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  • Day183

    Beautiful Belem

    May 29, 2016 in Brazil ⋅ ⛅ 31 °C

    We wake up shortly after 5 and we are still a little way out, but i am so glad as we are able to see the sunrise whilst still on the Amazon. As much as i was dreading this part of the trip due to my alergy to mosquito bites i can honestly say ive thouroughly enjoyed it, but relieved we didnt stick with the plan of the full 12 days . The port is a major export point for the soya beans in Brazil and altough this area is quite rough there has definitely been a major investment in the end further along, its very similar to the Albert dock with Brasseries and shops selling high end artisan. We have decided to not stay here as we have the full day to explore the city and we can catch a night bus tonight to be able to catch up on our sleep. so we drop our bags into Guardo volume and grab a quick coffee and a map, to make the most of our time here. The one place i really want to go is the botanical gardens as they have the worlds biggest water lillies here, so we make this our first point of call . Armed with our map we start to walk, and even though it looks close we walk for nearly an hour and were not even half way there, but we persevere constantly on the look out for a bank that will actually accept our card. This has been a little bit of a problem since arriving back in Brazil as none of the big banks take visa, but as were walking down the back streets i spot a 24 hour cash point advertised inside a pharmacy of all places. When i go to the door the woman say they will open in an hour, and we start to walk off. thinking it cant be in here , but after furter exploring we go back and i ask about the 24 hour cash point and she lets me in to use it. AT LAST IM NOT Skint!!Armed with our dinheiros we continue our journey looking for somewhere to grab a bit of breakfast but with it being Sunday everywhere is closed apart from a few places that are selling whole cooked chickens and to be honest i couldnt eat that at 8 in the morning. After much perservearance and nearly 2and a half hours walking we arrive at the botanical gardens. The entrance fee is just 2 reals 20p and we enter in, although there are no maps we literally just wander round aimlessly and can not find the water lillies anywhere. Even still the park is beautiful , full of huge trees monkeys and birds . We continue getting lost in here for another couple of hours before leaving to make our way to the terminal to buy our ticket for tonight. Its another good hours walk and eventually we arrive and do a little shopping around before finding the cheapest booth and reserving our seat. The station had air conditioning and was such a relief from the heat outside, it must be at least 40 degrees . When we come to pay for the tickets he told us that they were 130 each so i give him 260 and he gives me 55 change , dont know how that worked out, so when i checked the tickets to make sure everything was legit they had 100 reals each written on them, so i shut my mouth and made my way to the exit. Outside we asked directions for the bus to centro and were directed down a little side street, we jumped on the bus and i asked the ticket lady to tell us when we arrived ,which she kindly did. People in Brazil are definitely the kindess and even total strangers are always willing to help. We get off the bus, and were not far fron the boat terminal , and we casually stroll around the fort , through the market and around the historic ortal town. The cobbled streets colonial buildings and tranquil atmosphere make this place really special. Down on the harbour there are hundred of vultures all vying for the remnats of the fishing boats, and a little further along are old vintage cars . We spend a couple of hours exploring the little back streets before making a short walk to collect our bags. Even though its still early we have agreed that with the station being air conditioned it wont be a bad place to grab a bite to eat and awai our night bus. We jump a taxi to the station as Marks feet have given up on him,( its so hard travelling with an old man)
    When we arrive at the station, the air conditioning is no longer working , but we pay a quid and get a shower in the toilets ther, they even give us a towel. Freshly dressed we sit out the few hours enjoying a couple of beers and watching the football, with the occasional time out on candy crush. While we are sat here, Mark gets onto a young lad eyeing up my phone and tells me to put it away as hes definitely on the rob, so with everything packed up we head to the platform to catch the bus.
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