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Amazon Adventure

Jan 06, 2017

From 11 to 18 November 2016 I spent 7 glorious nights on the vessel, the Manatee Amazon Explorer, booked via Titan. Before and after visiting the Amazon I spent nights in the Hilton, in Quito.
The trip was described as an “Amazon Adventure” - but I would describe it as an “Amazon EXPERIENCE”!

                   

         

Although I have travelled extensively this was so very different in that I had not realised I would be experiencing something I never thought still existed - a view of life completely foreign to me. By that I mean visiting the homes and schools of the local indigenous people - the Kichwa Tribe.

In addition to this the day and night jungle treks led by the very knowledgeable Manatee guides made it all the more meaningful.
I did not realise that there were so many creatures (day and night shift!) in the jungle.
The Manatee itself is a 30 person, shallow draft vessel that can only sail by day – so at night we tied up to trees since there are no ports or villages on the river. This was an experience in itself.

        


The food served on board is of a very high standard – albeit "table d'hote" style – although they do cater for vegetarians or those with allergies if advised in advance.
To a limited extent the vessel tries to use local produce – such as Plantain and Cassava etc – and much more – but nothing "gross" – so no need for alarm!
Accommodation on board is excellent – with air conditioning and wonderful showers – necessary after trudging through a jungle in high heat and humidity. The dress code is in formal at all times.
After dinner every evening, we were shown a presentation of what was planned for the next day – naturally depending on weather and river conditions. However, as I was there in the dry season there were no cancellations or changes to the varied and interesting itinerary.
It was fascinating to visit the local homes of the Kichwa people – to be shown how they can live so easily in the jungle. They want for nothing and can obtain everything they need from the jungle, armed only with a Machete. We were shown demonstrations of how the Kichwa make everything from Umbrellas to Hats to Clothes – and also how they obtain medicines from the jungle that appears to cure anything!
The schoolchildren were so happy to see us – and we played football with them. We played against 8 and 9 years old boys – and yes – they easily beat us!
Naturally we took gifts for all the children we met – comprising pens, pencils, notebooks, post-it pads and lollipops – which were all well received.
Tours away from the Manatee are made by transferring to a fast longboat style motorised canoe. Transfer to and from this is easy – with plenty of help on hand.
For photographers the variety of subject matter is beyond description – as it is for bird watchers.
There is a fairly well stocked bar on board and it is wonderful sitting outside with a drink in the evenings watching the fantastic sunsets.

     

          

I could write forever on this trip – to also include the time we spent in Quito – itself a colourful and happy city. Probably best that I suggest you try it for yourself – you will not be disappointed! For me – given all that was included – it was one of the best "value for money" holidays I have ever enjoyed.

 



Category: River Cruise