We are currently in Belem, Brasil!! Heading up the great Amazon tomorrow
evening, the boat ride should last five days to Manaus, then down to Porto
Velho.....just spending some time today walking the street markets and checking
out the central sites of this intrigueing city....its quite the port, lots of
fish markets, street food, plenty of wharfs and tight streets, some old
churches in disrepair, many buildings for that matter, a little paint or wood
work would do alot for this place! The materials and labor are cheap but it
seems like people are too busy doing other things.
The area we are staying in is somewhat comical, as we are staying on the boat, living on the peir for now. Its
sort of like base camp for the expedition, getting climatized to the conditions
around us. The local streets/corridors are small, they are seeded with local feel. The bars are simple, Eateries are everywhere serving salgados(various small pastries stuffed meats and cheeses and are eften fried), serving crabs with beer, egg sanwhiches, fried fish, fresh juices, rice and beans, Gaurana(the national soda which is very good) the music loud and distorted, the people are rough, the houses/shacks look very difficult for living but this is home for these people. The stenches of the streets differ from hanus to anus, and everything in between, trash is everywhere (big bummer) and the gutter water is infested.
The bikes are locked up on the peir,
other boats coming and going, lots of movement! Our captian is a little fat
golly type, always smiling, last night we went out partying with the bartender
from our vessel, getting him on our good side, WE had a couple of dock guys
wash our muddy cycles. Will hope to buy a hammock and mosquito netting today
for the extensive river journey, perhaps a couple of bottles of whiskey as
well! Health is good for now, and will hopefully remain that way, however I
have some doubts, will certainly be taking extra precautions throughout the
next two months!
I am sad to be leaving the beautiful coast line of Brasil behind...the past 6 weeks has been simply incredible, The good and the bad and I have so many wonderful memories and thoughts to keep within me for this evolving life of mine........ Sorry the details are spared!Posted by Matt Stackpole at April 28, 2003 08:55 PM GMT
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