November 2002 - big trip - diary - brasil - october 2002



Intricate stone walls

The road

Tuesday 12 - Wednesday 13 November

The morning broke overcast so it was the ubiquitous look around all the jewellery shops in town again, which are all very happy for the visitors to spend hours trying on all the beautiful rings and necklaces. There is a soapstone quarry close by too so there are tons of carvings of all sorts of strange things, but luckily the sun came out which made for good photo opportunities, so B was saved from more shopping.


Steep cobbly streets


After a pleasant stroll around the picturesque town, the rains returned so we spent the afternoon looking around the Museu da Inconfidência and then the mineral museum, which has lots of bits of rock from all over the world plus some extraterrestrial meteorites. The museums and churches don't allow pics to be taken inside, which is a shame because some of the exhibits and gold plated interiors are amazing.

Tuesday evening saw us out on the town again for a fine meal and rambling conversation, suffice to say Tuesday night isn't party night in Ouro Preto but overall the town is very interesting and definitely worth a visit, especially if you like taking pictures of old buildings.

Some buildings about to collapse

Igreja Matriz de Santo Antonio


On the way back to Rio on Wednesday morning we visited the town of Conghonas. This place is famous for having one of the last churches completed by the sculptor Aleijadinho who is credited with being the Brasilian Michaelangelo. He lost the use of his hands and legs by the age of 30 but carried on his work with hammer and chisels strapped directly to his arms. Respect due.

After a quick stop there B said bye bye to his mum and Chris who were flying back to the UK, and headed south to Rio. A huge thunderstorm followed the landy for the whole journey, giving almost zero visibility plus the road surface turned into a river in places, but B arrived safely just in time to spend two extra hours in rush hour traffic. Luckily the gazelle-like landy is well wicked in such situations!

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