Guest Mary O’Donnell is on board Maasdam and sent in this great Cruise Diary from her voyage. Stay tuned for more posts from Mary!
Boca de Valeria, Manaus, Brazil
This is a delightful little village of approximately 75 residents. As it was Saturday, I believe many of the residents invited their relatives from nearby to visit with theirs wares and sightseeing boats to visit. The children were charming and very friendly. The school had computers, satellite dishes behind it and also the homes, though very primitive, had televisions and other electronics. I do not know where the electricity came from, but the water seemed to be supplied from springs. Artists abound and every child had a pet or two. We were told that there are no hungry people here.
The many large rivers which feed the Amazon contribute something different. Some of the rivers carry much silt and are opaque, others run clear. There are places called the meeting of the waters where the two rivers run side by side for miles, before actually mixing.
Manaus is the largest city actually on the Amazon, about 2.5 million population. At about 1,000 miles from the mouth, it is the end of the journey for large vessels. All freighters, cruise ships etc. must turnaround as the river bottoms are unreliable from here on, for the next 3,000 miles or so.
The Opera house is beautiful, but I can not imagine getting dressed up in the finest to attend such events in an unairconditioned hall! This does not deter the locals, however, as they have a very active schedule, with many programs for the children as well!
Can you imagine playing soccer on fields like these? For sure grass is not happy here either!