Trip Start Sep 20, 2004
Trip End Mar 30, 2005

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Flag of Brazil  ,
Wednesday, November 3, 2004

Had breakfast on the balcony of the 7th floor - Hotel Continental. It was 8am and already hotter than a hot dog but it felt goood. Looked out over the Amazon (if you ignore the few other buildings partially blocking the way) and had our quality coffee, juice, watermelon and obligatory roll with and ham and cheese. Hotel continental hadnt quite improved in quality overnight but it had a gritty kind of feel to it and I liked it.

Today was a holiday but the market down by the docks was still in full swing so we headed out to check it out. The banana market is like an warehouse full of banana trading. Now I know that sounds obvious but ~ouve never seen so many in your life ! Guys hurling great bunches back and forth across trucks, I nearly got mowed down by the wheel barrows full hurtling down the paths. Passed onwards along the river in the scorching heat checking out the port and then on to the Mercado Municipal Adolfo Lisboa which was designed by Eiffeland and is a copy of a former Les Halles market in Paris. Looked quite out of place but was in pretty bad shape..

Spent the afternoon cruising around the city taking it all in and generally sweating. It is hot and I mean damn hot !!

Next day we went for a tour around the Opera house which is quite magnificent and was finished in 1896 with practically every material imported from Europe. In the evening we lazed around the square by the opera house drinking some beers with the locals and trying to stay cool.

In the square we sat and watched an open air version of the original black and white version of the invisible man (in english with subtitles) with some freestyle singing going on in the background (one of the great moments !). We sampled some of the local tucker which was a soup called tacaca, hot spicy and loaded with dried shrimp. It was bloody good, however I managed to be the first to make the obvious south America balls up. Im sure youve seen the advert on tv - in most of south america this hand signal means OK, but in brazil it means asshole. So of course when returning the bowls back to the guys selling soup who asked me in Portuguese how the soup was I respond with a big smile and a click between my teeth -just perfect and then get him the -you asshole- signal. Of course realised too late and was too embarrassed to correct it so scuttled back to my seat. B horrified by my actions insisted we leave the town immediately. So we did !
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