We woke up early today to come into Salvador. We got out just in time, we got a few good pictures coming in. there really wasn't tat much to see. It was just a normal looking harbor. You could see the upper city from there. Our passports were delayed for about an hour and a half. We all just went back to sleep. So when we finally could get out I figured I would putz around for two hours, find a phone and call home. Turns out the phones in Brazil need a Brazilian phone card to activate them. So I had to make a 12 ˝ dollar phone call from the ship. What a pain! I can get by without the credit card, I'll just be poor from now on. So I go to the Amazon trip that I thought I was on. I knew everyone there, but it turns out that I am not on that one. There was a misprint or something on my form. The only problem was I was bumped to the newt day but my now everyone had gone. But I hooked up with Jimmy, Dave, Chris, and Chistine. Salvador is somewhere you don't want to be by yourself. It wasn't bad going with them but I didn't get to cover the ground I wanted. Dave and Jimmy were working on there photography projects so they took a long time. We stopped at the post office for stamps, it was 2.20 Reals for ten. We walked around in a market in the lower city for a while. There wasn't really anything I wanted but they needed to take pictures. Eventually we made it to the Elevator and went to the upper city. It was only five centavos to ride, it's too dangerous to walk (or so we were told). There was a lot of construction going on, I think a water main broke. The afro-Brazilian museum was closed for repairs which angered me a bit. We made our way to the upper market. There were people trying to get you to buy all types of stupid things. The churches were impressive. The gold work in the one was the most impressive I've ever seen. The other one had a magnificent fresco and great wood carved saints. We walked down one of the side streets but didn't make it that far. It was getting dark and we wanted to get rid of our things. As we are walking back we lose Jimmy. Dave and I went back and looked around but we didn't see him. He travels independently a lot so we weren't too worried so we went back to the ship. When we got back he was already there. He had hooked up with a photography group for a minute and had lost us. We dropped all of our things and got together to go out to eat. We knew a place we wanted to go to but didn't quite know where it was. It was hard to keep a group of 10 together but we did find the place. It was hard to order but we did a good job. Five of us split tow dinners. One was Brazilian, the other was African, but both were great. They were all shrimp based. I know the Brazilian one had onions and green peppers but that's all we could tell. We were there for a while but it was fun. The five of us that had split the dinners (Stephen, Jen, Ryan, Valerie, and I) stayed and got dessert, the other guys had to leave. It ended costing us 13 Reals which is about 7 dollars. We walked around for a while and looked at some of the churches and views. They were impressive lit up at night. We stopped in a bar to get a soda. I had something called Kuat, it was good. We got a cab and went back to the ship. I wanted to get up at 0730 to see some forts so we went to bed. It was about 0100.
Jen, Steve, and I got up early to go out but we never saw the group that was going to the forts. That really wasn't a big deal, we had a lot of the upper city to cover. The churches were closed when we first got there so we tried to go to the Internet café for a while. They were having server problems so we had to leave. We walked through the less touristy part of the city. We went to a bakery and got some things. I got these cheese tasting cakes for 1.20 Reals. Everything we got was good. We walked through a more local street that was filled with shops. Lots of clothes, some food and nick-knack type things. We went back to the Internet café again. We waited for about an hour before we could get on. Once we did it wasn't great. I had some problems sending things but it turned out OK. I got charged for an hour (R7.00) even though I had only been on 50 minutes. I would have stayed on the extra ten if I had remembered the cut offs. At this point we went into a couple of art shops. We ate lunch at a buffet. We had no idea what we were getting but we tried everything. It was all good and only put us down about R5.00. Jen and I debated over some art for a while. We each got a small one. We went to some Bahian museum before going back but there were no English subtitles s owe didn't stay long. Went almost right to the Amazon thing after that. I know some people but they are all going to be in a different boat. I spent an uncomfortable plane ride next to my Psychology professor. We waited in Brasilia for over three hours. But I finally was able to reach my parents. I think that that credit card stuff is finally worked out. I can only charge a certain amount at a time. I'll try to go 600 on the one and the rest on the other. Then if I go over I can use it again up to 600. That takes an enormous amount of weight off of my shoulders. The flight into Manaus was fairly short, about two hours. Short bus ride to the boat. Someone got their camera stolen at the airport. The hammocks are not the best things I've ever slept in but they are OK.
Woke up about 0530 today. I was freezing. We had a lot of fruit to eat this morning. Papia, guava, watermelon, plus some eggs and bread. We started out on the Rio Negro at about 0800. The jungle is so dense that its almost totally shaded at the bottom. We hiked around for a while, then came to this place to stop for a bit. Ryan, Steve, and I walked a little bit down the river. There was this lizard we were following. So we start to go back an Oops, everyone is gone. They figured they had gone down this one path so they ran to catch up. I didn't want to go anywhere. It's just what we need to be lost in the rain forest. But I had to go with them so we didn't get split up. I knew one of the other groups would be around soon, it was just a matter of time. We ran into another one right away but that's not what I wanted to do. It's the whole Boy Scout thing I guess. Then we got in some small boats (15-17 people) and went up some smaller streams. After we came back I took a quick nap and had lunch. It was chicken, black beans and rice, salad, and some fruit. We continued up the river for another hour or so. Stopped for a lame canoe ride around a small island. Traveled our last leg of the day then got into canoes again. This time we went through some very dense stuff. We stopped and some people got off to swing on vines. I walked through the water but didn't do the vine thing. I didn't want to cut my feet, that would be bad. The sun was setting as we came back to the boats. Had some very good limed fish to eat. No one lasted much longer after that. Everyone was dead tired. I woke up at around 0200. You couldn't see anything but there was stuff swishing around in the water. It was really the first time I had heard silence since I got here.
We woke up around 0630 for a canoe ride. Went through some fairly thick stuff. We ate some berries that our guide, Jungle Joe, hacked off of a tree. They were very tart and had a huge seed so there wasn't much to eat, but still... We stopped at one of the villages and walked around. We met a 83 year old retired teacher and saw the hut where they processed the manioc. Though not primitive they didn't have many things. We stayed on the riverboat for a long time. We stopped for a while because of a storm that was blowing through. We were on the river for about three more hours. We passed Manaus which looked like a very polluted place. We got to the merging of the waters at around 1530. The Rio Negro and Rio Solimoes form the Amazon. The Negro looks like black coffee and the Solimoes looks like someone added milk. You could see the contrast in the water completely. We didn't stay for that long, we turned around and crossed into the Solimoes for a while. We stopped and fished for piranhas for a while. They were not easy to get. The guides were the only ones to get any piranhas. The SAS kids got some catfish. I didn't get anything, though you could feel them biting. We got back in the canoes soon after dark to look for Caymans. Our guy didn't speak any English. We wanted him to go closer to the land but he wouldn't. So he pulls up to one of the other boats and jumps on. We were a little mad about that. They cruised around for a while. We asked them if they saw any, they were like "Yeah, we got one right here." The guide lifts up his arm and is holding this 1 1/2 foot Cayman. He had just jumped into the water and grabbed it. So we passed it around and took pictures. We met up with another boat and cruised around. They had gotten a bigger one. So we went back to the ship for our last meal. We then headed back to Manaus. We got changed in a hotel and hopped back on the busses. We had a three hour wait before we could get on the plane. I slept through that. Then we waited for our boarding passes for a while. I slept through most of that too.
I cut the day here even though it was really just one really long day. I slept on the plane, in the airport in Brasilia, and on the trip back to Salvador. Here I think I made a major error, I ate the airlines food. So we finally got back to the ship at about 1100. I met Jimmy and Andy back at the room. Andy loved the Amazon, he bought a blowgun, hand his piranha he caught mounted, and got some other crap too. Jimmy had a good time but was really sick. He had met a Brazilian Geology professor and went around with him. They were going out later so I hooked up with them. Jim and Pat went ahead to the market while Lisa and I waited for Rualdo. He was late because of his camera lens, it had broken earlier. He was a cool guy, very active and childlike. We walked to the market, met the guys, and went in. I had been in there earlier but I didn't mind walking around some more. He showed us where the slaves were held before they were auctioned. It was a dungeon looking thing and during the tides it would flood. During high tides some of them would end up dying in there too. From there we went to the upper city to look at the Cathedral de San Francisco. It had an MC Esher type of fresco in the beginning. It looked like you could either be in or outside depending on where you looked. The doves eye in the center also followed you no matter where you were in the room. So we paid the Real to get in. They had this square with blue tile paintings all around. They had a proverb theme. "Who is rich? He who has nothing." The inside was spectacular. It had tons of wood carved figures and everything was done over in gold. Rualdo described some of the things. The figures were like Atlas but some were women and general humans not just gods. We spent a lot of time in there. This whole time Pat was waiting outside and someone stole the stuffed animal he was taking pictures of for his students. So he was bummed about that. There was a workers rights parade going on so Rualdo wanted us to see "this human manifestation." We walked around looking for a place to eat for a while before we found somewhere. Lots of the things were closed. We had fish, steak, rice, manioc, and some other stuff I don't remember. It was close to on ship time so we walked back. They said their good-byes and we got back on the ship. Talked to some people for a while then watched Salvador go off. I went to bed assuming that I would get some sleep.
Woke up about 0230 and threw up a couple of times, also had a nice case of travelers diarrhea. I couldn't eat anything or go to class. I spent most of the day in bed with a fever and the chills. It sucked big time.
Went to classes today but I was not much better. Actually I skipped CORE. I took about 20 loose craps during the day. I did no work and didn't really eat anything. I slept a lot. I felt so sick.
Can't keep in any food. I'm eating some but it comes out about half and hour after I eat. I've got a Geology exam tomorrow which will suck since I had to miss class. I tried to study but Valerie would not leave my room. I don't like studding with people in the room.
We were busted for alcohol today. Andy had brought some rum on board in a giant soda bottle. The Captain was doing the searches. I was there so he ripped up my bed, book bags, then went through our closets and cabinets. They were about done when they found his stuff. I knew it was there but couldn't say anything or I would have gotten busted too. They wrote down our names and left. As of yet we haven't heard anything. The best part of the entire thing was that Andy was in there When they came in. He came out of the bathroom and was like "Ahhhh, I've got to go." He picked up his bag and ran out. The Geology exam was OK except for the last essay question. You really had to have been in class to answer it. So later on during the day we were looking for a good joke to play on Andy. We decided to hide condoms in his things. We had been making fun of him for liking this girl so it was even better. We hid about 85 condoms all over. He will be finding them for months. We all had lots of fun with it. The day would have been great if my stomach still wasn't messed up. I've lost a lot of weight. Everyone on our Amazon trip is sick. It is really bad.
TBA day. Slept in, got a little reading in. We sat around at the dinner table for almost two hours singing songs and talking about the 80's. Tonight it the 80's night dance. The stars were spectacular, one of the best nights I have ever seen. 80's night was cool, everyone danced and sang. Ryan was dressed up like Boy George. He stole the show. Alyce was going crazy, she is a very good dancer. It was a good night except for the fact that I am still sick.
Another day of catching up on reading and sleep, but still can not digest food. It goes right through me. We did stay up late though first playing cards with this girl named Kristin. Then we stayed up later in the room. It was 0430 before we went to sleep.
Slept through most of the day. STILL SICK!!! When I finally got up I finished my back reading and played some ping pong with Alyce. Three games to two, in my favor. That was fun. Went out for snacks at 2230 but went to bed soon after, we were all tired.
Today was our St. Patrick's day celebration. We dressed our RD up as condom man. We made him a crown and a scepter, a belt, a cape with a big CM on it, he also had condom nipples, and some tighty whities outside his pants. Our room has been dubbed the "Condomble House," because of all the condoms we put in Andy's stuff. We didn't win because we didn't really have an Irish theme but we had the best time. We got to humiliate our RD. He enjoyed it though, it was fun. We played some cards at night and also had a pre-port briefing. They make it out like it's the worlds crime center but I'm sure it's not that bad. You just need to be careful. Went to bed fairly early, I've missed too many COREs recently. Still sick.
Still no solid stools. Last pre-port briefing, it was a waste of time. But we watched Dr. Strangelove afterwards. Found out that Stanley Kubrick died to we were all in mourning. Really good movie, very Freudian I think. Alyce was real sick but watched it anyway. After that we played Risk forever. I didn't get to bed until 0300. We are getting up early tomorrow to watch Cape Town come in.