setembro 05, 2016

Looking for unique things to do in Minas Gerais?

 Curious and fun facts about Brazil

The Estrada Real pathway crosses 3 states in Brazil (Rio, Sao Paulo, and Minas), and coat.

The Royal Road or Estrada Real is an old way to go from Tiradentes to Caxambu city in Minas Gerais State. Even better that those cities are the trip itself, the path between both ends. Be prepared for bucolic landscapes, frugal lifestyle, Brazilian history, and very interesting people to talk with.

Chances are that a true Brazilian might not understand where folks will indicate to go. Why is that? They usually say something like: “keep thru, and turn right before Joe’s house, then left after the Mrs. Mary’s farm”. Lol, like we know where those people live. So, don’t worry if you get lost for a while. Enjoy the view, and take a chance to have a cheese bread and coffee with Brazilian natives.

The Royal Highway, or in Portuguese called Estrada Real is 111 miles (180 kilometers) built by the Portuguese when Brazil was still a part of the Portuguese Royal Monarch. Their intention was to transport gold and diamonds from Minas Gerais state to the ports, and later to Portugal.

It’s a very rustic road, which means no asphalt or cement will be found on those roads. It meant to be explored by bike, bicycle, or even hiking. Be careful in the rain season without a 4W vehicle, and remember to look for one of those signs that show each 1.2 miles (2 kilometers). They will tell you what is the main road, its detours, and cities are nearby. Touristic agencies can help you with transportation from the airport in Belo Horizonte until the beginning of your journey.

The 1st recommended stop is 12.5 miles (20 kilometers) before Tirandentes city. It’s called Engenho Boa Vista (Boa Vista Mill), and it’s the oldest you'll find in the country. Gates are always open for you talk with owners who descend from the man called Tiradentes (just like the city). Don’t forget to try the cachaça (very strong liquor made from sugar cane) which is made there since 1755 while you try sausage, fresh cheese and jabuticaba jam (read about jabuticaba fruit here).

This fresh cheese it's only found in Minas. Jabuticaba jam, a unique deli. Cachaça, the inspiring soul of caipinha drink.

If you prefer something more hillbilly like, ask for the riding horses called cavalcade. It’s a 3 hours smooth riding around farms, railroad, and rivers where Portuguese used to extract Brazilian gold. And don’t forget that January is the best time also so to see the Movie and the Gastronomic Festival on Tiradentes city.

I'll talk about Tiradentes city next time. See you there.

Want to know more curious facts about Brazil? Go here and scroll down the mouse.

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