Off to South America travel blog

Bridge off in the distance

Motorized canoes on the small canal

A local on his boat

The river changes depth up to 30 feet per year

November is getting toward the end of the dry season

One of our canoes heads to the floating building

Lily pads

Lake at the end of the boardwalk

Seeds of the rubber tree

Monkey on the boardwalk; watch out for your bags!

Capuchin monkey foraging for food

On the way back from the boardwalk

Merchandise for tourists

From the prow of our small canoe

Water of the Rio Negro and the Amazon

Our guide shows us the difference in the waters

The contrast is remarkable



On our double decker sight seeing boat; Brazilian flag in the background

Port area

In the aquarium

Capivara, world's largest rodent

Monkeys on the island; they don't like water

Panther in the rehab center

More rehab patients


Lunch time


Entrance to the zoo

Repurposed building

Across the square to San Sebastián Church

Statue on the plaza, showing the meeting of the continents

Artists at work outside the Opera House

Canvas on the square

Refurbished buildings

View of the Opera House from the other corner

Portuguese tiles

Dome of the Opera House shows the Brazilian flag


Coffee house on the square

Sign for the coffee house

Painting on the side of a food stand on the plaza

Portuguese influence of the tile

Government building

San Sebastian

Statue on the Opera House

Rain spout

Favela from the bus

Favela 2

Statue on the plaza

Like the boat we started our trip to meeting of the waters...

Market display in the museum

Market 2

Water lily framed


In the museum

Egret on the canal

We had an overnight in Manaus and a full day in port the next day. Roger and I joined an excursion called the meeting of the waters; the point in the river where the Rio Negro and the Amazon meet is a fascinating phenomenon. First we went on a double decker boat up to a canal; we then switched to motorized canoes to journey up a canal to a lake. We rather ungracefully disembarked at a pit stop on stilts; the locals had crafts and a restroom to help us on our way out a shaky boardwalk to see the monkeys. Back in the canoes we headed to the point in the river where the two waters meet.

The PH, the temperature and the composition of the two waters is different, so they do not mix. Our guide from our history tour had told us about this phenomenon, but it is still amazing to see. Our boat guide showed us a pitcher of water from each river, and as we headed to the spot we could see for ourselves. Our guide yesterday told us that there is no mosquito problem on the Rio Negro side; he said that the chemical mixture of the water discourages them. Good to know.

We hustled off the boat and made our way to the bus for the second tour of the day. This time we saw some of the same places as yesterday, but added to the itinerary was a trip to a zoo run by the military. It is actually a rehab for animals place. Once the animals are healthy again they are returned to the forest. We saw a black panther, turtles, toucans, monkeys and other assorted cats. It was a maintenance day for the zoo, but they opened for our cruise tours. We went back to the Opera House on our driving tour through the city. Manaus shows the need for maintenance. The jungle will take over everything quickly.

We were told it is quite safe to walk around on our own in town, but we were done in by the heat and humidity and so were quite happy with what we learned on the tour. I still am amazed that this huge city sits one thousand miles up the Amazon River. It has been a journey of surprises.

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