our 108 day. This city is located on the southern channel of the mouth of the Amazon approximately 80 miles from the Atlantic Ocean, This river allows ocean liners to go many hundreds of miles up river because it is so deep and wide, and it pushes so much fresh water into the Atlantic that you can see the change of fresh water with soil to the clear Atlantic waters almost 200 miles in the Atlantic from the mouth of the river.
Belem is known as the "City of the Mango Tree" due to the large number of these trees in and around the city. After tendering to the city which took about 30 minutes we caught a shuttle bus to town that took about an hour, before we were dropped off at Mercado Ver o Peso or “Check the Weight Market” created in 1688 as a result of the Portuguese tax for everything entering and leaving Amazonia
. We met up with Frank and Bel a Philippine couple we see at daily mass and we decided to see the sights together. This colorful area includes sale of herbs, regional fruits, arts and crafts, seasonings and spices and is close to the quay and another market. There are a staggering array of exotic items to see, vendors will pull their boats to the quay and offer snakes, ritualistic amulets, and all sorts of goods for sale. One item that caught our eye was a Mura a fish that can grow as big as a man. We then went to the Cathedral de Se just a few blocks south passing through Parca Brandao on the way. The church had many beautiful stained glass windows as well as the Sunday service going on while we were there. Of course Mary Ann reminded me to make three wishes since this was a new church for us. From there we went to the museum of sacred art where we visited many beautifully carved wooden statues, now they are displayed in the old palace of Antonio Lemos one of the rubber barons of the era. Behind the museum is the city fort dating back to the 1600 containing ramparts with cannons and bunkers and lots of places to climb and take pictures. We walked to the Museum of Art another palace that was made into a museum. The owner Lauro Sodre was Lemos next door neighbor, who enjoyed life's better things, his Palacio Lauro Sodre, with its white and blue fašade, elegant colonnades, and open courtyards all help to make this a stunning museum. This city like many in Brazil is well endowed with beautiful building from the days of the rubber Barons
. It was about 3pm so we decided to start back to the ship arriving at the quay was a long line of passengers and not a tender in sight. The ships staff offered us water or lemonade to cool us off as we waited. The tender ride was not the ships tender but one from the docks and had a single speed transmission that was controlled by the pilot of the ship through a telegraph to the engine room. So leaving the dock and approaching the ship the pilot sent his intentions to the engine room via bell 2 rings for foreword and 1 for reverse This worked remarkably well and we all arrived back safely. On the ship we had diner and saw a movie called the medicine man, followed by the Huber Marionettes a very popular succession of puppets, so convincing you no longer see the creator behind them.
After leaving Fortaleza we headed northwest to our next port of call Belem, Brazil scheduled to arrive on April 23