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Friday, 20 January 2012

Santana and Macapa

We had no idea what to expect today, expect that the ship was to moor in Santana, and that people could visit nearby Macapa, (a large, relatively modern city), by paying for the transfer bus.  Santana itself is described as an industrial town.   We decided we did not want to pay the £29 per head for the bus, and instead, thought we would go for a walk in Santana.
The boat docked in what was obviously an industrial dock, not designed with cruises and large numbers of passengers in mind.
There was a large wood chipping plant nearby, which provided a very pleasant scent.  Interesting, although not the prettiest port we visited. 
After spending some time on deck photographing moths and bugs, and watching the dolphins alongside for a while, we disembarked with the idea we would go for a walk and see what there was to see.  As soon as we exited the plant/port gates, there were row of taxis waiting for us.
We teamed up with another couple, and haggled a taxi down to the equivalent of £20 to take us into Macapa, drive us about for a couple of hours and then bring us back to port.  And we had a brilliant time.
 First we went to see the Marco Zero monument which marks the equator.  Here you can stand with a foot in each of the hemispheres.  It was also pointed out that at the start of each solstice, each side of the line is moving into opposite seasons.  When the North starts summer, the South is just moving into winter.  Curious.
From there we went to the Macapa Fortress of Sao Jose built around 1780.  We really enjoyed our wander around the fort, and then inside.  We wandered along through the barrack rooms and accommodation which are interconnected by a line of arched doorways.  The visual impact is striking.  Then we visited a large craft hall, I do love the crafts here, and would like to take them all home.  Sadly there is a cost involved, and  Peter is always more cautious about buying momento’s.  We did choose a lovely little black pot though.  We managed a short wander around the town, with a few purchases from the local shops.  A completely new sight for us were the “Moto Taxi’s” or taxi motorbikes.  The driver or rider has a spare helmet, and the passenger just hops on the back and gets taken wherever he wants to go.   Wacky!  Finally, we got our driver to take us back to port.  A bargain of a day and the driver really was great.  Despite not speaking a word of English, we were well taken care of.
Our afternoon in Santana was spent in the most unlikely of spots:  on a couple of benches outside the port authority offices,  (or maybe it was the office block for the wood chipping plant).  There we sat and indulged in free wi-fi they were quite happy to share with us.   Unfortunately, it couldn’t cope with some things, such as loading photo’s on my blog, (that’s why they have been lacking).  But it did mean we could catch up on email and the news about the Costa cruise ship.  (The Marco Polo news team have not advertised the fact that a cruise ship has sunk.  Their daily news pages haven’t mentioned it at all?  Hmmmmmm............) 
We got rained on a couple of times. The rain sometimes came down heavy, but it’s warm and it doesn’t last for long and so it didn’t bother us.  All in all, it’s been another brilliant day.  Tomorrow we will be at Almeirim which is another new place for us.  Class!

Macapa 2011
Santana and Macapa 2013
Santana and Macapa 2014

1 comment:

  1. Hello Tracey,
    Love the photograph of you both in different hemispheres, you both look so happy! Really enjoying both blogs. Thank you!:¬)