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Published: August 30th 2009
1: Jane ?
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Manaus has put the smile back on our faces :-) There's not much to do in the city itself but it's pretty cool anyway. All around the city is the reason for being here - the Amazon jungle. We're on a 3 day, 2 night trip, and it's awesome !!!
It's interesting as soon as you leave the dock in Manaus, two rivers that come from different directions, are different colours (one is black the other a kind of milky coffee light brown), different temperatures, and flow at different speeds join in front of the city, because they're so different they flow side by side and don't mix for a few km's, it's a weird sight. After speedboat, mininbus - a VW combi - the surfer type van (seems they still make them here), and another speedboat we arrived at the lodge which is right by the river, surrounded by jungle. In the afternoon and evening we went swimming, canoeing, fishing, caiman spotting and beer drinking - cool. The mozzies came out when the sun went down and were bad, but not as bad as we expected. It got a bit cooler at night so sleeping was OK. We were up
Just after the end of the rainy season the waters are very high and flood much of the forest.
at 6 the next morning to go jungle trekking. The local guides are amazing, the river level changes every day - we're just at the end of the rainy season now so it's getting lower by 10cm per day so channels are closing and land is appearing, when you're in the trees everywhere looks the same, because everything grows so quickly paths aren't easy to see, they know so much about the local plants and animals, and on top of all that can see animals and insects that even when they're pointed out are difficult to see. Incredible. In the afternoon we headed downriver to set up our jungle camp, this was the highlight for me. Of course the guides have a number of places they know based on the river levels but it was still remote and wasn't a place that had been used the day, week or months before. We had to make a clearing, find wood for a fire, and set up our hammocks and mozzie nets. After we'd been back out on the river to see the sunset dinner was the fish we'd caught the day before, cooked over the open campfire - it was tasty.
Crossing a stream.
After it got dark, about 7 ish, the mozzies were back so the best place was in the hammocks under the nets, by 8 everybody was in bed !!! The night was full of animal sounds, lightning, thunder, rain, fireflies, the trees moving in the wind - exactly the experience we wanted :-))) At dawn the next morning a troop of monkeys were swinging through the trees directly over our camp. We were up before 6 to head back up river to canoe through some flooded forest. In the afternoon it was back to Manaus.
The jungle experience was everything we'd hoped it would be, it's more difficult to see animals than in the Pantanal but that doesn't matter, just being in the Amazon jungle is fantastic :-)))))))))
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