Sunday, February 26, 2006

We came into Salvador, Brazil and heard nothing about how dangerous it was: how twelve year olds would kill us and cute kittens would give us rabies! This was not the case at all though. People in Brazil were very friendly and while Salvador was big on tourist shopping, it didn't seem like people were out to get us!

The second day in Brazil, I flew to San Paulo and then to Manaus to go to the Amazon. We boarded our boat and it was much smaller than I thought (26 people sleeping in an area not much bigger than my room on the Explorer...all in hammocks touching both people at your sides at night because of closeness). The first day started with Giant Lilly pads and a short trek. We saw some monkeys playing in the trees. Later we took canoes and went alligator hunting. We caught a little one (the next day we caught a bigger one and I got a picture of it). We got back to the ship and had incredible food (it was great everyday! Great hot foods, fruits, and juices).

The next day we took a long trek in the rain forest and I climbed some vines, swung on others, and ate some forest fruits and tree milk (yum!). After that we were very hot so we went to a beach and swam with some Native children. I threw them off the raft with a girl (swung them) and put them on my shoulders and jumped and they flew in the air. The kids had fun and so did we. Next we went up to their village and met the village doctor and some other cool things. That night we had a luau with fireworks, tiki torches, and great food on what seemed to be a private island.

The last day we took another jungle trek, getting lost on this one (yes now I can say I've been lost in the Amazon Rain Forest). When we got out we went to another village of Caboclo. They showed us how they tap rubber trees and how they use that rubber to makes things. We did some shopping there, played a little football (soccer), and by the end of the day I ended up having a tucan bird on my shoulder! Later, we went piranha fishing and ate our winnings...and then went to a big party at night with dancing, performances, and drinks! The best part was actually on the way to that party when we had our own little 'on ship' dance party with the 26 people I've been living with so closely for the past few days. It was great! After that we left...after hugging the guides of course...The plane left at 1:30 AM and we arrived in Brazillia and had a 5 hour layover (everyone slept in their hammocks!), and after that finally arrived back in Salvador at 1:45 PM the next day. Now it's back to sea and classes...but in 8 more days we hit another port...Cape Town!