This morning I got off to a bit of a lazy start. I ended up talking to a guy fron the UK for quite a while, but he gave me some excellent advice for getting to the Bolivian Salt Flats and Machu Picchu, both of which are things I may very well attempt to do near the end of my trip. I didn't wander out until noon, but when I did, I headed over to the Manaus opera house, or Teatro Amazonas. This is a large stately opera house built in the middle of the Amazon jungle rainforest in 1896 during the rubber boom that brought a great deal of wealth to the region. Eventually an Englishman would steal a large quantity of rubber tree seeds from the Amazon and bring them to Malaysia and plant them there, bringing the rubber prices crashing. In the mean time though, Manaus was the center of a lot of money, and during that time this amazing, completely preposterous opera house was built. I was fortunate to be able to take a tour, with our guide speaking in English, and got a pretty good introduction to the building.
Later in the afternoon I wandered around and photographed some other architecture in the city, wandered through the extensive outdoor markets that seem to be set up on nearly every street in the center of Manaus, and came back to the hostel when it looked like it was going to rain.
And rain it did. It's been steadily down-pouring heavily for the last hour and doesn't show signs of letting up. I ran outside very briefly to grab a bite to eat, and even with an umbrella I got drenched. It seems to be a bit of a pattern, it's usually a little overcast during the day, then around 4:30pm the clouds open and you get heavy rain for a while. I expect it to taper off around 6:30pm, maybe 7pm, and then I'll go out and grab real dinner.
Here, as you've come to expect, are some photos of my day of exploration.
São Sebastião Church
São Sebastião Church looking up.
Repairing the electricity lines. Involves one guy sitting on a metal railing while screwing with the power lines attached to the building while the other guy watches.