Day 230 - Ouro Preto

Trip Start Sep 02, 2007
Trip End May 01, 2008

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Flag of Brazil  ,
Saturday, April 19, 2008

It was very cloudy when we woke up, so we had a terrible breakfast in the hostel (cheap bread and ultra-sugary coffee) and then headed out into town again.

Priority #1 was to find a place where we could fax our accomodation request to the pousada in Rio that Katie had chosen and that proved much easier said than done.

After the usual frustrating slow death by Portuguese and total confusion in a number of different internet places, we think that we managed it. 

We didn't really trust the only place in town that actually charged us and fed the fax through (there was no confirmation and we had no comprehension of what they were talking about), so we decided to email the place in Rio just to double-check.

If we lose the room we'll be gutted because the rooms are REALLY expensive in Rio and it will be a nightmare having to find somewhere when we arrive there at 5am tomorrow!

With no time constraints today we found another internet place, where I'm currently following the football online and adding photos to the blog while Katie tries to nail down our last 12 days. Sniff! :(

In the end we managed to successfully kill the entire day without leaving town, mainly by walking all over the place at less than our normal breakneck speed!

We walked back to the lowest church in the town which is famous for its gold interior and sure enough it was absolutely spectacular. It just shows you how rich this little town used to be once upon a time... 

Unfortunately you're not allowed to take photos inside the church so this is a photo of a postcard! Ways & means my friends, ways & means... ;)

Not bad eh? Check out all the gold & jewels!

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After that we walked around some of the streets which we didn't explore yesterday, finding some really nice churches and buildings on the way.

This one had a really cool little antiques market outside it.

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It's quite a hilly town, so you were always either looking down over nice buildings, or looking up to see them.

OP 2

We had a HUGE lunch in another all-you-can-eat place, but this one specialised in local "miner" food, which mainly entailed meat, so it wasn't good for Katie.

Luckily the salad bar was also massive so she had plenty of choice while I got stuck into the meatfest!

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The deserts were weird even for Brazil, with tonnes of crystalised fruit dripping with sugar, blocks of sugar vaguely tasting of fruit, sugar sauces in a variety of colours and dolce de lece (caramel) with various fruits added.

I took a small serving of everything, hoping that it wasn't all tooth-rottingly sugary, only to find that absolutely everything was super-sweet and impossible to eat in portions larger than your little finger nail!  

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We washed down our food with a local 'aperitif' and boy do we wish that we hadn't bothered!

It was like 80% proof or something! I had the tiniest possible sip and it nearly turned me inside out. It brought back memories of my stag party in Tallinn, Estonia... only without the Pink Panther costume. Unfortunately ;)

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After lunch we wandered around some more, firstly around the back of the main square and some attractive cobbled streets...

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...before climbing a hill which gave great views either side of the valley...

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Again everywhere you looked was another elegant church.

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As we walked around the corner we caught a good view of the steam train which takes tourists a few miles down the tracks for an obscene amount of money.

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Then it was up another hill and into another church, which was nice enough inside but nothing compared to this morning.

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Then it was up, up and away, up a very steep street and towards another church at the top of the biggest hill in the town, which would hopefully give us some good views back over town.

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Sure enough the views were great, although I'm not sure how the costs/benefits analysis would work out after that walk!

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Sadly what goes up must come down, so we had a tricky downhill journey, in our high performance flip flops!

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After getting back into the centre of town we grabbed one last photo before heading back to the hostel, quite tired after all the walking.

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We chilled out in the hostel for a while, grabbed some dinner and then made our way to the bus station for the 10pm nightbus to Rio.
This was due to take us 7 hours and land us in the sprawling metropolis at 5am in the morning! Nice ;) 

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It was another 'cama' (sleeper) job, here's a photo of Katie snug as a bug in a rug!

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I hope that all is well with you wherever you're reading this; we can't wait to explore Rio, something that we've been looking forward to since we left London nearly nine months ago!

Lots of love,

Al & Katie xx
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