have done some of the most amazing things in my life and I don’t want this trip to ever end. We started off in Manaus, Brazil in the morning and 60 of us were split into three different groups- Becca and I were in one, my friends Andrew and Ben were in a different one, and our friend Missy was separated. Each group was on a different boat, but our boat and the boys boat were always together. We started off down the Amazon river and we got to see where the brown river mixed with the Amazon river- it was crazy because they didn’t mix exactly- you could see a defined line where they parted because the colors refused to mix. We continued for an hour or so down the river and got off at a little village to eat lunch and to go see giant lily pads. These lily pads were so massive. They were about the size of half of my body. There were alligators in the water, and all kinds of little bugs everywhere! We got back on the boat and traveled for four hours up the Amazon where we put up our hammocks. The boat ride was so long and we didn’t really expect to have nothing to do so none of us brought anything with us. We had one deck of cards, music, and did yoga. I convinced the captain to let us put the music on really loud and we were taught how to samba. The other two boats could see us dancing and were taking videos because they didn’t even have cards or music. We got to our destination, ate a snack and then got in little boats to go hunting for alligators. Our guides name was eddie, and he grabbed it by the tail and brought a baby alligator onto my boat. I was the first one on my little boat to hold it, and one of the only girls who would even touch it. He also let me set it free in the water! We got back onto our sleeping boats and ate dinner. After dinner we all hung out, talked, and then went to bed at around one. We were up by five to go piranha hunting!! Movies make you believe that there are going to be way more piranhas than there are, and also that they will eat you if you swim in it. COMPLETELY WRONG!
we went swimming in the amazon! I did a back flip off of the boat into the water and then the other girls came in to swim with us too. It made me laugh so hard because the girls on our boat would say “shes so brave! what the hell is she doing!” because anything the guides would say we could do, I would try it. We boated back to our sleeping boats to get breakfast, and then we saw PINK DOLPHINS! They were so ugly but it was pretty cool to see a dolphin that was so different than the ones we swam with in the Bahamas. We boated back to the MV explorer to get back on the ship, and we were all dancing samba the entire time back. Once we got on the ship, we showered and got our belongings packed. Once we were all set to go, Ben, Andrew and I went exploring in Manaus. We walked through all of the streets and the markets and decided to try Brazilian beer and a meal. We couldn’t understand the menu so we picked random things and laughed at how random they all turned out to be. We went to the bar to meet up with all of the other Semester at Sea kids, and we hung out there for an hour until it was time to head to the airport.
We got to the airport at around 11PM but our flight had been delayed, so we all went to the airport bar for drinks and food to pass the time. We got on the plane, but there was a connecting flight, so we only got about two hours of sleep that night all together. We got to Brasilia where we were supposed to wait for our next flight, but a flight attendant yelled out RIO!!! So sixty of us went sprinting down the airport to board the plane we had thought we were going to miss. They didn’t even check our plane tickets when we boarded, just told us “FREE SIT! FREE SIT!” so we all sat and had about one more hour of sleep. We got to Rio, got on buses, and with the time change, it was already 10AM. We went to get breakfast, and we started our day without even being able to go to our hotels. We ate breakfast and then got into jeeps, 10 people a jeep to go to a huge mountain to see the “big jesus.” I’m not even sure what it is actually called, but we all called it the big jesus because it was MASSIVE!! From the big jesus, we could see all over Rio. It was one of the most beautiful views I have ever seen. After the big jesus, we went and saw a waterfall and then after the waterfall we went to the botanical gardens. The gardens were so pretty, but a group of us split off there to go on a bike ride. We rode bikes throughout Rio and got to see majority of the city. Once we got cleaned up and showered, me, becca, and two girlfriends of ours went to the other hotel and we met up with the boys to go to a brazilian steakhouse!! IT WAS SO GOOD!! The food was incredible and there was so much of it. I wanted to explode. But I got a dessert too. I couldn’t say no haha!! Afterwards we went back to their hotel where we met up with more SAS students and went to a local bar and played card games and stayed out until about two. We headed back to our separate hotels, and had to be up at 8:30 in the morning to go on a ropes course. Me becca Andrew Ben and a few other boys left the ropes course and went hang gliding!!!!!! THIS WAS THE MOST BEAUTIFUL THING I HAVE EVER SEEN. From the sky I could see EVERYTHING that we had been to. I saw the big jesus, the favellas, the beaches, mountains, and the ENTIRE city. Our hang glide mans name was Mosquito and he took Clinton Portis hang gliding too. And a ton of playboy girls. The guy was so cool ( I have so many pictures!) HE EVEN LET ME DRIVE THE HANG GLIDER! We all got showered and headed to a BRAZILIAN FOOTBALL MATCH!!! There were about 90 SAS students there and we all talked with the portugese football fans and even got to wave around flags. It was nuts!! My shirt was ripped but its okay because I bought it the day before for like five dollars. It was the craziest game ever. We got back around 1:30 and went back out to the bars with the fans. At around 3:30 we went back to the hotel to get packed for our 5AM flight back to manaus. One of the guys ended up leaving all of his belongings in rio because he forgot it was time to leave and just grabbed his money, passport, and important things, then grabbed a cab to meet us at the airport. We had to get a connecting flight again and we also lost a few hours to go back to manaus so overall we probably got twelve hours of sleep over four full days. We got into manaus and immediately got back on the boat so we wouldn’t be counted as late.
Right now we are on the boat to go to GHANA!!!