Wednesday, August 21, 2019

V - Nova Airao

V - Nova Airao

The first village of any size we came to after leaving Manaus, was a small place called Nova Airao. It was located at the entrance of the Parque Estadual  Rio Negro Setor Norte (the National Park of the North State). That and the fact that the one place one could have contact with the pink dolphins was there, made it a tourist destination. Well, as much of 'tourist destination' as one found on this part of the river.

At first glance, the village was more than I thought. There were  some motor cycles and fewer cars (I saw 1 or 2). One has to keep in mind any hard goods have to be brought in by ship. And, this village was a good 2 days (in a fast boat) from Manaus -  the closest 'modern' city.

The narrow streets were roughly paved. The buildings, constructed of rough blocks covered with concrete, were painted bright colors. They reminded me of colors one would find in the Caribbean. Of course the occasional satellite dish was a touch of the modern world. One question I had were the power lines - where did the power come from? We saw no power source and there had been no power lines on the river so far. (Going up and down the Rio Negro, I did not see any power lines on the river.)

In some ways the village seemed to be deserted, almost as if it only came alive when someone arrived. Obviously there were not enough of us to qualify as 'arrivals'.  Given the fact the village was only accessible by boat and  we had not seen any boats of any size so far, I'm not sure where they would come from.

We passed locals on the street, who smiled and spoke (in Portuguese). But, I found Nova Aireo to be quite the conundrum. There was more there than I expected, but many of the buildings seemed to be empty, some, even abandoned. 

Then we rounded a corner and found an open air bar - playing country music of all things. Even odder, there were 3 old VW Beatles parked around it (that had dry rotted tires and no seats).  It was a like a time warp, that we were walking in and out of.

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