Our first stop was Passagem da Mina located between Ouro Preto and Mariana. It was an actual working gold mine that has been turned into a museum. We arrived rather early and waited to see how much it would cost. The price to get in for a 30 minute guided tour was a little steep so we took some photos and looked around instead.
The old cobblestone roads were part of the imperial highway system to bring the riches of Minas Gerais down to the big capital city of Rio for exportation. Today you can follow the old road beds by car and some of the way by foot as part of the Estrada Real or Royal Road. It's sort of like an historical Blue Ridge Parkway. Trekkers are issued a passport. As you pass checkpoints you get seals along the way. Look it up if you are interested in a historical tour of the country. The website has an English option and maps. We didn't have time to hit any checkpoints but I was happy to travel on several pieces of the old road.
Soon enough we had to head on up the highway towards Diamantina our destination for the night. We always got a kick out of the strange things we would see along the big highways.
|Parts of wind generators|
|Interesting junk store|
|Beautiful Minas mountains|