The fiesta lasted till 2.00 am in the morning! When a Brasilian says “let’s have a last one”, it means let’s keep on drinking!! You learn something new every day!! Five in the morning the alarms went off! Great! Three hours sleep! Just what my body craves, not! Caught the bus to Santarem. We had brekky at the market, with the greatest coffee yet! Then we watched the pink river dolphins. There were a big mob. This man tied a fish on a rope and played with a dolphin. Vitor got a great video of this. Then the dolphin ate the fish and the guy, of course, wanted money! Since non of us asked for this display, we didn’t pay! It is much better to ASK tourists first! I was very happy to see so many pink dolphins, though. Their noses are much lager and thinner than the regular dolphins. They are also fatter and more square. The nose has evolved so they can look for food when the river floods the mangroves, so the dolphins have adapted themselves.
The boat was much, much smaller than the last one! By the time we bought our tickets and came on board, the deck was chocker block filled up! We tried going to the top deck, but this was NOT allowed! How Vitor found three hooks is beyond me! But he did and for the time being we are practising to be sardines! Silently I apologised to the old lady, who I THOUGHT was in my face on the first boat! She wasn’t even CLOSE!! This is what Travelling is all about! Extending your comfort zone, at all times! This time however, I was too tired to extend anything, I crawled into my hammock and promptly fell asleep! I must be honest, I was glad that Vitor and Luiz had decided to come on the same boat! There were very, very few foreign tourists. A handful of Italians, two Spanish women, and a German couple, who managed to close themselves off completely!
What a shame though! Brasilians just LOVE to party, and by the time I felt human again the party was in full swing! Brasilian people are kind, generous and an enormous amount of fun to hang out with! The boat stopped several times, to let more people on board! I managed to stop one woman hanging her hammock just above Vitor and mine! I claimed his hammock and I told the woman he was my son, and to move! Mind you, there REALLY was NO room!!
The second day, people one by one, started to move their hammocks to the top deck! So we did too! It was colder up here, but so much more comfortable! At one stage Raoul and Luiz left the boat to buy, cheaper, booze at the shore! The boat left without them!! You have to understand that, when a Brasilian says thirty minutes, it can mean anything up to an hour!! Luiz hauled a boat, and the guy started ROWING!! Well, Luiz nearly shat himself! So he rowed while the owner turned on the motor!! There was a bit of a scary spot, when Raoul panicked, ( he is a city boy), and rocked the little boat! The small boat could have easily be run over by the large river boat, thank god Luiz is an experience sailor, he managed to calm Raoul and get them both safely on board without any damage to any vessels or to the two men!
What a great you tube video this would have made! Of course I missed the whole keystone cops kaboedel! Shame! I would have so enjoyed it! I made them tell the story many times, while every time I would crack up all over again! ” Tell me again!” I would ask. Especially Vitor, who was safely on the river boat, could tell the story better and better, the more drinks, the more dramatic the story became! Just thinking about it puts a BIG grin on my face!!
The scenery on this part of the river was very different again. First of all we were on a side river, much closer to the shore. Also the last part we were sailing near the Large Island, with its gorgeous beaches! Ilha Se Marajo. This island is larger than seventy of the world’s countries! Most of the island’s interior, however, is inaccessible. The island is notable for its friendly and hospitable people,( aren’t ALL Brasilians like that??) and the Carimbo, the colourful dance that I had seen in Alter do Chao. Most of the “boat people” went to this island, known for its beautiful beaches! But I was ready for some culture and less drinking and partying! The mind and heart are willing and able, but the body is starting to show signs of its age, and I needed some desperate resting time!