Posted in Travel

Recent adventures

My wonderfully loyal readers, (I like to think there might be more than one), recently  I’ve been to lazy to actually blog. That changes tonight!

June has been a good month for travel, I went back to Ouro Preto, which was beautifully old, and showing off its good side with bright blue skies, (see the featured image). I also ventured out of Minas with a road trip to the seaside.

Ouro Preto was wonderful, and the bright blue skies helped the white and yellow of the churches to shine (except picture 1 of the church, which just needs a clean). It’s a stunning town to wander through with its cobbled streets, pretty houses and steep hills. This time it hit me more how dark its history is though. The first time I was there an artist painting a church told us that in the Praça São Francisco, where the little artisanal market is, slaves used to be sold. That’s shocking. This time I went to the Museu da Inconfidência where you can see slave shackles, and instruments to punish them, in the same room as a gilded carriage. What truly brought it home for me was the Casa dos Contos, which is a beautiful old manor house. It’s so well preserved, and we wandered around admiring the rooms, and lovely views, until we went into the basement. The instant you step in the temperature goes down several degrees, and the display is of collars that went around slaves’ necks, shackles that tied their hands and ankles together, and read that they lived in the stone basement of that house.

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Museu da Inconfidência, the old prison.

It makes it real why the town exists, it was built by slaves (mainly), because the mines were full of gold that slaves extracted. These days it’s a beautiful, charming town, but the why behind it is important.

The next week, I was woken up by my alarm clock at the ungodly hour of 4am (it was awful, I’m still traumatised), for the 8 hour road trip to the seaside in Rio de Janeiro (not the city, the state). Even though I may never recover from this early start (yes, I am a millennial, how did you guess?) It was 100% worth it. We rented an airbnb in Cabo Frio, and explored the area, going to Arraial do Cabo and Buzios.

I can’t say I looked around the towns for any longer than it took to find somewhere affordable that did vegan food, so a self-service, so I can’t comment on them. I also can’t remember the names of any of the beaches I went to, so if you don’t want to see me show off, you can click off now.

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I’m pretty sure these two are photos of Praia das Conchas

On the second day we went to Arraial do Cabo and took a boat trip, which was really enjoyable, because there are beaches dotted around the bay. It cost 50 each for a four hour trip to 3 beaches and a view of a cave, some of the boats blasted music, so beware. The sea was an amazing colour (as the photos hopefully show).

Unfortunately, I don’t have any photos of Buzios, but the beach we went to was beautiful, but we did get ripped off by the guy renting chairs, who didn’t tell us the full deal and charged us an extortionant amount, so be careful.

On the way back, I persuaded everyone that Petropolis was THE place to stop. I’m a bit of a history geek so I was super excited to see the palace of Dom Pedro I. Petropolis was really lovely, and weirdly European, with these amazing palaces and German-style houses.

All in all, June was a pretty good month for travel. July is going to be even better though, because I’m venturing out of Brazil and heading to Peru and Colombia! On the itinerary are: Cusco, Macchu Pichu, Lima, Cartagena, Santa Marta, Taganga, Parque Tayrona and finally, Bogota. Today is the only day I will ever be able to say that three weeks ago I was in Ouro Preto, two weeks ago I was in Cabo Frio, and in one week I’ll be in Peru!

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