Voyages On The BIG River I

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South America » Brazil » Amazonas » Manaus
August 31st 2009
Published: September 6th 2009
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The san MarinoThe san MarinoThe san Marino

Our transport to Santarem.
We're are on a ship on the Amazon. With the exception of the Death Train all of our journeys so far have been by bus so it's great to be taking something different, what's even better is that the journey on this ship is fantastic and unlike anything we've ever experienced before. The journey downstream from Manaus to Santarem takes about 30 hours. On the boat there are no seats or bunks so you have to turn up with your own hammock which you hang up as early as possible in the morning although the boat doesn't sail until 1pm. If you don't bag your spot early you end up either on the bottom deck with the cargo, or near the carzeys, or both - not the way to enjoy the trip. Life onboard operates to a different clock than what we're used to. Dinner was served at about 4:30pm - a bit early for us so we decided to wait, bad move !!! when we went a couple of hours later it had all gone, putain !!! luckily we had enough beer to numb our pangs of hunger :-) At 7pm sharp it was lights out, it was like being
Colourful HammocksColourful HammocksColourful Hammocks

The decks are crowded and colourful.
in the jungle all over again, with nothing to do we went to sleep early doors which was a good thing because at about 5am its was lights on and everybody was getting up an about !!! Lunch today started at about 10:30, needless to say we didn't make the same mistake as yesterday, it was tasty and only R$5 ( a couple of US$), excellent. After a couple of stops in small towns that “remote” doesn't even come close to describing we arrived in Santarem. The taxi drivers and hotels know they have a captive market and certainly make the most of it, 3 or 4 km's was R$15 and a very very basic room was R$17, monkeys !!! For the 4th or 5th time we've arrived somewhere at a fiesta time, tonight was a parade of drumming / marching bands, cool.
The Amazon is unbelievably big, at times you can hardly see both banks it's so wide, it's been like that for the 500km we've travelled so far, the volume of water must be almost incalculable, it certainly is for me. It's quite an eye opener, particularly when you think about the size of the jungle as well
The Starboard SideThe Starboard SideThe Starboard Side

Passenger looking out over the starboard side at the waves created by the strong winds.
and how important they both are for our existence.

Additional photos below
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Port Of CallPort Of Call
Port Of Call

One of the stops en route to Santarem.

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