So now Manaus.
So after Jim paying my way in Santa Elena I got a cab to La Linea or the frontier as everyone calls it (isn´t that a cool name for a border crossing!) to meet up with a bus that left there at 7ish. But of course in my life these things don´t happen like this. My cab which I had booked the day before didn´t turn up and so by the time I got to the border it had already opened but discovered that the Brazilian side didn´t open til 8 anyhow. Oh and yeah was naughty and didn´t get an exit stamp either. So I was wondering while I waited for it to open how the hell I was going to get to Boa Vista to get to Manaus(I might mention that there was a direct bus the next day - but well that would be too easy wouldn´t it). Then this guy gets dropped off and he speaks English and is going to Boa Vista and is getting a cab. It all seemed too good to be true. Sometimes I think that I have a little good luck fairy watching over me at times. So anyhow I tagged along with Carlos for the morning to the lumber yards that his dad owned where he picked up a car before treating me to breakfast then dropping me off at the bus station. He was just a total sweetie.
The bus trip to Manaus was 12 hours and it was just frigid in the bus. I was wearing two jumpers and still couldn´t get warm - unbelievable. And some people were just wearing t-shirts, and I felt very sorry for them. I sat next to this lovely Brazilian girl on the bus and despite the language problems we got on really well. There was another guy on the bus taking English classes but well his English was not that much better than my Portuguese (which is pretty much nonexistent). As per all my travels in countries where I don´t speak the language and spend the night on buses there were impromptu language lessons. And no it hasn´t done much good, I´m still having problems remembering thank-you (obrigado) thank god goodbye is the easier Chow! Yes, I really am that hopeless with languages. So the girl I sat next to (yes I´ve forgotten her name already!) and I got a bus into town together before going our separate ways. She was so lovely. I am so loving the people here, everyone I´ve met has been so nice. Ooh must stop saying so all the time. It´s kinda scary in a way ... like why are you being so nice to me. I keep expecting them to want something from me but am trying not to be so cynical. Even got a free drink at the restaurant my last night in Santa Elena.
So Manaus, well it´s a pretty big town centered round the port where I´ll be getting a boat (the Felix in fact) to Tabatinga on Saturday. I didn´t get a hammock the other day as I heard they were cheaper here so have spent the day checking out my boat before getting my ticket tomorrow and looking at hammocks. I brought a really cool necklace as well. I was meant to be looking for a present for my mum and dad for Christmas as I have been very slack and not gotten one yet. But unlike me with my simple tastes of beads and feathers I have my doubts about whether their tastes are the same. I´m going to go to the shopping centre out of town tomorrow to check out if there is anything there. And also cause I need a new set of togs as I noticed in Santa Fe that mine have just totally disintergrated. I´ve looked in town today but have come to the realization that Brazil and the love of thongs here do not make for a bikini that I can live with. I was going to get something in Venezuela but was put off that I had to stick my envelope down with wood glue at the post office and that they had to use it for the stamps too - what kind of craziness is that.
But anyhow on Saturday I´ll be shipping out and will be upriver in 6 or 7 days.
Oh and did I mention that as per on the Simpsons South American tv really does have a guy dressed up as a bee on it.
ros from URL @ 10:05 pm