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The Travel Journal of Jacqui and Lars


Brazil - 19 March, 2002



Location Latitude Longitude Elevation

Travel Distance

Start Hotel Rio Branco, Manaus S0308.372' W06001.217' 30 m
Finish Hotel Rio Branco, Manaus S0308.372' W06001.217' 30 m -

Leg 3 Total:

8,190 km

Leg 2 Total:

12,140 km

Leg 1 Total:

9,010 km


771 km

Grand Total:

30,310 km


Weather: Partly cloudy, occasional sun, occasional rain, very hot and humid.



We decide to get out of bed very early this morning in order to go see the fish market and the morning arrival of the fresh deliveries.  We are up at 5 AM and are on our way down to the market by 5:30 AM.  It is actually quite quiet when we get to the market - not much happening.  So we head down to the neighboring jetty where the boats have pulled up to unload their cargo.


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This is where the action is.  Just like in an ant colony, there is a steady stream of porters racing from the boats along the jetty up the ramp to the market delivering the fish.  As the day slowly brightens, the amount of fish delivered continues to grow.


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We head down to the jetty to watch the people in action.  On each boat there is a head guy with a small note book in which he is writing down how many fish he hands over and to whom.  They load up the crates and hand them over to the porters in their yellow vests and they deliver it to the buyer, either in the market or to their vehicle.  There is a constant frenzy of activity.


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After watching this action for a while, we decide to head back to the fish market itself.  This time when we return, we find it full of fish and all the fish mongers are hard at work.  The are gutting and cleaning the fish and stacking them up in neat displays.  Each stall seems to concentrate on a few types of fish.


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Most of the fish come from the river and they vary in size from the small to the absolutely huge.  One could just about feed an army.  We wander around the market admiring all the fresh fish.  We also check out the meat market, but it is not as interesting.


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There is also a huge fresh produce section that is absolutely fantastic.  They all types of fruits, vegetables, nuts, herbs and spices.  They come in all varieties and they are huge.  The smells and aromas are wonderful.  We wish it was our turn to cook - we know where we would go shopping.  We then wander out and over to the other market - the Mercado Municipal Adolfo Lisboa whose elegant Art Noveau roof was designed by Eiffel during the rubber boom and is a copy of the former Les Halles market in Paris.  This is geared a bit more to tourists.  They are selling cans of Brazil nuts for a pittance, but they need to be "peeled", which they do not do.


We return to the hotel for breakfast and to sort out our bags and to work on our journals.  In the afternoon we head out for some lunch and shopping, followed by a movie in a ultra modern shopping center about 20 minutes drive out of the old town.  It is like entering a different world after having just spent the last ten days either on a Amazon river boat and in the jungle.


Back in the old part of town we pick up our laundry, have a bite to eat and then just take it easy.


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