By boat on the Amazon

Since I pass some days going throw Amazonas in the ship I was thinking on post something. One of the big problems is the connectivity on the north of Brasil, so I had some problems to edit pictures and notes. The experience was very different from what I’m accustomed. Sleep in a hammock every day and make that space my place during the journey. To be locked in the ship those days with some people that you don’t know. To go through Amazonas river and all that comes to mind when I think about it.

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About that last I would like to talk. Because we all in general are part of a lot of social constructions of meaning, and many of them goes far from reality (I think about of the concept of myths that Paulo Freire use). The lung of the planet, the longest river. It is a strong place, so intense. But it is not close to be a place full of animals or communities, as we used to imagine. To see animals and plants we have to have people who knows how to deal with it, where to find, people who is accustomed to the environment. The same for communities. Many of the are in the capitalism way, work for timbers, industries, farms, or many of the business that are occurring in Amazonas. You have a lot of places that keep away from modernity, but they are more isolated and it is difficult to have access to them.

Returning to the ships, you have as many types as you can imagine. They are very big, 200/300 hammocks, 10/20 private rooms, roof, bar, dinning room, electricity, bathrooms. All of the make also charges, so perhaps you will see cars, motorcycles, fruit, construction things, I don’t know, a lot of different things (To many places the only way to get the is from ship). Also you can find sometime diferences. Some have air conditioning or TV. Another thing is the food on board. Sometimes it is included, other have nothing, sometimes is only breakfast. One time we could use a kitchen to cook. You always can ask about it before get on board and be prepare.

Some prices 

At November of 2017 (In reais):

  • Belém – Macapa: 150
  • Belém – Santarém: 150
  • Santarém – Manaus: 130
  • Manaus – Porto Velho: 200
  • Manaus – Letícia: 600
  • Macapá – Santarem: 160

This prices are in many times negotiable, depends on the port, the owner, the quantity of people, your speech. Many circumstances can alternate the process. One thing that could be useful to know is that in all the port cities you have one that is the official and many others that are privates. The first ones are more safe to buy, but in general are less negotiable. The private ones are more informal, it’s a possibility to get a good discount or maybe the chance to work in exchange of the passage (So worthful) but also it is a possibility to be cheat, in lack of experience or good speech, to buy in a more expensive price. For example you can get Belem-Santarem for 100, or Manaus-Porto Velho for 170.

Ribeirinhos

This is a special item. This is the name of the communities that are located in the cost of the river. They live from a basics crops, like cassava and many fruit, and fishing. Many of them get a bit modernise (Not all but…). You can see many markets, churches. Many of them work in farms or business of wood or mineral that are located on the Amazonas.

A considerations is that sometime they row till the proximity of the ship to receive some presents. It is a kind of costume. It is nice if you can take with some lollypops, toys, clothes. All in two bags to make them waterproof.

Final considerations

I like it a lot to be in the ships, but as many people warned it is also a bit exhausting. The repetition inside and outside get you a bit crazy. Same people and attitudes, the same kind of vegetation. So it is nice to be prepare to that, bring books, games, as much as possible.

The previous days I install and uninstall many apps looking for games and things to read. I bring with my one nice book, a big notebook where I keep my travel journey. I enjoy a lot having a few days thinking, writing and looking.

I highly recommend to have the experience!

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