Paul Johns hadn't seen another human being in six days.
He emerged from the Amazon rainforest, tired and sore, but exhilarated, the sudden brightness bringing a smile to his face. The river sparkled, a vast body of water several kilometers across, even this far from its mouth.
Ahead stood a riverboat station, little more than a few rotting benches and a sign propped against an ancient wooden dock. The sign listed the boat pickup schedule, in Portuguese, Spanish, and English, the words faded and water stained. A dozen or more tourists sat on the benches or milled around nearby, waiting for the boat. Seeing them felt like spotting a rare animal in the brush. Paul's first instinct was to approach quietly, lest he startle them away.