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Sao Paulo and Manaus Brazil

Exporling

Saturday, April 19 2008

We completed our 11 hour flight from Johannesburg to Sao Paulo with the usual crying babies, no sleep, cramped spaces, and tedium; but we were glad to have escaped South Africa. We tumbled out of the airport and into the hotel shuttle which deposited us at the hotel safe and sound. It was not long before we were in bed and fast asleep dreaming of electric sheep.

Sunday, April 20 2008

Julia speaking with her friend Maeve, back in San Francisco, via the Internet and the PC.

Our flight does not leave for Manaus and the Amazon until eight tonight so we plan to hang around the hotel until then. We decided that there was nothing that interested us in Sao Paulo and it made life easier if we did not venture too far from the airport. As it turned out behind the hotel was a local walking path which Julia and I took advantage of.

It was superb feeling safe as we walked outside in the open air; even though the air was thick and heavy with moisture. The weather was mild, overcast, and spiting rain, but it was a good to walk outside free of fear once again.

Around five we left for the airport and lucky we got there early as there was a long line to check in our bags. The flight to Manaus left just behind schedule and took four hours. Manaus is a considerable way north of Sao Paulo. We arrived there at 11:30pm local time which was really 12:30pm Sao Paulo time and were both very tired and sleepy. We were met by a local tour guide at the airport and driven to the Tropical Hotel in Manaus so we were not in bed until after 1:00am local time.

Monday, 21 April 2008

Julia in the Tropical Hotel.

The hotel seemed old but full of character and also full of mold; as hotels in the tropics so often are. Our room was quite adequate and really the only problem was the air conditioning; there was no way to turn it off or control it in any way. Julia and I had to sleep with our fleeces on as it was so cold during the night, which meant we did not get much sleep; how ironic in a tropical climate.

The Opera House.

We took a cab from the hotel to the Manaus Opera House. It is a beautiful building built from all European materials by Rubber Barons, as opposed to Robber Barons, in the 19th century. We took a tour inside of the house which was well worth the trouble. After this we walked to the port of Manaus via streets filled with bazaars; and where quite bizarre.

Opera House in Manaus

Once back at the hotel and after lunch we were picked up and taken to a small boat on the Rio Negro. We steamed up the river for 20 minutes then disembarked at the Eco Lodge where we will spend the next three days.

On the River Video

Here is a shot of the Indians.

The lodge is set deep into the Amazon rain forest and is only approachable by boat. Everyone stays in small huts surrounded by the jungle. Once settled into to our hut we met our guide, boarded a larger river boat with a few other lodge members, and sailed up the river to visit a village of local Indians. We experienced their dancing and playing of native instruments; it was wonderful.

Natives Video

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