The booze cruise.

Trip Start Oct 06, 2004
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of Brazil  ,
Wednesday, February 23, 2005

I have just arrived in Manaus, Brazil, after spending four days on a boat down the Rio Amazonas. It's my first visit to Brazil, and if I had language problems earlier on this trip, it will probably be nothing compared to the next few weeks. They speak Portugese in Brazil, a language quite different from Spanish. At least for me who speak neither (does what I say here really make sense to you?) I do however know some Spanish after more than four months on the road. While in Portugese I only know how to say "Obrigado" (Thank You.) That's all, but I'll take it as a challenge.

I don't know what I expected from Manaus, but it's quite funny to find a big city here in the middle of the Amazon, about 1500km upstream from the mouth of the mighty river. Manaus is also the most popular gateway city to the Amazon, with direct international flights from several countries. Hence there's quite a few tourists here looking to go on a jungle adventure. I however, had enough jungle in Leticia, so I'll only spend a day or two before I continue my journey.

I also don't know what I expected of the four days cruise down the Amazon, sleeping in a hammock surrounded by about 40 other snoring tourists and locals. But it turns out to be an extremely pleasant and relaxing experience. It may get a bit boring or monotonous after a few days, but it is still a trip I recommend. Watching the life and scenery along the greatest river in the world. Nap in your hammock, read a book, do some travel planning (I love studying maps), play a game of cards or just chat to other friendly tourists or locals. I also got to practice my Spanish quite a bit with a group of nice and talkative Peruvians on their way to French Guiana for vacation. I am starting to know quite a few Spanish words now, just have to learn how to use them in a sentence or two. I just hope a few weeks in Brazil won't ruin everything I've learned and mess up my head with Portugese. The nights we spend on deck, watching sunsets, dancing to Brazilian rhythms and drinking beer. It is far from a booze cruise (I just liked the title), but still great fun. Try it out one day.

Earlier today I did something funny. I bought a flight ticket from Boa Vista in Northern Brazil to Rio de Janeiro. The main reason being that I am meeting an old work colleague from Norway, who is also one of my best friends, in Rio on March 15th. We will then travel around together for a couple of weeks. The reason I find this funny is because the flight is more than two weeks away. Hence it's practically the first pre-planning I have done on the entire trip. So far I have fixed things on the spot or no more than a day or so in advance. Hey, even the flight from Seattle to Guatemala City I bought the night before my trip started. I did this pre-planning because I want to make sure I'll get to Rio in time to meet my friend, and also because tonight I am off to Spanish speaking Venezuela for a few days (after all it's only a 15 hours bus ride to the border.) I figured it was best to buy the flight ticket now instead of when in Venezuela or when I return to Brazil, as I don't plan to stay for very long in Boa Vista where my flight leaves from. Hope it works out, and that I get enough time to do what I plan without having to change flights.

The next entry will be from Venezuela. Hopefully I'll have some funny stories to tell. If not, I promise you adventure. Stay tuned.......
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Antony on

I thinking of doing this same trip myself it looks great. Did you need a mosquito net on the boat? Many Thanks

stevefn on

There is absolutely no need for a mosquito net on the boat in my opinon.

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