26 October 2023 Amazon River Day 6

In search of a Immodium

Link to more images at @Kapikoy100

To paraphrase some of the current insights of psychology and neuroscience…

My brain is not a thinking machine… it is a prediction machine whose primary purpose is to keep me alive, well and fit for reproduction… so that I can pass my genes on to the next generation. 

My Brain predicts my body’s need and use of water, salt and glucose etc.

My Brain predicts and decides whether I should act or not to act… whether I should use biological resources or save them… whether I should run-way… or I stand and fight… or just freeze! I am conditioned to seek safety.

My brain wants to avoid surprises… almost literally to predict the future… to anticipate what might happen next. This causes me to crave certainty and dislike unexpected surprises.

From the perspective of ‘survival at any cost’, my brain’s predictions beat physical reactions. I am unconsciously conditioned to fear.

My brain’s predictions… conditioned by, or constructed from past experience… repeat what works and avoids what doesn’t… even single cell organisms without brains do this. 

In short, my brain’s primary purpose is not to think… but to keep me alive at any cost even to the extent of competitive survival… and to facilitate the production and care of offspring… mostly without me being aware of those imperatives

VJC (from a talk for Sangha Live in October 2022)

“People consciously see what they expect, rather than what violates their expectations.

Anil Seth (Professor of Cognitive and Computational Neuroscience)

Woke up around 3:30 am with a gripey stomach necessitating a visit to the bathroom, followed by taking a couple of Immodium tablets.

Top Travel Tip: Immodium is a brand name for Loperamide Hydrochloride 2mg. I always carry 'Loperamide' with me and buy more when necessary. Depending upon where you are in the world, asking for Loperamide Hydrochloride 2mg can be considerably cheaper than asking for Immodium. This stuff generally works to allow you to travel but sometimes doesn't necessarily eradicate the underlying cause.

I went back to sleep until a little after 5 am when I awoke to the sunrise. 

Marina says she has has vomiting and diarrhea. 

DISCLAIMER: I am not a doctor, so please always seek the advice of a professional.

Top Travel Tip: On my second visit to Thailand, 24-years ago, I had the most awful vomiting and diarrhea in Bangkok. I managed to get to a pharmacist who gave me a five day course of Norflux400. Now I always travel with at least two complete courses of Norflux400. Each course is 10 tablets taken twice a day for five days. If I use a course I will buy a replacement at the next possible opportunity. You don't want to be cought short up the Amazon.

Marina sees the on-board nurse who gives her paracetamol.

Breakfast is from 6:30 am until 7:30 am, so I head to the dining room at 7 am but there is nothing occurring. I am then told that the current time is 8 am. I am being chronologically challenged!

I ordered a hamburger with everything from the canteen, which by my time or anyone elses for that matter, took at least one and a half hours to materialise. Lucky that I have nowhere else to go or be for at least another 24-hours!

The boat tends to stick closer to the faster flowing bank, where most of the erosion of the jungle happens rather than the slower and probably much shallower opposite bank where sand, etc gets deposited. It is still too far away from the bank to really spot any wildlife, so perhaps on another occasion a small pair of binoculars would be a great advantage.

Just like my ‘self’, the Amazon River changes moment by moment. It is in a constant state of flow, changing it’s shape and direction. And just like my ‘self’, the river is impermanent; one day neither of us will exist in any shape or form.

Lunch comes and goes. More of the same really, with rice, spaghetti, bean stew with a few precious slices of carrot and diced potatoes, breaded fish, and what looks like refried chicken. 

An afternoon siesta is more of a necessity than luxury, and very welcome. Followed by a shower with my laundry before dinner at 5 pm.

I wonder when the quoits will start?

Dinner was, quess what? Yes, you would be right, rice, spaghetti, bean stew etc etc.

I am not sure what time we will arrive in Manaus tomorrow but I haven’t got a hotel booked yet. I bought some onboard internet access and started to look at what might be available in the city for a couple of nights. In the end, I settled on an Ibis Styles for location and convenience rather than price.

That’s it for now… good night.

Around 10:30 pm, when all the lights are out and most people are trying to get off to sleep, the boat cuts the engines. Shortly afterwards there is an announcement in Portuguese that the vessel will be boarded by the Federal Police Drugs Squad. Our boat pulls alongside Base Arpão. The locals know the drill well. All hammocks are tied up and tucked away, all baggage is lined up on the deck. Men stand on one side of the boat and women on the other. A sniffer dog is brought onboard, and starting on the top deck sniffs everyone and everything. The top deck is given the All Clear.

It’s past midnight and we are still moored alongside Base Arpão. I will put eye mask on and try to get some sleep.

Good night again.

Budget costs:

  • Hamburger with everything (in place of missed breakfast) € 2
  • On board Internet Access € 2

Link to more images at @Kapikoy100

Links for reference and further reading: 

In Search of… something