The winding roads of Tiradente

Driving from Buzios up through the mountains and valleys, past signs asking drivers to watch for monkeys and through narrow pebble-lined pathways built hundreds of years ago… At the end this journey we found ourselves amongst the rock lined sidewalks of Tiradente. Having only a few hours here was heartbreaking- this historic town is charming and reminiscent of a european village. Quite a change from the beach towns we’d been living near, we spent a few hours wandering the winding cobble roads and gazing at the Portuguese style architecture.

I was prepared to stay the night until we were tipped off by a passerby- the next town over, about 5km away, was even better.

Off we drove- up a steep hill and past houses built right into the brick and plaster walls lining the streets. I was disappointed when the cobble roads turned into asphalt, but Sao Joao del-Rel had surprises up her sleeve. Entering this city on a hill, we saw the night sky light up with church steeples, candlelit roadways and fireworks. Tonight was a catholic celebration, and we had stumbled upon the ceremonies by our own luck. The town is separated by a river with tiny, ancient bridges crossing over ever hundred feet or so. The Portuguese designed the town before Brazil obtained independence, and most of the churches and buildings have been kept up beautifully. It was here that we sat outside at a restaurant overlooking the main church and enjoyed a few beers with our friends before retiring to our hotel. I am sad to not have more time to spend here…yet another place I will need to come back to one day.


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