First of all – THAT IS IT! I have sailed the entire length of the Amazon and even a bit on the river leading to it. This means: 5 old-fashioned steam boats and 15 days of continuous travel. I have shared boats with cows, chicken, pigs and various cargo. I have slept in hammock surrounded by sweaty adults and screaming children. I have ate the same food on every boat and occasionally got my stomach upset. I got robbed twice. I enjoyed gorgeous sunsets and sunrises full of hope. I marveled at the clear, stary sky at night and enjoyed the wind in my face. I saw the river change from a mellow float to a wavy mess. I gaped at riverside jungle communities and breathed the buzz of the ports. I made friends, played games, chatted afternoons away, wrote stories, read, slept, and all in all had a blast.
I loved river travel despite the few problems on the way. It delivered exactly what I had imagined and more. Every time I got off a boat I felt a bit sad. Now even more so because it is the end of a chapter in my travel adventure. Spending 3+ days on a boat, sharing your life with others got me attached to the boats and to some more than others. Every time I left I was leaving friends, fun, and a careless, peaceful living behind. Yes! I looked forward to a clean shower and a change of clothes but that didn’t lessen the nostalgic feeling. Tomorrow morning I would leave river travel and the Amazon behind to continue my adventure down the Atlantic coast of Brazil and into Rio de Janeiro.