2014 New Adventures of the Old Joyce travel blog

Rio Negro -- Near Manaus, Brazil

Mixing of the waters -- Rio Negro -- Near Manaus, Brazil

Mixing of the waters -- Rio Negro -- Near Manaus, Brazil

Mixing of the waters -- Rio Negro -- Near Manaus, Brazil

Mixing of the waters -- Rio Negro -- Near Manaus, Brazil

Mixing of the waters -- Rio Negro -- Near Manaus, Brazil

Rio Negro -- Manaus, Brazil

Rio Negro -- Manaus, Brazil

Rio Negro -- Manaus, Brazil

Rio Negro -- Manaus, Brazil

Manaus, Brazil

Manaus, Brazil

Manaus, Brazil

Manaus, Brazil

Manaus, Brazil

Manaus, Brazil

Manaus, Brazil

Manaus, Brazil

Manaus, Brazil

Manaus, Brazil

Manaus, Brazil

Ferry boats (Greyhound Bus equivalent) -- Manaus, Brazil

Ferry boats (Greyhound Bus equivalent) -- Manaus, Brazil

Ferry boats (Greyhound Bus equivalent) -- Manaus, Brazil

Cruise ship dock -- Manaus, Brazil

Note cargo on lower deck of Ferry Boat -- Manaus, Brazil

Customs House in background -- Manaus, Brazil

Former brewery in background -- Manaus, Brazil

Manaus, Brazil

River boat Guto uses with high school groups -- Manaus, Brazil

Neotropic Cormarants -- Manaus, Brazil

Welcoming band -- Manaus, Brazil

Welcoming band -- Manaus, Brazil

Welcoming band -- Manaus, Brazil

Former brewery -- Manaus, Brazil

Manaus, Brazil

Customs House -- Manaus, Brazil

Manaus, Brazil

Manaus, Brazil

Manaus, Brazil

Manaus, Brazil

Manaus, Brazil

Reclaiming the river -- Manaus, Brazil

Reclaiming the river -- Manaus, Brazil

Reclaiming the river -- Manaus, Brazil

Reclaiming the river -- Manaus, Brazil

Reclaiming the river -- Manaus, Brazil

Reclaiming the river but sewage still spilling in from pipe in foreground...

Reclaiming the river -- Manaus, Brazil

Manaus, Brazil

Manaus, Brazil

Manaus, Brazil

Rubber baron's home -- Manaus, Brazil

Rubber baron's home -- Manaus, Brazil

Rubber baron's home -- Manaus, Brazil

Rubber Baron's home -- Manaus, Brazil

Rubber Baron's home -- Manaus, Brazil

Manaus, Brazil

Street lamp -- Manaus, Brazil

Manaus, Brazil

Manaus, Brazil

Manaus, Brazil

Manaus, Brazil

Manaus, Brazil

Manaus, Brazil

Manaus, Brazil

Outside wall of Federal Prison -- Manaus, Brazil

Outside wall of Federal Prison -- Manaus, Brazil

Outside wall of Federal Prison -- Manaus, Brazil

Manaus, Brazil

Manaus, Brazil

Sensitive plant -- Manaus, Brazil

Manaus, Brazil

Largest supermarket in Manaus, Brazil

Manaus, Brazil

Indian Museum -- Manaus, Brazil

Indian Museum -- Manaus, Brazil

Indian Museum -- Manaus, Brazil

Indian Museum -- Manaus, Brazil

Manaus, Brazil

Replacement housing for stilt houses -- Manaus, Brazil

New housing for people formerly living in stilt house favela -- Manaus,...

New housing for people formerly living in stilt house favela -- Manaus,...

Grafitti -- Manaus, Brazil

Manaus, Brazil

Manaus, Brazil

Sao Sebastiao -- Manaus, Brazil

Sao Sebastiao -- Manaus, Brazil

Sao Sebastiao -- Manaus, Brazil

Sao Sebastiao -- Manaus, Brazil

Sao Sebastiao -- Manaus, Brazil

Sao Sebastiao -- Manaus, Brazil

Sao Sebastiao -- Manaus, Brazil

Sao Sebastiao -- Manaus, Brazil

Sao Sebastiao -- Manaus, Brazil

Sao Sebastiao -- Manaus, Brazil

Sao Sebastiao -- Manaus, Brazil

Sao Sebastiao -- Manaus, Brazil

Sao Sebastiao -- Manaus, Brazil

Sao Sebastiao -- Manaus, Brazil

Sao Sebastiao -- Manaus, Brazil

Manaus, Brazil

Top of Monument to 4 Continents -- Manaus, Brazil

Top of Monument to 4 Continents -- Manaus, Brazil

Left to right Europe, Asia, Americas -- Monument to 4 Continents --...

Europe and Asia -- Monument to 4 Continents -- Manaus, Brazil

Africa and Europe -- Monument to 4 Continents -- Manaus, Brazil

Americas and Africa -- Monument to 4 Continents -- Manaus, Brazil

Orchids -- Manaus, Brazil

Orchids -- Manaus, Brazil

Orchids -- Manaus, Brazil

Orchids -- Manaus, Brazil

Orchids -- Manaus, Brazil

Orchids -- Manaus, Brazil

Orchids -- Manaus, Brazil -- Guto Bertagnolli photo

Orchids -- Manaus, Brazil

Orchids -- Manaus, Brazil

Manaus, Brazil

Manaus, Brazil

Manaus Opera House and Monument to 4 Continents -- Manaus, Brazil

Manaus Opera House -- Manaus, Brazil

Manaus Opera House -- Manaus, Brazil

Manaus Opera House -- Manaus, Brazil

Manaus Opera House -- Manaus, Brazil

Manaus Opera House -- Manaus, Brazil

Manaus Opera House -- Manaus, Brazil

Manaus Opera House -- Manaus, Brazil

Manaus Opera House -- Manaus, Brazil

Manaus Opera House -- Manaus, Brazil

Manaus Opera House -- Manaus, Brazil

Manaus Opera House -- Manaus, Brazil

Base of Eiffel Tower with paintings and chandelier -- Manaus Opera House...

Base of Eiffel Tower with paintings and chandelier -- Manaus Opera House...

Base of Eiffel Tower with paintings and chandelier -- Manaus Opera House...

Manaus Opera House -- Manaus, Brazil

Manaus Opera House -- Manaus, Brazil

Manaus Opera House -- Manaus, Brazil

Manaus Opera House -- Manaus, Brazil

Manaus Opera House -- Manaus, Brazil

Manaus Opera House -- Manaus, Brazil

Manaus Opera House -- Manaus, Brazil

Manaus Opera House -- Manaus, Brazil

Manaus Opera House -- Manaus, Brazil

Manaus Opera House -- Manaus, Brazil

Manaus Opera House -- Manaus, Brazil

Manaus Opera House -- Manaus, Brazil

Manaus Opera House -- Manaus, Brazil

Manaus Opera House -- Manaus, Brazil

Governor's Box -- Manaus Opera House -- Manaus, Brazil

Manaus Opera House -- Manaus, Brazil

Manaus Opera House -- Manaus, Brazil

Manaus Opera House -- Manaus, Brazil

Manaus Opera House -- Manaus, Brazil

Manaus Opera House -- Manaus, Brazil

Manaus Opera House -- Manaus, Brazil

Hallway -- Manaus Opera House -- Manaus, Brazil

Hallway -- Manaus Opera House -- Manaus, Brazil

Reception Room -- Manaus Opera House -- Manaus, Brazil

Reception Room -- Manaus Opera House -- Manaus, Brazil

Reception Room -- Manaus Opera House -- Manaus, Brazil

Reception Room -- Manaus Opera House -- Manaus, Brazil

Reception Room -- Manaus Opera House -- Manaus, Brazil

Reception Room -- Manaus Opera House -- Manaus, Brazil

Notice low mirror so men could glimpse a lady's ankle -- Reception...

Low mirror so men could glimpse lady's ankle -- Reception Room --...

Depicts a scene from a Brazilian Opera -- Reception Room -- Manaus...

Reception Room -- Manaus Opera House -- Manaus, Brazil

Reception Room -- Manaus Opera House -- Manaus, Brazil

Reception Room -- Manaus Opera House -- Manaus, Brazil

View from balconey of Manaus Opera House -- Manaus, Brazil

Balconey -- Manaus Opera House -- Manaus, Brazil

Manaus Opera House -- Manaus, Brazil

Hallway floor -- Manaus Opera House -- Manaus, Brazil

Scale model -- Manaus Opera House -- Manaus, Brazil

Scale model -- Manaus Opera House -- Manaus, Brazil

Entrance doors -- Manaus Opera House -- Manaus, Brazil

Note hammocks on column topper -- Manaus Opera House -- Manaus, Brazil

OSU orange on apartment building -- Manaus, Brazil

Manaus, Brazil

Manaus, Brazil

Amazon Woman Warrior -- Manaus, Brazil

Street Lamp -- Manaus, Brazil

Manaus, Brazil

THE Ice Cream Store in Manaus, Brazil

Manaus, Brazil

Traditional Brazilian Restaurant -- Manaus, Brazil

Choupana Restaurant -- Manaus, Brazil

Choupana Restaurant -- Manaus, Brazil

Choupana Restaurant -- Manaus, Brazil

Choupana Restaurant -- Manaus, Brazil

Choupana Restaurant -- Manaus, Brazil

Choupana Restaurant -- Manaus, Brazil

Carla (local guide), Elly, Alan, Guto, jnd, Patsy -- Choupana Restaurant --...

Choupana Restaurant -- Manaus, Brazil

Manaus, Brazil

Manaus, Brazil

Ponto Negro -- Manaus, Brazil

Bridge in background leads to Amazonas National Park some 200 km away...

Bridge in background leads to Amazonas National Park some 200 km away...

Bridge in background leads to Amazonas National Park some 200 km away...

Ponto Negro -- Manaus, Brazil

Ponto Negro -- Manaus, Brazil

Ponto Negro -- Manaus, Brazil

Ponto Negro -- Manaus, Brazil

Beach Cabana -- Ponto Negro -- Manaus, Brazil

Beach Cabanas -- Ponto Negro -- Manaus, Brazil

Ponto Negro -- Manaus, Brazil

Manaus, Brazil

Produce Market -- Manaus, Brazil

Tomatoes, Onions and Melons -- Produce Market -- Manaus, Brazil

Produce Market -- Manaus, Brazil

Pineapple -- Produce Market -- Manaus, Brazil

Pineapple -- Produce Market -- Manaus, Brazil

Melons and Eggs -- Produce Market -- Manaus, Brazil

Various kinds of bananas (Pacova) -- Produce Market -- Manaus, Brazil

Pacova -- Produce Market -- Manaus, Brazil

Pacova -- Produce Market -- Manaus, Brazil

Nanica and Apple Bananas -- Produce Market -- Manaus, Brazil

Opening a coconut -- Produce Market -- Manaus, Brazil

Mangos and Melons -- Produce Market -- Manaus, Brazil

Sweet potatoes and Manioc -- Produce Market -- Manaus, Brazil

Passion Fruit -- Produce Market -- Manaus, Brazil

Melons, Mangos and Passion Fruit in front and Tucuma in back --...

Produce Market -- Manaus, Brazil

Produce Market -- Manaus, Brazil

Watermelon -- Produce Market -- Manaus, Brazil

Pineapple -- Produce Market -- Manaus, Brazil

Produce Market -- Manaus, Brazil

Gourds -- Produce Market -- Manaus, Brazil

Produce Market -- Manaus, Brazil

Pirarucu (Catfish) Fish Scales -- Produce Market -- Manaus, Brazil

Manioc flours and corn -- Produce Market -- Manaus, Brazil

Beans and Manioc flour -- Produce Market -- Manaus, Brazil

Produce Market -- Manaus, Brazil

Intestines -- Beef market -- Intestines -- Manaus, Brazil

Feet, ears, knuckles -- Beef Market -- Feet -- Manaus, Brazil

Beef Market -- Manaus, Brazil

Shrimp -- Fish Market -- Manaus, Brazil

Catfish -- Fish Market -- Manaus, Brazil

Catfish -- Fish Market -- Manaus, Brazil

Gutting a fish -- Fish Market -- Manaus, Brazil

Tambaqui -- Fish Market -- Manaus, Brazil

Tambaqui -- Fish Market -- Manaus, Brazil

Tambaqui -- Fish Market -- Manaus, Brazil

Pirarucu, Biggest fresh water fish -- Fish Market -- Manaus, Brazil

Piranha kin -- Fish Market -- Manaus, Brazil

Jaraqui and Peacock Sea Bass -- Fish Market -- Manaus, Brazil

Jaraqui -- Fish Market -- Manaus, Brazil

Catfish -- Fish Market -- Manaus, Brazil

Pacu -- Fish Market -- Manaus, Brazil

Pacu -- Fish Market -- Manaus, Brazil

Piranha -- Fish Market -- Manaus, Brazil

Piranha -- Fish Market -- Manaus, Brazil

Piranha -- Fish Market -- Manaus, Brazil

Piranha -- Fish Market -- Manaus, Brazil

Restaurant -- Fish Market -- Manaus, Brazil

Piranha ready to eat -- Fish Market -- Manaus, Brazil

Fish Market -- Manaus, Brazil

Delivery area of Fish Market -- Manaus, Brazil

Handicraft Store -- Manuas, Brazil

Markets -- Manuas, Brazil

Manuas, Brazil

Getting a haircut -- Manuas, Brazil

Almost as many buses as Rio -- Manuas, Brazil

Street vendors -- Manuas, Brazil

Street vendors -- Manuas, Brazil

Street vendors -- Manuas, Brazil

Moth -- Manuas, Brazil


April 8, 2014 – Manaus, Brazil

Manaus is located on the north bank of the Rio Negro. It is 11 miles above the “meeting of the rivers” where the Negro merges with the Rio Solimoes. It is 900 miles inland from the Atlantic. It is the heart of Amazonia and the cultural center of the upper Amazon region and is an important river port with floating docks that can accommodate ocean going vessels including cruise ships. It is surrounded by jungle and is the only major city in a 600 mile radius. Founded in 1669, it grew slowly until the late 19th century when the rubber boom brought prosperity and short lived splendor. Currently, the population is approximately 2.2 million. The only way in or out is by river or air. There are no roads that go to Manaus from the rest of the country. Recently Manaus has regained importance because of renewed interest in the Amazon Basin and its preservation. Eco-tourism is a major industry along with oil. The city is the seat of several organizations dealing with Amazonian problems. It is a free port and has an international airport. Its manufactures include electronics, chemical products and soap. There are distilling and ship construction industries as well. Harley Davidson has a major factory here. Manaus exports Brazil nuts, rubber, jute and rosewood oil. Local industries also include brewing and petroleum refineries.

Manaus began as a small Portuguese fort, Sao Jose da Barra, to serve as a defense against Spanish incursions into Brazil by way of the Amazon River. On November 13, 1832, the settlement gained the status of Vila and was named Manaus after the indigenous tribe the Manaos which inhabited the area. In the local language, the word means “Mother of God”. On October 24, 1848, it was awarded the status of city with the name Cidade da Barra do Rio Negro. In 1850, Amazonas became a province and on September 4, 1956 it was renamed Cidade de Manaus.

From 1890 to 1920, Manaus was a rubber boomtown. The invention of the process of vulcanization made this possible. The plantation owners became extravagantly wealthy. Many sent their clothes to Europe to be laundered. Immigrants from northeastern Brazil who were fleeing drought and poverty flooded the city seeking riches in the rubber trade. By 1920, synthetic rubber and the growth of plantations in Southeast Asia caused a drastic plunge in the price of rubber, and Manaus declined into poverty. Today it is the financial center of North Brazil and a cosmopolitan city. Because of its location next to the Amazon Rainforest, it attracts a substantial number of Brazilian and foreign tourists who venture into the surrounding jungle. A great diversity of wildlife can be found even in the city limits. It is also the place for one of the most endangered primates in Brazil – the Pied Tamarind.

Okay so that’s the history. This morning as we came into Manaus we could see the mixing of the water of the Rio Negro and the Rio Solimoes. The black water of the Negro was mixing with the muddy water of the Solimoes. The Solimoes flows from melted snow so that its water is warmer than the Negro It also flows at a rate more than twice as fast as the Negro which accounts for the difference in color as the Negro has more time to pick up sediment.

We had a long look at the coastline of the city. It is spread out over many miles. When we arrived at the dock, a military band was playing to greet us. We met Carla, who was our local guide, and began our tour by driving though the center of the city. Street vendors and graffiti were everywhere. We stopped at a park where they are trying to reclaim a channel of the river. They have built new, modern apartments for people who previously lived in stilt houses. They have demolished those houses and have put in a park with walking trails, gardens and picnic pavilions. There is still sewage being dumped into the channel. It is not perfect, but they are making a start.

From there we walked to a rubber baron’s home. He and his wife lived in this huge place alone, and after his wife died, he lived there alone. It certainly reflects the extravagance with which they lived. The house is now a museum which we did not enter. The next stop was a building which the builders of the Opera House built. They stopped working on the Opera House because they weren’t being paid enough, and built this great elaborate building. It is used today as the Federal Prison. One of the outside walls has been painted to reflect the various styles of architecture of a row of houses that might have been seen during the rubber boom.

We passed the largest supermarket in Manaus on our way to the Indian Museum. It looked to be about the size of a super Wal-Mart. The Indian Museum was quite interesting but no photos were allowed. They had artifacts which reflected the utensils, housing, clothing, tools and hunting implements. The blow pipes were a surprise to me. I was expecting something no longer than a couple of feet. There were a few shorter ones, but most of them were 6’ for longer. The only sour note of the entire trip happened here. As Patsy said, Elly took pictures of everything except the signs which said NO PHOTOGRAPHS! Carla told her a couple of times, but Elly just ignored it and went about taking photos anyway. We thought the days of the ugly Americans had largely disappeared. We will have to apologize to Guto tonight.

The next stop was the Teatro Amazonas or Opera House. We stopped at the Sao Sebastiao Church which was across the street from the Opera House. This was a small but beautiful church. It had an interesting altar which was supported by 2 hands. In the square which fronted the Opera House and Church there was a monument to the 4 continents which were known at the time it was built in the 1890’s – Africa, Asia, Europe and the Americas. The statue was built in France and transported by ship to Manaus. While we were taking pictures here, Patsy stumbled and fell. She hit her head on the curb and got quite a bump, but she was okay.

One thing to remember about the Opera House as you look at the accompanying pictures, all the marble, iron and stone was transported from Europe. The woods which were used are from Brazil but had to be transported to Manaus by ship. It is absolutely gorgeous. The chairs are made of jacaranda wood and are the originals. All that has been replaced are the velvet seat covers. Before the days of air conditioning, they devised a way to cool the theater. The bottom floor is hollow or empty. Under about every 3d chair in the theater there is a vent. The hollow floor below them drew in cool air and vented it through the vents under the chairs. This kept the theater somewhat cool. Since the daily temperature here is in the 90’s year round as well as a humidity level around 90% year round, they really need to cool it down when all 701 seats were filled. Pretty clever! And, remember that the women wore long dresses with multiple layers of petticoats in those days. The men also wore vests, ties and long coats so they were hot too. It now has modern air conditioning.

There are 4 ceiling paintings which are separated from each other by the legs of the Eiffel Tower. The railings of the boxes were made in Scotland and reflect a Scottish theme.

The Reception Hall had beautiful inlaid wood floors, and the ceiling had a beautiful painting which was one of those where the eyes of the angel follows you wherever you go. It also had a number of furnishings which were shipped from Europe. There are 2 large Venetian mirrors opposite each other. They are hung above buffets which have a small mirror mounted in their bases at floor level. These were put there so that men could catch a glimpse of the ladies’ ankles!

The next stop was lunch at the Choupana Restaurant. We had a traditional Brazilian meal. The fish we had were Pirarucu, which is the largest fresh water fish in the world, and Tambaqui. They were served with mashed potatoes, steamed vegetables, rice and fried bananas. We had 3 different desserts although the menu listed only one. We had one made from bananas as well as one made from passion fruit. The last one was a chocolate mousse with acai berries in it. All of them were custards and were very good.

After lunch, we took a drive to Ponto Negro which is the new housing section of Manaus on the edge of the jungle. These apartments and condos are occupied by foreigners who are working in the various industries in Manaus. The beach here has been built up by the importation of tons and tons of sand so that they have a beach even when the Negro is flooded. We came here specifically to have ice cream. They had varieties made from Brazilian fruits and nuts. Elly had acai, and I had Brazil nut. I don’t remember what Patsy and Alan got, but they were local fruit flavors.

It was getting to be time to get back to the ship so we headed in that direction. The van dropped us a couple of blocks from the port, and we walked back through the produce, fish and handicraft markets. As we waited for the shuttle to take us from the gate of the port to the ship, Elly stumbled and fell. She barked her shin but otherwise wasn’t hurt. I told Guto that he had 2 down and 2 to go!

This evening, we had dinner in the Polo grill. Guto joined us, and we had a nice time visiting. We all made an early night of it.

jnd

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