Good travels are never without much transit and waiting. After 2 long 8 hour flights, a layover in Panama long enough to get our passports stamped, but not long enough to explore, we arrived in Manaus, Brazil.
Manaus was our launching point into the Amazon. Their ATMs refused to give us cash after 9pm, so with no Brazilian Reis on hand, we holed up in our hostel. The next morning we grabbed cash, and were on our way to the Amazon. We had done much research, albeit in a short amount of time, as to what tour company to travel with. We compared prices, preferred the black river with less bugs and less animals and wanted maximum time in the crazy jungle and minimum time in a comfortable lodge. So, we finally settled on Amazon Antionio Jungle Tours (http://www.antonio-jungletours.com/) for 3 nights and 4 days of jungle adventure.
Amazon Day 1
We took to local VIP bus 2 hours to a small town, where we hopped out and onto a motor boat. Cruising 45 minutes on the Urudu river, we only saw a few locals, but otherwise, the Amazon was all ours!
We were based out of this lodge and took overnight trips and mini-ventures into the jungle.
After a jump into the river to cool off, relaxing lunch and another jump into the river (a common theme of our time in the jungle), we were off to sleep in the jungle overnight with our guide and an Austrian couple.
We didn't have much luck seeing animals on this hike, but we did see footprints of a jaguar. We weren't sure if we were trying to track the jaguar down, or if the jaguar was trying to track us down. When the guide asked Jane and I what we expected to see in the Amazon, I replied "trees" and Jane replied "birds." We have very realistic expectations.
This was our sole catch of the trip. Without much instruction, Jane and I were trying to devise our strategy based on watching our guide and logic. But in the end, I looked over and exclaimed to Jane, "You look like a madwoman!" Jane yells back, "Well, I think this madwoman got a fish." Indeed she did. I guess there is a method to the madness. Then we jumped into the river for a swim.
We lucked out. Our guide saw the eyes of this cayman at night, and caught it.
Hammocks ready. Off to sleep on the beach.
I think our guide learned that us crazy girls like to swim and like our fish.
Our night on the beach surpassed our expectations. Just us and the chatting frogs under the full moon in our hammocks. Such a hidden secret. Everyone should totally do this! We found it much more enjoyable than sleeping in the thick of the jungle.
Did I mention that our oars also doubled as the prep block for fishing and our meal plates? A crazy storm came. We quickly put up a tarp and slept it out. It is the Amazon afterall.
By the end of our 4 days in the Amazon, we were pleasantly surprised at how good we became at chilling. I did not expect so much down time, but apparently because of the heat, nothing happens between 1 and 3:30 every afternoon. No animals are out, so all we did was chill.
It's not easy being professional chillers!
Oh beautiful Amazon.