World Cup's Most Exotic City Awaits Tourists

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News,World

Despite Manaus' location in the heart of the world's biggest rainforest, making it reachable only by plane or boat, the ills most likely to affect the 52,000 or so foreigners expected for soccer's premier tournament are disappointingly mundane. (June 2)

DURATION:

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1:33

SHOTLIST:

AP TELEVISION - AP CLIENTS ONLY

Manaus, Brazil - December 2013

1. Various aerials of soccer stadium and city

AP TELEVISION - AP CLIENTS ONLY

Manaus, Brazil - May 18-24, 2014

2. Various of traffic

3. People swimming

4. Ferry boat passes by on water

5. Boats docked

6. Tourists walk near restaurant

7. Tourist Florian Brossler talks with another tourist

8. SOUNDBITE (English) Florian Brossler, Tourist from Germany (Transcript Below)

9. Tilt down of Municipal Market

10. Man holding fish

11. Pile of watermelons

12. Truck holds pile of watermelons

13. Amazon Opera House at night

14. Opera singer performing Carmen

15. Opera singers performing Carmen

16. Man getting a haircut

17. Man looks in mirror during haircut

18. Traffic passes by downtown

19. Two monkeys hang in tree

20. Various of insects in glass case

21. Marcio de Oliveira, a researcher specializing in rainfoest bees at Brazil's INPA Amazon institution

22. Indigenous children play

23. Indigenious man with face painted

24. Floating houses

25. Pan of floating restaruants and people nearby

26. Various of people at fish market

VOICE-OVER SCRIPT:

DESPITE ITS FAR-FLUNG LOCATION -- IN THE HEART OF THE WORLD'S BIGGEST RAINFOREST --

WORLD CUP TOURISTS WHO VISIT MANAUS IN BRAZIL ARE FAR MORE LIKELY TO SPEND TIME IN BUMPER-TO-BUMPER TRAFFIC --

THAN EVER CROSS PATHS WITH A PYTHON.

STILL - THE ONLY WAY IN -- OR OUT -- OF THE CITY IS BY AIR OR BY BOAT.

AND TOURISTS -- AS WELL AS THE EIGHT TEAMS SCHEDULED TO PLAY HERE -- INCLUDING THE U-S --

DO HAVE THEIR WORK CUT OUT FOR THEM DEALING WITH HEAT --

AND HUMIDITY THAT HOVERS AROUND 80-PERCENT YEAR-ROUND.

SOUNDBITE (English) Florian Brossler, Tourist from Germany:

"Actually what I heard about Manaus is that it was really hot here, and that's right."

DESPITE THE WEATHER -- MANAUS IS A UNIQUE CITY WITH A RICH TRADITION.

IT BEGAN AS A PORTUGESE FORT IN THE LATE 17TH CENTURY --

AND HAD AN ECONOMIC BOOM IN THE LATE 1800S THANKS TO RUBBER PLANTATIONS --

WHICH LEAD TO THE BUILDING OF A STATELY OPERA HOUSE -- STILL IN USE TODAY.

A DECADES LONG ECONOMIC SPIRAL WAS STOPPED IN 1960S --

WHEN AN IMMENSE INDUSTRIAL ZONE HELPED BREATH NEW LIFE INTO THE CITY.

DESPITE THE CITY LIFE -- IN THE NEARBY JUNGLE THERE IS THE WILDLIFE YOU WOULD EXPECT --

EVEN GIANT INSECTS - BUT DON'T EXPECT TO COME FACE TO FACE WITH THEM.

"ITS NOT EASY TO FIND THIS SORT OF ANIMAL," SAID THIS RESEARCHER WHO SPECIALIZES IN RAINFOREST BEES --

"I'VE ONLY BUMPED INTO THESE INSECTS A FEW TIMES."

NEARBY -- INDIGENOUS PEOPLES LIVE IN THATCHED-ROOF VILLAGES CARVED OUT OF THE FOREST --

AND THE RIVERBANKS ARE LINED WITH FLOATING HOUSES, RESTAURANTS, GENERAL STORES AND BARS.

HERE WATER IS A WAY OF LIFE.

SIGOUT - Bob McCall/Associated Press

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