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