Friday, September 13, 2013

It's Road Trip Time - On To Belo Horizonte

Hey all,

Well...we're here in Belo Horizonte, Brazil.  Another new place, this one the sixth biggest city in Brazil.  It's VERY different from Brasilia.  That city was in the middle of the cerrado,  (tropical savanna) and quite flat.  

But while this city is also in the cerrado, it has lots of hills.  It's a bit like San Francisco in that way.  

Yesterday was Jonathon's first day setting up, and I put together our new home (aka hotel room).  That's the fun part for me, making each new boring, ugly hotel room into something special.

The trip here was enjoyable, too.  We headed out of Brasilia south to a small town called Cristilina-- where the claim to fame is the huge mining operations that used to be there.  Now, it's not the most interesting place, in fact, the part I liked best was that they drove tractors around town, and parallel parked them, just like they were a car.  LOL

But we did go to a factory and wandered around the showroom and area where they cleaned up the crystals.  I bought a beautiful chunk of amethyst which is a power stone for--you guessed it--dreaming!  Then we went and bought some white crystals on strings from a vendor on the road.  I have no idea what we said to each other, but he was older than dirt so I just had to buy something from him.

Then we traveled on to Caldas Novas, the biggest hot spring complex in Brazil.  We were hoping for a a more primitive area, more wild, but all the springs are made into waterparks, so we enjoyed a dip in the thermal pool and played on a few of the slides.

From there we headed on to Belo Horizonte.  From Brasilia, the journey took two days, and we enjoyed it thoroughly.  We saw our first giant anteater (it was dead on the side of the road, but counts!!!)

We also drove through some interesting areas, there were several detours that we had to take that took us out into some pretty uninhabited and wild country.  Birds everywhere.  We saw our first wild Brazilian toucan fly overhead and quite a few emus.  Yeah, emus.  Or at least something close to an emu.

We also ran into several wildfires.  Apparently they are common, we saw the aftermath all along the roads here.  But we drove right into one with flames flying high on both sides of the road.  Pretty scary and not a firefighter in sight.  And I don't think they come for them.  We could see the flames and smoke for miles.  Seemed nobody but us cared at all.  Weird.  In the USA we'd have ten trucks filled with firefighters racing to stop it.

But anyway, we finally got into Belo, found the hotel and then dropped off the car.  We found a great restaurant where you pick your own shush-kababs of meat and they grill them in a big wood stove.  Totally yummy!

So, it's a new town and new adventures.  We're here for another week, then we're off on our Amazon trip!  Woohoo!  Will be back with more news about that next week!

Hugs to all,

CJ England

Follow Your Dreams


Ray said...

I always love your pictures. They along with your comments always remind me of something in my memory banks. Wanting a more primitive spring reminds me of traveling through Montana on an extremely hot day and stopping the car to lie out on the rocks in the middle of a river to cool off.

The wildfires are probably not fought for reasons they used to not be In the US. Burning brush stops the devastating fires like the ones still not controlled in the West.

Did you see the movie THE MEDICINE MAN with Sean Connery where when climbing a tree in the rain forest canopy miles away purposely set fires were destroying the forest to build a road? I loved the movie, but that part was sickening.

In Virginia Beach there is a new apartment complex being built in what was until developers bought the land strawberry fields. I would rather have strawberries than new homes so older ones can stand empty.

Phylis said...

I would have freaked driving through the flames. Wow! My daughter is rooming at college with someone from Brasil. She said they were talking the other day and she found out that Brazilians are very relaxed about things. Such as time. If we say it is 6 minutes till 3 they will add minutes to is and say it is 10 or 15 minutes till 3. I love seeing your pictures and hearing of your encounters. Looking forward to what you can share from the Amazon.
Ray, one of the best things I loved about living in Virginia Beach was the trees. We lived at the end of a circle. Our neighborhood was surrounded by trees. We practically lived in them. If I google the neighborhood now, there are a lot less trees. So sad.

CJ England said...

I'd miss the strawberries too, Ray. I hate progress sometimes.

I love the movie, Medicine Man. One of my favorites.

CJ England said...

They are very relaxed down here, Phylis and not just about fires. Everything moves slower and without a lot of worry. It's a good object lesson if you have the patience to hear it.