I toured the city a bit by heading down to the tree lined plaza, Praca de Republica, and then down to the waterfront area.
The waterfront was very interesting with two very different sections: the upscale Estacao da Doces and the gritty and crowded Mercado Vero-o-Peso.
The Estacao had upscale restaurants, the actual Amazon brand brewery, theaters, craft and art shops, and museum about the port of Belem. Outside are some decorative yellow cranes that recall the break bulk method of shipping.
Grains and beans
Fruits and Vegetables
Mercado do Ferro
the afternoon rains began, so I returned to the hostel. I met a couple from the UK, James and Rebecca, who had just arrived after a 30 hour plus bus ride just to learn that they would have to backtrack to Rio by bus rather than press on to Columbia because the cost of the air tickets had increased significantly since they last checked.
another traveler from Holland had an even worse experience when she got here from arriving in Rio. It turned out the ATM machine she used at the Rio airport had a gizmo in it that cloned her ATM card. She learned of it when she checked her accout and saw that someone had withdrawn $500 Euros from her account. The bank cancelled her card and she is now working with the Dutch Consulate on getting funds from her bank transferred to the Dutch government which she can draw on for the rest of her trip.
I am now heading to the Ride up the Amazon--no Internet or phone service for five days.