Manaus and the Amazon Jungle

Trip Start May 02, 2008
1
5
Trip End May 26, 2008


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Where I stayed

Flag of Brazil  , State of Amazonas,
Wednesday, May 28, 2008

22/05/2008

We got up early headed out to Encontro das Aguas (Meeting of the Waters), where the Rio Negro (dark) meets the Rio Solimoes (light). We opted for the 'romantic' option and took a boat to where the waters meet, but do not mix. A rather strange sight, which inspired the famous design of the seafront path of Copacabana. The waters were also a noticeably different temperature, the Rio Negro being the warmer of the two.

23/05/2008

Another early morning - 6am start to catch the minibus to the bus terminal, and on to a small settlement along the river, where we went by speedboat an hour up river to our 'ecocamp'. We were joined by two Dutch girls who stayed in Lizzie´s dorm in Manaus. Leo, our guide, gave us hammocks and we chilled until lunch. After lunch we went out on a canoe through the 'floating jungle' - the river waters are very high at this time of year, the trees being up to 6m under water. We could hear rain in the distance - like a huge waterfall, which of course found us and we got soaked. It soon passed and we stopped the boat and started fishing for Piranha, using chicken as bait. After fishing for around an hour in 3 spots, I caught six, Lizzie caught one, as did the two Dutch girls and Leo caught four. (Practice on the canal did me well!) We returned to camp with out catch, and relaxed until dinner was served - fried Piranha amongst other delights!

After dinner and a few drinks (Brazilian wine is awful, Lizzie's birthday and we didn't even polish off a bottle) we headed back out on the river to search for alligators. Leo's motor was broken so another guide was driving, who had consumed half a bottle of rum and was in no fit state. Within 200m, and full acceleration, the boat was taking a nosedive (baring in mind it is pitch black) and even Leo looked like he had soiled himself. We re-arranged ourselves and continued at a slower speed close to the bank of the river shining torches looking for red dots, alligator eyes. We spotted a few and the guides went wading but they got away, until eventually we found and caught one. Well, Leo did. After this we returned to camp and went to bed - first birthday not spent on the lash in how many years?!

24/05/2008

Woken at 6am once again and paddled close to camp to watch sunrise and dolphins - pink, black and grey. Back for breakfast then dressed in jungle attire (including whistles) ready for out adventure. We went on an informational walk in the jungles, saw many plants (surprisingly) that were used in traditional medicine / crafts etc. Further into the jungle trees were rustly and there were cries from monkeys, which Leo replied to as we closed in on them. Up in the trees there were loads on the move. We saw two species - Cappucino and Bush Tail Monkeys. We also saw lots of birds including Toucans, as well as butterflies, one which was the size of my head. After four hours in the jungle we returned to camp for lunch and a short sleep in the hammocks.

In the afternoon we packed our over-night bags and set off on a boat to an abandoned settlement along the river and started along a disused road, once used to reach rubber plantations but now overgrown. We turned off the road and walked deep into the jungle, taking two hours to reach camp (consisting of a few logs as seats) just uphill from a stream. We set up hammocks from tree to tree and Leo started a fire, just before dark. Leo and I headed down to the stream to prepare food leaving the women by the fire. Half way to the stream Leo stumbled, then looked worried. I looked down and saw a snake moving away. It was a cobra, apparently deadly. Good start to a night in the jungle! I was the torch man while Leo prepared food and made plates and spoons from leaves and bark. The stream was filled with shrimp with red eyes in the torchlight, and glow-worms. on returning to camp, sausages on sticks we placed over the fire and Leo dropped the pot. The food was rescued with a little dirt for seasoning and we munched off the leaves, using the bark spoons! We washed and brushed teeth in the stream and then got into our hammocks. The sound of the jungle at night was awesome, but all managed to sleep well until the morning.
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Comments

Renata on

Thanks for showing the wonders of the Amazon but I would suggest you change the word Hunting regarding looking for Alligators since hunting for sport is prohibited in our country and could give the wrong impression to the reader.

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