Sunday, July 30, 2006

Report # 8a

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't shops - they all congregate in one street or area. that is all shoe shops in one place all clothes shops in one place, etc. Was walking along fashionable street in Fort the other day and maybe 10 blocks were 90% shoe/handbag shops all with the same styles and same prices!!?? - leather sandals from R10. Sorry ladies I didnt buy you all anything!

Saw my first road accident as leaving Fort - well, after the event: ambulance was treating someone on ground and a motorbike was lying in middle of road so dont know if cyclist hit a pedestrian or was hit by a car.Intersting, this place has about 20 PCs and none of the innards are in boxes - they are screwed to a board along the desks above the monitors - it is so hot they would melt in a normal box. They also have about 8 fans blasting air around too.Took a trip into Belém centre today and saw first view of Amazon - a bit special if not emotional. The amazon at this point - about 20-50 kms upstream from mouth - is 320 kms wide!!! but it has lots of islands scattered across that area especially one big one which is 200x250 kms in size. My impression is that Belem is cleaner and better maintained than other places I have been. I saw lots of very attractive homes with front gardens and steel fences rather than normal concrete wall. Big buildings in centre were wuite tidy and reasonably modern. But the point of special interst is the main plaza which is about 300x200 mts fully grassed containing several large gazebos and two small museums (about the size of a suburban church) it is Sunday so park was in use by heaps of families - very, very pretty and the nicest I have seen in Brazil. The streets along edge re filled semi-permanent stalls selling the normal artesan stuff pllus paintings and CDs. Walked 3-4 blocks to the river and was very impresssed witht the old docks now revamped and modernised and very clean and contains a museum and a mutitude of 3-5 star restaurants and bars. Prices R20-40 per plate and worthy of any restaurant in Australia - I guess the figures are same as Aust but exchange means half price. There was one flight available today at $300 (very high!) and I only had 40 mins to get to airport so I said no. Will try some city tourist agencies tomorrow. Okay - enough for now. Have a great week - for those who have to go to work!!!

Hugs Nobby