The Concrete in the Jungle
02.28.2013 - 03.02.2013 86 °F
Manaus is an interesting city because it is really in the middle of nowhere, yet, it is big enough to be hosting some of the World Cup Football matches in 2014. It sprung up out of nowhere due to the rubber trade but when a synthetic replacement for rubber was developed, the city kind of fell back in time. The fish market and the theater were over rated, but luckily we were able to stay with Davide and Lillian to see another side of the city. . . including a trip to the Beautiful Bald Man’s Juice Shack! Where drinking some of the 60 different juice shakes make you beautiful! So, we tried a few fruits that we had never heard of, and of course some açai. What really made the night memorable was when the Bald Man himself came out on his microphone and started to talk to all the customers. He then repeated all 60 different fruit shakes within 1 minute from memory and challenged the customers to do the same for a free 7 years of shakes.
Now that rubber is no longer needed, one of Manaus’ number one exports is bananas. They come in many different sizes, shapes and colors and are all dropped off at the municipal market in an area designated for bananas. This so called banana market was an incredible site to see…
Since we didn’t see one in the jungle we thought we’d try to see a sloth at the zoo. This turned out to be quite an adventure mainly due to the fact that we didn’t have enough cash to pay the $3 entry fee. After trying every bank in the city, we finally found one that would accept a visa ATM card without a security chip (which the rest of the world has, but not the USA). Once we had had the necessary equivalent of $3 for the zoo entrance, we raced there only to get in about 45 minutes prior to closing. The zoo in Manaus is run by the military and is quite different from most zoos. First, there are no big signs to tell you where to go, or what animals are inside each cage. So we frantically walked around the zoo looking for cages with trees inside hoping to catch a glimpse of a sloth. Sadly, there wasn’t one, but lucky for us we spotted something special! Life found a way to blend the city of Manaus and jungle the amazon into a hybrid Cement Bug!