Amazon Northbank Travels: Trip To Itacoatiara

Mario Cohn-Haft - Early August 1997

    Andy and Curtis and I set off in my car last Thursday night on a 3 1/2-hr drive to Itacoatiara. We arrived late and went straight to the docks to set up a boat for the next morning. Then we grabbed a meal and crashed at a hotel for a few hours.

On the ride out we’d hit a couple of short but powerful rain showers—the first rain I’d seen in a month. In Manaus, it hadn’t rained for 2 months straight, and I’d been preaching to all the neighbors about how local the weather is here and about the effects of deforestation on rainfall. I swore to them that if you just got out of the big city, it would be raining regularly—well, true or not, the fact is I’d gotten so used to it not raining that I hadn’t brought any appropriate gear!

On top of that, during one of the showers, my electric car windows died while I was trying to close them. The passenger one froze shut, but the driver’s side was now stuck far enough open that rain could get in and so could an arm to unlock the door. So there’d be no way to lock the car, and I had lots of good reason to pray for no rain.

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