Amazon River

Manaus to Santarem (See Map)

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Inside the Rain Forest  
The next morning we paddled in canoes through the floating forests. The black water is strikingly beautiful and reflects what is above like a mirror. It can be hard to tell where the water starts.
After this we went on a guided jungle walk. We were shown how to tell which vines contained drinking water by scraping the bark to reveal a red colour. There is a surprising amount of water in these vines. We will have to remember this for when we next run out of water when cycling. Still I don’t think our penknives would do a good job on these.
This root is stewed with the skin of frogs to extract poison for use on darts. It can also be added to water to paralyse fish to catch in large quantities although it is harmful to humans if drunk and so this practice has now been outlawed.
Quinine, a treatment for malaria, comes from this tree. If you chew the bark it tastes like chloroquine malaria tablets.
Our guide, Elson, was determined to prove his masculinity by eating glow worm larvae and putting his hand on biting ants.
He showed us how to climb a palm tree. First you make a ring from a certain type of tree bark like this…
Place it round your ankles, then shimmy up. Easy!
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