanor and when he saw that didn’t work he quit. At that point I viewed him as a”poor demented being” but got a shock when I was walking with Jeremiah one afternoon, who when passing Herc suddenly stopped and engaged the guy in a good spirited, lucid and shockingly normal conversation. The fellow is intelligent and I’ve had short conversations with the guy on subjects such different ways to prepare pasta! I have actually considered what could possibly be done for him… then, I wonder if maybe he’s not the most realistic person I know and who am I to try and cure him? Anyway, hope all is well, I’m enjoying my stay in Washington. Say hey to Karla and Bill and everybody and see ya’ll in a few weeks.

8 Captain Bill October 16, 2011 at 8:18 am

Howdy Mark, Thanks for sharing your encounters with Hercules, aka Trog or more properly, perhaps, Oscar…I haven’t encountered Hercules in a couple of weeks. Did you take him with you to Olympia? A shot of espresso might be all he needs to rejuvenate. I look forward our next visit.

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