Monday, June 23, 2014

All museums in Belém appear to be closed, so off to the Brew Pub

Boat on the Rio Guajará with something (not sure what) in the foreground 
I think that before I arrived in Belém, knowing that it was in the Amazon basin, I was expecting the air to be thick with mosquitos and other bugs.  Almost like a heavy rain.  Thankfully, it's not.  So, stupidly, I forgot to Deet up when I went outside and now insect bites cover my arms.  Hopefully the precentage carrying yellow fever and that -- what's it called? -- chimichanga? virus are sufficiently low.

The bug content isn't as high as I feared, but the equatorial sun is even hotter.  It's like the intensity of the Las Vegas sun, combined with Washington, D.C., in July humidity.  So the thought of spending an afternoon in the air conditioned comfort of a museum -- any museum -- was very appealing.

So back to the museum district of Cidade Velha.

Side street near the Theatro da Paz
 It was a thankfully short walk.

Interesting building covered in these little blue tiles
 Past the quay.
Praça do Relogio, I believe, but don't bet it all in Final Jeopardy on that representation
 I just wanted to find something open and air-conditioned.

This didn't lead to anything open or air-conditioned
Of course the Catedral da Sé would be closed. It's Sunday!
A man could work up a powerful thirst on such a quest.  So I decided to refresh myself with some coconut water.  We live in a place where coconut water is expensive, over-priced and comes in a bottle.  In Brazil, it comes in a coconut.

Refreshment stand outside the Forte de Presépio
For three reaies, about $1.50, they chop off the top of the green coconut.

Opening up the coconut
And it's filled with a whole bunch of cold water with a slight coconut flavor.  There was more water inside than I was expecting.  Not sure if it's available Harry Nilsson style with some lime in the coconut (drink it all up).

Refreshed and fortified, I continued my quest:

Don't let the cars in front fool you. This museum is closed.
Even the museum of the history of Pará, the Brazilian state of which Belém is the capital, was closed.  So there was only one thing left to do.  Off to the Brew Pub!  Off to the upscale Estação Das Docas for some upscale cuisine in an upscale Brew Pub.

Along the Rio Guajará at the Estação Das Docas
Some prefer dining al fresco. Me? I prefer the a/c.
The Amazon Beer Brew Pub had all the standard brew pub beer flavors:

Could be a brew pub anywhere in the states
I had the Red Ale Priprioca, which was my tasty to a thirsty man.

Remants of the Red Ale Priprioca
It was good.  Nothing special.  Nothing bad.  I had the Peixe Grelhado, or grilled fished.  I'm sure the use of the word "peixe," rather than referring to a specific fish, means they grilled up whatever got pulled from the waters that day.  Which sounds good to me.

Peixe grelhado with mashed potatoes
The mashed potatoes were herbed up with chives, which was good, but also had grape tomato halves all through them, which was not my idea of mashed potatoes.  I do eat my tomatoes on every continent bur North America, so I ate these.  The tomatoes were crunchy and sweet and didn't ruin the taters.

For dessert?  Stout Açai, which was "fortified" with açai berry

A minha cerveja Stout Açai
It was less bitter than most stouts, so I would call that victory.  Then it was off for the real dessert.

The world-renowned Cairu ice cream stand
Cairu.  For ice cream.  Cairu has close to 50 flavors, most rain forest fruits that are ice cream flavors nowhere else that I know of.  I chose "Castanha do Pará," "the nut of Pará," which we call in the USA, "the Brazil nut."  In Brazil, the nut is tied to one specific state instead of the whole country.

Consider the Brazil nut.  It is awful in a bowl of Planter's mixed nuts.  It is AWESOME as an ice cream flavor.

Sun on the Rio Guajará
The sun was getting lower over the Rio Guajará.  Time to go back to my room and watch some USA vs. Portugal soccer.

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