Well I think it’s been awhile since the last time I wrote but I think it’s time to add a little bit more. I’m still living
my life half in Brazil and half-time in the United States traveling around Brazil when I can and of course in the U.S. as well. it is July of 2018 and that means it’s winter and I am in Brazil. Louise and I have invited our friends Marly and Eda to join us on a trip to the state of Minas Gerais the southern part of Brazil. Eda takes the bus from minados luiz’s Hometown which is about 4 and 1/2 hours away and
arrives at 2 in the morning for us to leave early Saturday morning. we load the car with all our stuff and head up to pick up Marly on the way out of town. It’s a beautiful sunny day as we begin our travels heading towards Uberlandia. A pretty
uneventful travel day through the cerrado filled countryside. There was one highlight in the day as we were looking for a place to have lunch we turned off the main road into a small town. “Tapuirama” The streets of the small town had flags hanging from side to side and we knew that there was a festival going on. It was a little
late for lunch but we stopped and asked directions to the local restaurant. After driving by a couple times we realized it was closed because of the festival. A couple of people had mentioned there’s a small place that serves Marnamix which is a common traditional place where you can pick up lunch and take it to go.
We head down the road and spot a small sign on the opening of the fence, the only thing to identify the house and invite us to come in. What a pleasant surprise.
The aroma of fresh home cooked rice, chicken and beans fill the small kitchen.
The family of the house seem excited to have us and invite us to eat on the veranda so we did not have to take our food and go.
The lunch is great and although the conversation is Portuguese I understand most of it. We load back up and continue our journey as we have a little further to go Araxa – our first night stop. Araxa is a city of about 95000 people in the state of Minas gerais. It is named after a local native tribe that live there when it was first discovered buy European settlers and means: place from where the sun is first seen. I can only imagine there are incredible views of the sunrise somewhere.
We arrive mid afternoon and head to the central part of the city to find a hotel. On a boulevard with a newly designed island green space we find the perfect hotel and check in. Not long after we have our things secure and we are on our way, off to look around the grounds of the Grande Hotel Araxa.
Built in 1944 as a casino by local politicians, the grande hotel is a luxury hotel which has hosted many important regional parties since it was built. Today the hotel has some age, but continues to be a destination for families and parties in the area. It stands with a large garden and pond in the back and unfortunately a large parking lot in front. We spend some time looking around, walking and exploring both inside the hotel and the grounds out back. It is truly nice to be out of the car and enjoying the cool afternoon breeze. Our adventures take us down a winding trail to a small overlook where a bougainvillea is currently displaying its purple beauty wrapped around a gazebo overlook where one can gaze on the pond below. Behind the gazebo like overlook is a small building which houses a natural spring. Actually not very eventful as one can get a taste of this natural refreshment but the building is plain and nothing really to see. There is a second floor but since the bougainvillea is so beautiful it is hard to believe there is anything more worth a visit. We enjoy our walk and soon it is time to head back to the hotel, eat some dinner and get some rest. There is a museum (Dona Bejos) we would like to see but it is currently under renovations so we decide to head out in the morning.