Boats and beaches

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Flag of Brazil  , State of Para,
Friday, November 22, 2013

We left the rainforest behind and hopped on a boat to take us down the Amazon river. Originally we had planned to take to the boat all the way to Belem on the east coast but we opted for a 2 day boat and to stop off at a little riverside town called Santarem instead. The boat is a romantic idea but in reality the river is so wide you don't get to see either side very well and so 2 days was more than enough.
We had been told when we booked the tickets that we would arrive in the morning of the third day but once on the boat we were told it would be the night before. So we found ourselves at the docks at 11pm at night with nowhere to stay and a festival going on in town. Eek! Luckily a friendly local taxi driver drove us to hotels until we found one with a room.
Bob had found a pousada outside the main town with a white sandy riverside beach a stones throw from its veranda, so next day we headed there. It was a beautiful spot and the owners, Maria and Ronaldo, were so lovely.  Unfortunately our luck ran out and after nearly 4 months of no illness, our stomachs just couldn't cope with the 2 days of eating reheated chicken left to go cold again whilst on the boat. Uh oh. 
So we spent 2 days not being able to leave our room (Bob says I'm not allowed to be graphic with my explanation) whilst Maria brought us fresh coconuts to drink out of, gluten free corn bread to eat and endless supplies of bottled water. At the end of the first day she even phoned a pharmacy for advice and then sent Ronaldo off to drive the 30km to the pharmacy to buy us the recommended antibiotics. What would we have done without them.
By our third day there we were getting much better but had to leave to catch our flight to Salvador! So we didn't really get to appreciate Ponto de Pedras but boy are we pleased we stayed with Maria and Ronaldo!
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