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Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Manaus: Gateway to the Amazon

In all the times I've visited family in Brazil, I never had the opportunity to visit the Amazon rainforest. This trip I finally made it happen. I started in Manaus, the capital of the state of Amazonas, Brazil.

I am a theater girl at heart, so when I visited the Teatro Amazonas in Manaus I was floored by how gorgeous it is. An orchestra was in rehearsal when I visited, so I had to resist the urge to jump on stage and sing.




River boat tours are very popular with tourists in Manaus, so I made my way to the banks of the Rio Negro. The sights were a stark contrast to the beautiful theater.




River boat tours are fairly expensive, so I decided to see the Rio Negro by taking the boat that the locals ride to cross the river. For only a few dollars, I enjoyed beautiful views of manaus and discovered that I really like boats!




Back in Manaus, I wandered the streets and markets. I couldn't believe how many things could be purchased on the streets. I saw everything from home cooked meals served from pots to a tattoo artist giving real tattoos to people sitting on the ground underneath a tree! My favorite street vendor was this watch repairman who worked from a makeshift booth on the sidewalk.


In the center of Manaus is an amazonian oasis called INPA, the Instituto Nacional de Pesquisas da Amaz├┤nia. There they preserve a snippet of amazon rainforest where researchers care for animals and educate the public about environmental issues. It was a really beautiful preview for what I was soon going to see in the actual rainforest.









2 comments:

Tiffany said...

Claire... Sloths are one my favorite animals in the world! Any worry of leeches? The Rainforest sounds crazy and filled with all sorts of adventure. I want to see you hypnotize an alligator when i see you next. (stuffed animal is fine hehe)

ml said...

The picture about INPA reminds me of this beautiful thought:
* In some mysterious way woods have never seemed to me to be static things. In physical terms, I move through them; yet in metaphysical ones, they seem to move through me. - John Fowles