Amazing Amazon – Diary Days 12-14 In and Out the Jungle

Its our third day in the jungle. Sami has inspected Lara’s foot which is looking a lot better and he says he’ll treat it with jungle medicine. He collects a large seed bobbing in the water which he opens and scrapes the green, wet, highly pungent centre onto her foot. He says this ‘Fava’ (we later discover means ‘bean’) will kill any worm in her foot!!

Jungle Medicine

Sami puts the ‘Fava’ on Lara’s foot

We head off after breakfast and all of us feel just too hot!! The kids moan and no one is too bothered to concentrate on spotting monkey or sloths! Sami spots some elusive monkeys high in a tree but most of us can’t see them! But then we find grey dolphins which are lovely to see and we find a shady place to while away half an hour spotting them come up quite near to us and Martin runs out the camera battery trying to get a photo!

At last, just caught the grey dolphins on film!

We call by the river shop and buy new flip flops for Lara as hers had broken, and pick up a lime to put on Zoe’s bites, another Sami jungle remedy to take away the itching! It stings but works and Zoe is a much happier girl going back! We also get welcome cold drinks for a treat!

The Fanta tastes great Dad!

In the afternoon we head off to collect mangoes. Its hot again and the kids flag but then we get a swim off the boat too and that cools everyone down 🙂 we get out with rather brown grubby skin then paddle through another area looking for wildlife but apart from kingfishers, coffee birds (lovely brownish parrots), macaws, snail catchers and other birds, we realize that the sloths we so want to see aren’t going to show themselves!

A family swim in murky warm waters of the Amazon basin ! ”Are you sure there’s no piranhas in here Sami?”

Zoe takes control of our boat!

Back at the Lodge we have supper and Ben plays with the new toy Sami has built from another giant jungle seed we picked up!

Jungle catching game!

It’s our last night and after a bit of a fuss about whether we have enough mossie nets and whether it’s too tough to take the kids into the jungle at night, Ben, Zoe and I set off with Sami and Phil, another of our group to sleep out in the jungle. We take the boat 10 minutes in the pitch black, enjoying the stars and Sami somehow navigates to the right place with the aid of his torch where we pull through some grasses to dry land and traipse up the bank, through jungle and to our relief find a path up to a simple jungle shelter where we sling our hammocks and nets and quickly escape the assault of mossies and gnats. We chatter a little and listen to the intense, amplified sounds of buzzing insects birds and howler monkeys and soon we’re asleep for the night. It’s a great way to spend our last night.

Dawn in our Jungle camp

Back from Jungle Camp

We head back for breakfast on the fourth day and meet Martin and Lara who enjoyed the fan and mossies back at the lodge.

Jungle breakfast

Last breakfast with friends at the Lodge

Brazil nuts!

After packing up and sampling fresh Brazil nuts we collected the day before, we head off on our boat-mini-van-speedboat back to Manaus and the lovely Chez le Rois pousada which is extremely welcoming after our jungle adventure.

We swim, get all our ‘jungly’ clothes sent off to the laundry, have a lovely air con lunch in the deli around the corner and look forward to seeing our Iguana at breakfast tomorrow – it occurs to me that we’ve seen as much unusual wildlife in the city as out in the jungle but it’s still been a wonderful experience!

Happy to leave this jumping monkey spider back at the lodge!

Our next day and a half is R&R… clean, sort, work and turnaround time. The kids enjoy the pool, Martin gets some work done, we try to sort our stuff for another week in a small cabin on a boat to Tabatinga at the border with Columbia and Peru. Our time in Brazil is drawing to a close just as we’re starting to master some Portuguese!

We  treat ourselves to a couple more tasty suppers at our favourite ‘Japa’ sushi restaurant, get all our washing done and have a late night getting all our packing done whilst the kids sleep!

2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. sophie
    Mar 10, 2013 @ 18:45:27

    Great Blog, Guys!
    Im Sophie from Woodridge, the girl who sent the letter to Ben asking him to make more animal blogs.

    Lara, If you could describe fanta in 3 words, what words would you pick?

    Zoe, How did you like the boat ride? was it fun, fast, slow, boring, scary, tell me!

    Ben, What is your favourite animal and how would you feel if you saw it now or again during your trip in the amazon!?!


    • Ben
      Apr 01, 2013 @ 01:01:09

      Hi Sophie, Sorry its taken so long to reply. We haven’t had much computer access recently!
      Anyway, here goes :-

      Lara says fanta is i) Fizzy ii) Lovely & iii) ‘Licious (licious is one of Lara’s favourite words ! Meaning delicious of course – she also says Gustin’ for disgusting! She embarrassed us this week when she said the lovely meatballs we had at our B& B in the Falklands were ‘gustin’ in front of Kay, who cooked them for us! )

      Zoe says – hi Sophie I’m not sure which boat you mean but going the whole length of the Amazon and Napo rivers we went on was on over 10 different boats!! It seems a bit of a while back now – let me see if I can remember them all:-
      1. A big cargo boat – the Amazon Star – for 6 days – it was quite slow and hot, with lots to watch, people threw bags of food out to the people who pulled alongside in their little boats as they were very poor. We slept in our own hammocks on a big deck with lots of other people. We had a tiny cabin too. That was good to have our own bathroom and a place to keep our stuff safe – it was also somewhere to go to cool down because it had air con! We showered on deck in our swimsuits – that was pretty fun. We got off at a city in the jungle called Manaus.
      2. Speed boat across the Amazon, fast cool and quite quick,
      3. At least 2 wooden canoes with engine to travel to our jungle lodge. They were quite slow but fun to go fishing and swimming!
      4. Speed boat back to Manaus across the Amazon
      5. Cargo boat the Voyager IV – similar but not as nice as the Amazon Star. You go to a dining room when the bell rings for breakfast lunch and dinner and sit around a long table with the other passengers. The food was ok but a bit boring! We were on it for 7 days and got off at the border of Brazil with Peru and Columbia.
      6. A speed boat that was more like an old airplane on water, enclosed and with small windows. It was about 12 hours and took us to Iquitos. It went really fast but it was hot because the windows were small! When we went to the toilet, we put our hands out of the window to wash them in the spray!
      7. A lovely little speed boat back down the Amazpn to get to the napo. Fast and fun and really lovely cool breeze. I really loved it because we had been waiting on the dock forever getting really hot
      8. Another enclosed speedboat for a whole day, squeezed into small seat. Lara had to sit on mums lap and we were all very hot and very happy to get off at the end of the day
      9. Our first long river boat called a peke peke. With a thatched roof and open sides, it was very relaxing because we put up our hammocks and watched life on the banks of the river. There was a small engine on the back but it was slow!
      10. The first boat was so slow, we swapped it for a smaller one. That was the one that I spotted the tarantula right above my face. That was the scariest thing for me! It wasnt very comfortable because we didnt have much space. It got wanter in it that had to be scooped out! once it nearly sank! We were on this boat for about 6 days but at night we slept in a tent on the riverbank or in a village.
      11 the last boat. It was a public boat that took 12 hours. A big wooden long oat which was enclosed with benches each side. It was meant to be a speed boat but it was quite a slow speedboat! It was interesting to see the other people on board but long and boring and we couldn’t see it without stretching our heads out of the gaps. By the time we were finished we had been about 30 days travelling on the Amazon and Napo!

      Me, Ben – I have a new favourite animal – a Hairy Armadillo! We saw them for the first time in Argentina now, not near the Amazon anymore. We tried to spot killer whales and elephant seals but we were unlucky! Seeing 2 armadillos made up for it though. I will blog about it soon and include the video I made.
      My favourite animal in the Amazon was a monkey. If I see them again, it will always remind me of the Amazon.
      Thanks for reading and commenting on our blog, hope you are having a good Easter holiday.


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