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Cruise Diary: Belem, Brazil

Cruise Diary: Belem, Brazil

Day 8 — Jan. 13

The day got off to a spectacular start with a splendid sunrise over the Amazon River Delta in Brazil – the soft kiss of the sun making the yellowish river waters blush. We enjoyed it through our cabin’s picture window.

In the morning we took a tender to Icoaracy Village, near Belem. There were lots and lots of shops and markets selling everything from flip flops and shoes to handmade hammocks and you could hear various styles of Brazilian music — samba and bossa nova — coming out of shops and markets while walking the village streets.

We went into a large market that had colorful tropical fruits and vegetables, meats and many different kinds of fish from the Amazon, though we did not see the “mura,” a fish that can reach the size of an adult human that we’d seen during another cruise to the Amazon.

Ship’s tours took passengers to explore this amazing river whose eco-system includes more than 400,000 plants and whose incredible fauna is highlighted by the infamous piranha, and by lesser-known pink dolphins – yes, pink! – whose bottlenoses are longer and dorsal fins shorter than those of their marine counterparts.

Our ride on the tender to the village was a tour in itself, over the Amazon River.

We took in a second movie in as many days, “Medicine Man,” a fictitious story about a research scientist who finds a cure for cancer but doesn’t know how to reproduce the formula for the cure. It was appropriate for the day as the story takes place in the forbidden South America rainforest.

Our waiters, Oky and Gilang (“Gila”) from Indonesia, served us dinner in a friendly and efficient manner. Back at our cabin we found two “Crossing the Equator’’ certificates, one for each us, signed by the captain and certifying the Amsterdam had crossed the equator at 1:20 a.m. Jan. 13. We will put them as a memento in our cruise photo album.

After the show we tried something new, we went to the Explorer’s Lounge to hear the Midnight Duo, one pianist and one cello player (other days it becomes the Midnight Trio with a violinist). There were so few people there it seemed like a private recital – we felt like royalty!

Freelance travel writer Georgina Cruz and her husband Humberto are currently sailing on Amsterdam’s 112-day Grand World Voyage and will be sending in cruise diaries throughout their time on board. She has logged 174 voyages to all seven continents and visited more than 100 countries.

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