Sunday, 3 June 2018

For cruiseship passengers only

Dear Madam and /or Sir,
Firstly I should like to thank you for your enquiry. Secondly I would like to introduce a bit of myself and my family History followed by the information on my special designed tours for cruiseship passengers.
My grand father was a sephardic Jewish from Morocco. He settled in Boim, a village up the Tapajos river in 1855. He encouraged the natives to grow rubber trees and started his own rubber tree plantation.
In 1866 several families of American confederates moved to Santarem, these did businesses with my grand father and became friends.
In 1870’s The Wickhams arrived and were hosted by The Rikers. Six years later, Henry Wickham was commissioned by Joseph Hooker, diretor of Kew Gardens, to take 70.000 seeds of rubber tree which he got from my grand father. My grand father passed away in 1923 and rests in the Jewish cemitery of Boim.
Lots of books about all this, Joe Jackson’s  The Thief at the end of the world and Greg Grandin’s Fordlandia, The rise and fall os Henry Ford’s forgotten jungle town are my favourites.  You may also want to read Shinzo Kohjiya’s Natural Rubber.
In 1925 Henry Ford starts Fordlandia. The Ford Company hired most of the Confederates. David Riker,  whose great grand father was a friend of my grandfather was one of the bosses and despite the fact that Henry Ford was anti semitic he hired my uncles to work for the company. My grand mother Umbelina, who was one of the leaders in the Village, was taken by my uncles. Now she rests by David Afton Rikers first wife at the abandonned cemitery of Fordlandia with my uncle Elias Garibaldi Serique.
In 1935 the Ford Company starts Belterra, My father who was in the Brazilian Army meets my mother there. In 1945 when WWII was over there was no more need for rubber. The Ford Company left the Amazon, my father moved back to the Jewish village and eventually to Surucua, one hour down the river.  My father built the school,  my mother was the teacher. My mother was also the caretaker of the church. I am the youngest of eight.
My mothers almost entire Family were farmers and they settled in Terra Rica, na área now that makes the Tapajos national Forest. When the park was created by dictators in 1974, it was based on Yellowstone, my Family was expelled, it is the only primary forest left in the área! That is where I lead one of my tours as well.
The tours finally for god sake
In my opinion cruiseship passengers have travelled most of the world and read many books, so I am talking to wise people who has The Amazon in their bucket list.
Floodplain Exploration
plus lots of reviews on trip advisor and also details on my website.

The tour I propose, I Call it Floodplain Exploration and it is really, really good! It is like taking your time here to a higher level.
Lots of wildlife, history and unforgettable scenes in the place we shall visit!! The tour, which is very different from what others offer, includes an authentic Amazon boat cruise to the extraordinary meeting of the Tapajos and Amazon rivers. We start by taking a van to visit briefly the market in order to have a glimpse of the Amazon fish fauna and observe pink dolphins.
We get back to the van in order to get to the Richard Hemmington pier to embark on our nice, clean and safe boat at Santarem downtown. The drive  gives us an opportunity to see the city a bit closer.
We will then explore the Amazon Floodplain where I guarantee that we will see Three-toed Sloths and Pink Dolphins, plus loads of birds. Here is a link to my little e-book . When you buy one, it guarantees you a printed copy on arrival.
The very most of the wildlife found on my little book, can be observed during your Amazon cruise and our tour. I also included a little map in the centerfold.
The Maica river area has been explored by Victorian naturalists like Bates, Wallace and Spruce. This same area was researched extensively by American anthropologist, Anna Rooselvelt.
If you like fishing we do have the time for it and we provide basic rods and fishing line.
The price is U$130 per person
Each tour requires a minimum of 5 hours.

Very Special Tour From Alter do Chão For Cruisers ONLY!
I live with my 6-year-old she almost 7 now_ daughter Flora Serique at Alter do chão. We truly live at the nicest place of the village. It is located 3 minutes from the tender’s dock, one minute from the village center and at two minutes from the best souvenir shops. Of course, it is just in front of the beach, but you don’t come from so far way to spend your precious hours on the beach, do you
So I thought of this tour in order for you cruisers to have an amazing pristine Amazon Rainforest experience (with no mosquitoes at all), access environmental issues, and human occupation history.
TERRA RICA is a place located in the Tapajos National Forest, a unique area with pristine Rainforest that cruisers can access with the limited time they have! It belonged to my matriarchal family until 1974, when the park was established. It is Indian black soil area surrounded by huge representatives of the local flora like Brazil Nut Trees, Piquia Tree, Jacaranda, Brazilian Chery etc.
My uncles hunted, collected medicines and fruit on the trails we will hike in. We also visit a huge Kapok tree that I used to play hide-and-seek when I was a little boy.
My Family was the major supplier of fruit to Santarem area and my grandparents introduced cocoa, rubber trees, breadfruit tree and several other fruiting tree species to the area.
After we visit Terra Rica we drive through Belterra, the second city founded by Henry Ford in the Amazon to arrive at my place some 45 minutes later.
Still, in my place we drink, eat fish-snacks, fresh-roasted cashew nuts and of course we contemplate Alter do Chao from my private deck and office (you will like to know from where I respond your e-mails).
We are only 3 minutes from the tender’s dock. The village center and souvenir shops are in between.  You may walk or just take the van we used to explore the area.
meeting place at alter do chao above
The price is U$130 per person

Thursday, 31 May 2018

book sign at home

Sunday, 27 May 2018

wildlife seen during my tours

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Monday, 21 May 2018

What a day

We had a group of 12 that took a 6 hour tour of the Amazon with Gil. It was fabulous to say the least. We started out by seeing the pink dolphins at the fish market dock and then started our cruise up to the meeting of the waters and then the floodplain. The weather was perfect and we were able to do 2 canoe trips that Gil had arranged in the floodplain.

On the first trip we saw sloths and various species of birds plus fantastic sights on the numerous tributaries that we visited. The 2nd afternoon cruise was even better because we saw a Great PeToo which is a rare find because they are so well hidden in the trees. Gil made sure that everyone had a chance to the bird. Then Gil found a Boa constrictor sitting in a large tree above us. He was as excited ti see this as we were.

The whole day was fantastic and I would highly suggest that anyone looking for a tour in Santarem book Gil. You will not have any regrets.

Saturday, 5 May 2018

Wednesday, 2 May 2018

Without a doubt the best tour I was on during my two week trip to the Amazon. While Gil’ mastery of the rainforest wildlife goes without question, what makes the tour so special is his the way he interweaves the presentation of the Amazon’s rich wildlife with an equally rich history of the region, his family and of course himself. On day 1, we set off to explore the National Park along the Tapajós River. On the way, Gil told us the remarkable story of how his family first came to Brazil, as well as his own fascinating upbringing in Santarém. Once we got there, we explored the jungle that Gil knows inside-out from his childhood. Although this part of the tour want the most diverse in terms of wildlife (maybe a few monkeys, but not much more), the scenery of the vastness of the Amazon was truly breathtaking. To top it off, Gil has prepared a camping-style lunch for us in the forest. Just as we were about to eat, however, it started to rain and we were forced to retreat. Our plan to camp in the rainforest had to be cancelled but Gil was king enough to let us stay in hammocks back at his place in Alter do Chão. On day 2, after a quick visit to the local fish-market to see the river-dolphins, Gil hired a boat for us to go right into the rainforest/wetland area. This is where Ornithologist Gil’s vast knowledge really made all the difference. As we moved through the vast river network, Gil would direct out attention to all manner of wildlife, and we were able to thoroughly appreciate the richness of the Amazon ecosystem. As a further treat, Gil’s cousin had prepared a delightful fish-stew for us which we enjoyed on the boat al-fresco before we returned back in town. Throughout the 2 days, our conversations were filled with wit, humour, history and a deep love for this endangered but still deeply fascinating region. The tour is quite intense, there is no doubt that you will be rewarded by a far greater intellectual awareness of the region than the common tour. One final point for those coming to see the Amazon from abroad. Gil’s English is truly excellent, so English speakers should not worry about this point. Indeed, Gil is one of the best English speakers that I have met in Brazil. I consider my Portuguese not bad, but I am truly put to shame when compared with Gil’s English. A testament to his curiosity and commitment to learning.