Today, our riverboat cruise on the Tucano began. There were 16 passengers in all, 3 from the USA, 3 from England, 4 from Sweden/Norway, and the rest were a Brazilian family (mom & dad, two grown daughters, one son-in-law, and a woman who'd worked with the dad for many years). We immediately bonded with Pat, one of the Brits who had to be at least 75 years old. This woman was a riot. Her husband doesn't like to travel, so for the past 20 years, she's been traveling and having adventures all over the world on her own. She's trekked 3 times in the Himalayas, tracked lemurs in Madagascar, went white water rafting in Thailand on a bamboo raft (where at one point, a big wave flipped her off the raft. As she was hanging on for dear life, trying to figure out to where on the shore she should swim, another wave came and flipped her back onto the raft). She's been to Thailand 17 times because she teaches Tai Chi and studies under a master there. She's gotten stranded in Siberia, traveled the Middle East, all through Asia...you name it, she's been there. But the crazy thing is, her husband doesn't know anything about any of it! She doesn't want him to worry about her, so she lies about where she's going. And she thinks it's perfectly natural not to tell him and didn't really understand why we thought it was so funny.
Our boat headed up the Rio Negro, one of the rivers that feeds into the Amazon. The Rio Negro is much less traveled than the Amazon and we pretty much had the river to ourselves for the week. We didn't see any other tourists, only a few locals here and there on their fishing boats. It was incredibly quiet and peaceful.