Monday 23 October 2017

Thank you all, thanks TA

Sirena at Alter do chao

We left on time to visit Terra Rica, an area that belonged to my family from my mother side.
During the 45m drive I had a chance to share the history of my families, occupation of the area, some environmental issues, contemporary history as we drive through Belterra and above all make a short hike to my new place where I do overnight camp. I have decided not to use the trails made by my grand-parents and uncles but we still visit what is left by my family, like rubbet tree plantation, cocoa plantations, the huge kapok tree where I use to play hide and seek with my cousins and my family used to store Brazilnut sheel, avocados, piquia etc. This is place is also where the had been built and there is a nice view of the Tapajos river and it is also nice to contemplate rainforest from far away. The tour has quite been emproved!!!

On the way back we drove through Belterra and finally arrived at my property 4 hours later. We spend some 20 minutes eating drink and chatting and then the group was driven back to the tenders dock only 3 minutes from my place.

I would rate the tour 9.5 out of ten, but you better wait for a review on Trip Advisor.
Below you will find some pictures and I will post a few more (actually I am working on a video which can be more fun to see.

The gate to Terra Rica, a name given by my grand-father

At home for snacks etc

Sirena at rest
at a Kapok tree

Sunday 22 October 2017

Sirena at Alter do chao and Santarem

 The Floodplain Exploration (Maica River area)

I must say that I spent many many days and nights worried about this tour with passengers from this amazing ship. The major reason was the fact that I would not get enough water in the Maica river area.
Days before the tour I had seen on Erik Jenning's s facebook some aerial pictures he had taken recently. I gave him a ring to receive several shots he had taken of the area I like exploring. Gosh, it looked so dry!!!

My next step was to get a fast boat and check in loco. I had to see it! Cruiseship passengers have only 5 hours and I value every second.
During the morning of the previous day of the tour(16th) I took a cab to (I live at Alter do chao of course) rented a car, checked in my mother's place (she loves it) and took took care of the papers to access the port. After eating lunch with my old lady and bros I drove Flora to the school and headed to catch the fast boat for checking the site.
When I was doing the inspection trip that very afternoon I met a young man who was fishing and I hired him to help me finding a nice place to hike with my guests that would arrive on the following day. We checked an area he had recently seen a 4-metre Anaconda, I did not like the area and the snake was not there anymore anyways. I checked my second favourite place but it did not look good enough, the access was not easy.
I found a place and  I actually decided to hire the young fisherman's entire family to work for me and in the end he brought his brother who brought his family as well (how cool)!

Just to make sure I also hired 4 canoes with outboard engine, those pec pec like, to make sure I can get my guests the closest to nature.

I dont think I slept the previous night, I was too excited.
At ninish I drove to the port to make sure all was clear with the guards, after september 11th, they act like they working at Heathrow.
When I was driving to the port I saw a young man (about 40s) with only one leg asking for a lift.
He joined me and I learned he was from Macapa (Amazon river delta area) and was planning to return home after trying an unsucceful living in Santarem.

My time at the port's office was quite brief, I saw a bunch of old and smily friends, including my dearest brother in law, they were fun to be with and extremelly effective with the paper work. When I left the office, the man with only one leg was just standing there. I offered him a ride back, he accepted it like a child accepts a lollypop.

During the ride I learned about his misfortunes including the fact that he was broke and was sleeping on the street. He wanted to go to a local radio station and ask for help. He also mentioned that he used to roast and sell cashew nuts on his original town.
I was needing someone to roast cashew nuts for the trips and offered him that work, I invited him to come and stay at home with me as well. - You know what? Let me help him better. I decided to take him on my tour!!! - Be here at noon!! You gonna love it. I told him. 
We shared an orange juice and I drove to the port to meet my guests.
Two boats, over 15 people hired including Denise Maia (Raul's wife), as a photo and film maker. That could not go wrong! all my trips turn out great, that was not going to be an exception. 
Sloths were seen, several pink dolphins and lots of birds. Great time, great fun. You have done it again Gil!

When I was changing dollars with a business friend of mine, he offered me a windsurf sail for free, well, he wanted me to place a sticker with his new shop logotype on it in return. I had just bought a new second hand sail and I offered him to do it for free.

Wait! The four boats had no cushions...The following day I saw this young and quite successful business man again and suggested him to share the cost with me of some confortable cushions which are actually ready, I will stick his logotype on them and the owners of the canoes, that did an excellent work will be happy have them I guess. I will get them on Monday and use on my next cruiseship tour in November.

What about the man with one leg, for god sake???
He disappeared, just like he had appeared. He was god checking me out. I hate when God does it!!! Give me a break man, you dont trust me right, come on.....Enjoy the pictures!!!

Sirena on the catwalk

Contemplating one of the 5 sloths found

During inspection

Pink Dolphin watching