Friday, 30 July 2010


Rio Negro comes from the dense jungle of the north. It's waters are dark, almost black with the decomposing foliage. Rio Solimões comes from the west, all the way up the Andean tops and carries mud. It's colder, travels faster and its waters are brown. As they meet, a little further downstream from Manaus they travel side by side, without mixing immediately, little swirls doing the introductions like shaking hands, getting to know each other. And after a few kilometers the joined twins are called the Amazon.

Around the meeting of the rivers there's a dense forest of extremely tall trees. They have proper trunks-it's not the jungle and the all fuse at the top to form a green umbrella that follows you around. One of them apparently is the largest tree of the continent. Unfortunately it's name eludes me, it's in one of the indigenous languages. The silence is eerie and the black and blue reflections on the water dreamlike. It's a green, fluid, hallucinating maze.

Victoria Regis is the name of the largest lily of them all. It's only on the Solimões, the Negro's high acidity is prohibiting. The monkeys could be using them as giant pools, springs, hammocks, I don't know what. Their flower is white the first day, pink the second and purple on the third. And then it is no more. Don't go too far searching for another one, it's right there, next to you. And another and another. As far as you can see.

I'm afraid I did not spend that much time in the jungle. And to be honest I do not mind that much. I'm happy I'm here but happier this universe is here. The trip down the river, all the way to the ocean has commenced.