Friday, April 23, 2010

Arrival Manaus, Brasil

Port of Manaus, a city of 2 million people. I departed the boat in search of a hotel but it was difficult to navigate the city as there was a building on fire near the port and the streets were traffic jammed. The temperature was 38 degrees and 100% humidity I was suffering on my motorcycle while continually stopping at brothels which I was mistaking for hotels.
1/4 side of beef being off loaded from a 5 tonne truck and onto the boat. Everything here is done by man power (people power in North America, but still done by men)

Farinia, a type of flour that the locals love sprinkling over their beans and rice. I grew to enjoy it however it was an aquired taste.

The hold of the Amazon Star was loaded with edible goods and hard goods that ranged from onions, eggs, meat, shrimp, flour, tiles, broom sticks and other supplies needed in Manaus some 1400km inland shipped in via the Rio Amazonia.

The River Amazonia for the locals was the life blood of the community providing food, transportation and a means of trade. I caught only a glimpse of these peoples lifes and thier culture will remain a mystery to me for ever.
We arrived in Manaus at 1600hrs only 2 hours before dark. I asked the Captin and the main woman in charge of cooking and cleaning if it was ok for me to spend the night onboard the boat rather than head out looking for a hotel. Both agreed that it was ok for me to stay and that I didn`t have anything to worry about, although the woman was less happy about the decision.
Arriving in Manaus there was a black smokey cloud from a burning building blowing directly in the direction of the boat and into my room. I decided that I`d off load the bike while the tide was still high. Yeah..the tide affects the river 1400km inland!!!!! as the river is that huge!!! I decided to head into town and go to a hostel that was recommened by my guide book. Upon arrival I found that the hostal had no secure parking for my motorcycle and I was left searching for another hotel in the area. I stopped into several hotels and found all of them to be hoar houses. The one place that looked fine turned out to be the worst of all. When the owner opened the door to the room the T.V was on, volume full blast, with a graphic porn video playing. At this point I bartered with the guy for a better price but he would not budge. I was getting annoyed and tired as the 38 degree`s and 100% humidity was testing my patience. I returned back to the boat passing through security without stopping because «i figured that it would be better to beg for forgiveness than ask for permission to re-enter the port. The port police were in hot pursuit (on Foot) and found me on the boat. The captain explained to the port police that it was ok for me to spend another night on board. The police left and then the happy nice people who were employed on board who seemed to be my friends while sailing changed their attitudes. I was no longer allowed in my room and I`d have to pay for a night. I was told that I`d have to sleep in my hammock in the open with all my gear unsecured at port and also buy some fat dude a couple of beer. At this point I reloaded the bike kind of weary and also disappointed. I eventually found a hotel for twice the price of the hoar houses which provided peace of mind.
The traffic in Manaus, the heat, humidity and overpopulation of the city was too much for me to handle so at 530am the next morning I decided to head north and simply skip Manaus all together. I don`t care how cool it is that every brick laid in this city was transported here 1400km via the Amazon River, I was tired of cities and the open road was calling.

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