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Location: Fortaleza, Brazil

Today was our first opportunity to explore Fortaleza. After an EFR test involving Annie, the mannequin, losing and regaining a pulse too many times, we were off. With the view we’ve had on Argo over the past day and a half, many of us had one location in mind, Mercado Central. Though we had realized that Fortaleza and Fernando de Noronha are complete opposites, one being the fifth largest city in Brazil and the other an island, it wasn’t until we had hopped into a taxi and rode through town that we realized just how different they both were. Cars whizzed by, horns blaring at any pedestrian brave enough to make a dash across the highway. Apartments rose up in the distance, growing denser the further we drove. The market itself was a sight that has eluded us over the past 42 days. Looking like a stadium from the outside, each floor had a larger diameter than the one below it. On the inside, ramps ran across the market, winding up and down each floor. Reaching up four floors, there was everything from buffets, to leather goods, to hammocks and much much more. Don’t envision a multi-story shopping mall though, each shop within the building had a storefront that measured no more than 10ft and goods hanging off any surface they felt belonged to their store. Beyond the market, the cathedral next door drew in a few Argonauts too. With little knowledge of the area, us Argonauts split into groups to explore the surrounding area, to visit the beaches or to head back to the pool for their various skype appointments with family and friends. Beyond this blog entry, we’ll wait to see what stories tonight’s night out will bring us.