Heading to Manaus, Brazil

20120316-085850.jpgSo after waiting forever, getting funds in place and getting to know the wonderful team I would be accompanying, the day finally came for us the meet up at Peoria airport and begin this adventure of a lifetime.

My only initial disappointment was finding out I probably wouldn’t need to dress like Bear Grylle for the trip. T shirts and shorts were sufficient. Not even a cool pair of CAT hiking boots was needed. I really fancied the opportunity to dress the part 🙁 However, that disappointment was put to the side when I realized I would need to take my Adidas Sambas because this is Brazil, and everyone is passionate about soccer, so there is a make shift soccer field on every empty strip of land. I’ll show these locals how we won the World Cup in ’66 😉

As it was a mission trip, each member was not only take their own piece of luggage but also a hefty bag each from the church full of related materials, teaching aides, donated clothes etc. this proved to be the hard part of the journey – checking them in, moving them around etc. Fortunately, we’ll be returning a lot lighter (although the empty bags will be full of machetes, blow pipes and live howler monkeys…. I joke about the last one!)

So, the boring stuff – Peoria to Detroit. Small plane, trouble free. 40 minute fast walk to the next gate then Detroit to Miami equally trouble free. This is where we had to collect the 22 pieces of luggage and hike them to the airport hotel rooms where we were spending the night. Once sorted, the team went to good ol’ reliable Chillies for dinner. Journey so far – trouble free.




No sleep in the guys hotel room because we had Mark – the Olympic gold medallist for snoring – in it!

Next morning, we checked in the mass of luggage and boarded our last flight to Manaus, Brazil, on TAF airlines. Never flown with them before, but great airline, except I didn’t have a clue what the crew were saying most of the flight (Portugese).

First impression of Manuas was one of amazement. It is definitely on the frontier of the Amazon. Although their winter, it is still in the 80’s, stormy and so, so humid. That rain icon on the weather map isn’t the rain, it’s my armpit activity :-/ Going through customs was very slow, but my Brit passport came good as always – everybody else in the team needed visas, but as we probably occupied Brazil at some point, I didn’t need one.

The Go Inn hotel we are staying at until hitting the river on Sunday morning, is really nice. Clean, simple but very comfortable and free wifi, yay! So making the most of it all before we get basic on the Amazon for the next week or so.

My focus for my photographs is really the boat journey/villages part, so not too many photos yet, but we are out in Manaus getting supplies today, so I suspect I’ll be shooting some great images off from that part of the adventure.

So for now: obrigado, tchau.