Well after 3 days of nothing it was non-stop excitement today. Firstly I need to explain the Brazilian definition of a gang plank - this is a rotten piece of wood about a foot wide which in the UK you would need to wear a hard hat and harness before being allowed to use. Mostly our plank has been used to cover distances of about 1 foot, today however the gap between dock and boat was about 6 foot - this resulted in one passenger falling off plank into river!
Nick and I decided to go in search of food when the boat docked this morning. We asked the crew in our faultless Portuguese when we were due to leave and their response was when the horn goes. Now previous experience has led us to believe that the horn will be blown many times before the ship leaves. We found a shop with all manner of food and were very excited, I had a packet of Oreos and a bottle of orange pop in my hand when the horn went. We decided to make our way back just in case. When we got to the dock they were shouting at us to run as the boat was about to leave and the gangplank had been half pulled in meaning we had to jump about 3 feet across the water onto the plank. I did this with eyes shut and clutching my Oreos for dear life. Thankfully we both made it (me and the Oreos that is).
We continued down the river and were met by lots of women and children on canoes who were begging for food. Most of the passengers threw them food even though none of them seem to have much themselves. 30 minutes on and we noticed three canoes full of children directly in front of our boat, as we passed they threw hooks at our boat to attach their canoes and scrambled on board. The majority of them were aged between 4 and 8 years and had managed to scale the side of our boat within 3 seconds. Nick and I were waiting for the Captain and Crew to send them packing but they were welcomed onboard and given food/money and a pen from Nick. I think we could learn plenty from a country we consider backwards in the UK in so much as no matter how little they have they still give to those less fortunate. If beggar children tried to get on a boat going down the Thames I'm sure there would be an outcry as it would no doubt spoil holidaymakers experience of the UK.