The amazon and jungle adventure

Trip Start May 16, 2012
Trip End Aug 02, 2012

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Flag of Brazil  , State of Amazonas,
Monday, July 2, 2012

In the morning of our first day of amazon tour we were taken to the port where we would take a boat, then bus &; boat again to our jungle lodge.

At the port we were given a quick tour of the market, mostly fresh fish caught that morning, including piranhas. Once aboard our boat the 6 of us (1 guide, 1 driver and the 4 of us on the tour) went out to the meeting of the rivers. This is where the two rivers, river negro and amazonas rivers connect up and for around 18km the rivers do not blend and create amazing line in the water. They do not blend due to the differences in density, temperature, and flow of the rivers. It was great to see and feel the differences in the water.

Our guide was studying to be a botanist, and so told us some amazing things about the river and plants. As it was the end of the rainy season the river was at it's highest point, they also had record high rains of the amazon so it had risen to record highs (records started in the 1950's). The river drops around 20cm each day and over the dry season drops by around 15m. It was so surreal to be in the boat driving through the flooded forests at the same height as the tops of many trees and to think there were even more below the surface, and how all the plants adapt to suit both conditions.

We arrived at our lodge for lunch, a rest and then we headed out for our first venture with our guide for the rest of our tour (he was a scout for the bbc when they make documentaries in the amazon region) and a local man (who's father used to own the land that was bought by the tour company) - they were both brilliant and so informative. We saw pink dolphins, sloths, monkies, many differant species of birds whilst boating along the great expanse of the amazon and through the flooded forests (which can't be travelled through when the river is low).

After dinner we headed back out on the boat in the dark for caiman hunting. Our guide could call to them, amazing the sounds they make, especially the big ones!! Unlike our Peruvian jungle trip, there are no banks for the caiman where we were so they are in the water when we looked for them making them harder to catch. Our guide quickly reaches over the boat and snatches them straight out of the water!! We even all got to hold a smaller one, amazing - they are so soft on the underneath side. A great experience.

Our second day in the jungle after breakfast we headed off for our walk in the jungle with our two guides. We saw and learnt lots about the differant kinds of plants in the amazon and what they do. So many of our medicines today have come from the amazon. There was a plant which iodine comes from, a plant the sap was original chewing gum, a root of a plant which can be used for abortions (and which can be bought in the street).

We saw many differant creatures and insects, including bullet ants, bats, and many birds. Our guide caught a tarantula, it was huge, especially the fangs!

After lunch we headed out on the boat with some new arrivals at our lodge, some more from us, uk, and some Aussies with some pretty ominous dark clouds in the distance. We were on our way to go piranha fishing! On the way it started absolutely teeming down, in true rainforest style! It was still relatively warm but bucketing down, we were drenched right through! It was probably a good thing we didn't have a camera as we probably wouldve broken that one too!! Due to the rain there weren't too many piranhas biting, but 4 managed to be caught on our boat (unfortunately none by us). They were allowed to take them back to have them cooked up for dinner.

The third morning we awoke early to go out on the boat to watch the sunrise over the amazon. It was absolutely beautiful. After breakfast we went out and visited a local family and their house and farm. It was really interesting to see how they lived and the self sustained lifestyle they had.

Back to Manaus, a free port (tax free) so we managed to quickly buy another point and shoot camera to get us by the rest of the trip.

We had a lovely dinner with our new friends made on the tour and then settled in for the wait for our 3am flight to rio de janeiro!
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Mike on

Are you able to swim in the meeting of the rivers?

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