At 8 am they started. To upload the boat. With everything. Food, TVs, tools, beer, beer, beer, sometimes even cows and other animals. These boats are the only way of transport in that region. They are stopping several times along the river to unload and to provide the people living there with necessary products from the capital.
When I´ve set up my hammock I realized that, apart from two nice girls from Australia, I was the only foreigner on the boat. It seemed like it was the first time that they saw white people. After a few minutes already, they started to make pictures from us three. At the beginning it felt weird, but in general they were all really kind and helpful, even if we just communicated with gestures and signs.
Unfortunately I didn´t think about bringing my own plate and bowl on board, but the family sleeping next to me was so friendly to lent me their stuff that I didn´t have to starve.
The food portions were big but you should definitely bring your own spices because the Brazilians use none. For vegetarians it´s also not easy, because they always cooked with meet (what I really enjoyed 😉 ).
So how does a typical day on the ITAPURANGA looks like ?
The boat has three floors.
The first one is mainly used as a storage and contains the kitchen as well. You can go to the food distribution every time you hear the bell ringing. Usually three times a day.
The second floor is the sleeping area, around 200 people can sleep here on their hammocks. This is where you spend most of the time, around 18-20 hours a day. You sleep here, read a book, listen to music or just enjoy the panoramic view over the Amazon while chilling in your hammock. Even though the Amazon Region is the place with the most variety of animals and plants, don´t expect too much. Most of the time you “just” see some birds, but sometimes you are lucky and you get the chance to see the pink dolphins or another kind of special animals.There are several bathrooms available (always toilet and shower together in one room).Every few hours you go to have a shower for cooling off a bit. The humidity in that region is about 100%.
The third floor is a terrace with a small bar, where I usually had lunch and dinner (because there were some tables and chairs). It´s a nice place to play some cards or share some drinks when it´s not too hot 🙂
So after seven days, I finally arrived in Tabatinga; in the border triangle of Brasil, Peru and Colombia.
One day before I started my trip from Manaus, a random guy asked me if I´m going there to see a concert of Manu Chao. I could not believe that there will be a concert in the middle of nowhere but I checked it immediately on the internet and he was right.
Unfortunately, it was one day after my date of departure to Bogota. But, for a moderat fee, I just changed the date. And did not regret it.