Published: March 10th 2007March 6th 2007
The camera shy andrea
Day 0 - technically not classified as a boat day as the boat dosen´t kick off tilll 9 pm but i have started the diary today as i have had to board the boat early and watch my hammack space around the dodgey characters that move about and setup their own hammocks beside underneath and above me... yes i am riding economy class where there are no designated hook spaces it is basically everyman for themselves string up where you can. The place really had to be seen to be believed. Last night was pretty wild i must admit Andrea made a suprise apperance at the hostel when she hadn´t met me the night before. what followed was plenty of drinking and some all night partying as it was my last day in belem. So today was six hours slightly hung over and extremely sleep deprived from the night before... but i would do it all over again if i had a second chance though! but concentration was required today watching your gear with all the people moving around the boat is a must so i didn´t get any sleep till we finally took off at 9 that night... i can
Stephan chillen in the hostel
stephan chillen out in the forteleza hostel on my last night before my boat trip to manaus
tell you it was well welcomed.
Day 1 - well yes we launched last night down the mighty amazon... this really felt like i was travelling through brazil a boat full of portugese speaking people... i only knew 4 other english speaking people... yep it didn´t feel very touristy at all. On the other side of the coin my sleep wasn´t quite comfortable last night and i am sure i only slept in 30 minute stints but i didn´t expect it to be a luxury cruise liner either so i can´t complain to much. just 24 hours in sailing down the amazon i am already suspect of the people hanging around my hammack:
dodgey character 1 - there is this 26 year old african girl blowing kisses at me from her hammack and following me all over the boat. it is a bit uncomforatable and i think she has a boyfriend on the boat but she says she doesn´t. later in the day though i met up with the german girls, chris and moran from the hotel who managed to get there ticket changed to luxury class after some shifty portugese talking. i missed out as i was partying
my hammock on the boat
this really doesn´t do it justice as there are still hammocks tied up above me and there are nobody sleeping in the hammacks. but when more hammocks where put in the photo isn´t as artistic.
with andrea the night before and didn´t get up in time to make the boat with them. oh well. there was a slight problem with my meal ticket as well as i hadn´t got my ticket changed for a meal pass like i was supposed to... so i took until dinner time to finally get a meal pass and a lot of stuffing around in the mean time.... (the food has been pretty average anyway but not as bad as people described just boring.) by dinner everything had been sorted and i could enjoy the lasy lifestyle of the amazon boat.
Day 2 - the amazon streaches on, this morning we have been mobbed by indians basically people hanging out in dugout cannoes in the middle of the amazon... some of them would paddle over to the moving boat and lasso on and sell there wares fruit, nuts, prawns etc. others would just paddle close and people on the boat woiuld throw them bags of clothes. This has been the narrowest section of the amazon mabey 500m wide from shore to shore. making the boat ride really good to watch the surroundings.
Dodgey character number 2: the crazy girls
another hammock shot
the view down the boat
husband.. i think i he had cottened on to the fact that she likes me and now he is hanging around me as well. i think ignoring the wife has saved me getting beaten up but now he wants me to stay at some hotel he knows in manaus and he is trying to sell me all sorts of useless crap. i havn´t bought anything yet but it is definately irritaing. I have spent most of the day with tera and johanna (the german girls) which has helped me avoid these shifty brazilians. It hasn´t been all bad though i have met many kids on the boat that offer an endless amount of entertainment. Bruno the hyper active kid whose mother feeds him coca cola at 10pm at night before he goes to bed and lilia a cute little girl who hated me at first when i told her boys where smater then girls... she then told me that boys where only good at playing soccer and women could do everything better.
she argued with me in portuegese then made me try to replicate her string shapes i.e cats cradle, eiffle tower etc. to demonstrate how useless i was. i
The german girls
tera and the other german girl whose name has eluded me for the moment i will fix this when i remember... great girls though
then told her i could draw her picture and if she didn´t like it i would admit that girls were better than boys. so i drew her picture with some scrap paper i had and showed her once i had finished... her face was priceless i could tell she didn´t want to smile but she couldn´t resist... i wish i had a photo. she then showed her dad and everyone else on the boat which made me a target for more portraits but i didn´t mind as everyone was really nice. but lilia was instantly attached to my hip from this point on she talked for hours on end even when i didn´t understand what she was saying... i was a bit of a shame she left later that night as she was good company.
Day 3 - I slept in the first class hammock section last night for a goodnights sleep after switching with chris. The sudoku book i bought earlier in belem is paying off no end and the food is definately getting repedative and boring... i am eating less and less everyday as it is sickeningly boring. Today is the last day for the german girls
sunset over the amazon
i can´t say i didn´t envy them... this last days boat ride hasn´t quite been action packed. We stopped in Santarem for 2 hours where moran checked her emails and Chris had a well needed shower at the girls hotel. (Sure the shower water on the boat is from the amazon but you can use soap people) there was a bit of an issue when we got split up before returning to the boat because the other two wanted bottled water even though there was mineral water coolers on the boat... go figure? but we all made it back before 6pm even though the boat didn´t leave till 10pm.
Day 4 - Well my i woke up this morning feeling like i had just completed 1000 situps my stomach was cramped really bad to the point i was at time struggling to breathe dam you hammack... another day of chicken is also taking it´s toll thankfully i have picked up some snacks in santarem. I spent most of the morning catching up on the sleep i lost last night and watching the dolphins play in the water beside the boat. the amazon is very wide and boring today i
me and chris
chris and me chillen on the top deck
would guess mabey 10km wide... sometimes this boat ride feels like i am circumnavigating the world... i is a shame chris or moran don´t drink as that would be my idea of a great way to pass the time but some times i struggle to think of what is more boring moran and chris or the actual boat ride. oh well two more days can´t be that bad.
Day 5 - Some thing is wrong i am in extreme pain here... my stomach feels though it is being stabbed with a knife with every breath i have nausea to a point where i feel i will faint any moment and my head is spinning and pounding like the worst hang over ever, diorrea and vomiting have featured many times this morning and it is an effort to make it up and down the boat to the water cooler to replensh my fluids. i am seriously dying! i rip open the malaria tabels and read the medical information... side effects (tick all of the above) dam the doctor who perscribed these pills!!! the whole day has been controlling my breating and trying not to make any sudden movements as to agrivate the pain... i did not eat all day and visited chris and moran as they were to useless to come down stairs to check on their friend and help him out. chris was good and helped me charge my phone so i could message my brother for his birthday and then gave up his hammock so i could hopefully get a better sleep. moran was useless and irratating just giving negative advice... but i didn´t expect much more. Hopefully i can find a doctor tomorrow and get this sorted and mabey some new malaria pills.
Day 6 - Wow ok the stabbing pain has gone after stopping the malaria pills although my appatite and energy are now non existant. I went down stairs and packed my hammock, i thought this would be a joyous occassion packing away my hammock and once again stepping onto dry land but i was too sick to care. i shook hands with a couple of the brazilians but there was no love lost here... good and bad definately one of the most dramatic journeys of my trip so far. we checked in to the hostel where i think i slept for 15 hours straight... yes i will never look at a hammock the same way again.