Sunday, November 2, 2014

Manaus: a city in the middle of the Amazon Jungle

Q:  How cool is Manaus?

A: It depends. Literally speaking, it may be the least cool city that I have ever been to.  And by this I mean, it is hot.  Hot as balls. Hot, sticky, sweaty balls.  I, a native Miamian with a strong aversion to air conditioning, can't recall the last time I sweat as much as I did during my recent four day visit to Manaus.  And mind you, this was in late October!

But figuratively speaking,  this is the coolest of the cool.  It is a city that popped up squarely in the middle of the Amazon River Basin.  Remember the story about the 2014 World Cup Stadium that was so remote that all the building supplies had to be brought in via boats?  That was Manaus.

The Stadium is still there and occasionally put into use- we had a soccer team from Rio staying in our hotel to prove it- but that's just the tip of the sweaty iceberg.  There are stores, bars, restaurants and all the other things you would expect in a city with a population of over 2 million people, but what I loved was the constant reminder that, no question about it, you are in the middle of the jungle.  It is like this delicate dance between man and nature and at times, it is difficult to say who is leading.