Well, we are back here in Manaus, but have spent the last week trying our best to run away from it.
Last Saturday we went into action and found ourselves a boat that would take us roughly 1/4 further down the Amazon to a place called Santarem, the gateway for our destination - Alter do Chao. The boat was only 1 1/2 days long but we went for hammocks this time, feeling a little better in Brazilian company. It was considerably hotter without air con AND they made us pay for the food, what a let down. It got us there so no worries. Much like Tabatinga Santarem was large and fairly desolate. Taking a while to walk anywhere. We found a hotel quickly and it was expensive, but hey, it was only for one night.
We found our bus easily the next day and off we went down the road looking for our little slice of paradise (compared to Manaus that is). We were quite surprised by what we found. If you ignored the fact you could see the other side of the river you could swear you were back at the Atlantic ocean complete with all its beaches and atmosphere, that being quite laid back.
We settled in a hostel not in the centre of town (that only being about 1km long) that had spaces for hammocks, with our hammocks tested we set them up. It was a little weird as the place with the hooks was right out in the open facing the street, 0 privacy. Are well, almost a suite compared to the space we had on the boat and we pretty much had our own kitchen. It was good enough.
With 2 1/2 days to spend we relaxed the firs day and did nothing. Looked around had dinner nothing special. For the next day we noted a sign that said "NO Stingrays, NO Alligators, NO Piranhas" Well, taking the small piece of papers advice we dived in for a swim. Technically not the Amazon, but one of the many rivers that leads into them, but good enough for us. All pale yellow and a pleasant temperature. For the afternoon we rented a "boat" to take us to this little island just of the beaches, to see what was going on. Not much as it seems, just a small cafe and some deck chars. It was a struggle to get there though, the oars where heavily and predominantly useless. We did meet a nice Brazilian couple who followed us over the island, we chatted a lot about (English) music and the weather. Along our ways we came across this lone tree very close to the waters edge that held a nice little surprise in the form of a sleeping ant eater. He seemed quite content to huddle out of the rain (which spoiled the day a bit, hey-ho) and allowed some photo ops.
With enough time wasting out of the way we caught a bus back to Santarem and jumped straight on the next Manaus boat. Not looking forward to coming back to this place, but we have a flight so no choice. 2 1/2 days in hammocks and we are back in Manaus. So, a total of 6 nights in hammocks, really looking forward to a proper bed again, but there is a knack to a comfortable night sleep in a hammock, as long as its in a cooler climate.