Parintins and Boi-Bumbá

This morning we woke up at anchor in the town of Parintins, where once again the day was grey and raining.  Not to worry though; this morning we were going to visit the Convention Centre to see a scaled-down version of the Parintins Folk Festival, otherwise known as the Festival do Boi-Bumbá.  Usually this takes place in June and runs for three days, but today we were going to be treated to an hour-long excerpt of it.

We decided to go up to the Grampian Restaurant for breakfast for a change, and a nice surprise awaiting us when we got there – another ‘champagne’ breakfast.  Good old Fred.  😀  Then off we went to the Neptune Lounge to get our tender tickets.

We boarded the liberty boat for the short ride across to the shoreside.  We needed our cagoules to make sure we didn’t get a soaking under an equatorial rain storm.  Once we got ashore we had time to look around the shops before the show.  There were a lot of shoe shops and I soon spotted a pair I just had to have.  They had 5″ heels in the shape of the Playboy bunny, and a big platform and diamante decorated upper.  The type of shoes my cousin Alan calls ‘hooker shoes’, lol. 😀   We decided to wait until afterwards to buy them so I didn’t have to cart them around with me.

We went into the convention centre (and out of the rain, thank goodness) and were welcomed with a free glass of caipirinha!  🙂  Then we made our way to our seats, which unfortunately were quite far back, but at least they weren’t right at the back.  Usually when we go to the theatre we try to get seats near the front because I am only 5′ tall and I invariably end up with someone 6′ 6″ in front of me.

The show opened with loud, rhythmic music and singing as the dancers, dressed in elaborate colourful costumes, took to the stage.  The festival celebrates a local legend about a resurrected ox.  It is also a competition where two teams, Garantido and Caprichoso, compete in extended retellings of the story, each team attempting to out-do the other with flamboyant dances, singing, and parade floats.  Some of the floats were really decorative; for example there was a giant turtle which opened up to reveal a beautiful maiden inside, and there were also giant dragons and fish.  It certainly was a very colourful, cheerful show, even if we couldn’t understand all the songs and the narrative.  🙂

All too soon the show was over, and we left the convention centre to find that the rain had stopped and the sun was attempting to get through.  Just as well; wearing our cagoules in the heat meant you were often just as wet inside, with sweat, is if you’d just let the rain wet you.  We went back to the shoe shop and I bought my ‘hooker’ shoes.  Then it was off to find a bar/café for the inevitable caipirinha.

We couldn’t immediately find a bar selling caipirinhas (what?!) so we decided to settle for an ice cold beer.  We found a place selling “Antarctica” beer; we remembered this incongruously-named beer from 10 years ago.  It comes in 600ml bottles and goes down a treat.

We got the liberty boat back to the Braemar and went along to the Palms Café for some lunch, taking our plates outside to sit at the stern next to the Lido Bar.  Whilst there, we noticed that the cocktail of the day was – yippee! – caipirinha.  🙂  So we each asked for a glass.  I’m not so sure that the Philippino barman had ever made one before, as he was going to use lemon instead of lime, so I had to keep him right, ha ha.  😀

There was a young waiter who made a small caipirinha and then ducked down behind the bar to taste it so he couldn’t be seen if any of the senior staff happened to be passing.  When Trevor asked him what he was doing, he replied “quality control”, lol 🙂

We spent the afternoon pottering around the ship and reading on our balcony, before getting changed for dinner. Tonight was a formal night again, and I decided not to go up to dinner but to join them later on for the coffee stage.  You can eat yourself silly on a cruise, and it really is uncomfortable when you feel stuffed and bloated, so it does no harm to miss a meal occasionally.

The show tonight was the Braemar Show Company performing “West End to Broadway”, so it was full of cheesy songs from musicals.  It was OK though.

Then it was off to the Skylark for a 70’s night.  We took part in the quiz with Colin and Liz and were doing great; we really thought we were in with a chance tonight.  The worst thing you can do in a quiz however is change your mind about an answer; this is what we did and it cost us the quiz.  Never mind – we consoled ourselves with some more caipirinha and Liz tried some as well.  We had meant to go to bed fairly early tonight, as tomorrow we would be leaving the Braemar to spend two days and one night in an eco-lodge in the Amazon rainforest, and we needed to pack our overnight things.  However, it was close to 1.00am when we left the Skylark.

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