Manaus - Day 83-84

Trip Start Jan 31, 2008
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Trip End Ongoing


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Where I stayed

Flag of Brazil  , State of Amazonas,
Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Day 83 - 30/03/09

Arrived at the docks in Manaus just before sunrise. Myself and a couple of other Gringo's from the boat got shafted by unscrupulous taxi driver, but after getting off the boat I just wanted to dump my bags and sleep horizontally after 2 nights in a hammock. Didn't bother arguing, didn't have the energy to converse with this idiot. Checked into the Hostel Manaus near the city centre, slept comfortably for a couple of hours before heading out to explore this jungle metropolis. The most notable sight I've seen so far in Manaus is the Theatre Amazonas which was build by wealthy rubber barons in the 19th century. Certainly must of been a lot of cash flying around in those days. It's an impressive building with a multi-coloured tiled domed roof. Amazing to think all these building materials had to be brought in from Belem, 1500km down stream. Actually all the materials used to build this entire city had to be brought from the coast, except the wood of course.
 
In the afternoon I walked down to the docks to buy a boat ticket to Tabatinga, a town 7 days upstream on the triple frontier with Peru and Colombia. This no flying pledge of mine within the continent is proving to be time consuming. Such a different type of travel to last years rushing from planes, to boats, to buses. When I reach the Peru border I'll probably have another week long boat journey to find the nearest road!
 
Day 84 - 31/03/09

It's amazing to think I'm in the middle of the Amazon when walking around Manaus. The city looks like any other Brazilian port city except it's 1500km from the Atlantic ocean and it's in the middle of the biggest rainforest on the planet. This remote city is a bit of a concrete jungle with only a few gems of 19th century architecture build by the wealthy baron which I visited yesterday. It's quite hard to visualise actually where I am, Manaus is like an island of civilisation in the middle of one of the most remote regions of the world.
 
I've had a another really productive day, that's my second productive day in a week! It's been a day of doing job's that I've been putting off for a while. I'm not going to be in touch with the outside world for a couple of weeks, so I had quite a few things to sort out before I head deeper into the Amazon. The most exciting job of the day was booking my ticket for the Burning Man festival in the desert of Nevada. The festival runs in the first week of September and is one of those cult festivals I've always wanted to go to. I'm touring the States for three months starting in September so I thought the festival would be a good way to start my journey, chilling with the hippies for a week in the desert.
 
Had another couple of walks around town in between my jobs. Manaus is a bit of a strange place, it's visually not that attractive but it does have a certain frontier charm about it, it's cool for some reason. Tomorrow I leave Manaus to embark on a 7 day upstream boat mission to Tabatinga, will be the longest boat journey I've every taken! Especially with the added pleasure of sleeping in a hammock on an open deck.
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