Our port today is Boca Do Valeria and we'll be tendering ashore. The ship let down anchor and pink dolphins (or Amazon River Dolphins as they are correctly known) entertained us whilst preparations where made. In a fit of madness, Peter joined the queue and waited for at least 45 mins to get tickets for the first tenders across to the village. His sacrifice meant we had more time there. My hero.
Boco Do Valeria means mouth of the River Valeria apparently. The village sits on the confluence where the Valeria joins the Amazon. The people there wear western clothes, have limited electricity produce by generators, and watch television via the many large satellite dishes about.
But their lives are very different from our own. They hunt and fish for food. The teacher at the small school is self taught, and now passes on what she has learnt until the children can go to the surrounding, better equipped schools. The people live in cramped wooden houses on stilts and during the rainy season, have to share that space with their livestock which take over the "balconies".
According to the information sheet from CMV, Boca do Valeria only recieves about half a dozen or so ships each year. This means that when one does stop to visit, the schools in the surrounding villages close and whole familes climb into their boats and travel down river to meet us.
|We have no idea what this is, but it was cute. And very fast.|
Back in the village the adults were waiting with their small boats and crafts. I think the standard of the crafts is getting better year on year. If it wasn't for the fact that we already have so many keepsakes, I'd have bought loads, but I settled for a necklace which is complex and well made. It would have cost a lot more than $5 dollars elsewhere, and I'm really pleased with it.
|Local houses along the Valeria river|
We'll continue sailing now until we reach Manaus tomorrow afternoon. Something completely different again then.