Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Peru-Brazil 2013 – Day 23 – Bosque da Ciencia

Today we had a big agenda, planning to visit several museums and natural areas. We were so efficient that we were waiting outside the Bosque da Ciencia by 8:30 am, waiting for it to open at 9 am. This bosque is a research station that has been expanded to welcome visitors. They work with river otters, manatis, and caimans, but the enclosed area of about 40 acres is home to wild monkeys, sloths, and the agouti (a large rodent, about the size of a cat, that runs along the ground on agile, delicate legs). The bosque has been improved with a couple of shops where Annie bought some bead bracelets, a model home made of wood that can be pre-fabricated for about US$2,500 (not bad for a house with the three rooms and a small living room, although I imagine one of the rooms would have to serve as kitchen, and the model did not have a bathroom), and a couple of cafeterias. We had a delightful morning, walking under the jungle canopy.
Emboldened with our success we pushed on to the Museum of Natural Sciences, which is also known as the Japanese Museum because it is in the Japanese(-Brazilian) neighborhood. We took the bus, only to find out that it was the same driver who had brought us to the Bosque de Ciencia, and he was a bit perplexed when I told him we were going to the Japanese Museum, but he took us to the Japanese neighborhood and there left us with instructions about asking for directions (Brazilians are so sweet with us foreigners). It was a bit of a hoof, but Annie and I got there, just to find that the museum had closed permanently on April 1 (no wonder since it was practically unaccessible and only devoted tourists like us would have made the effort to get there.
The way back was looking like a hot and thirsty hoof, but God (who loves foolish tourists) sent us an angel in the form of a friendly Brazilian, who brought us out of the concrete jungle and put us on a suitable bus stop to get back to downtown. Lunch was delicious but afterward we had little energy left, so the afternoon was lady’s choice. The lady chose to go shopping for organic products to a store she had spied from the corner of her eye in a previous bus ride. We got there and the prices were outrageous, but my little organic Honey was happy, and while I napped in the coffee shop she spent the equivalent to a small fortune buying God-knows-what. She is happy, so I am happy.
Tomorrow we will board the slow boat to Santarem, so it may be three or four days before I come back on line. I am looking forward to our slow float down the Amazon.    

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