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The Travel Journal of Jacqui and Lars


Brazil - 15 March, 2002



Location Latitude Longitude Elevation

Travel Distance

Start Hotel Rio Branco, Manaus S0308.372' W06001.217' 30 m 15 km (by taxi)
-  The Meeting of the Waters . . . 17 km (by speed boat)
-  Overland to Rio Mamori . . . 40 km (by mini-van)
Finish Jerry's Lodge, Rio Mamori, Amazon rain forest S0341.772' W05948.593' 33 m 73 km (by small river boat)

Leg 3 Total:

8,005 km

Leg 2 Total:

12,140 km

Leg 1 Total:

9,010 km


771 km

Grand Total:

30,126 km


Weather: Partly cloudy, occasional sun, very hot and humid.  Cool at night.



Today we head off to the jungle - part of the last great forest on Earth.  We have an early start.  After breakfast, we load into a bunch of taxis just after 6 AM and head off to the river to catch a boat across to the Rio Araca.  We take a small speed boat and unfortunately we quickly pass through the famous Meeting of the Waters.  This is where the Rio Negro and the Rio Solimoes meet to form the Rio Amazonas.  Due to the different densities of the water, they continue to flow separately for several kilometers, with the muddy yellow of the Solimoes contrasting sharply with the dark black of the Rio Negro.


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Once we reach the small town on the Rio Araca, we load up for a ride in a couple of mini-vans to get to the Rio Mamori.  The ride along is quite interesting.  We stop to look at some of the local homes along side the road.  The road has recently been upgraded and paved - which saves us some time.  It is elevated to avoid the annual flooding.  We also take a look at some water lilies.


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Once at the Rio Mamori, we load all our stuff into a mini-river boat.  Our guide also picks up some provisions at a small "country" store.  Then we have a three and a half hour ride up the river.  This boat is not as comfortable - it is a bit cramped and noisy.  The best place is on the roof, but it gets a bit hot after a while in the sun.


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At exactly noon we arrive at Jerry's Lodge.  We head up to the buildings to set up our hammocks.  Most people go into the main building, which has screens, but a few of us prefer the open air and a bit more room, so we set up our hammocks in a abandoned open sided building.  It is a great spot with a view over the river in front and the lake behind us.  We are very pleased and we get our hammocks nicely arranged so that we get the breeze, but are also sheltered from the wind.  It takes some time to get the mozzie nets set up (first time), but they work great.


We then have lunch on a floating house that is tied to the bank of the river.  It is rice and spaghetti (seems to be the staple in the Amazon) and some fried fresh fish.  The fish is fantastic.  They also have some excellent hot chili peppers - Jacqui is happy and over the course of our stay we just about use up their supply.  The rest of the early afternoon is siesta time - it is too hot to do anything (except swim).


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At 3 PM the excitement starts - we go fishing for piranha.  And this is in the same waters that we swim in.  It is very simple.  A stick as a rod, some string as a line and a basic hook.  Then some small pieces of fresh chicken and we are ready to go.  We put a piece of chicken on the hook, thrash the road on the water a bit (to make it sound like a wounded animal fell in the water) and then drop the hook and bait in the water.  If you feel a nibble, yank on the rod and pull in the fish if you snagged one.  We did this from the walkway on the floating house where we have meals and from where we go swimming.  We are shown how sharp their teeth are when the guide cuts the fishing line with their teeth.


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We are catching quite a few over the next hour, but then we decide to go out in the boat and check out some other spots.  We go to some of the flooded forest in amongst the branches, but do not have to much luck.  Then we head to a spot near where the dolphins come and tried our luck there.  And we caught a few more.  Lars caught two here - one of the more rare sardine style and one of the red bellies.


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Just as we finish fishing, we start to spot the dolphins - both pink and gray.  It is fantastic to watch them.  Every once in a while they would breach the surface of the river as they came up for a breath.  We could hear them breathing and the mist of the water being sprayed up from their blowholes.  We watched then for about 45 minutes as the sun slowly set.  A magical moment.


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Dinner tonight is piranha soup (yes, made with our fish caught today), rice, potatoes and salad.  The piranha were tasty, but a bit rubbery.  It was too hot in the dining room to hang out for too long, so we stood on the pier for a while watching the night sky before retiring to our hammocks.  The fireflies were putting on quite a show.  They were all over and they made the trees look just like Christmas trees with their flashing bulbs. As we laid back in our hammocks, we marveled at the sight of all the fireflies that were flying inside our little building lighting up the roof like shooting stars.  We just laid there watching the show as we slowly went to sleep.


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