Floresta National Park (Maguary Village) - Day 78

Trip Start Jan 31, 2008
Trip End Ongoing

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Where I stayed
Maguary Village House

Flag of Brazil  , State of Para,
Thursday, March 26, 2009

Met up with some fellow travelers this morning who wanted to go to the national park too, so we thought we'd try and negotiate a price together for the trip. We struck a deal and decided to go for 2 days and one night, we leave by boat in a few hours. I finally get to see the Amazon rainforest!
At 11am we started a 3 hour boat journey in the midday heat of the equatorial sun. The boat was a little wooden vessel which offered no shade with a long-tail motor on the back. We motored upstream on the river Tapajos in a leisurely fashion being scorched by the sun from above and it's reflected rays from the water below. Stopped for a swim and a cool down on a little sand bar which was a welcome relief. Was extremely happy to see the houses of Maguary Village through the trees as we approached the east bank. The locals we're staying with tonight are rubber tapper's and in the gardens of their houses are the scarred rubber trees which forge them a living. We hung our hammocks in a big open garage type hut next to the family's house. We then visited a factory where they process the rubber they harvest from their small plantations. Before we left the factory I bought a little multi-coloured rubber ball made from the Amazonian rubber, the first souvenir I've bought all year.
In the evening we walked for 30 minutes to a neighboring village to visit the local crocman. He took us out on the river in the eerie darkness to look for crocs. The crocman was in his 40's, had long hair and looked like the Amazonian equivalent of Crocodile Dundee, he was a funny chap. We meandered in the darkness along some small river channels shining a powerful torch on the river banks. We were looking for the torch light reflecting on the crocs eyes but we didn't see a single thing. We moored the boat and walked to a little lagoon in search of these elusive crocs. I had to take my shoes and socks off to wade through the water on sections of the trail, ants were furiously biting my feet and ankles, the bites really hurt for 10 minutes or so and then the pain eases off. Thought ants were cool little critters before this evening. After reaching the lagoon the crocman walks into the water and disappears for 15 minutes. What the hell was he doing? He then returns grasping a one metre long croc by the neck!! He then has a little wrestle with it as it tries to wriggle away. After we'd had a good look at the croc and taken a few photos, he releases it back into the lagoon and we take the boat back to the village to sleep in our hammocks. An interesting night in the Amazon!
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