AT#627 - Travel to Minas Gerais, Brazil
The bags back on the road. Red, it's go real good pass board. Temperature, traveler episode, six hundred and twenty seven today the mature traveller talks about colonial towns, churches, baroque art, minds ports, and national parks. As we go to the colonial heart of Brazil in miniature. Welcome to the metre traveler. I'm your host Chris Christensen let's talk about Brazil. I'd like to walk on the show urine Keller who is the co, founder of South America dot travel, and his come to talk to us about the colonial heart. Brazil. You're going to show nice talking to Chris great to be on your show. Now you pitch me the colonial heartland of Brazil. You're going to have to put that on a map for me because there's no map that I can search for. That's going to tell me that. So where are we talking about what? Of course, the colonial ordinal Brazil starts along the coast was were the Portuguese landed. But soon after they had populated the shores of Brazil, the older from Europe to go in land and search for the gold. This was all done the gaming starting narrow. So the colonial heartland of Brazil actually is the hinterland of real and look at the map of today. It's hard between Rio de Janeiro and the capital of Brazil. Brazilian. Today, those mountains were thought to be the source of the silver and the gold that Brazil health at a time from there in the beginning, starting from the little port of Karachi little bit to the east southeast of real, the Portuguese were told, go up the mountain and finally the goat. And that's where it started. That poetry is went into the hinterland and started to populate mall as try to populate this area were the thought trying to go. And if we're not looking for gold, why are we heading to this area you iron for this? Because this is where all the richest left that Portuguese did not take away, doesn't match the people that live there. Digging for gold also made money with money than made the boot churches and left khloe towns of on mostly baroque art. And if you wonder those streets miniaturize it looks in part as if you were walking through a tolerant Portugal, just with the difference that as soon as getting a church all day to, for example, you are surprised by the gold and they said that in the seventeen hundreds street all way to the covered in silver for church facilities. Excellent. What I ten idea recommend for us basically would do reform the gold, and we start with really nice colonial towns that relaxing. Just imagine you arrive in Rio from along flight. Then we're told you over to patchy the old colonial town, poor that remained itself until nineteen seventy. When the road from real reached. It is a coast with many mountains. There steep cliffs that makes made it impossible for anybody to build a road in economic. Terms for party, and that's why the city remained what is nowadays gym, and it's actually on the list of becoming a UNESCO heritage site, but achieved self is could force and relaxing on a schooner and just wondering the streets and look for the galleries and the other, they're selling their party. That's a restart usually and his parrot she'd down the coast from real, and I say down because really goes pretty much east and west there. So it is. It is mostly east but slightly south, mostly south. Okay. From there, the go of the mountains. The DACA in national park is just behind, but she on that is up to six thousand feet high, but in a way that from the c. it appears like a wall, you will go up Verbas deep and only four years ago. That street has been tased before the street was always out and. Nobody could use it unless you were a resilient city specially built for this route. From there, we go through the forest and mountainous to cache. Boot cashable is a spot on where the emperor of Brazil once came for a spot tweet men's and to elax in minot waters from their on because trae two inches which is of no political importance whatsoever. But it is just a very beautiful town and like poverty. Achieve it has maintained Chom because it never was disturbed by outside influences and roads were build there. There was only a narrow gauge railway that came through this town and there was nothing important. So that's why nobody messed with architecture of town nowadays to inches, not too far away from from Bill was on show from other big cities is a CD people from some Paulo come test to elect or weekend. And again, it has become an autistic hub from autists, not for the old artists. They have been Oprah out his, but they are not that important. It's more for nowadays. Let's go back and do this all the more detail to pear tree than what are we doing on the coast one where there, what are we seeing? You seem Chee from the c. on a schooner your go out on the water can guys, but it's more impressive just to back at the city of Bamut. She along the shores and behind this youth wall of Queen mountains covered clouds and fog, and this is tropical vegetation. And now imagine you little Portuguese sailor arrive there and low told walk up these mountain. This is the most impressive moments. The city it's cheese is only the historic only sixteen blocks for across for across. That's it. But it's just the impression that joy heal, and you can feel how the city was lust and cut off civilization until fifty years ago. And that makes some present now does it predate real it, but it but real had a better harbour and so they moved on from here. How does that work? They understood then from real that it was easier to get over the mount of patchy. Okay. I mean, the Portuguese had to follow trails by the Indians share and from Rio the couldn't see anything because it's I a flat area along the sea and only behind Rio. Then the mountains start, whereas Ferenci the could really see the paths left by the Indians going down to the there could follow inland. That's the only difference. And soon after the trail of silver and gold really started, then everything was relocated to because then the understood also the way how to get from the main hub of gold mining drill. Well, in my impression is when they got here when you say they're following the native people over on their trails, we're not talking about in the Pru area. For instance, we have mighty Incan civilization or in Mexico with the aspects and the Mayans and such. It's less developed. Here is my impression. So they don't. They don't come in. They find huge cities. Is that just wrong? Okay. Absolutely nothing Indian tribes in no nowadays that in the Amazon which is far far away from this area talking about in the Emma's on that must have existed cities. But in this area unto today, do not know anything about any city historian ever wrote anything about a city or a higher civilization, which is not to say that they don't do being just very Hepi tribes of Indians. From everything. The forest gave them, the fruits in the forest are fantastic. Nutritious vitamin and hunting was easy. So for anybody for any culture in this area, there's no need to start your culture in meaningful way. Like what a proven proven to really had a cultivation of potatoes. Keno the Brazilians didn't need to or. Brazil tribes were free of that interesting. Anything else we wanna see imperative before we move in them. So. Wean wall of Atlantic rainforest, kind of not just want to move on and go up. Well, and then you mentioned the national park about pitchy. This Boca INA, thank God that's national park. That's not much to the birds is very important that you have this area of Atlantic rainforest protected. So development stays away because you have from their antastic us down to to the well. And you say, there's not much to see except for birds. Now, some burger in the audience is now yelling at their podcasts. Say, kind of birds are there to see. I wanted to say that has only birds, but what you see is only because you are in a tropical forests in Amazon, right? As too much vegetation. So you see anything else, but what's in there? That's the only reason why I mentioned the birds. I mean, they are Jaguars, but those cats are shy. You won't see them. And of course the lung ks and whatever you imagined belongs to a tropical forest is there. And are there forest walks or guided tours or the things that we can take win. We're in that area or how should we best manage the park, especially for on our own. If we're not on one of your ears, you wouldn't go there on your own because you're bitten to death by mosquitoes seriously, and you need to know to defend yourself. And when you go with a guide a guide, all of a sudden takes some kind of grass of the crowd and tells rips into your face and mosquito stayaway quite amazingly. If you don't know this all. The stuff that you can buy a pharmacy is not helping. I've been there myself on excursion and try chemical stuff. I was fooled. I should have this away and started the stuff that the guide told to us come on, but that really help them to the things I get into pharmacy. A really just tend to risers for the mosquitoes or what you're saying. Didn't react to this Pelham the way I wanted them to react. Anything else we should see in the national park before we move further inland, really, there is a little village, the borough of averages not for ten graft, but it's not stopping there for our guests all our parts, Puerto Rico. And to track these along your trip is rather burns experience, I guess. Okay. Are they good pots. The famous k. Brazilians the Brazilians always talk about reportedly of this area, but I can't really tell. I mean, it's pots me, it's all know a lot, but we never know everything. So that is something there I have nothing to say about. Okay. And then he moved further inland to an. I wrote it down Kushtia Mbu cash, boop cash, c. a. m. BU a little more and more known spot on the hinterlands there. As I say, this was the spa town of don't pay to Camille the first emperor of Brazil given there and made place famous amid voters, famous because there are other spot towns in Brazil, but none came is famous cussin' cashable you could compare to this castle spa towns that are in Germany, Baden Baden. For example, noble people would spend their summers and that was cashable for Brazil. Well. We have to address the elephant in the room, speaking of Germany. Your accent is not Brazilian. No. Hot and I have been contact with American culture since nineteen eighty nine through my husband and it never really went away, but you were living in Brasilia. We're living between Brazil Termoli and very often you're here Seattle. And so when we're in the spot town, are there particular facilities that we're going to their one spa or twenty of them? There's one famous one where fountain is where the emperor always been too. That's where everybody goes to. That's the most scenic one, and there can taste a little bit of the water walk along the park and have lunch and testing enjoy the landscape before we go onto inches because inches is where the colonial heartland presume really starts Canada. And so what are we want to do next we are going onto now that is UNESCO side Congo news to come. That is really something to see. Congrats. If you want to spell it as CO n. g. o. n. h. a. s. and that is famous for profits that stand in front of a baroque church prophets cast in sense stone by the very famous by a Brazilian standards, autists allergy new, which means cripple actually because he had lost part of his hands to MS and still he did these prophets in front of this church and they really amazing when you are there. It's very spiritual side almost you're standing and turn around and your landscape in front of you and below you. That is a highlight of Brazil when I studied in in Brazil in nineteen eighty six eighty seven eighty eight at that time when I would look into another book about Brazil ganja. I was always found on Senator of all to Brazil and so were other sides in miniaturize. This Colonia hotlanta position. I just want to bring this part of Brazil back to public attention because it offers so much for a traveler who is interested in culture history and landscapes of Brazil represent extra comes from because this is the area were all started. Whether white Portuguese met. The Indians were the white Portuguese with the Indians head to have slaves to help him in the minds and how they had to cooperate, not like in plantation. But these people had to cooperate culture grew based on the identity of the white Portuguese, the black slaves and the Indians, and that is where when we talked about a Brasilia's never wide on never proun- or whatever that you have. All kinds of Brazilian Ze. This all started in this area of Brazil and to the point that until eighteen aids nobody in the area spoke Portuguese, who was just called the channel language, a general language, which was made up of Portuguese in languages and African dialect. This mixture was eradicated, nine hundred eight while that's another story of course, but it belongs to this, the Portuguese, transferred. The capital of the empire from Lisbon to really narrow from that moment on it was just chic to speak to Portuguese in ninth nineteen. Eight eighteen hundred eighteen hundred. Okay. That makes more sense during the during the Napoleonic wars. It exactly when the Portuguese crown had to flee Kalayaan and it got through Brazil going on from Congo. Not much of a hotel. We usually go all the way to pay to an old brittle is the hub of the gold and silver mining of the time was the richest on. And for some time it was a also the capital of the State Stadium is this is the origin of independent movements said, Amenas arise wanted to become independent from the empire, the never succeeded, but they're still having the flag designs off that time on the movement of independence get to really look at. It looks like a Portuguese town, just richer, log richer, more churches. We stayed there now have year ago with part of our team. We're stating the hotel and an open the door of maroon there. Look at the church and say, wait a second. This church is reared. It's on the open. It doesn't have any signs of rich people outside. Of rich families outside. This was a church by slaves. With the money of this leaves because in the area as before the slaves and the owner of the slave head cooperate and basically the slave was paid by the owner unto the slave had enough money to buy himself free or free. These people were free free black people at a time when Brazil was still importing state of people from Africa. But in this area of miniaturize, these people who are free and soon will also own slaves because they then basically imitated what the owners did them in the vines or in the trades around it because you had to have an infrastructure technical infrastructure that would help the miners dick goal over crowned. And often these people were producing simple tools to DeKalb gold and simple small businesses in has since and they didn't have an army like in the plantation 's in Brazil. That would control the slaves. So you had to cooperate and these people after words were free and they had money to build churches, rich inside as well. Gold silver all over the place. One of insurance in Plato and Kear Plato, usually it's good estate for tonight's one day, walk around discover the guide an second day for you to go alone and just look for objects that would like on your camera, discover on your own. See how people live, which is something that you can do when you go through Tom with a guide. Now would also do is when we go on from from to, to capital of nowadays, stated moving is is, which is was on these stop. Now in an open l. museum in your Eugene. I spell that and I and h. o. t. I am. Can you chain? And that s something really unique in the best modern optimism in all of South America. Nowadays, this goes back to the fact that farmer said, okay, here's my land. I don't want it anymore. Basically, you can build your museum exhibit your modern art, and it became a park of modern landscaping with modern architecture and modern art. And in this park, the are approximately, I don't know the exact number. Maybe they know even chases Benchellali, but curly, I believe it's about twenty smaller museums, all of different architecture, all of them modern architecture. And some of them built specifically for one is in the exhibition. Okay. That makes absolutely unique. Any need today to see everything. But most people will ever taste for more on architecture below average tastes from. Architecture, which author frequent I have learned are done. I'm saying it sounds okay through the museum in a day, but it's really with feel that hasn't been on the map of anybody and just becomes now, famous is always again, Brazilians have discovered. I once positions have discovered the talk about it when they talk about them, somebody else beaks up and it all starts with people from some Powell. This covering their own country. They come here. They are ones education to understand modern architecture more than people from other parts of the country. And I think it's gonna be up soon. People talk a lot more about researching than they're talking about any other part of Brazil. Artistically speaking. Any is interesting to note when you talk about people talking about this region at all. When we talk about Brazil we do, as you mentioned, tend to talk about the coast or the Amazon. As if I know those were the only two portions leaves that a lot of Brazil. We've talked about the Pantanal on this show as well, but we haven't talked about that many other places that are not the coaster in the sun. It all starts with fact. Simple fact, Brazil is half the continent Bs. The ultimate insider trust. The Amazon covers roughly half of Brazil on the coast is I don't know. It's like I've heard the number. Somebody has got to be like five thousand miles long everything. Of course, people see the coast and the Amazon and the Rayo model city. They have seen some power, the New York or South America and the financial capital, but somehow must have started. And this is here in the Polonia heartland of Brazil. They're a little places in Brazil like Salvador that also deserve to mentioned here when you talk about the colonial pot of Brazil, but Salvador maintained like versus wide. Whereas here in this part of Brazil from the very beginning, white poetry is the Indians and black slaves where meaning and that makes it so unique because it will flex basically what Brazil is nowadays a mix of everything. Well, in my impression is that there's not as much mining these days. That's one of the reasons these towns were preserved as the money ran out at some point. And so we're talking about what is now the agricultural heartland of Brazil. The same state is also very important for culture, mainly the coffee. Okay. Well, you could have coffee. There's a lot of people who just perked up. Coffee was very important in the mountains, but miniaturize in these areas is very mountainous, you go farther inland. The state becomes flat and now has a lot of soybean coffee oranges, basically everything. What you can imagine miniaturize which state when it comes to IKEA contra, but also do not forget that. Yes, the gold and silver is gone or exhausted those minds, but you have in the area lots of copper, okay. And miniaturize translated means China mines, and to have some minerals that are very important in the production of steel like it ability, minerals that are found only in this area of Brazil. The probably someplace else, but here the easy to find. And that is a very important part of Brazilian economy. Nowadays, that was once. Just for people that have technical understanding. There was once a Nel gauge. Rail line would connect the minds to the coast. This narrow gate realize now is double track. Kind of has trains that are up to three thousand meters long. That is about two miles long. These trains go every couple of minutes. It is amazing how much copper has been transported down to the coast and one of the Brazilian miners valley owns the biggest ships on earth that make the trip from Brazil director to China. Just still money to be made, but barely see these nine. So they are to actually open minds open pit mines, open minds because they're hiding behind some. He'll see them. Interesting. Okay. What else are we going to see? Well, we're in this region. After in your team, you're pretty much exhausted your center sausage. Then we add on very often. The capital of the state villa was onto which is relatively new, but it's good for modern architecture, especially for Caen Myers, architecture, thence, right. That's the name of the architect. Yeah, can is the architect. He died one hundred and four years old and still designing buildings. If people are not interested in architecture stubby here go back to your and just stop under a bacteria in the internal palace at imperial palace of Petropolis in the mountains were. Don't to the. I had his summer residence which needed because he was convinced that it was too hot summer and that makes sense. They would get a little insight into the history of the emperor's family, which is quite interesting when you know something about the European aristocracy MacKenzie were these people all came from how they into line intertwined with Europeans and then we bacterial. Okay. You mentioned the weather, so we're up in the mountains. So it's a little cooler than it isn't a coast. What is the weather like in what's the best time to come? My favorite time to come is April so fall, yes, it's shown to season reason. They're not that many people there in the first place, but the best thing about April April is a time when when historically clear cooler Vert try air from him and Dr is moving off, clear skies. So that for weeks on end, you have deep Lewis guys, and that is just my favorite. You can go year round. People sometimes talk about rainy season, but that is not really the truth. I mean, what you don't have in Brazil is monsoon like in India, you have a season when it rains more and you have season when grains less in water speaking. But when you are in some which is. The release you have everyday you have with under storm. That brings down a lot of water, but efforts under stone, the skies skills again, and Puskas again. So just look at Kanerva Canova is Nate season for travel to Brazil still. Sure. And that is smack in the middle of rainy season. And everybody goes, there comes back with fantastic impressions best day of the year to be in Assyria particular festival or something like that that you would say that we shouldn't miss is one festival that is linked to carnival, which is actually Venus, spirit sprayed all this starts on the weekend after carnival after Connell officials over the weekend after Monica and that weekend in real, the best some schools perform again, they have been nominated four tune but after Colorado they can perform again and then you should. Go and see it because it is the performance. It's the colors is the music without the because you don't have that many people intelligent more because usually after mardi gras everybody goes home. Now you mentioned that the culture here being different. Are we gonna find that in the food is well, is there are there different foods in the area or is that going to be pretty much. The best food of Brazil comes in rights that is based on the simple fact as a sector, fuller, there's so many fruits from the area, and then the simple ingredients that they needed to feed the miners because they needed a lot of carbohydrates. So the best food, yes is healthy. I didn't say that. Extremely young. So for example, what should we try? That's even if you don't go there, join Brazil, try the cheese from there. Okay. Gauge meanness that is absolutely Brazil and tasted. Caterina's is wondering why we cannot get this in any other place in the world is famous, but it comes back to simple facts as four miniaturize is mountains is hills. So it didn't have many flats for agriculture. What the head, however Macao's share house produce milk, but how do you bring the cows to the market? You can bring to the market because it's tropical. It's hot, everything's far away, right? So the best thing you could do was tuned the milk and then bring this Theriault on solitaire. That's how it started all the ingredients that you have basically are from the source. Of course, they have potatoes, and then you have little fled areas along the rivers where planned rice that is part of it. Being powder, it. And other vegetables indigenous to this. Excellent. What else do we need to know before we go to this area of Brazil? You need to know that this is usually an overnight flight deters people from going there. But on the other hand, it's not gonna take you in Kabila different times on bright. You wanna go into Asia says going south when I'd that's all right. But you arrived hired, but you're over your Ted leg of two or three hours maximum today. I mean, you're so overwhelmed upon arrival in Rio. You go up to up to the SugarLoaf and you look around people forget about the technical fast thought I got there. Yeah, I'm standing in the prettiest spot in this whole region. Where am I standing on? What am I looking at? The protas spotted the whole reason you're talking to a German. Okay. The is par is sidewalk cafe in Chile dangeous where overlook the landscape and have one of the local craft beers. Okay. Do you have a favorite draft period? You're gonna recommend? Actually not because all the grafters in miniature is a pretty similar. I mean, they're not crazy grafters with the taste like strawberries, like the United States. I know there are really improvements to real deal, and that's what I really appreciate there. But the best place just for looking around for me, as I said before, is this brutal moment when you are in Congo Nash, look down from the prophets. That is something that I really appreciate. And that's why I like to go back there. Okay. One thing that makes you laugh and say only in this region on the way of talking that when you spend time this week's and you come back and all of a sudden you speak goes people there and everyone looks at us and says, you must have picked this energy from Brazil. When you talk to somebody from that region, they have energy when they are communicating that is the best thing. It's not just the coffee, you're saying, no, no, it's excellent with that. We're going to bring this to a close or guest. Again, it's been Uragan killer from South America dot travel. Your thanks so much for coming on, amateur traveler and sharing with us your love for Brazil and especially for this colonial heartland. Thank you so much for being on your show, Chris and yes, it is South America. Travel. Thank you for being on your show because. In news of the community. I heard from Justin on the episode. We did recently on San Francisco. I just listen to this one and really enjoyed all of the recommendations for out side of the normal tourist sites. You referred generally to the Richmond district, but I think it's worth specifically calling out Clement street with its collective blend of restaurants, bars, shops, etc. The reference to Burmese food may have indirectly called it out other good walking streets that don't get much buzz are Polk street. Have breakfast at brenda's walk north from there and union street through cow. Hollow finally, some free spots for great views besides twin peaks are Marshall beach walk from the precision in the late afternoon, Taylor in Vallejo for the bay bridge, hide and Greenwich for the Golden Gate and the view of the southwest corner of Dolores park. So many great things to see to eat and drink in the city. Just an eyesore agree with you anywhere. So right about Clement street and you're right. The the Burma superstar restaurant is on Clement street. Dan, it's across from a Vietnamese restaurant, and I know there's all sorts of other great food there. And yet union street is a great shopping place as well. So a lot of people enjoy union street for some of the food there, but also some of the shopping. Now I want to remind people that were still looking for people to go with us on the Africa trip in may of two thousand nineteen to South Africa and Botswana sign ups for that are available, amateur, traveler dot com. Slash Africa, two thousand nineteen. And with that, we're going to end this episode of amateur traveller. If you have any questions sent an Email to hosted, amateur, traveler dot com or better yet leave a comment on this episode at amateur, traveler dot com. If you wanna sponsor, that's the same Email. You can use to get a hold of me and thanks so much for listening. The. Champ.