Blogs from Manaus, Amazonas, Brazil, South America

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South America » Brazil » Amazonas » Manaus August 4th 2017

Saturday 29 July - Brazil We really wanted to see the Meeting of the Waters and arranged a tour which incorporated this with a city tour of Manaus. Manaus used to populated by wealthy rubber plantation owners and their attractive old houses are a testament to their wealth and opulent lifestyle, now most of the houses have fallen into disrepair, although the facades have protected status.They were mostly imported from Europe and assembled in Manaus. We went inside the beautiful opera house built in 1896, now called the Amazonas Theatre, where we were tempted to book tickets for the evening performance by a Brazilian Band but decided to wait and see what was playing on our return. The Palace of Justice which is now a cultural centre was also quite lovely. We visited the richest rubber ... read more
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South America » Brazil » Amazonas » Manaus August 4th 2017

Friday 28 July - Brazil Today we said goodbye to our travelling companions Ismay and Ginny who would be returning to the UK that evening. Keith and I were collected by Hugo for our transfer to the airport for our Amazon trip. As we were returning to Rio a week later we asked Hugo for his advice, he recommended we use the "screaming girls", the ones shouting "taxi, taxi" in the terminal. On arrival at Manaus airport we took rather an expensive airport taxi to the hotel as we were unable to find the Uber driver. The heat and humidity in Manaus hits you like a hot wet blanket as soon as you go outside. Settled into our hotel, which was almost opposite the lovely opera house we met our guide for a tour the next ... read more

South America » Brazil » Amazonas » Manaus July 30th 2017

Manaus is a city of 2 million located in the middle of the Amazon rainforest. There are no roads to Manaus. It's accessible only by plane or boat. There are many Amazon "guides" headquartered there. (Some are even legitimate.) Since last November I had been corresponding with Antonio, a guide I found on the Internet. A typical exchange would consist of me asking ten or so questions and Antonio replying with answers to one or two of them. He sent me a checklist of what to bring—sheet for hammock, rain coat, flashlight, hiking shoes, and mosquito repellant. Any other luggage would have to be left behind in Manaus, he warned. Beyond that, I had little idea of what to expect. I arrived at midnight after a four-hour flight from Rio (Brazil is almost the same size ... read more
Jungle Pagoda
Jungle Jim and Jungle Jon, together at last
Amazon Killer

South America » Brazil » Amazonas » Manaus April 28th 2016

What a fantastic way to spend four days. For the better part of last week I was living on a large transport boat headed downstream on the Amazon river from Tabatinga to our destination port of Manaus some 1,200 KM away. I met some great people, had some great laughs, and had a very relaxing journey to the middle of the massive country of Brazil. Our boat was named Monteneiro and was one of the nicer ones that I saw in the port. A few sketchy looking boats were also making the journey and were a little cheaper, but once on my vessel I was glad I paid a little more and at a price of 180 Reals or $95 including all meals I felt it was of good value. On Tuesday the day before the ... read more
My spot before
group
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South America » Brazil » Amazonas » Manaus May 29th 2015

Wednesday 27th May 2015 After a tiring day yesterday, we had an easy one today. We took the motorised canoe downriver, then paddled about in the Igapos for a few hours this morning. As we entered the Igapos, six large colourful Macaws flew out of a tree, squawking indignantly and letting all of the other creatures know that we were there. We didn’t see any monkeys or sloths today, but we saw thousands of heron and other fisher birds, testament to how rich the aquatic life is here. We saw a couple of grey dolphin as well. The dolphins are very beautiful and we managed to get quite a good video of one of them. These river dolphin are unique to the Amazon. The greys are a pale blueish grey with a pale pink belly, whilst ... read more
One of dozens of dolphins
Stunning sunsets every evening
Happy paddling

South America » Brazil » Amazonas » Manaus May 26th 2015

Tuesday 26th may 2015 Canoeing through the jungle is one thing, but trekking through dense jungle is quite another. Today we set off for a three hour trek and it was pretty challenging. We had a big storm in the night with torrential rain, so the forest was steaming and the insects were ferocious. We crossed streams, got through dense undergrowth (Marcelo was busy up front with his machete), climbed over numerous fallen trees and we saw Jaguar tracks. Some Tamarind Monkeys were high up in the canopy and moths the size of a man´s hand flew through the foliage. Although close to being unbearable at times, undoubtedly on the very edge of our comfort zone, it was also enormously exciting and we learned a lot about survival techniques and about the flora around us. We ... read more
Getting bark from the Killer Tree
A bridge over troubled waters?
Giant ant hill; 2.5 metres tall

South America » Brazil » Amazonas » Manaus May 25th 2015

Today was spent paddling through the flooded forest. We set off down the Mamori by motorised canoe for about three quarters of an hour, passing a school of grey dolphin on the way, to start to paddle into the Igapos. At times we were paddling though the canopy of these giant trees, which are embraced by creepers. Marcelo had a machete, to break through in places and Viv wore her mosquito head net. John decided it was too hot to wear his. Actually there were not too many mosquitos in the Igapos, but lots of crawly things falling from trees, like little spiders and different bugs. It was another world, full of sound one minute and completely silent apart from the gentle sound of our slow paddling the next. Every now and again a loud splash ... read more
Grey Dolphin
Large Caiman about four metres long
Amazonian Sloth

South America » Brazil » Amazonas » Manaus May 24th 2015

After an unconvincing and inauspicious start, today proved to be one of the best travelling days we have ever had and certainly the best so far in Brazil; it was the start of our one week rainforest safari, in an area called Mamori, about eighty kilometres south of Manaus. The journey took four hours and it was stunning. It wasn´t a good start to the day, since we were told that we were being picked up between 7.30 and 8.00 a.m. and we were not picked up until 12 midday; some crossed wires somewhere there! Our jungle guide, Marcelo, came to pick us up and journey to Mamori with us. First, we got a car to Ceasa Port, then we took a fast boat down the Rio Negro to the “Meeting of the Waters”, which is ... read more
Awaiting our first boat in the fishing port
John ready for the jungle safari
The "Meeting of the Waters" Amazon River

South America » Brazil » Amazonas » Manaus May 23rd 2015

Saturday 23rd May 2015 We like Manaus, despite its congested, hazardous streets and dilapidated architecture. There is grime, noise and obvious poverty; it is claustrophobically hot at times and they can´t make coffee, despite the fact that they grow it. As the song goes…”there´s an awful lot of coffee in Brazil!” but nobody seems to drink it. There are no coffee bars and nobody drinks it after meals here. Tea infusions seem to be more popular. The street dogs are skinny. Manaus grew up due to the rubber trade, built by the European and North American “Rubber Barons” in the nineteenth century, then just left to gently decay. The Rubber Barons exploited the indigenous Indian peoples, devastated huge swathes of rainforest, built an elegant European city in the jungle and then went away, to plant rubber ... read more
Yellow-spotted Sideneck Turtle
Sumauma Tree
Red-necked Turtles

South America » Brazil » Amazonas » Manaus May 22nd 2015

We are now back in Manaus, having left the lodge on the Rio Takuma Acu this morning. Our last full day there yesterday was excellent. We actually started the day by saying that we hadn’t seen as much wild life as hoped for. The jungle is teeming with life, but most of it is heard and not seen. Then, as soon as we had spoken, we saw four long multi-coloured lizards, several large black and brown split-wing butterflies and several vultures circling over the lodge. Sunshine after an early morning shower, brought thousands of insects, frogs, rodents and lizards out of hiding, so the vultures were looking for breakfast. We saw a really tiny black squirrel eating fruit on a tree outside our lodge and several squirrel monkeys playing about high up in the canopy. After ... read more
"Why are you leaving?"
Para cu monkeys, high up in the canopy
"My neck aches"




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