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On the Amazon, Enroute to Santarem, Brazil Trip Journal

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March 9, Day at Sea
On the Amazon, enroute to Santarem, Brazil


While on our voyage of the Amazon, we will cross the Equator a couple times – today was one of the crossings. Too bad there’s not a line or a big flashing sign, so one actually knows the exact crossing point.

It’s warm. This afternoon, the temperatures were in the low 90’s – the humidity was very high. Luckily, John and I are more used to humidity than a lot of the fellow passengers, so we’re not as affected.

The scenery was very interesting today – at times, we could not see land at all, at other times the jungle was quite close. Every once in a while, we would see a home in the middle of the jungle. One would ask: “where do they buy groceries?”

Late afternoon, in the middle of nowhere, we saw a group of young people playing soccer on a sand bar near the shore. They had erected goals and were very busy with their game. There must be small villages tucked back into the jungle that we can’t see from the river.

Several times during the day, the ship would zigzag. The Captain explained in his daily announcement that he had to do that to avoid the small fishing boats in the river. There were lots of boats, for sure.

The Amazon rainforest is estimated to be 100,000,000 years old – the world’s oldest. The rain forest area encompasses 2,722,000 square miles – 40% of Brazil’s land. The Amazon River actually begins in Peru at Lake Lauricocha and is 4,195 miles long. Sadly, due to development, illegal logging, non-conservative agriculture and other causes, the rainforest is being consumed by more than 9,000 square miles each year. It’s a constant struggle for preservation by the conservationists.

Today there was a silent art auction benefitting, once again, Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure Foundation and the Lar Batista Janell Doyle Children’s Center in Manaus, Brazil. Much of the artwork was donated by fellow passengers, painted on board the ship. There have been watercolor classes and obviously, some of the painters attended. We were quite impressed with the talent of these artists and I will bet there will be substantial funds raised.

We had lunch in the Lido dining room and it was very busy. Not too many people wanted to sit outside today. However, it’s kind of fun when it’s crowded as we’re more likely to share a table and visit with people we’ve previously met or an opportunity to meet someone new. It’s always interesting.

Our dinner tablemates, Marilyn and Tom, are taking a jungle trek when we arrive in Manaus later this week. It sounds quite educational as they will take a boat into the jungle where they will stay overnight and learn about many of the traditions. They are adventurous souls and have had many interesting travel experiences over the years.

They attended a meeting to learn more details about their trip, what to wear and what to expect. They’re also taking malaria tablets, which makes good sense considering where they’re going. We have some super strong insect repellent that we purchased when we received our yellow fever vaccinations. The repellent is for clothing -- and it is to be sprayed on the clothes before wearing. In fact, the instructions say to wait a minimum of 30 minutes to put the clothes on after spraying. We had two cans, and gave them one, so they could spray their clothing. The instructions say the treatment of the clothes will last up to six weeks. Must be really good repellent.

Tomorrow, we’re visiting Santarem, Brazil. Santarem is located where the Tapajos and Amazon Rivers join and is a popular tourism destination.

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This page was last modified on July 12, 2016.