Caves and waterfalls, two great tastes that taste great together

Day 8: Déjà vu involving waterfalls and caves

I woke up at 5:39am. This is the recipe for getting more done by 10am than you do all day when you only wake up at 10am. We were sleeping in hammocks slung under a pavilion at Erikes’ friend’s campground a bit north of Presidente Figueiredo. Here’s the sand pitch we played soccer in yesterday.

bare feet, sand, and foreshadow insertion

First we noticed the flat tire when driving away from camp. Pushed the car to a flat spot, jacked it up, off with the flat, on with the spare. Leaving camp, take II.

photo credit: Maurice Ribble
photo credit: Maurice Ribble

Next we stopped at a restaurant (which all tend to be outdoor picnic table affairs) for breakfast. I had omelette simples (no meat?) and a cafe pure (black?). Erikes joined us halfway thru and ate our leftovers. He’d already gotten the flat repaired! Then he gave me 50 cents to use the pay toilet near the restaurant. There was no TP in there, so I recovered some barely soiled TP from the trash can and made due. Already important life decisions being made and it’s barely 7am!

I really dug this bas-relief mural across the street from the breakfast place in Presidente. I wish they had it in postcard format.


We drove an hour to another friend’s private property, and hiked an hour, nearly 3 miles, to a spectacular waterfall. (What had you accomplished by 10am?) Yesterday’s was wide, but today’s was tall. Yesterday’s was crowded, but we were probably the only ones to see today’s waterfall for weeks in either direction. On our way in we saw a good-sized spider monkey jumping tree to tree in the rainforest canopy. Also several macaws on the way out. And a cute tiny 3-legged frog. Harry would be excited, except no darts.

3 mile hike
photo credit: Maurice Ribble

Spider monkey

Yet another beautiful waterfall

Gorillas in the mist
photo credit: Maurice Ribble
Thirsty Moe
photo credit: Maurice Ribble

The Amazon is wet.

On a rock up in the treetops
photo credit: Maurice Ribble
Newly discovered species Frogus tripodus
photo credit: Maurice Ribble

We hit lunch at a roadside restaurant at noon, where I drank Fanta and ate a whole fish. Delicious on both counts!

This meal brought to you by the letter F

Then to a serious cave system, Caverna do Maroaga. Here they supply the guides, so Erikes took a break from babysitting us. 😘 Our guide didn’t speak English, so we used universal gestures and smiles, and that sufficed. It was the usual, roughly 1 hour hike in. The caves were dark on the inside, but I took a very Blaire Witch video of us inside by the guide’s flashlight. Looking backward at the last bit of daylight, I could see the silhouette of bats swooping. All very cool. Then we hiked around to the other side where there’s a nice grotto shower, Gruta da Judéia, we could splash around in to cool off before the return hike.


The Blaire Witch Cavern
photo credit: Maurice Ribble


Caves + waterfalls

Mote trail

Mossy cuteness

Playboy mansion?


Eric had had enough fun for the day and wanted to get back to our camp, so after a quick FaceTime between Moe, Emily, and Ada as we drove through Presidente Figuereido’s brief cell tower coverage, we returned to camp. It wasn’t even long enough to download a single song, never mind the album I was hoping for: Chris Pureka’s Driving North. (Radio has been hit or miss, and we’ve spent a lot of time in the car lately!)

I sat in the river drinking beer and reading my book (Everything Matters) for the rest of the afternoon. I’m nearly done, maybe one more sitting to go… Still loving it!

Wait, isn't this how you read?
photo credit: Maurice Ribble

Tomorrow we’ll hit one more waterfall early, then drive back to Manaus to begin part 2 of our trip at the eco-resort. It’ll be hard to say goodbye to Erikes. He’s been with us since we stepped out of the airport, and he is Brazil to us! 😭

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