Click for more information about Para State
1989 Feb by Veikko Huhtala*
After Amazonas Para is the largest of the states in Brazil. It is four times larger than Finland, for example. When we made our first trip around the world, Belem was one destination on our way. Belem is the capital city of the Para State and it is also the largest one. In the north Para is bordering with Guyana and Suriname. Belem is one of the main entrances to the Amazon River as well. It is also the tenth largest city in Brazil with population one and half millions and it is locating 300 km south of equator. We stayed there one night before flying to Brasilia.|
1986 Apr by Jorge Sanchez
Just before dawn, during the journey Salvador - Belém, we passed a health inspection and all the passengers vaccinated against yellow fever. We were already were in the State of Para.|
Belém was very charming with its street markets, their night shops selling exotic food, its river port and Marajó Island in front. But I would spend in that town only aday as the weekly boat along the river Amazonas would sail the next day with destination Manaus. I bought my ticket for about$ 40, plus a plastic pocket hammock for 30 cruzeiros.
The ship was in excess of passengers, about 700, when the normal was 400 or 500. The reason was that the road linking Belém to Manaus was flooded by torrential rains at that time of year, and there were only two alternatives: the plane and boat.
In total would be about ten foreigners, three or four Germans, two Canadians, and an Argentinean, a Mexican, an Austrian and me. We are all excited to go up the longest river in the world for five days and six nights.
The ship was divided by sectors: the male, female and married couples, and everyone had a hammock hanging from the hooks already prepared for such end. Early in the morning, when everyone was asleep, the ship seemed to be full of bats.
The next day early, just prior to the first short scale, on the island of Marajó, approached our boat plenty of canoes used by children
natives, some as young as four or five years, who deftly maneuvered next to us asking for gifts. Some of the passengers threw t-shirts, sandals, combs, candy, and so on. They were children of Indian families living in villages very humble and knowing the day and time at which would arrive the weekly boat, they came to the place early morning and waited several hours until the arrival of the ship.
As for the ride itself, the third day it looked monotonous for all of the foreign passengers, as the width of the Amazon is often of 8 kilometers and the banks were far away. Fortunately on board there was much social life, which prevented boredom. All foreigners, without exception, we were one by one conquered by the young and sensual Brazilian girls. Not for nothing is said that in Brazil, by a quirk of nature, there are seven women by a man.
In Santarém the boat made a larger scale, giving us time to get down to see the little town.
In Santarém disembarked many passengers. Now would be 400 passengers on board.
After two more days of navigation the ship arrived in Manaus, the
prosperous city enriched by the rubber at the beginning of