Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Swimming with the Pink Dolphins

After almost four months of living in a Brazilian neighborhood, we were excited for the chance to see some of this beautiful country. I had never realized just how big Brazil is. After a two hour drive to Sao Paulo we jumped on a plane and headed for Manaus. We were greeted three and a half hours later by six guys who said they were there to take us to our boat.
Now maybe this doesn’t strike you as odd, but I’d been working on my book on the plane and am in the middle of a hostage situation in Central Africa. So when six guys showed up to pick us up, I was a bit leery of what we were getting into. Things couldn’t have gone smoother though. They took us to a hotel where we caught a boat about thirty minutes later, and for the next two hours we headed up the River with a dozen tourists from New York, England, China, and Brazil. A rain storm hit about halfway into our trip, covering the water with a heavy mist, and forcing the workers to roll down the tarps along the edges of the boat. Even with the rain, it was beautiful.

By the time we got to the lodge, the kids were tired and hungry. They’d finished the snack packs I’d made them on the boat and the humid temperatures didn’t make for a lot of smiles. Our rooms were small, but adequate, but there had been a mix up. Instead of two rooms for three people, they’d given us three rooms for two people. We tried to explain that it wasn’t going to work for Jayden and Mariah to be in their own room as they had arranged things, especially since they were on different floors!
So Scott went down to work out the room situation, and they decided to give us a suite! The suite had two huge rooms with living areas, two bathrooms, and a balcony that circled the suite. Wow! This turned out to be such a huge blessing as we had plenty of room to spread out.
Dinner was fantastic, as the kids agreed. An all you can eat buffet with salads, meats, vegetables, and desert. Since dinner was served late, and there had been an hour time change, we all conked out pretty quickly after dinner.

DAY TWO: The Pink Dolphins

The schedule had us up early for breakfast so we could meet our guide by eight. First on the agenda was a trip up river in a long boat, through the jungle, then into the widest area of the river. Our guide talked to us some about the river then we headed on toward one of the villages. The highlight here was learning how rubber is made from a rubber tree. It’s very tedious work that requires hours and hours of labor early in the morning before the temperatures rises.

On our way back up the river, those who wanted to feed the dolphins stopped at a wooden structure and were showed how to feed them. At first we took turns, one at a time to feed the dolphins, then were given life jackets and a chance to swim with the dolphins. It was an incredible experience.

Coming next. . .an encounter with a piranha.

1 comment:

  1. fantastic pictures! What fun.