Ouro Preto (Black Gold ) - Mineral Mining town
Apr 8, 2005
|We have arrived in Ouro Preto after the usual long bus journey and in the dark so finding our accom. seemed the most important.
After a quick stay in the closest pousada available we moved all of 20 ft down the hill to the hostel we needed to stay at.
We walked into the town at a 45 degree angle. It would seem that this town changed with the extensive mining that has been going on underneath the hills for 300 years.
One of the original gold rush towns there is a huge mineral and precious stone deposit and subseq. all the shops sell diamonds, emeralds etc and the most important is Imperial Topaz which is only available in this part of Brazil.
Split into two halves the town has two 'parishes' which are the areas in which the people live.
In each parish there are many churches (many designed by the famous Brazilian sculpter with no hands or feet(Alejedinho)with breathtaking views across mountain ranges which conjures an Italian feel.
Windy cobbled streets,ridiculous hills offset by the dramatic valley.
Really quite stunnning but touristeee!!
Anyhoo Nix got some Imperial Topaz, Tim got an Emerald and we went down the mine nearby.
First time in a mine for both of us, the cable car to 320m down ,a little daunting!
At the bottom we saw many types of quartz,slate,ore,pirite(fools gold) and the 2km clear water lake that nestles under the mountain.
After getting completley stoned(there is so much stone,rock and yada yada) we decided to jump on the bus and head out of Minas Gerais to Bahia a 27 hour journey.
I don't think you need us to tell you how bad that can really be. Awful.
Anyway we're in Ilheus and that's all for the mo.
Photos on the way.
T n N