Traveling through Amazon river by boat has alway been one of my dream to achieve, so after traveled through brazil for about 3 months from the south I finally arrived the immensely huge amazon river, I first arrived Belem which is the city of two millions inhabitants that is right on the end of Amazon river, Belem is a very interesting city to visit, it is the first european colony in Amazon, coz it is right on the amazon river, it has a rainforest climate, it is unbelievably humid and hot with millions of mosquitos and flies, but the city itself is very exciting to visit with the brazilian-styled of hustle and bustle,
My objective was to hitch a ride on the amazon river, but I soon realized it would be difficult to achieve in Belem, coz the ferry only goes once a week to Manaus(the capital of amazon, my destination), it means if I fail I would have to wait for another week, the workers who are selling the boat tickets suggest me that I should go to Santarem to hitch a boat, coz over there boat leaves everyday to Manaus.
I decided to go to Santarem through trans-amazonian highway, trans-amazonian highway is about 4000km long, the highway goes through the heart of Amazon forest, eversince the road was complete, Amazon has lost 760000 square km of rainforest, which is about the size of Chile, the scenery from the trans-amazonian highway is placed by miles after miles of huge cow ranches, it is difficult to see native forest on the highway, the state of the highway is in pretty bad condition also, most parts of this 4000 km highway is not paved(asphalted), therefore whenever it rains it become impassable, it took me 5 days on the road before I arrived Santarem(2000km from Belem), hence I had the luck to witness how locals live in the amazon, Amazon is one of the poorest states of Brazil, economy-wise there is a gigantic difference between south and north of brazil, I realized there is no sewage system if you don’t live in big city in amazon(Belem, Manaus and Santarem), so all of the waste water and trash go back to the earth of Amazon, there is also no tap water if you live on the countryside and there is no one collect trash if you live in the countryside, so usually locals dump the trash on the roadside or river or burn it, i also have seen a lot of child labor in amazon, they are usually try to sell food on the street or shine the shoes for people, for a pair of the shoes they shine, they only earn 2 reais, which is about 75 cents of US dollars.
When I arrived Santarem I went to the ferry port directly and asked the information of the boat to Manaus, I found out that I can not enter the port without purchasing a ticket, so i went to the Marina office and explained that I am traveling around the world by hitchhiking, is it possible to let me get on the boat for free or I can exchange my labor for a ride to Manaus(the capital of amazon), the secretary told me that he can not make the decision, I need to talk with the Boss, who is the owner of the boat, he told me that I should wait at the entry of the port before 8AM tomorrow morning, coz the Boss usually come to work at 8AM with his big black landrover car, later on I found a place to sleep which is very near to the port, I slept on the balcony of a house which is above a bar, unfortunately the bar had very loud and shitty music on until two o’clock in the morning.
……………To be continued