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This is the first in a series of posts I hope to publish (Internet access permitting) about my forthcoming adventure to the Amazon, West Indies and the Azores. Though I travelled fairly extensively during my time in the Royal Navy (more years ago than I care to remember), and since then during my tenure at Reuters – (I left in 1999 after 17 very happy years) – I have never been to many of the places on this cruise itinery. I might add I’m not too familiar with cruise ships or cruising holidays, but anticipating a bit more space and better cabin service than what I experienced on one of Her Majesty’s anti-submarine frigates!
I will be using this blog to keep a personal record of this once-in-a-lifetime (?) trip, and to maybe share part of the experience with family and friends. I’m hoping to keep the blog posts synchronised as far as possible with the places and events experienced.
A brief outline of the trip:
The great adventure starts on 3rd January, at Tilbury, where Lynda – my wife – and I will be embarking the Marco Polo for the start of our 43-day cruise.
Our first stop will be Amsterdam, before sailing to Lisbon and then Funchal on the beautiful island of Madeira – at least it looks beautiful, but somewhere else that I’ve never visited.
We then head for Mindelo in the remote Cape Verde Islands, and then onto Brazil, stopping at Santarem, gateway to the Amazon River. We call at the Indian community of Boca da Valeria before reaching Manaus, where we hope to see the “Meeting of the Waters”, the confluence between the Rio Negro, a river with dark (almost black coloured) water, and the sandy-coloured Amazon River.
After that we visit Parintins and hope top see the “Boi-Bumba” Festival Show, and a brief stay at the little fishing village of Alter do Chao. We continue to Almeirum and Santana for Mecapa on the Amazon Delta for the return to the Atlantic.
We then head for the West Indies, stopping at Iles du Salut, the forma penal settlement better know as “Devil’s Island“, made famous by the film Papillon, and continue to St George’s, Granada. Then to St Vincent in the Grenadines and St Lucia. After that it’s Barbados and then homeward bound, with calls at Horta and Ponta Delgada in the Azores, finally returning to Tilbury and then home.
The full itinerary as follows and the Google “route map” is shown at the bottom of this blog post.
03/01/2013 Tilbury, UK
04/01/2013 Amsterdam, Netherlands
08/01/2013 Lisbon, Portugal
10/01/2013 Funchal, Madeira, Portugal
18/01/2013 Fazendinha, Amapa, Brazil
19/01/2013 Santaram, Para, Brazil
20/01/2013 Boca da Valeria, Amazon, Brazil
21/01/2013 Manaus, Amazon, Brazil
23/01/2013 Parintins, Amazon, Brazil
24/01/2013 Alto do Chao, Para, Brazil
25/01/2013 Almeirim, Para, Brazil
26/01/2013 Santana, Amapa, Brazil
28/01/2013 Iles du Salut, French Guiana
30/01/2013 St Georges, Granada, West Indies
31/01/2013 Kingstown, St Vincent, West Indies
01/02/2013 Castries, St Lucia, West Indies
02/02/2013 Bridgetown, Barbados, West Indies
08/02/2013 Horta, Faial Island, Azores
09/02/2013 Ponta Delgada, San Miguel Island, Azores