Saturday, March 8, 2014

Leticia - Manaus

So in Leticia the fast boat to Manaus left on Saturday so I took the slow boat called the Manoel Monteiro leaving at noon on Tuesday.  It cost 180 reals (less than 90USD) and would arrive at 6am on Friday in Manaus.  They told me to bring a hammock and rope to hang the hammock and they would have provide food and water.  There was another boat leaving on Wednesday that also cost around the same.
I brought water but didnt need to as well as some fruit and toilet paper none of which I needed.  I bought a hammock for 25,000 COP which was comfortable and not too small.  Since my ATM card didnt work in Brasil I went to the official money changer OPITA and got a good exchange rate which surprised me that they gave me a better exchange rate than the ones on the street.

I got there at 9am by taking a moto taxi for 8,000 COP and had to wait till 10 to board but it wasnt necessary to get there early.  Its really easy to walk or take a mototaxi between Brasil and Colombia in Leticia (Colombia) and Tabating (Brazil). I walked between the two though it took a while and you dont need to show your passport or have a visa to enter any of the countries including Santa Rosa (Peru) which is a 5 minute or 3,000COP boat ride from either Tabatinga or Leticia. I do understand peoples suggestions to hang your hammock on the top level and toward the front of the boat away from the noise of the engine, as well as to hang the hammock in the center of the boat because the ones on the end can get very windy at night.  I was swung around quite a bit at night on some windy nights. The boat ride was quite uneventful but the views of the small villages and the different types of forest along the Amazon river were quite enjoyable.
We made quite a few stops along the way and we arrived at 7am in Manaus.   I was the only non South American on the boat though most other travelers I have met have said they met lots of other I think maybe because its low season and close to carnaval there were no others on my boat.
In Manaus I have found things to be a bit expensive. I am staying at hotel Rondonia where a room with a fan is 25real with breakfast (bread, butter, juice, coffee, saltines). I think I would walk a little further and go to Hostel Ocara which has more expensive dorm beds but probably faster wifi and a bit cleaner.  In Manaus people dont speak much Spanish or English here but its quite a big city. So far I really like the exotic fruits here. I have tried so many juices that are really good.
Lots of hammocks hanging on the boat

Season of this fruit in the Amazon

many different landscapes

views from the boat of the different forests and landscapes

arriving at Manaus in the morning, a large city in the Amazon

They had plenty of food on the boat.  It was the same food everyday but it was fine, though I can see why other travelers told me to bring food if I were picky and didnt like what they had it was the same food but I thought it was quite edible, though they did not feed us lunch on the day we left but I was told to be there are 10am to board.

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