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Manaus, Brazil, July 2007

We are in the search of the Amazon experence. Landed Manaus after a great flight from Georgetown, Guyana. Manaus is the capital of Amazonia, and has a neat history - rubber barons built a fine opera house, Manaus had electric streetlights before any city in the Americas (we read); and an Englishman stole (or bought, depending on who you ask) seeds for the rubber trees and took them to Malaysia, effectively ending the rubber boom in this region. Before then, they say these guys were so rich they fed champagne to their horses.

Opera House
Manaus Opera House

The chandeliers at the Opera House were lit with light bulbs back in 1890s. The building is of the finest craftmanship, with marble and crystal from Italy and steel castings from England. The street ouside the opera was paved in rubber to soften the sound of carriages during the performances.

"Meeting of the waters", right here by Manaus, is where the Rio Negro and Rio Solimoes (also called Amazon) run beside each other for a while without mixing very much, due to they say temperature, density, velocity. We have been told that the Rio Negro moves at about 8km/h where the Rio Solimoes moves at more like 15km/h. Strange and beautiful. They meet to form the Amazon proper, running East together.

Waters meeting
Meeting of the Waters

Flying down here over all the green was beautiful. Before we got to Brazil we got permission to deviate to Kaiteur Falls in Guyana, circled it twice. Beautiful, and you can see the airstrip right beside it, from 8,000 feet.

Kaiteur Falls
Kaiteur Falls, Guyana

Streetcard Saudade
A streetcar named Sadness, Longing, and Desire

We like Ron Paul.

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