Day 281 – Amazon Riverboat Day 6

Day 281 – Amazon Riverboat Day 6      05/29/11       Mileage: 0

Today I buckled down and sequestered myself in the cabin for most of the day to catch up on the writing for the blog which was now over 10 days behind. I left the door open so I could see the river passing by and took some time to walk the decks.

At night John, Ian and I did our best to lighten the ships hold of excess beer and had a great conversation with a Brazilian girl from Sau Paulo. Tomorrow we arrive in Manaus in the heart of the Amazon…

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Day 280 – Santarem, Brazil and Amazon Riverboat Day 5

Day 280 – Santarem, Brazil and Amazon Riverboat Day 5      05/28/11      Mileage: 0

The boat got a late start from port which seems to be the norm, but if you’re in a rush this is not the way to go anyway.

Sunrise on the Amazon River….

Looking back at Santarem as we head upriver….

I spent the day mostly reading my guide book on the far north of Brazil and Venezuela, studying the maps and getting a rough plan for a route back to Colombia. Ironically, it was Ian’s birthday today so I’m not the only one to have a birthday on the boat! In the late afternoon I started chatting with 2 local gals from Manaus.

They didn’t speak any English but they seemed to somehow understand my terrible Spanish, so between that and some sign language we managed a conversation while they taught me some Portuguese. Learning a new language can be fun after all….  😉

Parting shot:  Another great sunset over the Amazon River….

Day 279 – Amazon Riverboat Day 4 to Santarem, Brazil

Day 279 – Amazon Riverboat Day 4 to Santarem, Brazil      05/27/11       Mileage: 0

This morning we docked in Santarem which marks the halfway point of the trip up the Amazon River, and we had to change boats to go the rest of the way to Manaus.

Pulling into Santarem….

There was a boat leaving in two hours which would not afford us any time to see Santarem, so we decided to catch another boat that was leaving tomorrow which would give us more time to explore Santarem and a nice river beach town nearby called Alter do Chao.

This is our next boat…the Ciudad de Santarem I….an old wooden boat….

The first priority was to get the bikes transferred to the boat leaving tomorrow which fortunately was docked next to ours, so that turned out to be a pretty easy affair.

The bikes strapped in on the Santarem I for their next ride up river…

Next we transferred our gear over and once that was all secured we wandered out along the waterfront for some lunch and to pick up a few items.

Here was me and Ian’s cabin on the Santarem I…and being a wood boat with no windows in the cabin, it was musty in their…

Lunch at a local food stand…

After all that was done we hired a taxi to take us to Alter do Chao about 30 minutes away. Upon arrival we saw that the water was so high that most of the beautiful sand beaches were underwater…but that’s what you get for visiting the Amazon in the rainy season.

Those thatched roofs normally have tables, chairs and ice cold beer under them…..but not today….

Undeterred, we hired a boat to take us out to the last sliver of beach with a bar that was still high and dry and knocked back a few beers.

 The cost of the taxi was pretty steep, so we decided to take the bus back which was an easy if not bouncy ride back to Santarem. John wasn’t feeling too good so he went straight back to the boat while Ian and I went for some dinner. We wandered around but didn’t see anything appealing until we saw an older woman with a street food stand in front of her house. It smelled good, looked good and it sure tasted good.

After we knocked back a few beers at a small street café before heading back to the boat…or, at least where the boat was! Crap….were the %$%$@# is the boat?! Some guys on the dock waved us toward the other end of the port, so we walked there…then walked to the other end….but no boat. WTF!? So we asked again were told all the way down the end of another port 2 kilometers away.

Finally found the boat…

Well, it was freakin’ hard to find and it took us 2 hours of walking, but we did eventually find the boat. Tomorrow we continue up the river deeper into the Amazon towards Manaus.