Guest Mary O’Donnell was on board Maasdam and sent in this great Cruise Diary from her voyage. Stay tuned for more posts from Mary!
About 86°F, Humidity? Nobody talks about it, but must be at least over 90%, day and night!
We have crossed the equator twice now and plan to do it again. Like Canada and Alaska coastal areas, there is no land transportation. East and west, the Amazon is the “only interstate highway.” People pay about $7 to travel Santarem to Belem at the river delta. The trip takes about 3.5 days downstream and 4.5 days return upstream. The fare includes meals, but you bring your own hammock and try to get a good spot to hang it where you will not have to take it down at each local stop along the river to let people in or out! They also have a bar and music/singing for your entertainment each and every all night long. The option is flying the about 600 or so miles at a cost of $250-350, one way!
Of course the river has many commercial boats of every style. There is a picture of one of the banana boats unloading for the local market.
Although there is no tide, the river rises and falls as much as 25 feet, depending on the season: rainy or dry. Docks are floating, with ramps or steps that right now are not too steep. In Dec. the rainy season started. The river flows deeper and it rains almost every day, very hard, but for only a few minutes. It will dry up starting in May and will be hotter, but still very humid until at least November.
People live in these river homes during the dry seasons with their cattle and raise some crops, but they have to move, with their cattle, to higher ground when the waters invade.
We did fish for piranha, with little success, but the scenery was splendid!