28 January 2011

The Amazon River, Part II

Well, we are back on the Amazon River, and will be cruising toward the Atlantic for the next two days.  Manaus is located almost 1000 miles from the mouth of the Amazon River, so we have some miles to cover.

My time in Brazil was fantastic.  I was able to see the meeting of the waters, where the Amazon River and the Rio Negro actually flow side by side without mixing due to the large difference in current speeds, temperatures and PH factors.  I also went on a great hike throught the jungle where we saw huge Cypruss trees, a wild squirell monkey, a three-toed sloth, and the famous Victoria Reginius water lilies which can grow to be 3 meters (9 feet) across and can hold up to 12 pounds of weight.  The whole day trip was great, and I was so tired when we came back aboard the ship, I took a 3 hour nap.

After walking through the jungle, we we caught in a torrential rain, and everyone was completely soaked.  It was actually pretty exhiliarting to be rained on in the Rain Forest.  Everyone kept a great attitude, and just went with the flow of the day.  After speading in small boats back to the floating restaurant where we started our adventure, we had a huge lunch of local dishes, including a fish called the Piraracu, which can grow to be over 6 feet in length.  It was pretty tasty.

We were then taught how to fish for pirahna, and several of our group caugh one, including the red bellied pirahna which is the most agressive.  Our bait was raw beef cubes - which in and of itself was pretty interesting.

The last few days in Manaus, it was great just to get to know the city better.  I walked around with several people and bought a few small souveiners and postcards.  We walked around the local vendors, who cover pretty much every open space in the center of the city selling everything from TV remotes to fresh fruit to childrens toys.  The whole city was overwhelming in its tastes, smells and colours.

Now, its on to Ghana, after 9 days at sea.  I am sure we will all be happy to arrive at our next continent, especially those who sadly still are suffering a bit from sea sickness.  However, on a happy note, we have some new guest aboard from the US Embassey in Brazilia, as well as an interport student from Ghana.  It is going to be great learning from them during their time aboard.  Our last embassey guests talked alot about the Foreign Service for the US and it was very intersting.  Who knows, maybe I can be an ambassador some day?

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