Once we docked in Belem the disembarking was a little more exciting than I’d hoped, but it went off without a hitch. From the pic you can imagine just how fun it was to ride off-especially since my windshield barely cleared and I had to duck under it while riding off the boat on a board about 6 inches wide…
But, as I said, it all went well and I was on the road in Belem.
As with all cities of any size, Belem isn’t really a riders dream- lots of traffic, no parking, and unsavories with sticky fingers waiting to examine a bike for anything left unlocked whenever you do find a place to leave the bike for a bit. That being said, it was a fun place- nice microbrewery on the water, great maze of pedestrian streets with all manner of street food, and a decent collection of colonial architecture.
After a couple of nights in the city I was on the road, moving south. I’d decided to stay away from the coast until I hit Salvador since the interior of this part of Brazil seemed interesting simply for its lack of anything interesting. The guide books completely ignored it, the travel websites might as well have just put ‘here be dragons‘ on their maps of the area, and I just had to see it.
And they were perfectly right. The area is very rural, moving from grassy farmland to arid ranchland, with only the occasional site of any note.
It’s also scene to great little towns squares, dusty pickups equipped with barking dogs, blushing young store clerks nervous with strangers, and ice cold beer by the wagon load.