Country Count: 49
We have been cruising down the Amazon River for the past week and I cannot believe I'm really here. I don't think I ever imagined I would see this place other than on some PBS special. One of the stops we made was in Manaus and I got the chance to escort a tour on a jungle trek.
We took a boat onto this completely remote beach and no dock. There were a few wooden planks laid on the ground for us to walk over the water without getting wet. Then they marched us off into the jungle to teach us survival. We were there at the end of the dry season so the water level is so low. They have huts and houses there that are at least fifteen feet in the air on stilts and our guide said the water will rise all the way up to them. Basically we were walking on what is usually the river floor.
They brought us through the forest showing us which plants were edible and which ones would make better shelters. They showed us how to start a fire using a cellphone battery and some steel wool. I'm assuming this lesson was in case your plane crashed because I don't know what other scenario would involve having any steel wool. They showed us two perfect looking trees for tying up your hammock but then tapped on the first one to have
hundreds of bullet ants come crawling out. He said one bite is worse than a scorpion sting. Two bites will send you to the hospital and anymore will send you to the cemetery. The guide is just casually aggravating them this entire time so I kept my distance.
This is about the time the thunderstorm started. It was pretty amazing to be trekking through the jungle in the pouring rain as if I was actually trying to survive the elements. Unfortunately I couldn't take anymore pictures at that point because I didn't want to damage my camera. We stayed out in the rain to finish the tour and they showed us how to climb trees to reach the fruit by tying palms around your ankles.
When they brought us back to the shelter they had caipirinhas there for us to try. They are a local drink that I thought tasted a bit like a margarita only a bit sweeter. They also had those tiny bananas that I've had in Madagascar and Cambodia that are also like a regular
banana only sweeter. They had Brazil nuts there but I don't know how they sell more than one at a time because it took the guy five minutes just to crack it open and take the shell off with his machete. It was delicious although it could have used a bit of salt. There was also a little monkey there going around drinking everyone's leftover caipirinhas. He was probably pretty wasted by the time we left and unfortunately because I was completely drenched I couldn't snap a picture.
Today we stopped in Parintins and saw a local show called Boi Bumba. I have to be honest and say I still have no clue what it was about but I took a lot of pictures so I didn't have to try to explain.
Country Count: 46
Well, we survived or cruise during Hurricane Sandy. We changed our itinerary five times and almost had to disembark all the guests four days early but lucky for us she took a turn to the west and didn't end up raining on our parade. Unfortunately we didn't get to see Bermuda and it must not be in good shape because we aren't going to make it there this cruise either. The hurricane also gave everyone an opportunity to show their true colors in the face of an emergency. Now many guests were very nice and reasonable but then there was everyone else. I have now been called stupid, a liar and I'm pretty sure I heard a "useless" in there. Even when we weren't in any stressful situations people seemed upset to be on vacation. After a game of brain teasers I asked, "How do you all know this stuff?" To which one lovely gentleman replied, "Because we're not singers and dancers." I bit my tongue although I have to be honest my feelings were hurt. I got my revenge the next time by asking only Broadway trivia. Bite me.
This cruise was also our Halloween party where approximately 4 people dressed up and that would be the four entertainment staff. Very festive this group. We had fun anyway and Ethan even covered himself entirely in green paint (except for his butt which he showed us to prove it) to be The Hulk and he looked awesome!
Now we are on our way to the Caribbean and its just in time because as interesting as the Wal-mart in Cornerbrook is I have had just about enough. More to come from the jungle in the Amazon!
Sassy ginger from NH off traveling the world.