Brazil facts & history in brief
Manaus is a major
city in north-west Brazil, on the
Rio Negro, ten kilometres upstream
from its confluence with the Rio
Solimoes, beyond where the mighty
river becomes known as the Rio Amazonas.
One of the world's mightiest river.
Manaus also the capital
of the state of Amazonas and
the principal commercial centre of
the upper Amazon region, with more than half
the state's 3 million people living there.
The city is a major
international (free) port although
1,600 km. (1,000 miles)
from the sea.
It is an interesting, busy
place where many excursions
can be arranged for exploring
the Amazonas far beyond.
In 1669 the Portuguese built a fort
here and became a major stopover
and supply base for the Amazon basin.
In the 19th century became
the major centre of the rubber
During this boom
the population expanded, many
people became very rich
and the opulent and famous
famous opera house was built towards
the end of the wild-rubber
'boom', in 1896.
steamships brought luxuries
to the city and left laden with
the rubber latex.
The rubber boom ended in the early
20th century, due to cheaper Asian
and later to synthetic latex and
the city declined.
Manaus was revived in 1967,
when it became a free trade zone.
New roads, factories were built.
Rapid population growth
the expansion of the tourist
Our guide 'Jumbo" was a jovial
'welllll-built' fellow, who's agility often
We were assured to see lot of
'wildlife', such as
crocodiles, monkeys, iguanas, birds
and piranhas. As you've probably
guessed, it wasn't the day or we weren't
the people to see a lot of
'wildlife', although it wasn't for
a lack of trying.
We did catch some piranhas.
Jumbo and our boatman did spend
three hours after sunset showing
their torches around looking for
the shining eyes of the crocks in
the pitch dark jungle. Of course
no one told the crocks, that we
were looking for them, or they were
pre-warned of our coming and just
didn't want to be seen by us.
We did enjoy our
trip in the Amazon 'jungle'.
We did see the confluence of the two great
rivers and the remarkable different
colours of the rivers, which takes ten
kilometres to mix and merge completely.
Jumbo agreed to a very
reasonable price for the tour, but
in the end got even with us.
Coming ashore after our tour, he hailed
a taxi to the Airport and made
us pay half the fare.
A bit disappointing, but it
was a thoroughly enjoyable
and memorable day.
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