Sāo Bartolomeu IV

Sāo Bartolomeu IV

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We paid R$700 (for some undetermined reason we were given a R$50 each discount) in cash (cards not accepted) for a deluxe cabin which turned out to be a steel box. Yes, it had a light, a fridge and air conditioning but essentially it was a box with a bed (actually a double bed with a single berth above) and a loo. Importantly it had a lock, so you can feel secure about your luggage. The bed, however didn't have bedding other than a sheet over the mattress so we used the single sheet off the bunk as a cover. This was less than satisfactory as the air conditioning had two settings - fully on or off. With the lack of bedding, this meant that after an hour we were cooking or shivering and had to get up to switch the air con. to the opposite setting!

Most of the ship was taken up with dormitory decks with hammock hooks for passengers and two lower decks for cargo. There was a bar area with a large screen and loud music which served cold beers and spirits by the bottle. The only food apart from chocolate bars were ham and cheese toasties at R$8 (about £1.75). However, at each port of call licensed sellers of street food swarmed aboard and you had about 10 minutes to purchase coffee, snacks of banana chips, empanados, and even whole meals, before the ship left again.

The pictures show the Sāo Bartolomeu IV's sister ship on the Amazon at Santarem where the blue water is from the much cleaner Rio Tapajos joining the main channel; our cabin; a street(boat) vendor on a hammock deck; and empanados. A truly authentic way to experience the Amazon, but the 33 hour journey from Manaus to Santarem was enough!

November 2017

Janet May 17 2019 184 reads 0 comments 0 ratings Print

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