Trip Start Dec 02, 2009
60Trip End Jul 05, 2010
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Haven't updated this for a while so we will try to get it all done in the next couple of days.
We arrived in Manaus and proceeded to cook as the heat and humidity was amazing!!
We spent a couple of nights in Manaus looking into Amazon river/jungle tours and ended up booking through a guy that we met on Ipanema beach in Rio. We actually bumped into him at the airport again on the way into Manaus. Very strange.
So we headed off for a 5 night tour of the Rio Negro arm of the Amazon RIver. The water there has a low Ph level so there are hardly any mosquitos compared to the other arm of the river
Headed off in a boat to see the meeting of the waters. The white and black rivers meet for approximately 11 kms and because of the differences in temperature and consistency of the river they don't actually mix so there is a clear line running down the river, one side black and the other brown.
We then headed off up river to the Green lodge where we would spend the next few nights. Very basic accomodation with no electricity but they did have running water. We spent the afternoon eating the local river fish (very nice!!) and swimming in the Amazon. Apparently because we were there when the waters were really high there were no Piranha in that section. The water was amazingly warm and the further we swam out to the middle the warmer it got.
That night we headed off in a timber canoe to go piranha fishing. Of course my luck with fishing held and I had a big one on the line within 10 minutes but the bamboo rod I was using broke in the middle!! Got a new rod from the guide and proceeded to catch absolutely nothing while watching the others pull in piranha!!! Very frustrating. The guide used on of them to cut small branches off a tree to show us how sharp their teeth are.
The next day we were taken to a section of the jungle to go for a 3 hour trek. As soon as we got out of the canoe and set foot on land it started bucketing down!!! So we spent the next 3 hours wandering around with the mosquitos attacking in clouds. The trek was still very interesting as the guide pointed out all the different types of plants they use for medicine and then we headed off up hill in search of Tarantulas!! Unfortunately they were all hiding in their burrows because of the rain. I think there were quite a few of the tour group that were very happy about that.
The afternoon was spent at one the local "tribal villages". We arrived to the sound of a massive stereo system blasting away and the site of a public pay phone in the middle of town. We were then advised that this was the local community and we had to walk further to the local village. Once there were shown a native tribal ceremony which include lots of different tribal intruments and at the end we were all dragged in to join in the dancing. Was quite funny actually as we though it would be rubbish.
The next day we were supposed to be up early for sunrise but unfortunately it was too cloudy so their was no point going. So we spent the morning swimming in the amzon and then after lunch we headed off for our jungle camping night
So after many beers, watching the olympics and managing to put one whole leg in the river as I tried to get up, we headed off to the jungle camp. Arrived back there and first thing I noticed was the hole under the tree closest to Kira and My hammocks. After shining the torch down the hole we realised that the tarantula was actually sitting on the tree root next to us. There were a few thoughts about waking up with the tarantula looking through the mozzie net I can tell you now.
So after a comfortable night in the hammocks (no 8 legged creepy crawlies on us in the morning luckily) we had a quick breakfast on the fire and headed off to a beach area further up river
That night we were supposed to be heading to a local tribal village to spend the night but after a chat with the guide we realised it would be the same sort of thing as last night as apparently the tribes now have fridges, tv's and all the other things we wouldn't associate with a jungle tribe.
So we opted to spend the night at the lodge and the next morning we were off to see the river dolphins. They were amazing. We stood on a platform on the side of a floating house and the locals fed the dolphins while we could pat them as they came up to us. Some even came half way out of the water just in front of us. This was definitely the highlight of the amazon experience but unfortunately it only lasts for about 20 minutes.
That afternoon we were off to Manaus to catch our flight out to Bogota, Colombia.
Just a word of advice to anyone flying in to Colombia that reads this - when the travel staff at the check in desk say you need a return flight back out of Colombia just show them your departure flight back to your home country. They tried to charge us $1000 US for another set of flights.
Loc (and Kira)