Our last stop in Brazil was the Ilha do Marajό, a four hour boat ride from Belem. The Pousada Ventania where we stayed was right on a hill overlooking the beach with hammock hooks everywhere. We went on a canoe tour down a local river where we saw lots of golden-pawed monkeys, huge blue butterflies and a sloth languorously sliding down a tree. It was like watching a normal animal move in slow motion. Fittingly, I was at the top of my game during these last days in Brazil, managing to hold an entire conversation (albeit with plenty of gestures) with João, our guide, in Portuguese. Trying to convey that Tia was “stubborn” I explained the concept to him and the closest equivalent he could come up with was “mandona”, which is probably more like “princess in charge”. Ah well, still a keeper in my book.
We saw lots of water buffalo but, unfortunately, weren’t lucky enough to see the buffalo-mounted police. Yes, you read correctly. We doubted whether we’d feel appropriately cowed if stopped by a policeman atop a walking hamburger, but when we saw them charging rather quickly down the beach we decided it might actually be intimidating. Respect.