Brazil – 2009 – Amazon Cruise

Feb. 26, 2009  The hotel was very nice and we had a chance to walk around the city and see the sights. The buildings are old and very colorful. It is a town out in the middle of the jungle.

We arrived to a very quite dock and came aboard our home away from home. The windows of the gift shop are covered and we can see nothing. Just as well, as it is closed anyway. We do collect masks from our travels if the country’s culture makes them. We surely will find one in Brazil at some point.

Feb.27  The Manacapuru river is wide and the forest is thick and humid. Where the two rivers come together, one is white and theAmazon is a very dark green or black. The waters bump into each other, but they do not mix. We simply leave the white one and then float on to the black one.You cannot see the distant horizon for the trees. We are closed in by them and surrounded by singing birds. The sky is blue and the air is so very still. We have been transported to a different time in history. The horizon is now the top of the trees and thirty feet above us.

We have our first meal together with our fellow tourists. We are tourists and love to be tourists if that implies that we are interested in a place and its people’s history. If that be so, we are even proud to be tourists. There is no better compliment to a culture than coming from a far distance to visit and learn about it.

We are a small group indeed. We have been to Chile and so have things in common with our two companions from there. We talk of the sites we have seen there and all that we have in common with them.

Likewise with the English couple. My wife and I have traveled there many times to site see and just to visit family. My wife translated the Queen’s English for me, but I think I might get the hang of it by the end of the voyage which is four days away.

The couple from Italy were warm and friendly as expected and her English was fine. The gentleman from Chile spoke some Italian as well, so there was little difficulty in visiting among us. We simply passed the baton, so to speak, around the table, and had a great meal and fine conversation.

After dinner we are off in our little boat to pester the cayman. They are easy to see in the dark with their large, glowing eyes. Oh, they are so cute someone proclaims. They skitter off into the nearby brush or stand completely still in an attempt to fool us. They are very fast and clever fellows, but do not be deceived.

Do not be fooled by the size of these cayman. There are black cayman lurking beneath us as big as any large Crocodile. We are simply seeing the small ones that are as interested in us as we are in them. Their larger brethren have no time for this foolishness. They are lurking under our boat, waiting for a meal. If one of us happens to tumble into the water, we will be finished and the giant cayman under us will have it’s hunger  satisfied. We watch the small, sweet baby cayman as their parents watch us from beneath the dark green Amazon, waiting. It is a trap that they are setting for us.

The sky is the blackest black and the jungle is quieter now. We float among the reeds and small bushes silently waiting for an animal to appear and then to run away quickly and hide again. It is a wonderful night to be out with new friends, exploring.