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Dear Diary:

9th September 2005  -  The Amazon - Getting back into full Stride.

Having started to get back into the grove of being a backpacker in Rio, heading north to Manaus, the city of the Amazon, got me the rest of the way. There is nothing quite like The Bus Station at last!the feeling of getting on some random local bus that is as packed like a can of sardines. You are of course guaranteed that there will be no one with a language in common and all you have is a hand drawn mud map to guide your way to the Intercity Bus Terminal! As silly as it sounds, when I finally made it to the bus terminal to get my ticket to Venezuela, I felt like I was back!

My fist visit to Manaus was all about hitting the Amazon jungle. I plead guilty to following the bouncing ball and doing One of many Amazon River Boatsthe standard tourist package of 3 days/2 nights in the "jungle". Please note that jungle is in inverted commas as I think you have to spend 3 days on a boat just getting to the jungle rather than the half a day we did on small boats and mini buses. That said, I got far more out of the Jungle Speepingexperience that I though I would.

The first night was spent in a bed at the base camp, but the second was "sleeping int he jungle" in a hammock. Again, know if a well trodden path out the back of a farm house constitutes the "jungle", but given a local dog got taken by a Big Cat (a puma I think?) the previous week, it was good enough.

A PhotoActivities included Piranha fishing and I Bait!managed to catch myself four of the suckers! I don't know if having my foot in the water was the secret though! About 20min boat from the fishing spot we all went for a dip in the Amazon! All fingers and toes are accounted for, so I guess the Piranha's just don't like fat Aussies!

Despite reading and hearing that I would get to see much wild Me and Mr Slothlife in the Amazon, I did in fact get to see lots. The number one creature I got to "meet" was my hero the Sloth! Out guide Neet (sp?) wet about 7 meters up a tree and the poor little buggers defence mechanism was to just let go and bounce down into the water below. He seamed none the worse for the fall as you can see though.

Mini CrockAmazon Set - WOW!Other creatures included caiman (small alligators), a 3 meter snake (a constrictor rather than an Anaconda I think), pink & grey river Dolphin's and lots of birds. It was a fantastic few days out and when you witness sun sets like this one, how can you go wrong!

Save the trees!
Hugs and Kisses
Drew xoxox

Smile - You never know who's watching!

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