We start our journey. I have quite soon no internet. I talk to the people.
Then it is so hot. Yet since the boat starts moving the air cools you down when you are looking the river.
Quite soon we see the merging of solimões river and Negro river. This is called the encontros das aguas, “the encounters of the waters.”
It is very known because you can see quiet clearly when it happens since the waters do not seem to mix. They look like two different things.
And the boat keeps floating and now I come dow where there are two things. A little restaurant open all the time where one can buy little things and a football court 🙂
The music are classics from Samba and carnival. While the attendant fixes christmas decoration I hear huge noise of construction. I go to the lady and ask “what are they doing?”
“Oh they are fixing the net to be able to play.”
I laugh. Thinking it is done so that the ball does not fall in the river. I am amazed by the amount of work people do to play football here in the boat.
It is actually hilarious to see all these men working on this. Heavy equipment. Burning, knocking, crouching all of this in this heat for football.
My mind is sarcastic so I obviously think that if they used that energy home, in their work the gdp and the happiness in their houses would probably really go up.
They are still not done. Oh well I will go back to look at the trees. They are closer to my right side.
The samba still plays. And I will stop now. Soon there will be dinner. That will be really a surprise 🙂
They still build, the boll roles discretely on the floor and the samba plays. Soon there will be the sunset.
I am happy 🙂
Later I go up to speak to Mr. Manuel.
He is the man who conduces this enormous boat. He is 70. We spoke from sunset till night. I learned so much.
For instance I learned he came from
a family of boat people, those who did not own one at least new how to ?ride? them 🙂 His father built them.
I told him my grandmother was very concerned about me taking this boat since boats sometimes sunk. And so he explained to me the following.
The water is in a great level. There is more water than there usually is for this time of the year. He pointed at the river side where I could see land carved, on top of it were trees.
“Later in the year the river goes up because of the Andes, so all that you see of this carved land will be under water. In order to save fuel captains ride close to the shore. In that way they avoid the current that is coming from Tabatinga. If they are not attentive they might hit the shore and that is when they sink.”
We ride in the middle. The river is not that close. And our captain, Manuel, has done this his whole life. He asks me about Buddhism. Tells me he is religious but respect all beliefs. He tells me I should call my grandmother to tell her.
” Is there signal?”
“Yes, sometimes in the day for calling.”
It is night and I already love this boat. Mr. Manuel is gentle, is a religious men, he explains me all about currents, river, and tells me he has lived his life around boats.
“The best work I have done was with doctors. I was part of the health system bringing help to those who could not have access to medicine in remote villages. That felt wonderful. We were really helpful to those people. Since I am older they let me go, I could not leave the see so I came back to this industry. As a form of transportation it is rarely used. There are hammocks for those who enjoy to see this life, and the workers. We pay the fuel by the transport of goods. Tell your grandmother this is a new boat.”
I attempt to call but it is too late. In Sao paulo it is two hours later. I go to sleep.
Tomorrow I ll tell about today. Sometimes we have signal 🙂 It is enough to say that I slept almost 11 hours. I only woke up because they called us for breakfast.
It gets cool in the evening, it is wonderful to sleep in a hammock in a boat. So far there is not even any mosquitoes.
Love from the boat to the triple frontier between Brazil, Peru and Colombia.
Now I am in jutai. I ll post only first day. The others I ll do when I have again.
Ps: no time to edit 🙂