Photography: Longwood Graduate Fellows
Early Tuesday January 8, the first year Longwood Graduates and chaperones, David and Lori, kicked off our long awaited trip to Brazil. After meeting at the airport in Miami, we flew, without a hitch, to Manaus, Amazones, Brazil.
After breezing through customs, we collected our luggage (luckily nothing was lost.) A wonderful Brazilian man named Alex was waiting for us. As he gave us a quick tour of Manaus, he told us about our agenda for the following day and delivered us to our hotel, the Go Inn. We reminded each other to use bottled water for teeth brushing, had a short meeting and were off to sleep.
It’s fair to say that until I arrived in Manaus, I never knew humidity. It wasn’t particularly hot, only 80 degrees, but the air stuck to us like dew on the morning lawn. Immediately we were awestruck by the impressive humidity and the friendly people.
The next morning, we tried various juices of the region…Acerola, described by one Fellow as “mystery citrus deliciousness,” Maracuja (Passion Fruit) “tart and tropical” and Cupaucu with a “Limey Pear” flavor. We admired Manaus’s varying architecture and walked around the famous, Teatro Amazones, where we were able to hear the Symphony rehearsing for the evening’s concert. Before noon we visited many notable parks and public spaces that featured the influence of famed Brazilian landscape architect, Roberto Burle Marx.
That night we spent our first of three evenings on the Amazon Clipper, with our guides Hugo and Sardes. (Who have already helped us with a lot of tree and bird i.d.) As we set sail, the air was so humid it began condensing into raindrops but a few minutes later a rainbow appeared. We enjoyed our first dinner on the boat and then went for a night cruise around the Rio Negro in small canoes to scout kamens, night hawks and frogs. Along the way the stars came out. I mean hundreds and millions of twinkling, sparkling gems, so close together, one could hardly identify the constellations. There was so much to see that we couldn’t look away. For the first time ever, we saw Orion’s bow and all at once we witnessed a falling star. The true meaning of “infinite” started to glimmer for each of us. As a result, I’ve started to believe that diamonds are just the earth’s attempt at mimicking the heavens.
Enjoy the photos—stay tuned for our adventures on day 3 and 4!