My second post on Gadling covering my trip to the Amazon is up this morning and available for your reading pleasure. Today I write about a trip to an outdoor market that we visited in the Belen District.
If you’ve ever visited an outdoor, open air market in a foreign country, you’ve probably seen some similar sights, although in Belen it was very hot, muggy, and crowded. While I was there, it was Palm Sunday, so many people were picking up goods for the family meal, and there was plenty for them to choose from, that’s for sure. We saw, at various stalls, dozens of different kinds of fish, beef, caiman, and even monkey meat for sale. There were also more types of fresh fruit than I’ve ever seen in my life, many of which I couldn’t even identify, and there were plenty of other unique items as well, like hand rolled cigarettes, with locally grown tobacco and a variety of home brewed beverages too.
There was even an entire section of the market devoted to home remedies that were made using plants from the jungle. Looking at the re-appropriated plastic Coke bottles filled with strange looking liquids didn’t exactly inspire me to want to try them, but the proprietor of the little booth we stopped at swore she had potions and elixirs to restore hair, cure nearly any ailment, and even get your significant other “in the mood”.
It was definitely an interesting place, and the jungle culture was clearly on display. Most of the items for sale had been gathered close to Iquitos, and brought in to be sold, so even in that large city, the jungle still played an important role in providing what they needed.
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