Published: February 14th 2007February 14th 2007
Apparently, this was 14th of February and we never realised that it was Valentine's day, one of the most commercial holidays! Well, it must have been my nicest Valentine's away from all the commercialism and fake sickening things that happen on this day.
Anyway, back to my jungle experience. There was some interesting stuff for breakfast but I had none of it really. There was a mess up between what Vic was told the previous night by Antonio and what Leo insisted of being the required time for us to leave to catch the bus. Once we arrived at Lindao we missed the bus that was supposed to take us to the South a place down stream of the Urubu River. Leo annoyed us by not telling us what exactly was happening but simply laughing and walking away across to the other side of the street and talking to some people.
In the end, everything was fine, but we were not exactly happy with the way Leo dealt with "informing" us about the situation. He got a policeman to drive us to the place where the other car was waiting for us to arrive by bus. Well, I
say a car because it looked like one on the outside. The inside, however, it was kind of gutted out. The thing seemed like it was going to fall apart anytime now. And now wonder, if it is being driven all the time on the kind of the roads we drove on. The road was full of massive holes all the way to our final destination. We were glad that the "car" was moving and that we survived the journey!
Initially, when I saw the holes I jokingly said "Oh, I already feel like at home!". Vic quickly understood that I was referring to some of Bulgaria's roads. But after awhile, I changed my mind and added that "Brazil definitely beats Bulgaria by far with the holes on the road!" The next half an hour we spent in another, not a great deal better, car driving on a road without a tarmac. I don't know which was better, really. Here, we saw cultivated land where the rainforest has been cut to accommodate for crops and cattle.
Once we arrived at the river, it was only a very short boat-ride away until we reached the place where we were
to spend our last night in the Amazonas. It was a floating house by the river bank. We had a room to ourselves. There were nets on the windows that were meant to protect us from the insects. Well, that would have been effective it there weren't so many large gaps between the windows and the window frames, or the rooftop and the walls where the insects could get through freely. We were supposed to be more at risk of mosquitoes that spread malaria here, hence, our worry about mosquitoes.
Even though, we were still on the same (Urubu) river, the eco-system in this area was a totally different from the one upstream. The reason for that is the PH of the water. The water in the downstream is not so acid, like in the North region. And apparently this was the reason why were told we'd get to see more wildlife, I'd say a different kind of wildlife. We stayed at the house of one of the native families, but they were very shy and with our non-existent Portuguese, we did not communicate at all. It probably did not help that I was beginning to feel more and
more shit and irritated that I was still having an upset stomach and could hardly go anywhere because I needed to poo all the time.
Having spent the morning in a car, we spent the afternoon and a good part of the evening on a boat. Man, did our bottoms ache!!!
We went to see a mini version of the so-called "meeting of the waters", where the black Urubu river meets the "white" waters of the Amazon River. It is quite an interesting event to see how the black and white waters don't really mix and stay nicely separated. We sailed up a small branch of the Amazon River with the help of the engine, but on the way back we let the boat go with the flow back to where we came from, with very little steering from Leo's side. Along the way, we saw lots of big pretty, colourful birds, as well as a sloth, that seemed to have woken up on our journey back, an eagle or some other kind of bird of prey. Luckily for me, there were not many if any mosquitoes as we feared. Apparently, they get out and attack after sunset!
Talking of sunset, we positioned ourselves close to the point of "meeting of the waters" to watch a beautiful sunset above the river. Whist waiting for the sun to disappear behind the horizon, we saw some more dolphins... the last ones we saw on this trip.
In the evening, we went out about 9:30pm to go looking for alligators. Well, small alligators. One of the touristic attractions here is to catch an alligator and then to release it, all without harming the animal. Leo made at least 5 attempts to catch one but he always failed as they always managed to escape. Vic was snoozing throughout most of the time and I was trying to keep myself awake fearing that I may fall of the boat if I were to tilt to the wrong side of the boat. It was a hard call, but I succeeded and saw all but one of the creatures that Leo attempted to catch. They were about 50-60cm long and may be not much more than 10cm wide. Leo put in a lot of effort and we appreciated that and by midnight we asked him to get us back to the house as
it was too late and we had seen enough.
There are more photos below