Manaus – Day 2

We woke up extremely early (thanks to the time zone) and so we went to have breakfast at the hotel. Gotta love hotel breakfasts! And this one is amazing, I ate like a pig! (just one quick note: the guarana juice is great!) After breakfast we decided to go downtown, the old part of the city where we were supposed to see the Amazonas Theater, the old customs building, the cathedral, the municipal market, the floating docks and anything else we could get to know on the way to these places.

The Amazonas Theater was our first stop, and what a magnificent place it is! It was built in the 1870s and all the pieces were brought from Europe, even the wood, which was extract here, taken to Europe for special treatment and then brought back in order to be used in the construction. After that we decided to go down the main road by foot! Big, big mistake when you’re traveling with children! After a few blocks down the road they were already complaining and screaming and crying, and wanted all the toys they were seeing in the shop windows! We only had time to see the cathedral and than we had to take the nearest taxi to go back to the hotel. And that was it, our downtown walk was totally spoilt.

Arriving at the hotel we went straight to the swimming pool so that the children could chill out and we could relax. After that it was lunch time and (again) the food was exotic, and (again) I ate pasta! Pasta is always a safe choice!

After lunch the children slept a little bit, I came back to my room, did some work, then did some walking around the hotel until it was time to go out again. We went to this really new mall that was opened a few months before and everybody had suggested it. I’s called Manauara Shopping Center and let me tell you one thing,I know a lot of malls in the main cities of Brazil and some in Europe, but this one is the nicest mall I have ever been to! It’s beautiful, elegant, really nice shops and everything! After getting to know it, we had dinner there and then back to the hotel.

And that was the end of our second day.

Manaus – Day 1

I woke up at 4:30 AM, left home at 5 and my flight took off at 6:45 AM. It was a 1h50min flight to Brasília, capital of Brasil, where I would meet my father, his wife and my little brothers. I had never been to Brasilia before and I still haven’t. I can’t consider knowing the airport as being really there! But from what I’ve seen from the airplane, Brasilia seems to be a very pleasant place to live. Really nice houses, wide streets, clean, and things like that. Anyway, we had breakfast at the Brasilia airport and waited around one hour and a half for our flight to Manaus.

The flight to Manaus was nice and took around 2h30min. The pilot had announced minutes before that the local temperature was 30 C. I thought: “Well, it’s doesn’t seem to be as hot as they say. I’m used to 40C temperatures in Rio!” But at the moment I put my feet outside the airport, I was like: “wow, It’s really hot!”. I didn’t do much besides breathing and I was already sweating. The taxi ride to the hotel was no longer than 20 minutes.

The hotel is amazing! It’s a huge old style house. Seems like a resort in the middle of the jungle. Anyway, we did the check-in, went to our rooms and there I found out why I was sweating so much. I saw a notice in the hotel room saying something like that: “Air humidity can reach 90%, please keep the windows closed to preserve the room furniture. If you still decide to open the windows, leave the air conditioning on, so it can help reduce the humidity.” After putting our things away, we went straight to the restaurant to have lunch. I knew I’d have problems eating here! You know, I’m not very fond of exotic, strange dishes and that was exactly what I found here, so I ate a traditional spaghetti with cheese sauce.

After lunch we went to Hotel’s zoo. The kids were amazed with the wild animals, specially with the Cheetah (even I was amazed w.i. the cheetah!) and the pink-faced monkey or whatever it is called. After that the children stayed in the recreation room, and the rest of us went to the hotel mall for a walk. It’s strange how prices are strange here. Somethings are much more expensive and others are so much cheaper. There doesn’t seem to be a logic. We found an ice-cream parlour and I found blue ice-cream there! Must take a picture and send it to the Sack Trick guys, hehe!

It was getting late and everybody was so tired from waking up at 4AM that our day was coming to an end, even though it wasn’t really late thanks to the time zone here (-2 from Rio – I bloody hate time zones!). The children decided to have pizza, and then my father decided to have pizza outside the hotel, and there we were wandering around Ponta Negra beach, which has some amazing high-class buildings and condos, but the sidewalk itself is completely empty and the kiosks (supposed to be restaurants, but really aren’t) look exactly the opposite form the buildings. Terrible contrast! They should put everything down and rebuilt again. Anyway, we managed to find a pizza place (one of the kiosks) and we were really suspicious of eating there, but we were so hungry, the children were so tired of walking and were complaining a lot that we ate there! We ordered one pizza only so it could go fast, we could eat and get the hell out of there asap. And for our surprise when the pizza arrived, it was really tasty! So everybody relaxed, we ordered a new one and in the end we were all trying local exotic guaranás (typical regional drink).

That’s the end of my first day here, in the city where I was born and lived the first year of my life. And now after 30 years, I’m finally back!