Day 14 – Tuesday, January 18 – Parintins, Brazil

I was up about 6:15 this morning after a good night’s sleep of about seven hours, about one hour more than my normal six. After checking email, I ascended two decks to the Lido and acquired a couple of sweet roll and coffee and returned with them to our cabin. After Kay and I had our small breakfast, I then descended two decks to the Promenade deck and proceeded to have a brisk 1 ½ mile walk. This is a pitiful attempt to prevent the acquisition of too many pounds from the unending supply of delicious food. For example, last evening I started dinner with an appetizer of Scandinavian Smorgasbord, a dish consisting of several types of raw and pickled fish with interesting sauces. It unfortunately also contained a small beet salad. Beets are one of the very few things I do not eat but this did not preclude me from enjoying the remainder of the dish. This was followed by a chilled melon soup. I have found these to be one of my favorites. I never pass up the opportunity to have one of their many variations of the chilled fruit soups. They are almost like a dessert (what’s wrong with two deserts during a meal?). For my entrée I took the “healthy spa” choice this evening, marinated calamari salad. It consisted of very tasty rings of marinated calamari served over a bed of mixed greens and garbanzo beans with a special dressing. Of course along with the meal I enjoyed the bountiful selection of delicious breads. The high point of this meal was the dessert. I don’t remember the name but here is the description; it was basically sliced bananas, lightly sautéed, wrapped in a crepe and drizzled with a molasses then sprinkled with sesame seeds and deep fried. I know this seems like a crazy combination, but I think it might be one of the best deserts I have ever eaten; something about the flavor of the sesame seeds and banana combination. Oh, of course I had my usual after dinner double espresso. I am afraid that after this trip I am going to have to update my old cheap espresso maker. I have become such a fan of the excellent espresso onboard that regular coffee is just not the same. So much for my meal last evening, now on to today’s post.

In 1796, Portuguese Captain J. Pedro Cordovil established Parintins on Tupinambarana Island’s eastern end near the Para-Amazonas frontier. The island is part of the mid-Amazon’s longest archipelago, and the small city has a population of just over 30,000 people. Rainforest, flood plain, lakes, other islands, and a small ridge mountain characterize the surrounding region. A bit further downstream, Rio Madeira joins the Amazon.

The 200-year old village enjoys a rich indigenous heritage. Each year, this history is celebrated in the eruption of the Boi Bumba festival, a colorful event that is similar to Rio’s Carnival. Boi Bumba, a popular and well-known comic-dramatic dance, originates in local folklore. It recalls the death and resurrection of a landowner’s valued ox. During the weeks surrounding the event, the local population swells to a burgeoning 300,000 or more.

We reached Parintins about 9:00 AM this morning. The ship normally docks in Parintins, but the pier is being renovated and therefore we must use tenders. The first tenders left around 10:00AM. Our plans are to have an early lunch and tender over around Noon. We have tickets to the Boi-Bumba festival show. This is a show done for tourist which gives a sampling of the festival which is held each June. I will continue my writing this evening when we return from the show.

Having returned from Parintins, I must say it was an enjoyable port. We were greeted by the local troupe of The Boy Scouts of Brazil. They were waiting to assist passenger who needed help up the steep street into town. As we left, I gave a contribution for their troupe. Dave, I have included a photograph for your benefit.

The locals were very hospitable and we purchased a few gifts from street venders. I also took a few photos of the local residents.

After visiting the small town, we made our way to the convention center where the Boi-Bumba show is to be held. There was a brief rain shower and they opened the doors early. We acquired second row seats, which was a good thing since the center was basically a very large room with folding chair seating. If you were in the back, vision would be poor. Along with the tickets for the show, you received unlimited drinks of the local brew, the Caipirnha. For me, unlimited amounted to one. It was a very strong drink which tasted like tequila, not my favorite poison.

The show was very high energy, one solid hour of absolutely non-stop dancing by a troupe of at least 30 dancers. The costumes were beautiful and the pace frantic. I can’t imagine the energy consumed by the dancers during this performance. It was an exciting show, but I can’t say it was worth the price of admission. I do have some photographs of the beautiful dancers and costumes to share.

At dinner this evening our group was reduced by half. Janet, Carl and David have all been ill with what appears to be a stomach virus. They were feeling better this afternoon but thought it best to wait another day before rejoining the activities. Hopefully by tomorrow they will all be back to normal.

Enjoy the photos..

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3 Responses to Day 14 – Tuesday, January 18 – Parintins, Brazil

  1. Rick And Cindy says:

    I think if you had more of the unlimited local brew, the show might have been better!

  2. Marie and Bob says:

    Carl and Janet,
    Hope you are enjoying your trip but get better soon!

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