Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Ibitipoca to Belo

If ever you have the chance to visit Brasil, my advise would be make sure you have someone drive you off the beaten track.  Don't try to drive yourself.  I can't impress upon you enough how bad the driving appears to someone who has only driven in New Zealand and Australia. And how bad the roads are.  I'm not sure which would be the greater challenge - the driving or the roads.

My son drives a lot as part of his job.  He seems to think nothing of barrelling along at goodness knows what speed, dodging potholes, trusting when you are on the wrong side of the road that there is nothing coming from the other direction.  After a couple of days of gripping the door handle, constantly tense, expecting the worst, I decided I could either be miserable and judgemental for three weeks or I could just go with the flow.  I did my best to relax and accept this was how it is here.  I lapsed a couple of times from sheer fright, but most of the time I enjoyed our trips off the beaten track.  And I'm so thankful that I had the opportunity to see parts of the countryside that other tourists might miss.

The road improved as we left the mountains and the dreadfully poor looking little villages gave way to slightly bigger, slightly more affluent villages. 

 Slowly the countryside changed to big sky views and little towns gave way to bigger towns.

I've told you about the hills, haven't I?  Everywhere we went there were hills.  I thought I'd seen a few steep hills - and then there was this place.  If every town has a claim to fame this place would have it's steep main road and it's beautiful church.  I think the town is Piedade Do Rio Grande, but I wouldn't put any money on it.  I posted on Facebook while I was there that I'd eaten a dish and gave its name but it turned out to be the name of the restaurant.  Or was it the other way around?  

We reached Belo Horizonte in the early evening after travelling for the best part of a day.  Around mid afternoon we stopped into Tiradentes a delightful colonial town with cobblestone streets, multi-coloured Portuguese cottages and miniature Baroque churches. Pretty horse drawn carriages gathered in Largo das Forras, the town's main square.

Unfortunately it was blistering hot that day, I think it may have been the hottest day of my visit, and even the presence of one of the finest baroque churches in all of Brasil was not enough incentive for me to walk more than a few paces.  Wouldn't have thought it possible!  Most of the people there seemed to be gathered under the huge trees in the town square sheltering from the heat.  There was no shade for those poor horses.

I think this is the famous church, Matriz de Santo Antonio, built between 1710 and 1752, but I couldn't face the heat to get any closer.                                                                                                                       


  1. Hello Pauline,

    That is one steep hill. Those poor horses, though I did think that the pink one belonged to Barbie.
    Happy days.

  2. Yes a lovely town..... Just for your readers additional photos .... http://www.gingersflowers.blogspot.com.br/search/label/tiradentes...... I wrote that there relatively good roads.... Lol, I'd been in Brasil for a while when We took our trip there and not likely to be shocked by it all. These little towns do have beautiful little towns though.

  3. I am really enjoying this holiday of yours.

  4. Like Adrian I, too, am enjoying your holiday. It must have been exceptionally hot though for you to pass up the opportunity of seeing an old church: particularly a famous one like that. That must be a first.

  5. Your photos give a good idea of the part of the country you visited. It must be a fascinating place.

    I don’t blame you for avoiding full sun; I couldn’t bear it myself.

  6. You have been busy. I enjoyed your tour. Wonderful captures. Keep up the good work.


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