Rainforest Hike and Teatro Amazonas

Trip Start Dec 21, 2011
Trip End Jan 12, 2012

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Flag of Brazil  , Amazonas,
Tuesday, January 3, 2012

We awoke to the sounds of the jungle surrounding us at the Ecolodge. A breakfast of fresh fruit, coffee, eggs, and local specialties got us ready for a hike through the rainforest. Our guide led us away from the Ecolodge into the primary forest, where the larger trees are located. She showed us medicinal vines and trees. Indigenous to Amazonia, she had grown up amid these plants and had a wealth of knowledge to share with us. Before making our way back to the lodge we spotted a three-toed sloth high above us in the trees, eating leaves. Once back at the lodge we got in canoes and crossed the river to the Monkey Jungle. Unfortunately the monkeys didn't come out to see us, but we learned about the Rainforest Foundation located there which actually preceded and was the catalyst for the creation of the Ecolodge. We returned to the lodge for lunch, then packed our things and boarded the boat for the return trip to Manaus. It only took 20 minute to get to the marina where the buses were waiting to take us through the city. Our first stop was Teatro Amazonas, a beautiful opera house built in 1896 in the European style. It was built during the rubber boom in an effort to make Manaus a center of culture and civilization. A huge pink building with a colorful dome, the theater was the highlight of our trip to the city of Manaus. After visiting the theater we had some free time to explore the plaza surrounding it before going to our next stop: the market. Our guide took us through the crowded and vibrant market stalls pointing out types of fish, meat, fruits and vegetables for sale. We walked back to the bus via the port, where the palpable energy of the city seemed to be concentrated. We returned to the ship tired but full of stories and eager to share pictures from our stay in the jungle.
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