Having missed the opportunity for a trip deep into the Amazon, I opted for the best I could find around Belem. A one day boat and jungle walk, courtesy of Amazon Star Tour Operators.
Our jovial guide for the day was Edilson. He explained that we were sailing passed Hiberinos, or river people. Not indigenous tribes, but groups of creols (Brazilans born of african descent) that have settled on the river banks. Many subsistence farmers and fishermen, but some work with the tourists.
We stop on one island, and Edlison introduces us to the variety of life in the jungle. He names more varieties of fruit than I can write down or remember. We try freshly gathered brazil nuts, and some of us eat cacao fruit.
One local, now in his 80s, simultaneously demonstrates his fitness regime and what it takes to get the acai. He climbs 5 metres up the tree, and then jumps over to the next one to collect a few more berries.
He rewarded with a round of applause, and some tips from the wealthy germans in my tour group.
We have a little time to catch a tarantula and say hello to a parrot, before heading back to the boat.
All that is left is lunch, and a storm. This is the Amazon region after all. Rain pelts us on the way back, and on our journey back to the city, the roads are flooded.
All in all, a great day out in the Amazon.