Thursday, June 3, 2010

Manaus & The Amazon

We finally made it to the Amazon. Manaus is a major shipping port 1500km inland from the Atlantic Ocean.

This is a picture at the meeting of the waters. Here the two main rivers that make the Amazon, the Rio Solimoes and the Rio Negro meet. The Rio Negros waters originate from Colombia, its dark coffee like waters are due to decaying vegetatian. The Rio Solimoes orginates in the Peruvian Andes and is cream colored due to the turbidity. The two rivers run side-by-side for over 15km because of the temperature and density differences, and once they finally do mix, it becomes the Amazon River.

The Manaus Opera House is this weird relic from the rubber boom. The building doesn´t really fit in with the rest of the Manaus. The Opera House took five years to complete and was finished in 1896. Everything besides the wood was imported from Europe by steam ship.

We got a chance to hang up our hammocks today and take a look at our boat to Porto Velho for the first time. The trip takes 4 days and costs 110 Reais (60usd) per person. While the boat isn´t cramped now, by the time we depart Manaus we should be stuffed in with hundreds of other passengers.

The night before departure we splurred on all you can eat Rodizio. That ended my month or so boycott of beef which started after Ihla Grande due to environmental concerns.

The Mercado at next to the docks in Manaus where you can see really interesting looking Amazonian fish being sold and butchered. They also have a fruit market with some cool jungle specialties.

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