Sorry it´s been a while since my last entry, but it´s all been fairly interesting since I left Manaus.
Last Monday (7th) I caught the boat from Manaus to Santarem. A 30 hour trip down the Rio Amazonas. Fortunately a Spanish girl - Espita - from my hostel and a Belgian couple - Katlina and Johann - who I met in Bonito were also on the same boat. Although there are cabins on the boat the best way to experience the trip is in a hammock with all the locals. Unsurprisingly it does get rather crowded as everyone jostles for enough space. The lower deck had a little kitchen that served food at meal times. While the upper deck had a bar serving drinks/sandwiches etc, it even had a projector screen for showing music videos in the evening!! On the trip we got to see some dolphins (grey and pink) as well as the Encontro das Aguas - the meeting of the waters - where the Rio Negro (a reddish-brown river) and Rio Solimoes (a tan colour) meet and flow side by side without mixing, due to the difference in temperature, sediment content and speed.
On arrival in Santarem the 4 of us shared a taxi to Alter do Chao and found a nice pousada. The next few days were spent relaxing on the (very pretty) river-beach as well as a boat trip one afternoon to a nearby lake. The river-beach is actually a sandbar in front of the town where you have to wade across knee deep water to get to. It´s very popular with Brazilians, especially over the last weekend due to the public holiday on Tuesday.