QuickPeek: Boat Ride.
Amazon journey day 17
Today was Saturday, the day when our boat heads out. It was scheduled for 3 pm departure and we were asked to show up at noon or so to get our cargo sorted out. We were told that this Saturday voyage on Voyager IV was the best one sailing in the Amazon towards Manaus and we had high expectations. Especially after the spanking new boat we managed to snag for our previous leg. The word on the street was that Brazil boats were way more superior than the ones in Peru.
We had a bit of b’fast in the morning and took a very leisurely time to pack up and headed out just before noon. The weather was great and we rode up to the docks and saw a huge boat lined up. The security guy said that we were at the wrong dock and sent us on our way to another dock a couple of blocks away.
We planned to get there early and secure our bikes in the hold, but as we got to the docks, we noticed a number of people waiting and their bags were lined up for inspection. We were asked to join the queue and wait till some inspection was completed on the boat too.
As time passed, more and more people started to gather and the federal police was making everyone wait it out. Hmmm. Around 2 pm or so, they whipped out a drug sniffing dog and ran him thro all the bags. It was funny indeed because people were not being checked personally, just the bags. Guess they were just interested in a big bust.
After that, we were allowed to board and once we got to the boat, I was pretty miffed because the boat was way more tiny and basic than the one we had in the previous leg. Getting to the hold was thro a tiny opening in the floor and they wanted to dump the bikes under. We decided to not have that done and that meant we had to wait for them to give us an alternate. At the same time, more and more people were boarding and we were losing time to find a good spot for our hammocks. Dang.
At some point, I decided to go up and reserve some space for us and managed to find some reasonable space to sleep with space for our bags too. Anyhow, it took a while but I decided to lock our bikes to a pellet right where it was and they seemed to have moved in a bunch of motor bikes in that space anyway, so all good I suppose for the bikes to hang about there. A Brazilian cyclist also left his bike in the same place and I figured it will all be ok.
After settling in a bit on the boat and a bit more inspection, we figured that the boat wasn’t too terrible. We had super high expectations, and of course this didn’t meet them, but at least it was not the pig boat from Pantoja. The top deck was pretty and had a nice store and had freshly made sandwiches. The kitchen was clean and they provided plates and cutlery and had a huge table for people to sit and eat. The toilets were clean and they even had toilet paper and they had a nurse and a make shift clinic on board. The people were really friendly too. So all things considered, it was pretty good indeed.
The boat left the docks at 4 pm or so and the river was mellow and pretty and the weather was fantastic too. Overall it felt like the next few days of travel will turn out good indeed.
Track NotesExpenses: SG$ 3.80
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