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  • Writer's pictureTim and Lindsey

Belly flops in Manaus and Santarém - Days end of 574, 575 - 576

We spent three days in the Amazon and thanks to the powerful DEET that our friend Eve gave us, the only mozzy bites I got was on my hands. I washed them. Doh!

Then we spent one evening in Manaus without DEET. This gave the little blighters just enough time to feed on me in abundance while we went for a veggie meal, saw the Grand Theatre, and met a group of guys who were obviously fans of Tim.

Day 575 was mainly at Manaus Airport; fifteen hours in total and a lot of this queuing.

Just thirty minutes before our departure, another plane, shortly after its takeoff, had a malfunction. The pilot quickly brought it back for an emergency landing, and it belly flopped onto the runway. Luckily all 34 passengers were ok, apart from two who got injured, not when the plane landed but when the people went down the shoot.

Subsequently, no planes could land or leave until the runway was clear, which took most of the day.

I must say that we were quite impressed with Gol, the bucket airline we had booked with. They gave us food vouchers for both lunch and dinner and rather than just cancelling the flight, they put another one on at 12:40 at night.

We arrived in Santarém, a "gritty" place, as the Lonely Planet's Guide describes it, (they are correct). Sadly our Airbnb was a belly flop as well. The host couldn't accommodate us as he had energy issues in the room we were to stay in. He did kindly pick us up from the airport, (and charged us) then took us to a dump of a Hotel he had booked us for the night.

The next day he picked us up (late) and said he had a solution. That sounded promising. He offered us another larger room, but it was double the price! We turned down his 'offer'. He took us to another, much better, hotel which we appreciated. I thought it was going to beyond our budget, but he negotiated, and we ended up paying an additional £3 per night on top of the Airbnb cost. Hey ho!

The slight concern is that he still hasn't cancelled our booking (now three days later). I have been in touch with Airbnb and trust they will resolve this soon.

We have stayed in over 80 Airbnbs and been very lucky overall. Most have been great, and we have met many lovely people, some still friends which we are very grateful for. And we are also very grateful we weren't on the belly flopped plane either.

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