Didem Doğan

Flying over the Amazones and landing on the ‘Meeting of the Waters’

An unforgettable memory! I am at the second terminal of the airport in Manaus, this is a smaller terminal where you find mainly the offices of the Air Taxi companies. The Amazones is so big and expanded on the rivers that to some places it takes hours to reach by boat; so air transportation is highly demanded! As they take me out to the runway I see lots of little commercial airplanes, two pilots introduce themselves to me: ‘Eu sou commandant do vôo’, he says ‘I will be the pilot of this flight’, so we’re gonna have a little flight over Manaus! It has always been my dream to fly with a private jet, and now I feel the adrenaline going through my veins and a huge smile on my face. We prepare for the take off, the front window is so narrow I wonder how they are able to see the front. As we are taking of and begin to ascend we leave the city behind we see the blue skies, the clouds over the river, the green vast jungles. they say ‘hey let’s make a landing on the water now!’, and we go towards the direction of the famous ‘Encontro das Aguas’. The ‘meeting of the waters’ is the place where three rivers - The Black River, Rio Negro, the Amazon River and the River of the Soliman, Rio de Solimões- meet. They do not mix each other for about six kilometres, the black and yellow colours are separated from one another like in a painting. It is due to the temperature and the speed of the current of the rivers. We had seen it during our boat trip but from the air you get a more clear view of it. We start to descend. They inform the Flight Tower for the landing- yes they have to do it on water as well- and we are on the water! When we arrive on the meeting of the waters they open the door, the breeze from the river fills the plane, we go out and stand right on the water! It feels amazing. We go inside and prepare for another take off. It feels almost the same on water as the normal take off on the runway. We are up in the air again. We pass the Rio Negro Bridge, a 3,5 kms cable-stayed bridge that connects the city of Manaus to Iranduba. We then head to the chic neighbourhood of Ponta Negra. We then go over the historical centre and fly over the Amazones Theatre. It feels wonderful to have a bird-eye view of every place I passed by during the last few days- a perfect final for my trip to Manaus. Million thanks to the cutest pilots and the Manaus based air company Rico!