I've just walked into the vast expanse of water that is the Atlantic Ocean to give my last piece to camera of the whole shoot. I collapsed into the water, exhausted and somewhat lost for words. It wasn't deep as the beach went on for ages, so I just lay there in the shallows with the odd ripple of water washing over me, feeling tired but content. I tasted the water and sure enough it tasted completely fresh - hardly a hint of oceanic saltwater at all. So the Amazon is still master of this area. People tell me the fresh water continues for many miles out to sea and up and down the coasts. Quite remarkable really.
We've done it. We've reached the port of Belem, the gateway of the Amazon, where the mighty river finally meets the Atlantic Ocean. There was a great atmosphere on the boat as we pulled into port at sunrise. Everyone's thoughts are naturally turning towards home, and despite the weeks of exhaustion there's a lovely light feeling in the air.
Posted from: The Castelo Guedes, sailing east from Santerem
We're back on the Amazon on the final leg of the journey. Yesterday we left the Kayapo village of Krinu where we've been staying for the last week and it was an amazing feeling to know that from here on in we're all on the way home...it was quite emotional bumping along the dusty airstrip waving to the Kayapo who came out en masse to say goodbye.
4.30 am. Pitch dark. The rats were busy scampering around the floor of the crew's hut. A dog howled at the moon. And then scratched. I wondered what woke me, as it started again. Like a drunk on a moonlit backstreet the wail began. A Kayopo elder was calling the tribe to dance. The huts - arranged in a large square of 20 or so - seemed to sleep on regardless. I really wished I could have. The call was incessant. What could be so important? Even the rats took no notice.
Ceremony and ritual is an incredibly important part of the Kayapo way of life. They believe that by dancing, they are able to go back to a time of mythical origins, and in so doing, recreate the energy and drive they need in order for life to continue. Most of the rituals and ceremonies we took part in seemed similar to each other - to the untrained eye, it was a great deal of chanting in a large circle, men, women and children, sometimes around a fire.
We're on the final main shoot of the series, staying with the Kayapo Indigenous People on their reserve in the south of Para state. They are proud warriors yet at the same time very gentle hosts, and have given us a very warm and traditional welcome.
The Kayapo are known as a warrior Indian tribe and now, more than ever, they're having to fight to preserve their land as cattle ranchers encroach further and further into Indian territory to make way for pasture. While we were there, they took us up the hill close to their reservation. From here, they showed us just how much land close to their reservation had been turned to pasture.
We've arrived at the Kayapo village of Krinu. It's my first time staying with an Indian tribe. We got here at dusk, a magical time for the light, catching the straw and wooden huts on the outskirts of the vast dusty circle they're arranged around. It's an impressive space.
So I turned 35 in the third most dangerous city in Para State. Twenty deaths per weekend apparently. I dread to think what happens in the first and second place town! We were hoping to celebrate my birthday at the local Forro dance. But every time we asked someone where the best forro in town was, they'd shake their head and look away. Strange, we thought. Still, we persevered. We were determined to dance.
Nothing like lunch with a cowboy to take women's lib back a few centuries...
We had a 10-hour drive ahead of us - along the Transamazonica, a 2,300 km long dirt road that stretches between Amazonas and Para state. It was meant to have been paved but like many ambitious constructions in Brazil, investment abruptly came to a stop and things have just remained as they were for the past 36 years.
There's a real buzz around town at the moment. One thousand indigenous Indians have just arrived on a fleet of beaten-up buses for a massive protest against a proposed dam on the Xingu River. It's amazing to see all the warriors in full tribal costume hanging around town. Both men and women carry machetes or clubs, and as we discovered on the first day of the protest they are not afraid to use them.
We've just spent two weeks filming in Altamira, a cattle and logging town on the Xingu river. The day before leaving we had the afternoon off and we set out on a group shopping trip, making an instant beeline for the best cowboy shop in town. The shop had a full size plastic horse on the pavement outside and inside was packed from floor to ceiling with everything you need for life out on the range. The shelves were brimming with stirrups, spurs, lassos, saddlebags, chaps, boots, hats and buckles and the whole place had a comforting smell of dust, leather and polish.
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Bruce Parry, presenter of the BBC's Tribe, travelled the length of the Amazon to film a major new series for BBC Two, shown in autumn 2008. You can relive his journey online through exclusive blogs, video and much more.