Journey through the Amazon
At school we were all taught - do not argue with elders, 2x2 = 4, the longest river Nile. Times are changing, the card is overwritten, are fewer and fewer white spots on our planet. Brazilian scientists have discovered a new starting point of the Amazon. They claim that the South American river is the longest.
Now we have to rewrite the textbooks. My journey on the legendary river began to be vaccinated against yellow fever and the purchase of all kinds of insect spray. In the Amazon spread the world's largest tropical rainforest with all its flying, crawling, snarling, leaping and roaring inhabitants. Locals joke in Brazil: "If you see a sparrow on Amazon, you know - it's not a sparrow, is a mosquito!".
We were loaded into the boat and we sailed across the Atlantic to South America. Most of the Amazon basin belongs to Brazil, but its origins famous river rises in Peru, and in the west also manages to capture three more countries - Bolivia, Ecuador and Colombia.
This suggests that the Amazon is not just the deepest river in the world, and this water empire, washing across five states. We went into the back of the Amazon - where it empties into the ocean. Upwards. The route is - Belen, Boca de Valeria, Santarem, Parintis, Manaus.
I liked the combination of two rivers. Even without the compound, and the meeting - go side by side, white and black, rage, flirting, but the soul does not climb. That would be people like that. The waters of the Amazon called "white" - because of the huge amount of silt carried by the river water is very muddy, opaque and appears bright. In this context, near the city of Manaus, you can watch a very funny effect. At the confluence of the Amazon Rio Negro, the water of which, on the contrary, very transparent and, as a consequence, it seems almost black (hence the name of the river) water of the two most powerful rivers do not mix for a long time and over 15 kilometers down the Amazon from Manaus, you can see how in parallel, in the same vein, two multicolored flow of the river.
Why can not swim in the Amazon? Because he lives there famous baby piranha, terrifying the locals about which they say that the best one big crocodile than three little piranhas. This is actually a myth. Piranhas do not eat people. I bought 2 USD a souvenir - like our dried fish dried and coated with varnish. On the third day of piranha start to stink.
The whole life is centered on the river. Here are born, grow up, marry, fishing, herding water buffalo, bathe, pray and die. Boats go to school, to the market, to church, to visit. And the distances are calculated not in kilometers or miles, but in time. 3 days to Santarem, 2 hours to the village. In the villages collect rubber, grow cassava, sugar cane and corn.
Famous Water buffalo, also called water buffaloes. Lifestyle water buffalo is closely associated with ponds, preferably with stagnant or slow-flowing water. Morning and evening in the cool hours of buffalo graze, with aquatic vegetation is sometimes up to 70% of the feed, and all the hottest part of the day are, immersed up to their heads in the mud. The number of water buffalo is constantly decreasing. The main reason for this - not hunting, which is limited and is carried out under strict quotas, and habitat destruction, plowing and settlement deaf territories. Places where wild buffalo can live in a natural environment is becoming less. I also learned that the famous Italian mozzarella cheese on the right recipe is made from buffalo milk.
Portuguese arrived in the Amazon searched in vain gold at these locations. But after two hundred years of their descendants we found that in the 17th century it was completely useless, but in the 20th century transformed the Amazon in real Klondike, making its inhabitants for some time the richest people of the country and even the world. It was the rubber. The word "rubber" is derived from two words of the Tupi-Guarani language: "kau" - a tree, "teach" - flow, crying. "Couch" - the juice of rubber trees, the first and most important of rubber. Rubber plants grow best no more 10 ° north and south of the equator. Therefore, this 2500-kilometer-wide strip known as "rubber belt." Here, the natural rubber produced and supplied for sale in all countries of the world to this day.
Its prosperity "Rubber business" must invention in 1888. John Boyd Dunlop Tire and mass motorization in Europe and America in the late XIX century. The automotive industry, hundreds of thousands of rubber tires were needed. A rubber-Hevea - the only one at that time the source of rubber - grew only in the Amazon jungle. From the book by Nicholas Verzilina "Traveling with house plants", "rubber collector, or" seringero "indebted" rubber companies' fare gets a hatchet in credit, a bag with clothes and goes to the forest. Many rubber tappers have to wander through the woods in search of gevey as they grow not solid wood, and face each other at a distance of 20 - 100 meters. One tree Hevea lost among a hundred other species of trees. One person per day barely manage to handle about forty trees, having sometimes more than ten - fifteen kilometers.
On gevee made V-shaped or oblique sipe, which is suspended under the concave on one side clay vessels, having the form of swallow nests. The vessel per day accumulates latex on average twenty to forty grams. Incisions need to refresh or make new above old, as coagulation and juice tightens cut on the bark. Seringero, extracting the juice of rubber trees, as his own, and processes in the rubber. "
A little urban sketches Manaus and Santarem. According to Wikipedia, in the Amazon region of 47% of the population lives below the poverty line. Manaus - the capital of Amazonia. The Opera House in the capital - with a cultural program that's all right.
For tourists there are many attractions: all sorts of river tours, trekking through the jungle, piranha fishing, night hunting for alligators.
Most recently in the news showed the British traveler Ed Stafford, who walked along the Amazon for 859 days. During this time, Stafford managed to meet with caimans and anacondas, was captured by the Indians, suffered hunger, disease, and on personal estimates, 50,000 times been bitten by mosquitoes. Knowing how to look like the Amazon jungle, I can imagine how brave and crazy person have to be to decide on a complete and no casualties. I personally admire such people. I would not want to get lost and stay in these thickets. Through the thick leaves and vines weave under the trees a little light penetrates, and lush vegetation makes it difficult to move, completely depriving orientation. To move even a short distance, often need to hack.
Sloth sad farewell, winks at us!