Hitting the equator....

Belem Travel Blog

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Fisherman near the Ver-o-Peso

After getting stung for a taxi from the airport to the city, which was just 8km away (R$30, but I wasn't in a position to bargain at 3am in the morning!), I got to hostel and was relieved to find it was open.  I had visions of getting there and finding it all locked up and having to wander the streets in the middle of night - not a good idea!  The owner spoke no portguese so I had a lot of fun (not!) trying to explain what had happened to my HI card (as this was another HI hostel)...but through a combination of my crap portuguese, language and finding the email I had sent him, I seemed to get my message across.  Not that it helped me to get my discount as he insisted that I needed to have the card with me - this just made me even more frustrated with the people at the hostel in Belo Horizonte for not being there when I left.

  Anyway, I just needed t get to bed, so was glad to put my head down.  Yet again, I think I'm the only one staying here!

Had a nice lie in to recover and then breakfast which was surprisingly good.  Your appetite diminishes so much in the heat that with a decent breakfast, you only really need to eat one more snack a day to last you...no three meals a day here!  I got ready to go out and thought I'd better load up with DEET as I guessed the mozzies would be out in force looking for a decent feed on this quality piece of meat.  this turned out to actually be a mistake as I got outside and realised that it was about 35 degrees and that I really should've put suncream on instead of insect repellant....but like a typical Brit abroad I carried on regardless!

Belem is a really nice laid back town (well city really as it has about 1.

View of the Mercado Ver-o-Peso from the Forte do Castelo
2 million people apparently...although where they all are, I have no idea) - walking the streets is relaxing and it feels a safe place.  I've heard that in places like Salvador, robberies are common even in broad daylight.  But I didn't get that feeling here, but I still was on my guard (I have a paranoia about these types of things having been mugged at a cashpoint back home before).  I wandered round the port area and to the Ver-o-Peso, a massive market that was heaving, selling everything from football shirts, to huge fish straight off the boat.  as the sun took its toll I got an 'agua do cocu' - they take a cocunut and slice of the top, stick a straw in and you just drink - really refreshing as the water inside is cool due to the thick skin.  There's a decent fort where you can views of the market from and after regaining some energy I wandered to the 'Mangal das Garcas' park which was pretty cool.
Museu de Arte Sacra
  It has a naval museum, butterfly sanctuary and aviary, and a big lake in the middle -a good place to chill out for a few hours and it only cost R$8 (£2.50) to see everything.

The heat was pretty sapping, so had a nap later on and went out for a few beers with Alberto, an American guy who turned up - but Belem is not really a party town, so don't expect rocking nightlife here!!

Off to Ilha Marajo tomorrow!!


The Mangal das Garcas is in the Cuidade Velha (Old Town) and costs R$8 entrance, for all the exhibitions.

The Botanical Gardens/Museu Emilio Goeldi is similar (costs R$2 entrance), but a lot of exhibitions (snake centre, aquarium, main hall) were shut when I went, so it wasn't as good as it could have been.

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Fisherman near the Ver-o-Peso
Fisherman near the Ver-o-Peso
View of the Mercado Ver-o-Peso fro…
View of the Mercado Ver-o-Peso fr…
Museu de Arte Sacra
Museu de Arte Sacra
View over Belem from the viewing t…
View over Belem from the viewing …
Owl butterflies
Owl butterflies
Giant turtles
Giant turtles
A turtle hitching a cheeky ride on…
A turtle hitching a cheeky ride o…
Belem Hostels review
No English spoken here!
The owner of this hostel is pretty curt - he doesn't speak any English and seems to take a dislike to anyone who isn't fluent in Portuguese. some of … read entire review
photo by: Sads79