Anyone would be hard-pressed to find a more magical spot to visit. Teeming with life, the Amazon River and jungle gave me a deeper understanding of just what life means. On our Brazil river cruise there was plenty of time for deep reflection as we drank in the incredible beauty of this globally-important ecosystem.
Our river cruise began in the busy city of Manaus, which bursts with an excitement and colour of its own. I was struck by the number of boats and ships at the port – escorted holidays in Brazil are big business. As our boat began its meandering course leaving civilization behind I found myself relaxing and taking in the astounding wildlife. How can anyone not relax at the sight of beautiful white birds taking flight across a river?
The birdlife on the Amazon is nothing short of amazing. Woodpeckers, ibis, macaws and more are all on view. Our wonderful guide could name them all, but I confess I forgot the names of most. Having a guide is a must on an Amazon cruise as they know the wildlife and special beauty spots.
The pink dolphins, botos to the Brazilians, stole my heart. Watching these intelligent creatures at play was pure delight. It is shameful to think that deforestation had all but wiped out these dolphins that are reported to have a 40% larger brain capacity than man. We did spot a few caiman, which I had always thought were alligators, on a night search. They are magnificent creatures, but I wouldn’t want to get too close to one.
I am bit nervous of creatures with ferocious reputations so I left the piranha fishing to my fellow travellers even though we were assured they only attack humans if there is blood in the water. I was brave enough to touch an anaconda on one of the guided jungle hikes we took, but I found the sloths more appealing.
Besides the excitement of viewing the abundant wildlife, I enjoyed just breathing in the scents and scenery of this astounding place. The meeting of the waters was a highlight in terms of the magnificence of nature. Beautiful water lilies could be seen and everywhere along the bank I was reminded of why the Amazon rainforest is such a special place. I recommend that anyone should river cruise Brazil to experience excitement and peace at the same time.