You have already guessed that this is not a photograph of the counselors at Camp Darkwaters, right? In truth, these jolly people looking at the birdie in the jungle city of Manaus, Brazil were among those responsible for our annual resort and swimsuit act, which begins on page 34. They appear to be very cheerful here—but there were times when they felt like crying.
Take model Christie Brinkley. She is not shown above because—well, she couldn't make it. She and model Maria Jo‚Äö√†√∂¬¨¬£o were photographed on the beaches of Bahia, where, on the first day, Christie misjudged the strength of the Brazilian sun. Near the equator, it rises at 4 a.m. and by 8 a.m. is as strong as it is at noon farther north—or south. Christie was badly burned, and on the second day, she says, "I wanted to open my eyes, but they were swollen shut." She had scorched part of her stock in trade. "I hoped my face wouldn't peel," she says, "but, alas, my forehead looked like a map of Africa." Christie put ice cubes on her eyes, then steamed her face and rubbed the skin off. She covered the principal remaining blemish with sand for the day's shooting and thenceforth got up at 1:30 a.m. to allow her swollen eyes to unpuff before work. For the rest of the assignment she put the sun to use, patiently squeezing limes over her head so that her hair became bleached to a much lighter blond.
The 4 a.m. sunrise meant that the group had to be ready to leave the hotel at 3 a.m. "Each year I ask everyone to bring an alarm clock, and they never do," says Staff Writer Jule Campbell, who annually puts this act together. "So this time I was running up and down the halls at 2:30, knocking on doors in my nightgown while guests in evening clothes were going up to bed."
Models Monique Moura de Carvalho and Cheryl Tiegs had other problems. The intense humidity of the jungle near Manaus "made it hard to keep your makeup from melting," Cheryl says. A dugout canoe they were using leaked. While Photographer Walter Iooss tried to focus, the boatman bailed, joggling the canoe, and at one point Steve Ross, Iooss' assistant, observed that the craft was in fact sinking fast into waters said to harbor crocodile-like caimans. "If we had fallen in, it would have been awful," says Cheryl. "There was so much vegetation. With spiders on top." When Iooss asked her to dangle a foot in the water, Cheryl immediately began visualizing piranhas, and suggested that Iooss and Campbell improve her odds by each offering a foot as well. No piranha took the bait, but Cheryl did get nipped by a monkey while handing it a Coke.
January 16, 1978
Ultimately, the entire crew returned safe and essentially sound with results that seem to us more than worth a little sunburn, sleeplessness, piranhaphobia and a monkey bite. We hope you will agree.