Manaus

Manaus Travel Blog

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View of the opera house form the revolving restaurant. When the dome is lit up at night, it shows incredible bright colours.

22 September:
Went on a long trek this morning to drop in the laundry from the boat trip, then headed back to the hotel via a beauty shop.  Melissa treated herself to a leg wax and feels like a new woman - a touch of pampering is needed by every traveller!  Disappointed to find out, on checking the emails, that Melissa`s Australian football team (ST Kilda) is out of the finals, but that`s life.  Did a tour today of the Teatro Amazonas - they do English tours roughly every 45 minutes, which cost R10 each and run for about half an hour.  The theatre was built in 1896 by a combination of government funds and rubber baron contributions.  Much of the interior was imported from Europe and the UK, with incredible hand-painted ceilings and a massive, hand-painted stage curtain.

A giant butterfly near the revolving restaurant on our first night on dry land for 5 days. This is apparently the biggest butterfly in the world.
  There are Murano glass chandeliers and a small museum of costumes and items from past, famous productions.  Dame Margot Fonteyn´s final performance ever was in the Teatro Amazonas and the pointe shoes she used are in a glass cabinet.  The ball room has an ornate parquetry floor, and you have to either take off your shoes or put on enormous slippers to come in here - there is a painting on the roof where the figure of a reclining woman changes shape and appearance as you move across the room (all to do with perspective, apparently).  Met our new guide tonight, who will continue with us into Venezuela.  Terry is training his son to be a tour guide, so Gibson will also be travelling with us to learn the ropes.  They both seem very nice, but we will also miss Jose who has been so terrific.
Manaus´famous opera house, Teatro Amazonas.

23 September:
Have a most enjoyable day today.  Did a boat trip out to the point wher ethe Solimoes and Rio Negro meet to become the Amazon River - due to different water speeds, weights, etc., the waters actually don`t blend for about 9km and the deliniation between the black waters of the Rio Negro and the brown water of the Solimoes is very obvious.  Our river guide gave a good explanation of the old buildings and areas along the river and port - some were brought pre-fabbed from the UK and France, and then erected here.  The river itself rises between 8-10 metres in the rainy season, so the whole port area is built on a floating pontoons to allow for the different water levels during the year.  Also, many of the islands we passed today disappear entirely with the rains, so the houses are also built on pontoons to prevent them being washed away.

Some of the wrought iron work in the Teatro Amazonas - all imported from the UK.
  We visited the Janauary Ecological Park, which is just a fancy name for an island that has a lagoon full of large water lilies (quite interesting) and people thrusting mangy, neglected animals like sloths and anacondas at you for money.  We found this quite distasteful, and hope that they find another way to earn money in the near future that does not involve mistreating the native wildlife.  Did a canoe trip along the river banks and saw some interesting birds, plus stopped at a small village which does some fish-farming, so got a close up look at the enormous Amazon cod.  Had lunch on a floating restaurant and chatted to a fabulous retired couple from Texas who travel a lot, they were really enjoyable company with their funny stories and anecdotes.
Interior of the concert hall, Teatro Amazonas.

Our last night with Jose tonight, had a nice meal and said goodbye as he heads back to Buenos Aires.  Turned out our friend HJ went to hospital today because she is so sick, sounds a bit like she might have rotovirus, and that Adrian is also suffering badly.

24 September:
Woke up to very heavy rain this morning.  Tried to get some money out of the bank, but none working due to the power failures.  Did manage to get some later on, but in the meantime visited a few tourist shops - nothing very exciting to buy, most of it seems to be cheap Chinese copies of traditional crafts.  Changed money with our new guide for Venezuela, then home for a shower to get ready for our second last night bus, which will take us to Santa Helena tomorrow. 

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View of the opera house form the r…
View of the opera house form the …
A giant butterfly near the revolvi…
A giant butterfly near the revolv…
Manaus´famous opera house, Teatro…
Manaus´famous opera house, Teatr…
Some of the wrought iron work in t…
Some of the wrought iron work in …
Interior of the concert hall, Teat…
Interior of the concert hall, Tea…
Opulent decoration inside the conc…
Opulent decoration inside the con…
A flotilla of passenger boats, lik…
A flotilla of passenger boats, li…
Some of the Manaus boat repair yar…
Some of the Manaus boat repair ya…
The Meeting of the Waters - the po…
The Meeting of the Waters - the p…
Boardwalk to the giant lily pond -…
Boardwalk to the giant lily pond …
Giant lilies in the Janauary Ecolo…
Giant lilies in the Janauary Ecol…
A sleepy caiman in the giant lily …
A sleepy caiman in the giant lily…
Our canoe trip out onto the lagoon…
Our canoe trip out onto the lagoo…
Local trying to rent his anaconda …
Local trying to rent his anaconda…
Adrian, Jose, HJ and Melissa at ou…
Adrian, Jose, HJ and Melissa at o…
Manaus
photo by: travelman727