The speedboat journey was good. We had two meals in the 14 hours both hot (and lots of videos). The scenery was really nice as well. When we got to Manaus we trudged around looking at lots of different hotels. We settled on one called the 10th Julio (R$60). It was ok, clean with tv. We woke up on the 7th and Nick sang happy birthday to Monica ! Presents were given and then unfortunately we had to arrange a visa by locating and going to the venezuelan consulate. After a lot of hassle we found it only to be told that we did not need a visa after all !!!
We booked a tour for the next day through Iguana travel agency (they are located in the hotel). They were two funny brothers who were really helpful.
In the afternoon Monica had a massage and we had a walk around town. After trying four times to go to the opera house we finally succeeded in getting a guided tour and were lucky enough to see some rehearsals as they were preparing for the opera festival which starts late april. Anyone going to Manaus should try and go and see the opera as it is an amazing building.
We left the opera house and went to a restaurant in the taj mahal hotel. It is a rotating restaurant taking in the views of Manaus. We had a lovely meal and a couple of bottles of wine later we left to have one final drink at a bar.
The next day we went on a one day tour with Amazon Explorers of the surrounding area. We saw the meeting of the waters. This is when two rivers meet and they are of different colours. The two waters run side by side for a couple of kms as they are of different densities and temperature, and are going at different speeds. The boat then continued to a touristy park where we saw large water lillies. A small motorised canoe took us down some smaller side rivers and we saw some pink dolphins. We were also attacked by hundreds of mosquitoes when we stopped for a brief walk. One real downer on the trip was that there were loads of kids with tied up monkeys, sloths, parrots, demanding money if anyone took a picture. It was not nice to see this and we ignored them.
We had a good lunch (buffet style) before heading back at about 3.30pm. It was an average one day tour, but if you dont have any more time then it is a good way to get a feel of the area.
Our bus to Santa Elena left at 8pm.