Belém

Belém smells like guaraná.

A sweet floral, berry scent, like Brazil’s favourite soft drink flavour, hits me as we walk out of the plane. It’s about 30 degrees (centigrade) here at 10 pm. For the last five minutes the plane has been cycling chilled air through vents on each side of the cabin, drenching us in surreal science fiction fog-machine mist.

There’s no particular fuss at disembarking, although I’m distracted by the sight of what I take to be a bossa nova band, with two dancers, playing in the middle of the arrival lounge. Dozily, I forget that I have a camera until we’re outside. D’oh.

A row of modern-looking taxis is lined up outside and we hustle our bags into one. Paul and the driver strike up an involved conversation in rapid Portuguese throughout the trip. The road looks impressively new compared to the battered, war-torn look I’m used to in Rio, but my seat belt in the back doesn’t seem to have anywhere to plug it in.

(Taxi cost to hotel: R$30.)

Our destination is the Hotel Formule 1, a racing-themed chain which at R$79 a night, is clean, modern, and basic – we get a room with bed and bunk, and for an extra R$50, wireless access for the week.

(It was R$69 when we booked it, four months ago. I guess it went up when they realised the Forum was on. Despite our booking, we get charged the new rate. That’s Brazil.)

So it looks like I’ll be doing at least nightly updates for the week of the Forum, using Paul’s hardy little eeePC. It’s all pretty civilised really, considering we’re now in the city at the mouth of the Amazon.

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4 Responses to “Belém”

  1. W. Says:

    http://www.artpassions.net/wilde/young_king.html Here is a bedtime story, should you find yourself sleepless in Belem

  2. Trina Simpson Says:

    I love Belem!! Get Paul to buy you a Cuapacu icecream and chocolates!!! Delicious!

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