Wednesday, August 27, 2008

On the boat: Days 6 & 7

We are still in Manaus, at our Novotel (where everyone is very nice and the kitchen isn't very good, but the Studio 5 Mall is only a short walk away), but it's time we finally got back to the last few days of river-jungle exploration aboard Tucano. 

Days 6 & 7 were good fun adventure, mostly. We took our last walk in the jungle on Friday (day 6), and both groups happened across large groups of squirrel monkeys. The monkeys weren't especially afraid of us, many of them climbing into branches directly above us, and watching us watch them. Later that night, on the boat, there was a caipirinha party 
on the top deck, which quickly turned into a pretty wild little dance party, mostly to some funky Fooao (local popular dance music style, with its own dance step, which we have proudly mastered - Jessica demonstrates, left). 

The boat navigated throughout most of the night, all the way south, past Manaus, to a lake on the peninsula that separates the Rio Negro and the Rio Salmoes, which meet at the peninsula's end to form the Amazon River (we will get a picture of this meeting up at some point; it's pretty spectacular). Waking up and seeing floating houses and restaurants, and other boats nearby was something of a shock, after being basically all by ourselves on the Negro for the past week. I guess there are many more boats on the Salmoes and the Amazon, and that virtually all river tours stay in this area; someone even said that our Tucano is the only boat currently plying the Rio Negro much north of Manaus. Makes me feel a little special. 

Still, it was pretty clear why there's so much attention to this area. We saw a lot of animals on this last day. On a very touristed walk along an elevated bridge to an inland lake we saw more squirrel monkeys, a big cayman (~8'), a funny turtle that looked like it was trying to fly, and several big fish. Later, on an evening canoe trip down a channel that cut completely across the peninsula we saw a 3-toed sloth (this one up close, and it was pretty neat), more monkeys, including capuchins, a tree boa which Edivam wrestled onto a canoe paddle and passed around, and many more birds. 

We woke up on Sunday (day 8) just across from Manaus, and were back onshore at the Tropical by about 8:30. So long Tucano. It's been swell. 

1 comment:

Jessica said...

I don't know whether this picture is really representative of my dance skills...