Manaus/ Boa Vista / Arlindo and Iracema

Friday, November 17, 2017
Boa Vista, State of Roraima, Brazil
Today our epic journey continues after three days and still one flight and long drive and almost a day to go before we see the people in northern Brazil (Malaca de Mascou) about 20 miles from the border of Guyana.
Manaus is a city of between 1.5 and 2 million people in the Amazon jungle.  Right on the Amazon River.  It is just below the equator and it’s hot and muggy here.  We’re at the Bristol Hotel.  A beautiful hotel and it’s only $40.  Jorge and I are rooming together so that is really cheap. It includes a nice buffet breakfast with super great fruit.  Papaya, pineapple, and watermelon the way they were intended to be. Plus a really tasty cheese bread (little balls) called Pâo de Queijo. 
We then took a cab for about five minutes to the airport. Hotels are not allowed to use shuttles to and from.
I’ve only heard about Manaus from a Gordon Lightfoot song called “The NO Hotel.”  It’s about a trip he took to the Amazon and was going to check into the Nobo hotel on the outskirts of Manaus. The BO on the sign was burned out and the hotel was only the The NO Hotel. So, he wrote a funny song about it how the waiters didn’t want and the bellhops didn’t ring. Today my knowledge of Manaus took a quantum leap. Lots of bustle and traffic.
Our flight is on local Azul airlines to Boa Vista. It’s a one-hour flight north.  We’re circling back.  We have been on Embraer jets which are built here in Brazil.  When we got off it was like an oven. Equatorial weather!
Our elder Arlindo Lima Filho and his wife Iracema were there to greet us.  We had a rental car waiting for us at the airport.  Jorge works with rental car company less than half the cost of major rentals.  A rental car is given to you here with an EMPTY tank of gas.  
We drove to the bank to get some money exchanged.  First, we stopped by the rental car company to fill out the paperwork.  But, they were on siesta which runs about two hours.  People go home, rest, spend time with family midday.   
Then we went to our hotel where the elder came to.  We then had church matters to discuss all through the afternoon.  It was great getting to know them.  I don’t know Portuguese and know more about how people feel who travel with me to Eastern Europe and just smile a lot.  Something which I had been doing.  But, Jorge did a lot of the translation and I was in the know a lot of the time. 
The four of us had dinner at the hotel. All had the same thing. Beef, rice, chips.  An enjoyable evening of finding out more about one another and talking about how to serve this Portuguese speaking area better.  Tomorrow, we finally are going to get to our destination, about 1.5 hours with the last half hour on a terrible road.