At the Anavilhanas Jungle Lodge: Our room was nice and the food was good and plentiful. The Caipirinias were really good – they have been my favorite drink since I first visited Brazil in 1991 and this was the first time I had a Lilikoi/ Passion Fruit one. That might now be my favorite as I really like being able to chew all the fruit in my drinks!
The real highlight and the treasure that you have there is one of your jungle guides – I am so bad with names.
Here is the note I sent my friends describing our experience with him.
The highlight was our guide at the Anavilhanas Jungle Lodge. He was one of 17 kids from Guyana (or however it is correctly spelled) and about 21 years ago he walked from there through the jungle and Venezuela (again, however that is correctly spelled) to Brazil and has worked as a guide in the Amazon jungle. He never went to school. But he knows so much. It would have been nice to have done the jungle walk several times with him. He pointed out so much in the forest -the vines that provided fresh water – tasted good and how the larger vines would provide more water and how they filtered it, the leaves/plants that help heal, what is used for inflammation, what for pain, what for liver or colds, the garlic leaves, the trees that provide sap for rubber, for moth balls, just so very, very much. Too much to remember – that is why several repeats would have been good. He was able to illustrate how the indigenous people can live without contact with the outside – from eating, drinking, making a house, cooking implements, even to making fire and providing fuel for the fire and cooking. He is really a treasure. After our stay at the Lodge we were on a small river boat for 4 days on the Amazon and the guide there knew of your guide from our description. Our stay here was very enjoyable.
The trip on the river(s) Amazon on the M/V Tucano was also very good. The room was fine – small as would be expected on a river boat and in a relatively inaccessible area, but for the area and time spent – fine. The staff – mostly we had contact with the two guides – they were always extremely helpful and friendly and knowledgeable. There were plenty of activities to keep us on the go.
The Tropical Hotel in Manaus was fine – except for the internet. There was always difficulty connecting and was quite a bother and time waster. The breakfast buffet and dinner buffet were always good and varied and interesting. The front desk staff was mixed. We did have a couple of really helpful people but also several that did not appear happy with their work. Another group that was on the boat with us asked us what we thought of the hotel -and then they mentioned that the staff at the Tropical should learn how to smile. The shops at the hotel were quite nice.
Manaus City was interesting – especially the Opera Theater and park and the shopping areas. We had two great dinners at a local Churrascaria Bufalo, and a very good lunch at a small casual restaurant withan imaginative menu Himawari. Both of which we highly recommend. However, the drivers in Manaus are fairly reckless.
Candice McMullan-vogel and Carl Vogel