Man its hot in Manaus
Trip Start Sep 10, 2007
95Trip End Ongoing
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The next morning we started our jungle tour. We met our guide Tarik, our first sigting of the Amazon was at the port in Manaus. The port is a busy spot and because the level of the river is constantly changing (rising or falling depending on the season), there is no real pier, just a mud slide into the water and boards as the peir, its hard to describe and we didn´t get a photo, sorry
We had to get another taxi and another river taxi before we reached our jungle lodge - Araninha Jungle hotel. It was just what we imagined a jungle lodge to be like - spiders, birds, lizards look alikes roaming freely indoors! around and monkeys outdoors much to Orla´s delight! there were only 5 lodges, so there are never that many people staying there. Our tour is for 4 days and 3 nights, so we had a choice of beds or hammocks, we decided to go for the beds though, we want to get a bit of rest!
We arrived at the lodge at about 11:30 and we went out on the boat for our first jungle tour at 3:30, the wait nearly killed us we were so excited. There was a storm on while we waited, it was amazing really to see how fast the dark clouds approached and then suddenly the wind started, I mean really it was suddendly, we were both shocked at how fast the weather changed
Our first jungle excursion was a boat trip, at this point we discovered that it was only Kieran and I on the tour, the place is really quieter than normal, great success for us, we had 2 guides all to ourselves - Tarik and Oussie. Tarik is from Northern Brazil and Oussie is a native of the Amazon but he had no English so Tarik was our translator and guide. Some of the animals we saw were caiman, grey and pink dolphins, black vulchers, a parakeet, a king fisher, an iguana the list is endless really, we saw alot.
The houses here are all scattered at the side of the river, they are mainly floating houses, as the river is changing level all the time. As its the dry season now, we saw a house that gets flooded with water during the wet season. Half way up the walls the difference in colour indicates how high the river comes.
It started lashing rain again during this boat trip, so we got nicely soaked, great fun though as it is actually really nice to get wet and then dry off in a matter of minutes, its so warm here. What was a shock was the temperature of the water, it is about 20°C, really nice. The river water is used for washing here by the locals (and by us for the next 4 days)
None of the local houses (floating houses) have electicity here so at our jungle hotel they put on a generator for 4 hours a day, which is from dusk until about 10pm, then its lights out and candles on. To be honest we were so wrecked everynight that we were asleep at 10. Breakfast is at 7, so we were up well before that getting ready for our adventures. As there is practically no electricity here, then there are no tv´s, computers, radio etc. Strange being in a place like this but it was nice (for 4 days) to live a very simple life. The natives live off the river and the forest, they have everything they need here. As well they don´t have washing machines, so you see people washing there clothes in the river, its really like something you´d see in a movie.
Night time is Orla´s favouite time - not.....the noises are unreal here at night, so loud, frogs, monkeys and god knows what else. All these were new to us as we tried to get some sleep inside a mosquito net. Also the heat made it pretty hard to get to sleep.
The next morning, we were up at 6:30, twas like being back at work, a bit of a shock to the system
So we set off on our walk, the first strange thing to see what that we need a machette to clear the way for us to walk, well I guess no one had been there before, so good for us eh. The fact that there is only 4 of us is great as everything is done at our pace now and we could ask as many questions as we liked - it was great. The area where we were walking is flooded in the wet season.We saw various useful trees - for medicinal uses, antibiotics, vicks for headaches and colds, milk of magnesium, the trees that is used in Channel No5 Perfume, that smelt good, ones for getting water from if you are caught in a hold without water, ones for making rubber and rope from (we made a bracelet from this tree), also a tree that the indians believed would give you greater accuracy when you were spearing fish
Came accross a wierd smell and aparently it is the scent that monkeys leave after they´ve slept in a place.We tracked wild pigs and armadilloes, unfortuntely we didn´t catch up with them. We saw a snake pit in a swampy area, but saw no snakes (I was delighted but Kieran was very disappointed), they are difficult to see as they camoflage themselves so well. We saw wasps, bee and ant nests. Tarik picked up a palm full of ants and rubbed them onto his skin, this is a old method of repelling mosquitos apparently. We saw a lizards tail flying around the place, the lizard will break off its tail if it gets caught., this is a means of escape for them and they will quickly grow back another tail. Saw a poison arrow frog - Mary Mac you´d love him! a small little thing. The indians make the poisonous tips for their darts from this frog. Heard a bird that immatates all other animals or whatever noise it hears e.g. it barks like a dog..cool. We saw lots of spiders, massive hairy ones.....these were bird eating spiders, thats how big they are.We did see a pretty spider - known as the wedding dress spider. We made it back alive for dinner anyway, and we were starving, it is stange as at home on a hot day we´d have no appetite at all, but I guess walking for 4 hours in about 30°C and 80% humidity would make you very hungry
To be updated
Visiting Local People
To be updated
Sleeping in the Jungle
I was terrified and would never again do it but Kieran loved it. Slept in Hamocks and with just a mosquito net around us. I didn´t sleep a wink worrying that a big spider would creep into my hamock, not good, the longest night of my life. Listening to all the animals moving through the jungle at night and the different noises of birds etc and the snoring of my 3 buddies......glad I did it, but will NEVER EVER again sleep in the jungle again.
Saturday 6th October
In Manaus we had to do a few jobs after getting out of the jungle - Internet, washing and organising our way out of Manaus
Saturday night in Manaus is nice and alot better than we expected. There is a lovely square with the Teatro Amazonas in the middle of it. Manaus is known as the Paris of the Amazon. There were lots of people around, eating outdoors, kids with their little motor bikes whizzing around the place. There was a good carnival atmosphere here and Orla got really good wine, so it was a pretty good night. We didn`t meet any other gringos, which was a bit strange but an indication of how off the beaten track the place is.