After the last two days in Manaus, we are now in Parintins – the home of the Boi Bumba festival, the 2nd largest festival in Brazil and held annually in June. Two teams, red and blue, fight it out in song dance, parades and costumes to recreate a tribal myth about a bull, two lovers and the bull’s tongue. Only one tour here, to a special showing of a carnival extract and we are not going – by choice.
Having experienced a few carnivals in our time (Jersey Battle of Flowers, New Orleans Parades, Douglas Carnival to name but three) we opted to do our own thing.
This is a tender “port” and the MV Braemar (Fred Olsen lines) is there as well although leaving at lunchtime.
By co-incidence, my friend, Donald was on the MV Braemar until a few days ago around the Caribbean but sadly he had not ventured up the Amazon.
We get our tender boat tickets, being told that it was a 20 minute wait.
One hour later we board the tender after establishing that one tender overheated and broke down. The river current is fierce and against us as we fight our way across to the dockside in an almighty rain storm, having to clamber over a local wooden boat to reach the dockside on arrival.
We do manage to get sight of a few pink dolphins as we walk up to the cruise terminal and out onto a street that has about 8 or so stalls selling souvenirs – at least we do now have a souvenir, a small mask which will hopefully get put up on the wall quicker than some of the other souvenirs we have bought recently!
A walk up to the church and then back past the blue team’s museum and back to the area to get on the tender.
Lots of people waiting and both tenders remain at the boat in the middle of the river for about 45 minutes whilst we stand around in the heat, although we were lucky to get a bit of shade after a while.
Another tender has a problem, vegetation has attached itself to the propellor and we learn later took over an hour to get back to the ship, circling it for some time.
Meanwhile, passengers for the Braemar were being tendered back from their viewing of the Boi Bumba by some big local ships which were due to assist us later in the afternoon but were delayed as the Braemar overstayed it’s stop!
The captain is delaying departure tonight as last night, with so much current and our requirement for a fast run, the vibration was so bad, the passengers in the Oriental Restaurant ( those on sittings ) were badly affected with things moving on tables – poor things!
Tonight’s entertainment is the new (he joined in Barbados) South African musical director, Dane Noble-Rosema who is obviously standing in for someone who didn’t turn up.
A very accomplished young piano player who, amongst other things, played some compositions of his own including a couple of interpretations of Norway and one of the Cascade mountains in NE USA.
We must be going home, clocks go forward an hour tonight, we are heading downstream towards our last pot of call on the Amazon, Santarem.