Dusk on the entertianment deck of the Avenger. The Avenger III is a passenger ship making the twice a month journey from the frontier town of Tabatinga in the Três Fronteiras region of Northwestern Brazil, to the capital of the State of Amazonas, Manaus. It’s also where the Rio Amazonas enters Brazil from its source in neighboring Peru.
Carrying passengers and crew totaling almost 200 and small cargo, the ship meanders its way along the Rio Amazonas and Rio Solimoes for four days and three nights. Stopping at half a dozen or so makeshift ports en-route, the service provides a vial link for communities along the river to get products to the city and more importantly, in the absence of roads or airfields, provide a means for the sick to reach care in the city of Manaus.
For those not fortunate to be accommodated in one of the two or three cabins available, home is space found for a self supplied hammock amongst the kaleidoscopic web of coloured fabrics.
By the second day, negotiating a stroll from port to starboard can seem more like negotiating an assault course of tangled ropes and personal baggage deliberately piled high to protect ones personal space.
Food served three times daily is adequate, a staple of soups, chicken, rice and noodles. An ‘entertainment’ deck on the top floor provides ample opportunity to be social engaging in card and board games with beer swilling, chain smoking locals.