Brazil 15

On June 2, 2007 we take RJ130 West from Nova Friburgo and head towards Teresopolis and Petropolis, which are both in the state of Rio de Janeiro.  The riding has been "TERRIFIC".  Twisty roads with no traffic.  Just what the doctor ordered to lower the old blood pressure!  It is nice here, but we do not want to give a one sided picture either.  There are poor people here in Brazil.  In the United States the rich live in the hills and the poor live in the flat lands.  It is the opposite in Brazil.  The poor live on the hill sides and the people with money live where it is flat!

This is what the state of Rio de Janeiro is like.  Mountains that stick straight up, just like the mountains in the city of Rio de Janeiro.  One hundred miles on a road like this and all I think about is how great it would be to have riding buddies along for the journey!

I still love seeing people using horses during their daily lives!
In Teresopolis we visited the "Parque Nacional da Serra dos Orgaos" (something like Organ Pipe Park).
This is the road through the park.

Very Green....

Very Lush....

Very Cobblestoned....

And no people....

On the road between Teresopolis and Petropolis.

More "BIG" rocks.

Is this beautiful or what!

And we feel like we are the only people in the world enjoying the scenery and roads in the mountains of the state of "Rio de Janeiro"!

We stayed in Petropolis for 2 nights (June 2 and 3).  Our luck regarding weather has ended and it has rained for most of our visit.  Again, the colors in the pictures is terrible when the skies are grey!

We walked around Petropolis, with our umbrellas.

It rained, off and on, all day long.

We did a walking tour of Petropolis.

This is just one of many old neat homes we walked past....

Another "Storybook" home....
Homes in all different styles....
Sandy and the "Palacio de Cristal"

Inside the Palace were about 20 teenagers, dressed in German outfits, getting ready to do a recital of German music and polkas!

One even had an accordion!

Catedral Sao Pedro de Alcantara.

This church was lit up really cool at night (blue lights), but the rain kept us from getting pictures!

This picture is taken from almost 1/2 mile away!

"Casa of Santos Dumont", a famous Brazilian pilot.
Rio Negro Palacio Dos Presidentes (currently closed for restoration).
Then we toured the  Imperial Palace.

This was once the home of Don Pedro II.

The "Old" and the "New".........
Typical store fronts in downtown Petropolis.
Getting old in Brazil....

Not a bad place to age....

Picture is at our hotel in Petropolis, the Casa Blanca.

Everything has been great, accept Sandy's health.  Her blood pressure reached 160 over 110 last night (June 3rd), and she got so dizzy that she could barely walk back from the restaurant.  I nearly had to carry her the 2 blocks back to the room.  We got it back under control, but it is really scary to be so far from home, not speak the language, not know where the hospitals are located and then have issues like this.  She really has been a trooper.  But on we go!

On the 4th of June, 2007, we get up and "feed" Sandy prior to heading to Sao Joao Del Rei, Brazil. 

No rain today!

Sandy, enjoying breakfast at the Casa Blanca, in Petropolis!
We rode BR267 and BR 265 northwest to Sao Joao Del Rei, just in time to have lunch.

Many restaurants in Brazil are "by the kilo".

They are buffets, were you get what you want, then weigh you plate, and pay by the Kilo.

Dinners and lunches have been costing about $10.00 to $12.00 for both of us, and that includes the drinks!

Cheaper then MacDonald's!

Sao Joao Del Rei was an old mining town, and has not changed much by tourism (a good thing).

Colorful it is!

Sandy and I felt like the only tourist in the city.

It is an active city, which we both enjoyed.

We came here because we had "Then and Now's".

We probably would not have visited Sao Joao Del Rei, if we did not have the "Old" pictures, and it would have been a shame to have missed visiting this town!

The "Then and Now's" have been a good thing to get us off the beaten track.

This church was an "Old" picture destination.

Sao Joao Del Rei has a population of about 80,000 people....

And 70 churches....

Hate to repeat myself, again and again, but we sure wish every one of you, that would like to visit these places, could!

This is what most of the city of Sao Joao Del Rei is like.

And we are sharing "VERY FEW" pictures (we are taking close to 200 pictures per day, as these places are so photogenic!).

A night picture of a church that we will return to tomorrow (yes, it is a "Then and Now" church).

The first "Then and Now" in Sao Joao Del Rei was easy to find.  It ended up being the "Igreja Nossa Senhora do Carmo", which was built in 1774.  This is a relative small town, and there is a church on every corner.  We really loved Sao Joao Del Rei!

Again, this picture is from the government publication of 1939 called "Travel in Brazil".

This publication was used at the 1939 World's Fair in New York to promote travel to Brazil (Europe was not a good travel destination during this time period).

Windows on the left - No change

Window on the right - Changed

New lamps on left side of picture

The "Wide" sidewalk use to be on the right hand side of the street.  Now the "Wide" sidewalk is on the left side of the street.

The "No Parking" sign does not really seem like it would be required, as a parked car would cause the street to be entirely closed!

The next "Then and Now" ended up being 150 yards down the street from our hotel (Pousada Casarão), which I highly recommend.  Great rooms, good rates and fantastic location!  The "Then and Now" was the "Church of São Francisco".

Not much has changed in the 68 years since this picture was taken!
The lamp posts are the same.  The glass globes are different.

The palm trees are still there, but much taller!

This is the same church as that in the "Night" picture about 5 pictures up.....

The air is clean and clear in Sao Joao Del Rei.

Notice the deep blue color of the sky!

On the fifth of June we take a short ride to Tiradentes, where we have 2 "Then and Now's" to find.

Another nice breakfast in Brazil.

Most hotel include breakfast with the room.

These wood carvings are very popular in this part of Brazil.

Many half bodies (from the waist up), are seen in windows.

The first few times that we saw them, we thought that many Brazilians sit and stare out the windows of their homes, and do not move a bone!

Another white and blue church.

And I have no idea how many thousands of miles we have ridden on cobblestone roads!

But I am sure that it is well over 3,000 miles since we started this trip. 

It may not seem like much, but imagine riding completely across the USA on bone jarring cobblestones.

Another typical photo of Sao Joao Del Rei (over a fence)!

We are getting a lot of exercise walking up and down the streets of the villages we are visiting.

Getting friendly or whispering?

Sandy and a church.... 

Don't tell our family that we have 1,000's of pictures like this to show them when we get home!

On the 5th of June, we keep our room in Sao Joao Del Rei, but we make a day trip to the mining town of Tiradentes, Brazil.  The church of the "Then and Now" sat on the top of a hill, in the middle of the village, making it easy to find!

The picture is from the same book of 1939.  I got lazy and forgot to get the BMW out of the picture.  Many things are the same.  Some window treatments have changed.  The trees just to the right of the church (near the free standing cross) are all new!

I have said it many times before, but the kick I get out of finding these places, so far from home, is a really moving thing for me.  And all the things we see, as we search for the "Old" locations is priceless.  It would be easy to run up the highway, from one end of Brazil to the other in 3 to 4 weeks, but the "Old" pictures gets us off the main roads and  we "See" things that most international tourist never see!

We are now taking between 150 and 200 pictures a day.

Brazil is so photogenic!

Here is Sandy resting while I run in a store and buy more batteries for the cameras.

"Tiradentes Locals"!

We were sitting at a street side cafe, having coffee, and these 2 redheads walked by!

I have always been partial to redheads.

I have been traveling for over 4 months on this leg of the trip, but I feel like I just left home. 

Seeing things like this makes us realize how lucky we are!

The "SAD" part is we are starting to realize that we are now in the last month or so of this "Dream".

This is the same church of the "Then and Now", taken from a hill top about 1 mile away.

Sure love the 12 to 1 zoom on the new canon.

I love the red tile roof tops!

All along the "Estrada Royal" there are mile posts like this.

The Estrada Royal is the old road which was used to haul the many tons of gold from the mining area we are now visiting, to the coast shipping port of Paraty, Brazil, which we visited in early May.


More gold was mined in Brazil during the 1700's, then the rest of the world during the 1600's, 1700's, 1800's and 1900's combined!

Both Sandy and I are missing the grandkids, so when we see kids playing and having fun, we stop for a few minutes and watch the kids play, and think about our grandkids!

The two boys in this picture never stopped smiling during the five minutes that we watched them play.

As you walk around the villages we visit, everywhere you look you see scenes like that in the picture below.  And we just keep clicking picture after picture. 

I know when we return home, we will have "NO" friends, as everybody will be afraid that "We will show them our vacation pictures"!  And who wants to spend 5 days looking at somebody else's "Vacation Pictures"?

That is it for "Sao Joao Del Rei and Tiradentes, Brazil". 

Tomorrow, June 6th, we head north east to the town of "Ouro Preto"

For "Brazil 14"  hit the "Back Button".....       For "Brazil 16"  hit the "Next Button".....

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