Tuesday, 5 December 2017

The day I rescued a Two-toedsloth

It is hard to picture a better life than the one I currently have. I live at the very best property of Alter do chao, a jolly nice village in the middle of the Amazon chosen by The Guardian as one of the best beaches in Brazil. My work gives more pleasure than eyes can see. I have a 6-year daugheter, she is a STAR!!! family friends and of course, windsurf, the best toy ever. There are many many other reasons for me to feel the happiest person on Earth. (Pause for windsurfing I will come back later).

When I was going to the beach I bumped on a couple who looked like cruisers. I aksed about the ship and I though it was bizarre that I had not group on her...

When I was returning from windsurfing I met  Sue and Stephen, from Prinsendam. Stephen is an avid windsurfer and I was was happy to share my equipo with him. After surfing he and Sue came to vis

It is about 7pm now and i just learned I had a group on Prinsendam. Ooh that is terrible. It will never happened again


Note  when I rescued the sloth my mobile got wet and broke so I had no way to be called by my friends

Tuesday, 14 November 2017

Christal Serenity X


Thank you for tour today it was an interesting and educational experience.  You have a great team.  All the little extras (various refreshing drinks and food snacks) were great.  Your dedication and passion for the Amazon, the people and nature is very evident!

Thanks again for a unique and memorable experience!

Everybody got nuts!!!!

A male sloth

Getting to the boat at Richard Hennington pier

Our boat alone on the Maica river

This time I asked a local artist to make some cool painting that explain some of the historical fact about natural rubber

How the seeds of rubber tree were taken is explained a bit here

As we arrived

Monday, 23 October 2017

Thank you all, thanks TA

Sirena at Alter do chao

We left on time to visit Terra Rica, an area that belonged to my family from my mother side.
During the 45m drive I had a chance to share the history of my families, occupation of the area, some environmental issues, contemporary history as we drive through Belterra and above all make a short hike to my new place where I do overnight camp. I have decided not to use the trails made by my grand-parents and uncles but we still visit what is left by my family, like rubbet tree plantation, cocoa plantations, the huge kapok tree where I use to play hide and seek with my cousins and my family used to store Brazilnut sheel, avocados, piquia etc. This is place is also where the had been built and there is a nice view of the Tapajos river and it is also nice to contemplate rainforest from far away. The tour has quite been emproved!!!

On the way back we drove through Belterra and finally arrived at my property 4 hours later. We spend some 20 minutes eating drink and chatting and then the group was driven back to the tenders dock only 3 minutes from my place.

I would rate the tour 9.5 out of ten, but you better wait for a review on Trip Advisor.
Below you will find some pictures and I will post a few more (actually I am working on a video which can be more fun to see.

The gate to Terra Rica, a name given by my grand-father

At home for snacks etc

Sirena at rest
at a Kapok tree

Sunday, 22 October 2017

Sirena at Alter do chao and Santarem

 The Floodplain Exploration (Maica River area)

I must say that I spent many many days and nights worried about this tour with passengers from this amazing ship. The major reason was the fact that I would not get enough water in the Maica river area.
Days before the tour I had seen on Erik Jenning's s facebook some aerial pictures he had taken recently. I gave him a ring to receive several shots he had taken of the area I like exploring. Gosh, it looked so dry!!!

My next step was to get a fast boat and check in loco. I had to see it! Cruiseship passengers have only 5 hours and I value every second.
During the morning of the previous day of the tour(16th) I took a cab to (I live at Alter do chao of course) rented a car, checked in my mother's place (she loves it) and took took care of the papers to access the port. After eating lunch with my old lady and bros I drove Flora to the school and headed to catch the fast boat for checking the site.
When I was doing the inspection trip that very afternoon I met a young man who was fishing and I hired him to help me finding a nice place to hike with my guests that would arrive on the following day. We checked an area he had recently seen a 4-metre Anaconda, I did not like the area and the snake was not there anymore anyways. I checked my second favourite place but it did not look good enough, the access was not easy.
I found a place and  I actually decided to hire the young fisherman's entire family to work for me and in the end he brought his brother who brought his family as well (how cool)!

Just to make sure I also hired 4 canoes with outboard engine, those pec pec like, to make sure I can get my guests the closest to nature.

I dont think I slept the previous night, I was too excited.
At ninish I drove to the port to make sure all was clear with the guards, after september 11th, they act like they working at Heathrow.
When I was driving to the port I saw a young man (about 40s) with only one leg asking for a lift.
He joined me and I learned he was from Macapa (Amazon river delta area) and was planning to return home after trying an unsucceful living in Santarem.

My time at the port's office was quite brief, I saw a bunch of old and smily friends, including my dearest brother in law, they were fun to be with and extremelly effective with the paper work. When I left the office, the man with only one leg was just standing there. I offered him a ride back, he accepted it like a child accepts a lollypop.

During the ride I learned about his misfortunes including the fact that he was broke and was sleeping on the street. He wanted to go to a local radio station and ask for help. He also mentioned that he used to roast and sell cashew nuts on his original town.
I was needing someone to roast cashew nuts for the trips and offered him that work, I invited him to come and stay at home with me as well. - You know what? Let me help him better. I decided to take him on my tour!!! - Be here at noon!! You gonna love it. I told him. 
We shared an orange juice and I drove to the port to meet my guests.
Two boats, over 15 people hired including Denise Maia (Raul's wife), as a photo and film maker. That could not go wrong! all my trips turn out great, that was not going to be an exception. 
Sloths were seen, several pink dolphins and lots of birds. Great time, great fun. You have done it again Gil!

When I was changing dollars with a business friend of mine, he offered me a windsurf sail for free, well, he wanted me to place a sticker with his new shop logotype on it in return. I had just bought a new second hand sail and I offered him to do it for free.

Wait! The four boats had no cushions...The following day I saw this young and quite successful business man again and suggested him to share the cost with me of some confortable cushions which are actually ready, I will stick his logotype on them and the owners of the canoes, that did an excellent work will be happy have them I guess. I will get them on Monday and use on my next cruiseship tour in November.

What about the man with one leg, for god sake???
He disappeared, just like he had appeared. He was god checking me out. I hate when God does it!!! Give me a break man, you dont trust me right, come on.....Enjoy the pictures!!!

Sirena on the catwalk

Contemplating one of the 5 sloths found

During inspection

Pink Dolphin watching

Monday, 11 September 2017


Dear Gil
 We have been back home for a week only and it was so much to do after a long holiday (we had to go into our comman duties again and it is really hard 😢) that I haven't found time to write.
I have a bit time only, and started to thanks all of our guides and peoples which we met in Brazil; first of all - you.

Gil, all you organised for us was excellent. We remind with a big pleasure that 3 wonderful days we spent with you.  We appreciate your effort to make our stay at the most enjoyable.
All, be in our memory forever.
Thanks to you it was really excellent experience for all of us -  we saw so many wonderful places,birds,plants; we knew much about them and had many exciting experiences. We never forgot your stories and capirinias which you made for us 🙂, night on a board and in a forest.
It was a magic time.
Many thanks Gil.

Monday, 28 August 2017

T.A. New review

“My favourite amazon tour. ”
Reviewed yesterday
My dad and I booked "my favourite Amazon tour". In all my travels I never met a more passionate and knowledgeable guide about nature like Gil. I think when you are visiting the Amazon it is a must to book a couple of days with Gil to get the real Amazon experience. We had the best time ever staying in a couple of beautiful places. Like Gils fantastic house overlooking the beautiful river and the two nights in the pristine rainforest which was just incredible. The last part we stayed on a fantastic boat in the floodplain- just beautiful. Gil and Celso thanks a lot for this fantastic memory- we couldn't have asked for a better guide and experience. I'm definitely coming back to this beautiful place.

Randy & Edie
Visited June 2017

Saturday, 1 July 2017

Getting it straight II

 It is hard for the inhabitants of Santarem to talk about the city without mentioning the confederados. They made history in Santarem and still do!
Some hundreds of families were brought here by Hasting known for the Donner Party. He was encouraged by the Brazilian(portuguese) royal family that had slave breeding colonies.

The fact is that the confederates who moved to Santarem gave up slavery and only a few families ended up having them. Taperinha was one of the farms slaves were working as slaves.

The confederates became friends and did business with my grand father Julio Serique, they were friends of my father Flavio Serique. My grand-mother is burried by Dave Rikers first wife at Fordlandia, I live in a property owned previously by the Waughon family, Flora's last birthday gift was bought from the Hennington''s and my best friend is a Jennings.

For us it is a lot more a story of love and no hate at all. We are not that stupid and at the worst a lot of us saw Tarantino's, if did not read a thick book about the American Civil war.

I am often lazy to write below the pictures I post on facebook. One day I had a group picture (cruiseship passengers) with a confederate flag after after talking about it. It was not a joke, but it was a fun thing to do, the fact is that the picture was taken, posted  and created got some confusion between me and a friend.

Just to clearify that friend on the left descends from a family of slaves. He passed away a few years ago. Benedito was his name. He did not know the meaning of the flag.

The fun part is what took me to get the flag....

I like using props in my tours, it is an effective to way to educate and stamp messages on people's mind. We used them as well during our English classes at my brothers school.

I have fish skulls to talk about the fish fauna, books, masks you name it.

The prop I wanted now was a confederate flag and I ended up being very surprised to know how difficult was to get one.

My first try was a friend from the USA. He did not even responded my email and he is a real friend.
My second attempt was a friend from Canada, he lives in the USA. I went to E-bay and sent him a link (he was coming a week later to visit me). His answer was....- Gil, If I buy that flag with my credit card, on the next day CIA and FBI together will be knocking on my door.

I finally got it from Bryan, ( an English friend I had for over 30 years, I think he is dead now) who sent it to me without posting the sender address.

It is clear now!

It is all about friends and History

Friday, 23 June 2017

Getting it straight

As a native guide I often use my own experiences to talk about different issues. For example if I want to talk about community life I mentioned Surucua my birthplace; rubber History I talk about my grand-father Julio Serique; If I want to talk about living isolated in the middle of a big chunk of pristine rainforest I mentioned Terra Rica, gold prospection, criminality, sex whatever it is all about me, me, me. I am an egocentric in a constant egotrip and in the end an Ace Guide!!!

There is a single day story that I lived and I often share with my guests if I want to refer to the expansion of soy beans in the Amazon. I though I had publishe in my blog before but I just found on my facebook.

When Erik Jennings was still on High-school we guided together. He was also a good friend of my other brothers so we became even better friends. I guess he also wanted to be a guide but then he decided in the end to become one of the best neuro surgeons in the world, consequently the only time left for us was for fun.

I can not forget the week-day because that his only day-off...Monday, the universal day of the wind.
Two years before that I was working with Dr. Charles Munn III, protecting and studying Hyacinth Macaws in Southwestern Bahia state where soybeans was already taking over Cerrado, a habitat that reminds you the African savanna.  The capital of my country was built in it, a good portion of it had been destroy
The meeting of the waters witn Santarem on the background

ed already, there is almost nothing left now!!!

The floodplain east of Santarem during dry season
9AM the telephone rings, it was him.
- Let us go windsurfing buddy!!!
- I dont think I can now....
- look, if you change your mind come over to Paju.(that how we call his place).

I went back to my room, took my last puff and drove to his place, of course. How can you say no when your best friend invites you to do what you like best for god sake!!!!

The Tapajos at the time, was for sure the most beautiful river and least polluted in the world.  Paju faced its immensitude. The wind was howling, Erik had just bought new Formula...we were happy like no TWO. We were taking pictures, laughing, screaming having an awesome time.

Lunch time...it gets sort of better, he doesn't drink much, I do! I think he had some S. African wine...had some coffee and beiju de tapioca(sort of tapioca pancake)

At one point now about three he was on the phone.

- Who were you talking to buddy
- Let's go. He replied
I had never met a person with that name....

We jumped on his landrover and in ten minutes we were at the airport

Several months ago he had taken his flying license when working as a volunteer in a foundation in Houston, TX.

We flew eastward, then south, checked a bit west then flew back north....and that is the end of a almost happy day.

In one extreme I was crying of happiness to be with a good friend having a great time, in the other end sad for witnessing how far soy beans had gone. Right on my backyard.

What a day!

Cargill Port

Houston, Houston we have a problem