I don’t regret our adventure but I will avoid repeating it. You really cannot say it is hard to find Brumodinho but it is really hard to get there from almost anyplace else. It looks just off the highway on the maps and it is close for birds or somebody with a helicopter, but not so much for those stuck to the ground.
Getting there took us down a crappy road. We didn’t know how bad it was because it was after dark. We gave ourselves time to get there while it was still light, but we got lost. Once we got to Brumodinho, we had to find the posada, also a challenge in a place that doesn’t seem to believe in marking most streets. We finally found the place with the directions of a gas station attendant and the grace of God. The posada was very nice, BTW, and I recommend it, if you can find it and if you are visiting Inhotim which I also recommend. But don’t expect it to be easy to get to.
Anyway, the posada owner told us that there was a short cut that would take us to Ouro Preto w/o having to go all the way back to Belo Horizonte. He was right and he explained it well but facts on the ground were harder than the theory.
For one thing, there were lots of trucks and lots of hills. This means that you get in back of trucks moving slower than you could walk. Beyond that, the roads are not well marked. We took a wrong turn and ended up on a dirt road which ended in a construction project. Our going down this dirt road is not as dumb as it sounds. Some dirt roads are pretty busy and this one was too. It probably could have taken us to the main highway, BR 040, as some people told us, but rain and construction made in impossible. Anyway, we backtracked and took a narrow, winding, but asphalt surfaced road to BR 040. But this in Minas and there are mountains. At times it seemed like we were going straight up. The pictures do not accurately convey the climb. The road was good at times, at least as good as a country road in Western Virginia, i.e. not the best road but okay. But at other times it was narrower than some of my bike trails in Virginia and not as well maintained. Not just a road, an adventure.
In the U.S. we don’t appreciate the infrastructure that helps make us prosperous. It is in the secondary roads you really see it. Brazil has some first-class primary roads. What it lacks are the County Truck and country roads. These were often build way back in the 1930s. They still serve us well. They get our stuff to market and bring our markets to the countryside. We take them for granted, but they are not granted to all places.
The country road you see in my pictures are the best stretches on offer. We hit dirt roads and sometimes dirt we couldn’t even identify as roads.
We were very happy to finally get to the main highway and on the road to Ouro Preto, but that is another story.