We left Ouro Preto and again went north on the curvy mountain roads to the city of Diamentina, which in the 17 th century was part of the gold and diamond rush. It is also UNESCO site.
On route you pass a lot of open mines.
Here again there are very steep cobbled streets and when driving on them in traffic it can be a bit hairy.
It is like the others a walking city.
There is a large main square, which is decorated for the holidays, but the action was on the smaller square by the Cathedral, which was packed with people and restaurants. This is a great place to enjoy a few beers and a big plate of frites.
There was a free symphonic Christmas performance inside the Cathedral. The music was very good. And for the small Christmas pageant they had really fantastic costumes.
Getting out of the city like all of these places is a bit stressful on the cobbles, especially in traffic, since they are much more challenging at slow speed and on steep hills. We were headed across to Morada Nova de Minas, but it was not very nice and it was raining so we pressed on at 5 pm to Paineiras.
Once out of the center the roads are paved and we backtracked 20 km and then headed west.
To get to the ferry you go off road, but the road has been moved. The GPS takes you to the old road, which is now a sand road, but luckily we turned back since who wants to drive 30 km of sand only to have to turn back and do it again. The new road is just about 3 km back and is a good dirt road. The dirt is an incredible red orange colour.
Today the weather is looking better and we continued to try to get south and east towards Sao Paulo.
We did have two bits of excitement today. The first was Dan was driving along admiring these 2 huge stork like birds in the ditch on our left, when one suddenly took off and flew right at him. The bird exploded like a bomb of feathers on impact and pushed back the metal bracket on the right auxiliary light all the way back and onto to the faring and at the same time cracking the faring.
The second issue was just more of a delay and a 50 km back track. We drove up to the construction site where they are building a new bridge and took the detour to the left, but surprise! The old bridge had fallen down just before we arrived.
We ended up by chance in the nice lakeside (reservoir side) town of Boa Esperanca. For a Sunday night there was quite a party atmosphere.