The sun sets along the Amazon river as Barney Page, Mason Silva, Korahn Gayle, Clint Walker, filmmaker Marcos De Souza and myself kickback in our freshly-hung hammocks watching Manaus fade into the horizon. We are about an hour into our journey when we realise that it’s another twenty-eight hours until we reach the next city.
There are two ways to float the Amazon: upstream, going east to west which adds a significant amount of time to the journey, or the ‘faster’ route, west to east.
We chose the latter and assembled ourselves in the heart of the Amazon, Manaus. The capital and biggest city of the Brazilian state of Amazonas, Manaus, is a sprawling juxtaposition of jungle meeting city. With a population of two million people, it proved to be a great starting point – with plenty of spots.
Dodging massive storms, we managed to shred some of the best terrain Manaus had to offer before embarking on ride one-of-two down the Amazon river. What does one pack for a 36-hour boat ride, one may wonder?
Most importantly, a hammock. The boats that float down the Amazon are essentially big, open, flat boats with hundreds of hooks for people to put their hammocks to rest and to sleep.
Boarding the boat can be a bit intense – hundreds of people are fighting for limited space and comfort for their long journey from one city to the next. As the sun fades, stories are told, laughs ripple out and, eventually, through a series of sleeps, naps, meals and strolls around the boat – a city slowly becomes visible in the distance through the jungle. Landfall is imminent.
Be back on March 27 to watch what ripping went down as our squad get off the boat for a four-day layover in Santerem, before heading out on the forty-three hour boat ride towards Belem!