One of the most awesome, and in some ways, frightening, of exotics is a trip on the Amazon, mightiest of rivers, almost the longest. With its ten thousand tributaries it holds 20 to 25 percent of the world’s fresh water and dumps eleven times the output of the Mississippi into the Atlantic Ocean. The Amazon also refers to a region, one larger than Western Europe, one that extends from Belem on the Atlantic, two thousand miles across Brazil and includes a corner of Peru and a section of Colombia. It covers almost half of Brazil. An island, Marajo, is the size of Denmark. Belem is a large city. Iquitos in Peru and Santarem in Brazil have populations of about 150,000. Belem will soon have a Hilton Hotel. Iquitos has a Holiday Inn.
Manaus, 1000 miles up the Amazon from the Atlantic, is an anomaly, a thriving industrial city of close to 200,000 people in the middle of Amazonia. The reason: it is Brazil’s only free port and the Japanese have moved in to set up assembly plants. The city has direct air links with major South American cities and with the United States. The Tropical Hotel is one of Brazil’s finest resorts. Santarem, halfway down the Amazon from Manaus, has around 100,000 residents, some the descendants of Confederate diehards who migrated there after the U.S. Civil War.
You’ll enjoy the walk more then as well. Sao Paulo Metro Map Although the walks follow existing rights of way, the choice of routes is entirely my own. Sao Paulo Metro Map Therefore, you will need to follow my directions carefully, to ensure that you don’t go off course, and more importantly that you do not trespass on to private land. For additional reassurance, you may wish to keep a map with you. For the city/town walks a street plan will suffice but when venturing into the country, the best maps are the Ordnance Survey Explorer maps which are designed very much for the needs of walkers and cyclists. You may also wish to supplement my (necessarily) potted notes about features of particular interest with further books and guides.
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