After our day in the rainforest we get ready to visit the opera house. It's lovely to get in a cool shower after the heat. It's in the low 30's and the locals say this is cold!
The Manaus Opera house is a beautiful building. It was built at the height of the rubber boom to resemble the Paris opera house. A musical recital has been put on specially for Cunard. 700 people leave the ship in coaches and are driven for about 10 minutes to the opera house. The streets are very dark, not many people around but loads of police. The opera house itself is virtually surrounded by police for our safety. We had been told not to wear expensive jewellery as the risk of crime is very high.
The music is performed by the string section of the orchestra and has a very enthusiastic conductor. They perform pieces from Mozart and some Brazilian composers. A most enjoyable evening.
The following day we depart for the next port of call Santerem. Another hot day where we catch up with the laundry, Ian attends a lecture and I go to a craft class to learn beading and make a necklace!
That night we win another bottle of fizz in the quiz! The subject is movie trivia.
We arrived at Santarem at 8am and left at 9.45 for our tour. We are going on the Tapajos National Forest Walk. We travel for approximately one hour on the bus. Our guide is a policeman working on his day off. He talks to use about employment, schooling and crime. He also tells us about the rainforest, his English is very good.
Just before we drive into the forest we stop at a building. The guide tells us this is the only toilet so we all queue up. There is only one toilet used by men and women. There is another coach there so it's quite a wait. One man complains and says he will report back to Cunard. Quite what he expects in the middle of the forest I don't know!
We go into the rainforest and walk along a track for about an hour. The guide points out various trees and tells us about there medicinal properties. Ian tries some bark from a tree. It is used for treating diabetes and curing hangovers (not needed in Ian's case)! We are also shown a rubber tree and the guide shows how to tap the tree and remove the latex. The guide points out termite nests in the trees and disturbs one where loads of black ants about one inch long come out. He says these are very aggressive ants (wish he hadn't disturbed them!).
Meanwhile a couple in our group are moaning about the length of the walk and the uneven ground. All this is highlighted in the information about the trip. Again what did they expect!
We return to the ship and this evening we set sail for Rio De Janeiro. Five days at sea relaxing and topping up my tan for me. More lectures and kareoke for Ian.