Thursday, January 03, 2008

Of course, the real reason for the trip to Manaus is to see the Meeting of the Waters, where the Rio Negro meets the Rio Solemoes and turns into the Amazon. The two rivers are different colors and end up running alongside each other for something like 6 miles before they finally mix. It seems like a bit of a tall tale, designed to get the tourists out on another silly boat tour but it was absolutely true and pretty impressive to boot. We saw dolphins playing in the water since there is a huge amount of fish at this point in the river, although I didn't manage to see any of the pink ones. Shame- how cute must that be?!

It took us literally hours to get there on the boat which was sooo boring- although they had a few coolers full of soda and beer for us. I finally managed to taste a Guarana Antartica, the local drink. I think that Red Bull is actually a base of guarnica, a hyper caffienated berry that grows in the rainforest. This drink is somewhere between a Coke and a Red Bull, I guess. Its quite sweet and fizzy and after drinking about one an hour for the duration of the boat ride, boy was I ready to kick some piranha ass on our fishing trip. Seriously guys, I could have paddled us up the river faster than the motor was pushing our little fishing canoe. Laugh, but I managed to hook the biggest fish of the day. It was so funny though because here we were out hunting for these little devil fish, half shitting ourselves thinking of them swarming around in the water under our (scary rickety) fishing boat, and what do they give us for gear? A cane pole, a tiny little hook, and a paper cup of cut up steak. I was kind of hoping for something more like chain mail and and an ax, you know?

We went out into this reserve area and hiked into the jungle a bit to see the giant lily pads and also get assaulted by children with jungle animals gripped under their arms for photo ops; I made B hug a sloth. The little baby sloth got one brush with B's furry chest and I think that he thought he had discovered his long lost daddy. Too funny- especially since that animal reeked to the high heavens and B had to grimace through every photo. I absolutely refused to pick up any of the animals offered; I did not want to hug a caiman or an anaconda or anything else on offer. Call me a spoilsport, I had had my fill with the monkeys.

On the boat ride back to the hotel, we layed out on the deck in the sun and drank beer, which was a super nice ending to an exciting of
day of jungle trekking and animal molesting. We saw some dark clouds on the horizon and all of us stupid tourists lazily discussed the possibility of it raining that night. As they blew closer and the sky got darker, we joked about how likely it was that it would rain before we reached the hotel. The look on the face of our guide should have tipped me off but i was still shocked by how sudden it went from steamy and sunny to a reenactment of Noah's Ark. Good lord, let me assure that there is a valid reason that the call it the rainforest. It was throwing down buckets on us and when we did finally arrive at the hotel, no one managed to make it to the reception dry- regardless of the length and breadth of their raincoat. B and I decided it would be better to simply embrace the wetness and went and put our swimsuits on. I think the rain was coming down twice as hard as the water in our little shower- and the temperature was pretty similar, thats to say, icey. You might notice that I have a showercap on. The problem with the rainforest is that it is sooooo damp that nothing dries out and my hair was already so frizzy and out of control that I didn't feel up to dealing with another mop of crazy person curls. My haircut which had looked Posh Spice cool in Paris had turned into Betty White when I stepped off the airplane in Rio. So awesome when the camera is out 24/7. Sigh.

Posted by Picasa

No comments: