Spending a week sleeping in a hammock on a boat travelling along the Amazon River truly sounded like the tonic for a World Cup hangover. And yet I was unsure of what exactly to expect. So here I will try to convey this unique experience by identifying how best to prepare, what to expect and reveal the (mostly positive) discoveries I made along the way. Warning: May contain sunsets.
Once again, I scheduled myself in Manaus to watch the World Cup, this time for the two final matches. After their embarrassing defeat in the semi-final, the hosts looked to claim some honour in the third place playoff against the Netherlands, who only got knocked out by penalties to Argentina. To cause an almighty upset in neighbouring Brazil, the Argentines would have to overcome mighty Germany, so it looked to be a final to truly relish. I enjoyed three fun nights with my new American friends and lazed around my hostel waiting for my boat’s departure to the Colombian border where I would continue my South American adventure.
My initial two night stay in Manaus was geared towards watching both World Cup semi-finals and organising a trip into the surrounding Amazon Jungle. A dream Brazil v Argentina final was still possible but the hosts faced Germany as significant under-dogs with captain Thiago Silva suspended and star player Neymar injured. The second semi-final pitted my other favourite team Holland against South American giants, Argentina. Was it to be a surprise or sadness, cause for celebration or catastrophe?