A walk in the forest…
We landed in Manaus late Saturday night and were greeted by Livia de Santos. Livia is an audiologist for Oticon, Brazil and she will be our host and translator for the week. Up early the following day, we were greeted by a very, very rainy day. Oh yes, this is the start of the rainy season. It is in Seattle also, but of course it’s much warmer here! We boarded a boat where we set out to see the “Meeting of the Waters”. This is the confluence of the darker Rio Negro and the lighter, sandier Solimoes Rivers. They join to form the Amazon River. The rivers run side by side for several miles before they mix and you can see them flow side by side. This occurs due to the differences in temperature and speed between the two rivers.
We then went on to a protected rain forest area to walk for an hour or so. In such a short walk we saw many types of tropical trees and plants, including animals such as monkeys and parrots. The Amazon River changes in height by 20 to 30 feet between the ‘high river’ time of year, with evidence left as water rings high above us on the trees. Quite a sight to see and imagine that at certain times of the year, only the tops of trees are visible in this area and access is only by canoe.
Back to Manaus at the end of the day. Our hotel is near one of the landmarks of the town – the beautiful Opera House. In the evening, ice cream shops and casual dining places start to open up around the plaza outside of the Opera House but still a very quiet Sunday. There is a very modern mall in town and we decide to go there for dinner…ahh, so this is where everyone is…even at 8:00 at night the mall is throbbing with people enjoying the end of the weekend. It was fun to get a glimpse into both sides of daily life in Manaus!