We’d read a lot about the well-preserved colonial towns in the state of Minas Gerais and after a 7 ½ hour overnight bus ride (thank you Xanax) we can confirm that Ouro Preto deserves at least some of the hype. Beautiful churches (which all look almost comically identical) sit atop most of the many hills and the cobblestoned streets are full of narrow stores selling anything from local art and jewelry to chocolate covered delicacies and Pao de Queijo (delicious little balls of bread with cheese in them). We had our first taste of the local “Mineira” food: fried eggs, slabs of what we think was pork, fragrant white rice, sausage, spinach and a mixture of beans, eggs and something mysterious. It was absolutely delicious, which came as a complete surprise.
We met, and spent a couple of hours with, a cute couple from Texas at one of the cafes, which made us realize how little we’ve heard English spoken in the last few weeks. A fact that both inspires us and often overwhelms us. And sadly, our somewhat haphazard approach to travel (i.e. little, to no, advance planning) has resulted in our first casualty. The monastery we were hoping to visit in Caraca, where maned wolves arrive every evening for a nightly feeding from the priests, is booked out for the next two weeks. I thought Juan might give up on traveling forever when we discovered this, so we’ve vowed to plan ahead a bit more.
Oh, and Juan spent about an hour at dinner one night trying to get a picture of what he considered to be the perfect example of adult braces in Brazil…
More pictures here: