4-9 June 2003.

Manaus is a city of over a million people right in the middle of the amazon basin. It was essential for us to stop to organise a trek into the Amazon.

From the moment we arrived in Manaus we were stalked by agents pretending to be helpful locals. The travel agencies here have definitely been studying guerilla warfare and Mafia tactics. We were followed consistently for at least a day with random people suddenly appearing to say hi, and later ask us if we had been to the Amazon on a tour as they had a friend...

This photo shows where the Amazon River Begins. Here, some 10 kilometres downstream from Manaus, is where the Rio Solimoes joins the Rio Negro. You can see how the white and black rivers still run separate for several kilometres after meeting.

Manuas was built on the back of the rubber boom. When the West started driving cars, they needed rubber tyres which still came from trees believe it or not. Rubber merchants got filthy rich and this is some dudes house.

This is how the rest of Manuas lives some 200 metres up the road from the rich guys house.

Guarana is everywhere in the Amazon. This is the fruit that makes Jason bounce off the walls for hours at a time.

The man in the yellow shirt is the part-time preacher who drove us up the wall for 2 hours whilst we waited for that truly South American phenomenon, the bus that doesn't exist.

Whilst we couldn't understand a word he was shouting, we think the jist of it is that us agnostics don't deserve to have buses arrive on time.

To top off our visit to Manuas we want to a wildlife reserve that was being used to study Amazonian animals. Sounds cool... we found this fat bastard hanging around in a stinking pool of turd.

To sum up our visit to this place it looked like the funding dried up years ago. Some amazing animals though.

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