“Fascinating and interesting and a great guy. Do not miss a trip with Gil.”
Gil answered all emails promptly, and told us where to find him and how to identify him. When our ship docked he was right where he said he would be, and we immediately made our way to where the boat he was using was docked. He is such an interesting person and has had such a wonderful life, and really loves the Amazon. It comes over in everything he says. He showed us the meeting of the waters, then we went up a small tributary and left the boat for a jungle walk - a real jungle walk, not the stuff the cruise ships take you on. We saw various plants, trees and wildlife, and all the time Gil and his local guide kept us fully informed. We got up close and personal with three-toed sloths, and when we got back to the boat the crew had set up a picnic with fresh fruit, cheese, fish, and a delicious local lemon drink, followed by Chiprianas (the local rum drink) and beer. They cracked open a fresh brazil nut (which inside contained all the nuts that we identify as Brazil) and we ate these fresh - wonderful. They also roasted fresh Cashews on an open fire. We saw ship's excursion boats going past and waved at them,but they only went about a quarter of a mile further on before they turned round and came out. After our wonderful lunch we boarded Gil's boat again and from memory we probably cruised for a further 2 hours, definitely over an hour, time just passed, seeing more birds and wild-life, then, on the way back to our starting point Gil kept us entranced with the interesting story of his life and his family. We only caught one glimpse of a pink dolphin, but as with any wild animal, their presence cannot be guaranteed, and all of us agreed at the end of our month long cruise that Gil's trip in Santarem was the highlight of our holiday.