My father Guilheme, who sadly is no longer with us, was very fortunate in working for Varig Brazilian Airlines. This allowed him the benefits of travelling far and wide, often off the beaten track. Never one to opt for a package holiday, he would much rather get back to basics and head to his beloved homeland of Brazil.
One of the most amazing trips, which he often recounted, was a journey to the Amazon on a six-day tour with a party of travel agents who were promoting Manaus as a holiday destination. Manaus is the Amazon’s largest city with a population of 2.5 million people, located on the Rio Negro river. The Amazon rainforest extends through much of north west Brazil, covering 2.1 million square miles and extending into Colombia, Peru and other South American countries. It is the world’s largest tropical rainforest and is criss-crossed with thousands of rivers, the most exceptional being the Amazon.
Today, Manaus (meaning Mother of Gods) is the main gateway to the Amazon river and the rainforest, and has its own airport. Electronic and wood industries and oil refineries surround the edge of the city, with the harbour acting as the most important trading centre.