Our last Brazilian port, Alter do Chao, is 20 miles west of Santarem (Post #18 below) on the Rio Tapajos. It is nothing more, or nothing less, than a weekend retreat for the “Santarem’s” because of it’s beautiful beaches. The fresh blue water of the Rio Tapajos and the white sand beaches, make it appear to be a Mediterranean paradise. The muddy Amazon seems far away. In front of the main square is a sandbar which forms a rather picturesque white-sand island, known as Ilha do Amor (Island of Love). Two of Henry Ford’s rubber plantations are close, his first (1920’s), Fordlandia, 62 miles south, and Belterra (1930’s), 12 miles south. Both ventures failed and Ford had to sell them to the Brazilian government in 1945.
Looking at the port from the ship we see a line of beach bars which are actually on the sandbar island. On the right is the village.
Here’s another look at the Island of Love with it’s beautiful beaches:
This was a tender port and here is the port sign:
After leaving the tender we had a long walk down the pier.
As with all pier/ports there was a small market, which gives Susy a chance to “warm-up”.
To get to the main square we had to walk several blocks through a neighborhood of what appeared to be weekend houses.
On the way a beautiful flower tree:
We finally arrived at the main town plaza:
The village church:
and don’t worry, Susy is praying for us:
Outside Susy is in front of the town’s “phone booth”:
That’s right, behind Susy is an actual working pay phone in the parrot’s belly. Finally a look at the Island of Love from the town square.
Since this is all I have for Alter do Chao, and we are now leaving Brazil and the Amazon, tomorrow, Thursday, Feb. 28th, I am going to bring you an exclusive for my blog. This was done mainly for our Brazilian friends who we hold so dear. The artistic work you are about to see was done by the famous painter “Susana Guertin”, and is called “Farewell to Brazil”. Please pay particular attention to the brush strokes on the face. Here it is:
Love You All,
Gary (alias Gagu)