The gateway to the Amazon River

by Jorge Sanchez - 1 year, 3 months ago

I was glad when I disembarked in Belem after 11 days of navigation along the Amazon river and its tributaries, always sleeping in hammocks. 

I had been in Belem in 1986 and I liked it. Now, 30 years later, I tried to remember the places then visited and the ones that I missed. 

I arrived early in the morning. From the port I walked until downtown. I crossed a new place that I did not know, it was called Mangal das Garças and consisted on a ecological park with exotic birds, a museum exposing indian weapons and artifacts, plus a kind of lighthouse (Farol de Belem, 47 meters high) with many tourists on the top. A sign indicated that it was inaugurated the year 2005. One can travel infinitely and every 30 years will find new things. 

Once rapidly visited it, I headed to my goal, the historic part, where the fort, called Forte do Presepio was located. In its interior there was a didactic museum, with the name Museu do Encontro, showing the encounter between the first europeans and the indians. 

During the whole day I visited many tourist attractions of this pretty and historic town (founded in 1616), such as the Estação das Docas with the restaurants by the port, the cathedral and several churches (among them the one for black people), the "Teatro da Paz", that together with the Teatro Amazonas, in Manaus, are in the Indicative list of UNESCO, parks with endemic wild animals, museums... 

And when it was starting to become dark I walked to the bus station when, suddenly, I discovered an amazing museum, free of charge, called: Museu Paraense Emilio Goeldi. This interesting museum is also a research institution. It is so named in honor of Swiss naturalist Émil August Goeldi, who was its director. There are sections of botanic, zoology (with wild animals) and human sciences. I spent around one hour enjoying it and learning.


After that unexpected visit I continued to walk until the bus stattion and took a night one to my next destination: Sao Luis, in the state of Maranhao.  

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