Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Canal do Bois

We got off the boat Sunday morning and spent one more night in the Hotel Tropical. The rest of the Burgesses flew out yesterday and Jess and I moved to out new location, the Novotel Manaus. Here is where we will spend the next two nights before flying to Mexico.

The Tropical was pretty amazing in an old-colonial-palace sort of way (mini zoo, multiple swimming pools) but one of our more incredible discoveries was made from our room: the Canal do Bois (Cow Channel). In the evening they hold live televised cattle auctions (call in to bid). We watched an auction of 181 bulls. Just to check, we turned it on later, and saw around 50 Brahmas being sold off. In the morning it seemed to be an informative show about milking. Alas, our Novotel does not get this channel, but we have plenty of city to explore and not a lot of room for cattle.

We saw a little of Manaus on Sunday as a bigger group: the municipal market (lots of giant fish and some strange fruits), and the Teatro Amazons opera house. Apparently Manaus was the richest city in South America during the height of the rubber boom, and the plan was for it to become "The Paris of the Tropics". But then the British grabbed some rubber trees and after some failed attempts, eventually got them to grow in more convenient places (i.e. British colonies) like Singapore and the tropical Paris didn't last. Manaus now seems pretty gritty, but not without its charm. Today we'll venture out and try to see the inside of the opera house (it was closed Sunday) and a museum or two. Our hotel is pretty far from the center and we don't want to be downtown too late, so we may come back and try to catch O Procurado (a.k.a. Wanted) at the nearby mall movie theater.

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