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.