Wednesday, 17 December 2014
I'd be pleased to recommend Gil as one of your tour guides. There's probably no one who knows the Tapajos/Amazon/Santarem area better than Gil. I first met him in 2006 or 2007, when I was writing a nonfiction account of the historical rubber theft by British adventurer Henry Wickham; he is an expert on natural history, and often seemed to anticipate my questions or investigative directions. The resultant book, The Thief at the End of the World (published by Viking), went on to be named one of Time magazine's Top Ten Books of 2008, and I lay a lot of that credit at Gil's feet. Since then, he's gone on to guide for at least two European TV film crews, a Brazilian filmmaker, and another American writer who wrote the book Fordlandia. I recommended him to two of those outfits, and they were more than happy with the final results. I'm thinking in time of coming back to the Tapajos to do a long book about the gold rush that occurred far to the south from the 1950s to the 1990s, and Gil would be a necessary part of that research. He's a real professional, and gets the job done. I recommend him highly. Feel free to call or write if you have any other questions.
I am delighted to offer a rave review for Gil Serique and commend him to you to join your fine group of outstanding guides.
A little background first: My husband and I have used Tours by Locals all over the world: Japan,China, Columbia and Grenada and have come back after each encounter remarking about superior quality of the guides we met.
My husband is a professional guide, lecturing on history for Silversea Expeditions, as well as driving zodiacs, leading hikes and even working as a polar bear guard in the Arctic. Between us, we have traveled, lived or worked in over 100 countries and all seven continents.
I first encountered Gil while searching for guides in Santarem, Brazil. My husband was lecturing on history on the Silver Whisper cruise ship on a trip from Barbados into the Amazon. I noted many references to Gil on Trip Advisor and contacted him through his web page. We had many pleasant emails where he sent us a link for a video to watch before departure and also recommended a book to read. We booked Gil for two excursions, one in Santarem and one in Alter Do Chao where Gil resides. Right before my husband and I were to depart to Barbados, I developed a medical problem and was grounded by my doctor. Then, a week later, my doctor allowed me to join the ship in Santarem, I had been in contact with Gil as this problem developed and asked for help finding a hotel and a transfer from the airport to the hotel as my plane arrived at 5:15 am.
Unable to find any hotels with vacancies, Gil suggested I spend night at his house and I accepted his invitation.He picked me up at the airport on time, and I went to sleep in his house while he was at work leading a small tour group from another cruise ship. Needless to say, after communicating with Gil via email for about a week I felt safe enough to accept his offer. The next day he took me to the ship where I met my husband and accompanied by another couple, we embarked on a full day’s wildlife and sight seeing excursion.
Gil grew up near Santarem and is intimately familiar with the history of the Amazon and it’s creatures and flora and fauna. He is passionate about his country and he tells richly woven stories about this region in excellent, fluent English. He has great eyes, spotting wildlife: as we were driving over a rough clay road, he spotted or heard monkeys in nearby trees, back up the vehicle and we enjoyed watching the endemic to the local area monkeys swing from trees to trees. He spotted numerous birds for us as well as the easier to see sloths. We enjoyed a delicious lunch of fresh fish cooked over an open fire with Brazil’s national alcoholic drink. Gil arranged a river boat trip on an immaculate vessel; there were several other of his team onboard so that Gil could concentrate on telling his guests about the rich history of this region.
I highly recommend Gil for inclusion in your company. If you need additional information, please do not hesitate to contact me.
Lesley Friedsam Damisch, Esq.