By Alison McGowan November 12, 2009 It is nearly always difficult finding excellent, good value pousadas in major cities in Brazil so it was a delight to find Maguire’s, just a stone’s throw from the airport. The pousada is new (inaugurated February 2008), and as yet only has two rooms, so you will need to book early if you want to experience a genuinely friendly Irish/Brazilian home from home, replete with air conditioning, cable TV and tea and coffee making facilities. Clive or Naice will pick you up from the airport, take you out on the river in the Shamrock” and show you the delights of downtown Manaus, for a fraction of the normal cost and none of the hassle. Altogether a great find. About the Location Manaus had a glorious heyday at the height of the rubber boom at the end of the 19th century, and there are still vestiges of its former glory evident in the Theatro Amazonas, and a few surrounding buildings. Regrettably little else has survived though, and what is worth seeing in the city itself will not take you more than a couple of hours. What is extraordinary here of course is something else entirely: the confluence of 3 huge rivers – Solimoes, Negro and Amazon, the bustle of hundreds of riverboats, and the extraordinary sense of space and grandeur. Go out to the “meeting of the waters”, where the black Rio Negro meets the brown Solimoes, or take a boat along the banks of one of the rivers to see the flora and fauna, the birds, the butterflies and the dolphins. Now those are unforgettable experiences. Not to Be Missed… – guided tour round the Opera house – the Theatro Amazonas – trip to the meeting of the waters in the pousada boat- the “Shamrock” – cruise down the River Solimoes and into lake Janauary – boat trip out to the rubber museum Starpoints * very helpful/knowledgeable English speaking hosts, Clive and Naice * free airport transfers and boat trip in the Shamrock * nice pool and thatched hut with hammock to chill out in Try a Different Place if… … you prefer “jungle lodge” style, or you don’t like dogs. Alison is a British writer, musician, and marketing consultant, based in Rio de Janeiro. She can be contacted on alison@hiddenpousadasbrazil.com. Visit her site at http://www.hiddenpousadasbrazil.com/.
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