06. 03. 2018.

Through The Amazon And Back To Europe Is (Again) Postcard-less

This is another leg of the long cruise that is postcard-less, but I will in short go through all the stops. I did (finally) get my pay card in Barbados, but it took a little while to activate it, as the wi-fi on board wasn't the best. I feel extremely sad about not sending any postcards from the Amazon. I do remember finding some, but also trouble to get to an ATM or exchange office.

Last stop in the Caribbean was Scarborough in Tobago, though I didn't go to town due to a longish tour. It was a nice one again, visiting the Adventure Farm And Nature Reserve, watching the humming birds feeding and trying to capture it on camera (once again wide lens didn't help), also feeding on some fruits in the garden, even the cocoa beans directly from their fruit case. Everyone was happy to have a group photo from there, one time I managed that :)

And off we go to the Amazon. After four sea (or should I say river) days, first stop on the 6th of Feb (and overnight) is at Manaus. I shot gangway that day, which was less of a trial than usual because there were two superfriendly welcome dancers in flash costumes who didn't mind posing - even the Captain came out for a snapshot :) For the next day I managed to get a tour; I really wanted to see the Teatro Amazonas (for which, up to this point, I believed to be a WHS). There was a group of musicians playing so we could properly admire the acoustics. Afterwards we went to a local market and that was awesome for taking photos; I wasn't even sure I'd pull it off as I was basically still practicing on manual, and I had no flash, but some of my best photos are from that afternoon. Afterwards I lost the group lol because I was so immersed in watching the people around the docks across the road.

Next stop was Parintins, the ship was on anchor and tender boats were going ashore. There were only a few tours and there was no crew shore leave otherwise (which sometimes happens when the ship is anchoring) so nothing to add here.

On the 9th we reached Santarém, where I had a tour into the rainforest. It was a calm walk among the big trees, some birds chirping away, but the only animal I actually saw was a centipede. Sadly that was a bit disappointing to me...that said, how can you experience the jungle if you don't stay overnight? If you set aside the expectations, being among trees for a while is a very welcome antithesis to ship life. Now this is how far we were from anywhere:

Five sea days follow. Next stop: Mindelo on São Vicente island in Cabo Verde. The tour was encompassing some really interesting historical lessons, as well as a visit to a cultural centre, where we tried some local spirits, watched a Capoeira performance, and some really steamy dancing :)  There was also a visit to what was presented as African Market, where one of the passengers had her camera stolen right from her hands, so there was a big commotion. Afterwards I had some free time to have a drink (with someone from the ship, now thats a rarity!) and walk along the sandy beach.

One day later on the 16th there was a tug-of-war competition among the ship's crew departments, purely for passengers' entertainment. One of those things I probably never would have done in 'real life' lol, same as being Mrs Claus during the Xmas cruise. Yeah, I really went through that.

And so we come to the 'biggie's' end, last stop Santa Cruz de Tenerife. On the first go I can remember absolutely nothing about this place. Except getting a proper pizza with my manager. I'd guess chilled day, or chores back on board. (When I say 'chores' I mainly mean the washing - it takes up hours of your time esp if you have to wait for an available dryer, and that is often the case. Sometimes the washing machine or the dryer decide to stop working in the middle of the process, which makes you curse out loud and steam through the nostrils.)

So third cruise done, quite an experience :))

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