Posted by: tim ellis | August 21, 2005

Brazil – 21 September 2002

Breakfast this morning is nearly as impressive as last night’s dinner! Fernando comes to collect us and after checking out (and explaining we aren’t paying for the safes as we have already signed to say we don’t want them.

Fernando shows his efficiency again at the airport taking charge and booking us all in – again the plane is boarding almost immediately and we are soon off through the mist for Curitiba where half the plane get off then twice as many people get one before continuing on to Sao Paulo where we need to change (we are fed rolls on both legs of this journey so there is no need for a 4th breakfast at the airport.

Manaus is about 3.5 hours flight from Sao Paulo, but an hour behind so we land at around 1.30 – for a change we don’t have to eo through immigration, so we are soon met by our guide Elio & his wife Maria- it is only a short drive to the Tropical hotel – which is very like the one we stayed in last night – except they are building a very modern tower block. However we aren’t stopping here, just getting on the boat for a 3+ hour trip up the Rio Negro to the Acajatuba jungle lodge. In order to keep up our cetacean count we manage a brief glimpse of river dolphin on the way.

Also on board are a Brazilian couple and a family. (Belgian father, Brazilian mother, and 2 young kids. Yuri, the boy is busy trying to tell me something, and when I explain I don’t speak Portuguese he tries out all his English on me – “it’s a nice day”, “cats and dogs”, “that’s all” – I repay him with all my Portuguese “sim”, “não” & “obrigado” – conversation could prove tricky!)

The lodge is charming though very basic and the heat is incredible – even at 6 PM – just thinking about moving is enough to bring one out in a sweat.

After dinner (accompanied by a bat flying around overhead) we go out on a flashlight caiman spotting trip.- Elio & Pedro (the boatman) catch a couple of small ones, while a kamikaze fish leaps onto the boat

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