Manaus -- Day VII

Manaus Travel Blog

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This sickens me...
The next morning we were met by Ali, our tour guide and a twelve seater Kia. We rode to the docks were we boarded a double-decker boat and took off down the Rio Negro. The Rio Negro, or Black River is just that--black. The organic material, be it whatever it is, is the cause of the blackness. After about an hour on the boat we seemed to just stop in the middle of the Rio Negro. First it was thought we were out of gas. What a story this would be, went for a boat trip on the Amazon and Rio Negro and ran out of gas. Well, after about a twenty minute delay they fixed a problem with the boats exhaust and the tour was on again. The “Meeting of the Waters” is a real phenomenon, it is where the Rio Negro and the Amazon river meet. The Amazon, a mucky looking brown is much colder then the Rio Negro and also travels at a faster speed, picking up more dirt making it look dirty. Where they meet is a definite line. We were there in their high season and the two rivers are backed up for miles. The Amazon river can raise and fall over forty feet from high season to low season. If you were to visit the Amazon and take the “Meeting of the Waters” tour in the low season the line would be even more definite. After going up the Amazon we stopped at a little curio shop ran by Amazon natives right on the riverfront. There were rows and rows of souvenirs and you had some one from the “tribe” on you at all times, pumping “their” items. I put "their" in quotes because my father happened to discover a “Made in China” sticker on a few of the items. It really takes the joy our of something like that when you see these so called Amazon handicrafts are actually made by some Chinaman. I thought the whole, “We’re going to stop at the handicrafts store for about fifteen minutes,” deal was sick. I’m sure the tour company gets a cut of the handicrafts, and if not a cut then the majority where the natives get nothing. They had little native girls dressed up in Amazonian outfits, ones the natives would wear at a special event. After taking one of the little girls pictures the girl stuck out her hand to my father asking for money. I think the only word the people of these little shops knew of English was, “money.” After leaving the curio shop and speeding back down the river we were met by another native in a small canoe with a Styrofoam cooler. In the cooler was Coca-Cola, Skol, Brahama and Guarana for us tourists to buy. Ali the tour guide referred to the native as a “floating bar” and was first to buy a can Skol chopp, as to say, “It’s okay, his beverages are safe!” The man rowed away, back towards a few other native boys, one holding a baby sloth, once everyone who wanted a drink had got one. As we started to go ahead laughter came from behind as and as we looked back the man and his boat with his Styrofoam cooler had tipped over and the man was now in the water. Everyone in the tourist boats had a good laugh as the man was helped by the boys back into his boat. All in all the tour was interesting, we were able to see all of the Amazon River we wanted to see. However, we were both a little disappointed with some of the things we had seen that day.
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This sickens me...
This sickens me...
photo by: travelman727