Tag Archives: Tribes

Discover the Amazonian Megalopolis Manaus

28 Jan

Thoughts of the almighty Amazon have the power to excite and delight travellers like few other places on Earth can. In our minds eye we picture thick natural rainforest with giant trees and an abundance of wildlife, isolated indigenous communities with painted faces and fresh, clean waterways filling the World’s largest river system. So imagine our initial disappointment on arrival in Manaus, the Amazon’s largest city (approx. 1.7 million population) to find a sprawling, dirty hot and humid metropolis seemingly devoid of any natural flora and fauna. The frenetic streets were choked by traffic and its streets filled with rubbish and unsavory characters. On face value Manaus had limited touristic appeal but it frequently finds its way onto traveller’s itineraries using it as a base to arrange jungle trips or considering it a destination in its own right. We realised that perhaps we’d set ourselves up for a fall, with expectations so high, that Manaus was always fighting a losing battle. We knew there must be more to the city than its face value so we set out to discover what Manaus was all about.

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Cargo boat to Iquitos

23 Dec

We couldn’t imagine a more romantic notion than swinging in hammocks as we travelled by cargo boat along the mythical Amazon river in Peru for three days, from Yurimaguas to Iquitos. We dreamed of glorious sunsets and steamy evenings drinking dark rum whilst watching a lightning storm flickering far in the distance. We hoped for pristine, unspoiled rainforest and close encounters with monkeys, pink river dolphins and manatees. We wondered if indigenous tribes wearing loin cloths and with bones through their noses would wave as we passed from a sandy riverside spot. Despite our optimism, we knew that this trip wouldn’t be for the faint hearted and would test our patience to the very limits. Known for their very basic conditions, frequent lengthy delays and notoriously grumpy captains, cargo boats are not a luxury form of travel but they do represent one of the world’s last great leaders in river transport and offer those with adventurous spirits no end of rewards. We took the plunge and held our breath for the boat ride of our lives!

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