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02 March 2007

Tiff sent the lost emails to me. One day during the trip to Brazil...

This was about the busiest day ever in our travels. We visited the most beautiful and scenic little colonial gold mining town ever. The town is only matched by its beautiful setting among craggy mountains with dark green forests. Of course under the ground is the fabulous gold mine tunnels that made Ouro Preto the biggest strike in the western hemisphere. At the time of the gold operations here there were three times the people in Ouro Preto as in New York.

The town was built to last with beautiful buildings, churches, cobbled streets, etc. etc. The streets are a wonder in themselves. Some are so steep that even with the cobbles and stones turned sharp side up you are as likely to fall over forward as on a triple black diamond ski run. Many are almost too steep to walk on at all.

We first visited a slave built church. The slaves managed to save enough to build their own beautiful church by washing their hair in the holy water font and the trapped gold in their hair thus washed outbuilt the church and bought many their freedom besides.

We visited at least 12 of the 23 churches scattered across the hillsides. Many had huge carved alters, statues, etc. that were carved by a very prolific little carver here named Alejandriho. He was crippled in his legs, and lost all his fingers to some disease. They strapped him upright to a pole and then strapped chisels, hammers and other carving tools to his arms and he carved
every piece of wood and soapstone around here that didn,t run away from him. His carvings are

Brad started bugging me about- What next--What next-(I think he was just excited about the architecture and got a little hyper). Well, anyway Jeff took the book and maps and when Brad started in on him, he looked up and scoldingly said,¨I,m not talking to you!``. It was so funny we all got the giggles and sat and sputterted and laughed till we cried like 3rd graders. I really haven,t laughed uncontrollably like that for a long time. 2 days later we are still giggling.

Right now as I write this, all over Brazil people are getting ready for Carnaval. Every town has its own. The drums never stop their frantic pace as everyone is practicing for their performances. Its getting crazy. You can feel the excitement and tension buiding day by day. Everyone is on the move to get to their favorite Carnaval town.

Tomorrow we are going to explore one of the mines here that has a tour. Then we are catching an all night bus to Rio so that we can spend an extra day in Cabo Frio so we can find another geo-cache which is hidden near there on the beach. Under a dental floss bikini??????? Who Knows!!


posted by - 10:37 PM

Tiff is a great travel writer. And I love that they are doing geocaches while they are there, we have found all the ones in this area and are ready to branch out. Probably not to other countries though...

Thanks for sharing!

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