15.11.2015 - 15.11.2015
I got up after many hours of sleep too breakfast at 7.30am. Like lunch and dinner it now was set up for breakfast. Bread, salad, ham, cheese, yoghurt, cereals, coffee, bacon, eggs etc. But now also water and juice to drink (without paying for). Today we were meeting in the reception at 8.15am to go to the Meeting of the Water. I was well on time, but Sergei and Svetlana was a no-show. Anthony and I had to start walking since we had to take the canoe out to the larger boat. And the large boat departed at a certain time. If we missed that it was all over. When we had almost gotten to the canoe the Russians came half-running behind us. Anthony was not satisfied with their behavior, because they had been late for each and every meeting at Amazon Ecopark.
The canoe chugged away and we cruised for a while before it docked with the larger boat, in the middle of Tarumi River. There were many groups on this cruise and we sat down on upper deck, under the roof. Even though it was hot, the head-wind created a nice breeze in the shadow. Slow but steady we cruised to the Tarumi Rivers inlet, where the city of Manaus is. Manaus is a city that stretches along the water and consists of several municipalities. The first airport ever built in Manaus had its runway so short the aircrafts had to take-off using a catapult, just as jet planes on a hangar ship.
When the boat left Tarumi River and in on Black River (Rio Negro) we were still following the dockland of Manaus. We passed big cisterns and Anthony explained that’s where Manaus’ tap water was gathered from the river. In there the water was filtered and chemicals added, before pumped out in the water pipes. Short thereafter we passed a natural gas plant with one of those chimneys in flames. How great is that for the environment? Gas or oil is neither that much better, really. Yet, the cars in Brazil are built for gasoline and/or ethanol refueling. How come the Brazilians don’t refuel ethanol? Partly because the engines take more damage but also due to the cheaper gasoline prices, which won’t pay off. But that is all about to change thanks to rising oil prices. Just next to this natural gas plant was the loading port of Manaus who have had an important meaning for the city export. Because the only transport communications to and from Manaus is either by airplanes or by boat, that’s how remote the city is from the rest of Brazil that no passable roads exists.
After 3 hours we arrived at the highlight of the day – the Meeting of the Water – where Rio Negro and Amazon River meets. The confluence by Rio Negros dark, almost black, water and the sand-colored acid water of the Amazon River is a main tourist attraction in Manaus. The waters of the two rivers flow side by side for more than 6 km without mixing! This phenomenon occurs due to differences in temperature, speed and density of the two rivers.
The boat circulated a couple of times on both sides of the Meeting of the Water before putting course towards the restaurant where we ate our lunch. Long tables were set under the trees in the shadow, with the lunch buffet in the middle. The watermelons there, shopped up in smaller pieces, tasted so darn delicious! So much better than back home in Sweden. After lunch we went for a short hike among the trees and stopped by a shallow freshwater lake, created by Amazon River. Now during dry season there wasn’t much water, but we could see the gigantic leafs (can be up to 3 meters in diameter) of Victoria Amazonica – giant water lily. The giant water lily grows naturally here in the Amazon and blossom for only two days each year. On the first day the flower is white, second day being pink.
When everyone gathered at the boat again a long cruise back laid ahead of us to the Amazon Ecopark. It actually went a little faster now when we cruised in fair wind, but it also meant a pretty much non-existing breeze. The heat became even more present now and even though you hadn’t made an effort you were tired! But we eventually arrived at Tarumi River and got picked-up by the canoe for a ride back to the sandbanks close to Amazon Ecopark.
Anthony chose to walk back along the sandbanks the Ecopark. It was scorching hot in the sun and by now even I had a hint of a tan. So then you know it was really hot and sunny After a well-deserved shower and cool-down in the room, there was some relax time before dinner at 7.30pm.
When passing one of the lodges (where the Japanese’s stayed), they stood watching something. I curiously walked up to them and wanted to know what it was. They had some problems with one of the Macaws living at Amazon Ecopark, standing outside the door and trying to get in as soon as they opened the door. Ha ha! Perhaps it wanted to get in to the coolness, or get some food? What do I know? But it was kind of comic. Took the opportunity to get some great pictures of it since I managed to get pretty close up.
As mentioned, dinner at 7.30pm. Served as earlier as a large buffet with meat, chicken, fish together with rice, pasta and potatoes. After a long, warm day you fell asleep pretty fast.