Amazon River Dolphins

Tuesday, 17 November 2015 | link | tag | / Trips / Brazil / Amazonas
Seeing the river dolphins was by far the thing Isabella was most excited to do in the Amazon.

We took a 1 hour speedboat ride from the Ecopark to a spot along the Rio Negro (low pH to no Piranha!) where a little platform had been built to visit with the dolphins.

Our guide fed the dolphins and generally watched out for us. The dolphins were very gentle and seemed to be especially careful around the kids.

Annabel insisted she wouldn't swim with the dolphins, but pretty quickly after she saw how much fun Isabella was having she was in the water properly. In the end getting them out of the water took some doing.

Such a wonderful experience.

Jungle Trekking

Friday, 13 November 2015 | link | tag | / Trips / Brazil / Amazonas
A guided jungle walk near the Ecopark. Our guide pointed out various useful plants and demonstrated some of the uses they can be put to. For example, the resin from a tree can be burned to make a plastic like seal for boats, headache remedies. Face powder made by termites.

Unrelentingly hot and close, even first thing in the morning, but a very informative and interesting walk.

Manaus city tour

Friday, 13 November 2015 | link | tag | / Trips / Brazil / Amazonas
We took a guided city tour of Manuas, and visited the Teatro Amazonas, the "Amazon Opera House", the mercado municipal on the river, the new Manaus football stadium and the fish market.

Monkeys and Swimming

Thursday, 12 November 2015 | link | tag | / Trips / Brazil / Amazonas
After a dolphins, back to the Ecopark and we decided to go swimming, since we were still wet and in our swimming clothes.

The Ecopark has built a series of weirs across a natural spring that runs alongside the park, and a series of nice natural water swimming pools is the result.

Afterwards, we trekked along the banks of the Rio Negro to the Monkey sanctuary, where a small group of "Woolly" monkeys are cared for - often after being rescued from life as pets.

There was also a lone female Bald uakari monkey with a red face at the sanctuary.

Amazon Ecopark, Amazonas

Wednesday, 11 November 2015 | link | tag | / Trips / Brazil / Amazonas
Amazon! We got to Manaus about lunchtime and took a minivan to the marina and then a motor canoe to the ecopark - a very pleasant way to travel, by river. The Rio Amazonas is an incredibly wide river at Manaus. The Ecopark is on a side branch of the Rio Negro, a tributary to the Amazon. Just outside Manaus is the point where the two rivers meet, the black, low PH slower Rio Negro joins the faster, high PH Rio Amazons, and you get the famous 'Meeting of the Waters' - which we got a great view of from the plane.

We settled at the hotel and then jumped back on a canoe to go see a local cabin and demonstration of some of the local rainforest products, like latex, cashews and castanhas, manioca and fishes.

Afterwards, we did a spot of fishing for Piranha in the Rio Amazons (they don't like the low PH of the Rio Negro - important information for later).

After sunset, we did a bit of caimen spotting, and got up close to a juvenile Spectacled caiman.

Felícia Lerner Museum, Campos do Jordão

Saturday, 7 November 2015 | link | tag | / Trips / Brazil / Sao Paulo
Felícia Leirner was a Polish-born Brazilian sculptor. We visited the museum on the way out of town. A really tranquil and idilic spot to stroll for an hour.

Pico do Itapeva, Campos do Jordão

Saturday, 7 November 2015 | link | tag | / Trips / Brazil / Sao Paulo
A very high point to lookout over the valley - Pico Itapeva. On this day though, a very cool 'above the clouds' view.

Cachoeira Veu da Noiva, Campos do Jordão

Saturday, 7 November 2015 | link | tag | / Trips / Brazil / Sao Paulo
Horse riding to a waterfall - the girls were super excited about this, and talked about it continuously since we heard about it the day before. About a 1 hour round trip by pony to a quant little waterfall, through the back streets and unpaved roads of Campos do Jordão.

Weekend away to Campos do Jordao

Friday, 6 November 2015 | link | tag | / Trips / Brazil / Sao Paulo
My colleague Peter was back in Brazil for work. We took him with us Campos do Jordão to get away from the concrete jungle. We stayed in a wonderful house nestled amongst the valleys. The house was attached to a horse ranch, and was very private.
We walked a great deal, tried the chairlift and had a great Italian meal with locally brewed beer.

Rainy Day at the Beach, Ubatuba

Sunday, 18 October 2015 | link | tag | / Trips / Brazil / Sao Paulo
Finally the rain cleared enough for us to spend and hour or so at the beach. I don't think we would have heard the end of it if there was no swimming due to the rain, so this was a very helpful development.