Alter do Chao - Paradise number 2

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South America » Brazil » Pará » Santarém
October 8th 2009
Published: October 8th 2009
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When I said before that we had found a good position on the boat to Santerem I was actually incorrect. We arrived to the ship around 2 hours before it was due to leave port. We were greeted by the sight of around 250 hammocks with ours smack bang in the middle. I had read in the book that they get very busy but I didn´t realise they would have a hammock in every concievable spot so that there is no room to walk around. Anne had a women who didn´t look well and was about 90 years old. Basically you are sleeping on top of each other. Once the boat had left port we decided to walk around and found two English speaking people. They were both from Lithuania and live in Dublin, Valiukas and Robert. We have been with these for the last week aswell!! On the upper deck we had a bar which consisted of a few plastic chairs and many drunk brazilian men who would not stop talking to us. We tried to explain that we don´t understand and portugese but they just start to say the sentences slower and think that we will now understand it. Then they look confused when you say you still say 'Nao falla portugue'!! I think the had two CD´s for the entire 3 days on the boat, one was strange remix´s of pop songs and the other was English power love ballads, these were played at full blast, not sure if this was to scare away the crocs!!
It got a bit better the next day as some people left the boat at particular stops but were still fairly cramped in our little area!! Didn´t see much wildlife off the boat, managed to spot two large Iguana´s and two Dolphins but other than that was fairly tame!!
When we arrived in Santerem we quickly found the way the bus to go to Alter do Chao. Alter is a small town of 7000 but feels like there is about 20 people living there. It is located on one of the rivers meeting the Amazon river, the water is a different colour to the Amazon and is green instead of brown. When you arrive in santarem you can see the different colours as the two rivers cant mix together properly and there is just a line in the river.
We arrived in Alter early in the afternoon and set up our hammocks in our little hippy pousada. About 30seconds from the pousada is one of the most beautiful beaches in the world, the water feels like a bath there is no waves. Its perfect because the weather is so hot you dry in about 4 minutes so no need for a towel. We met another guy from Vancouver in the pousada. He is taking part in a Jungle Marathon which last for 7 days through the Amazon Jungle. One of the days they have to run 84km.....pretty crazy!!
One the first night there we all went out to the town drinking, we thought they were having some sort of Opne Mic night in the town square so we had our beers and were chilling out and then realised that we were at outdoor mass, so we decided to get a boat to a little island across the river and sit on the beach with our cans, very irish style!!
Myself, Anne, Valiukas and Robert decided that we would do a jungle trek and go to the national park to meet some tribes people. The agencies were so expensive so we found a local guy who was from one of the tribes, he told us he would bring us for half the price so we said we´d go for it. He said we would see some Caiman and various toher things! Normally when the agencies take you its in a big fancy boat but our guide Roberto´s boat was nothing of the sort. It barely fit the four of us. We had to travel down a river that looked like the sea for three hours in this piece of crap, was good fun though!
When we arrived he introduced us to the family etc. We got some food and then headed out in his canoe through the flooded forest which was amazing! We went back after 2 hours canoeing to get some dinner, by this stage the flies and mosquitoes were out in force and I think I probably swallowed quite a few of them! The house was made of thatch and we were having dinner in a sheltered area out the back. I looked up and there was a spider almost the size of the palm of my hand catching all the flies!! I didn´t mind him so much as he looked very busy but I went inside to wash my hands and noticed another even bigger one hanging from the roof. Then looked up and saw dozens of them hanging off the roof, I got the hell out of there as quick as I could, if you know me you know I don´t like spiders. It was like walking onset to the movie ´Arachanaphobia'!! After dinner we went to spot some caimen but our giude couldn´t spot them so we just caught a fish and BBQ´d it on the beach.
We were supposed to be going for a 6hour trek the following morning but it seemed to only last for around 2 1/2 hours, it was very hot but I thought this was taking the piss a little, I guess we got our moneys worth but in truth I dont think the agencies offer anything else except for the fancy boat!!
Roberto decided to take us back in the dark in his little boat, it was pitch black and the amount of stars in the sky were beautiful, was a nice boat ride but we kept going towards storms and I would not of fancied being in that boat during a storm but we dodged them all and arrived safe and sound. We left the lithuanians the morning and went back to Santarem to find another boat to Manaus. It feels like it 50 degrees here and I have had the sun block on four around 2 weeks!! We found a boat but its not leaving until tomorrow at 1pm. The captain has agreed for us to sleep on the boat tonight so saves us carrying everything and look for a place to stay. Its a nice little town here so just going to have a look around now and prepare for another two nights on the ship, this time we are shure we have a good space on the boat bu unfortunately people just throw the hammocks above and below so pray that its ok tomorrow! Next update should be in a few days! dont have a cable for the camera so cant update the photos yet!!

Additional photos below
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Our bedroom in the hostelOur bedroom in the hostel
Our bedroom in the hostel

Mine is the second hammock in!

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