Boat trip from Manaus to Belem
Trip Start May 10, 2009
48Trip End Nov 02, 2009
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Settling in next to our new German mate, Alex, to one side and an ever present mammary gland, constantly exposed to feed her (very cute and chubby) 3 month old baby
So, what did we do for the next 4 days? Nothing. Nada. Fokoli. Zip. Zero. Niks. Bugger-all. It... was... awesome. It gave us the perfect opportunity to appreciate where we have been and all we have seen so far and reflect on a great start to our adventure. Also it was much needed downtime after a packed 3 weeks. And also gave our stomachs a chance to shrink with eating normal sized portions for a while.
By lunchtime on day 2 the ice was broken and we were all one big happy family. Locals rattling off in Portuguese and probably thinking we were dumb mutes seeing as all we could reply with was shrugs and 'no entiendo' (I dont understand). To which they speak louder and louder but not slower or in English! Then they started taking pictures of us, sometimes while we were not looking and then took great joy in showing us later on! By the 3rd night they gave us nuts (Brazil nuts). Talk about feeling like monkeys in a zoo as two of 5 gringos on the boat, the only blonde ones... We were quite the staring point to say the least. Even a little girl took about 2 days to approach us and then poke our skin when we weren't looking!
There are not many things in life that are hard to describe, but the sheer vastness of the Amazon river is one of those things. To sail for 1500km, 24 hours a day for 4 days and consistenly see the shore on one side about 2km away gives you some idea of how big this stream is.
Half way through the trip we stop in Santarem for some offloading and reloading of supplies. This was a nice opportunity to stretch the legs and take a walk around the town. Also got some great views of the meeting of the waters. This is an unbelieveable phenomenon where the white water rivers from the south meet the black water rivers from the north but the waters dont mix for kilometers on end! Really cool to see.
On the last day when the river becomes a little narrower you can see the little huts on the shore. The families from the huts send the kids out in canoes to either try and sell stuff to the passengers on the boat (by lasso-ing the boat and climbing on board!) or just to get close enough in the hope that the passengers would throw them some goodies. You feel terrible thorwing stuff becuase you cant give them all and they all look like they could use a good meal.
After breakfast (a boat issued bread roll and coffee) we could see Belem approaching! JEEPERS! it looks like a New York skyline! We disembarked at about 8am and were seriously sad to say goodbye to the good ship Clivia (which sounds more like an STD than a boat but anyway...)
Next adventure: Belem City!
Where I stayed
N/M Clivia (boat)