This first one cracked me up. Not because of the church, but because of the people. All the people sitting and standing around the church were enjoying some 9:30 am cerveja (beer!)
This next one was our favorite, but I think it was mostly because of the landscape around it-just gorgeous!
What's another day in the life of my blog without a transportation picture, right? This truck was smaller than any I've ever seen in the USA. Smaller than a Ford Ranger, those little old Isuzus...seriously, it was tiny (and hauling 2 Port-A-Potties...uphill!)
About 11:30 we had pretty much seen all that São João Del Rei had to offer, so we hopped in the car and drove about 15 minutes over to a neighboring town, Coronel Xavier Chaves. We had read about an old cachaça (sugar cane liquor) factory that was still operating and read that they offered tours. We thought it would be interesting, so we set out to find it.
After a while, we decided that the place we passed must have been the factory, so we drove back there. By the sign, maybe you understand why it wasn't quite the 'factory' we were expecting!This is the shed where they husk the sugar cane (by hand, no less!)
And here's a little shot of the inside where they make the stuff. Hmmmm...makes me glad that it is alcohol. (That kills germs, right?) It was a cute place and the only person working when we got there told us that not much of anything has changed in the last 250 years that they've been making cachaça there. He said they make between 35,000 and 75,000 bottles per year here, depending on their sugar cane harvest (they grow their own). They weren't cooking any last week, as they were waiting on more sugar cane to mature in the fields.
Below is the "tasting room" we read about. We enjoyed a little taste and then bought a bottle of 2007 cachaça for R$12 (or US$7). They had some as old as 1985 for R$200! A little rich for our blood, especially because we really wouldn't know the difference between the good aged stuff and the newly bottled.
This is a shot from the outside, it was a pretty place.
We have some great pictures from that night, but it is going to have to wait for the next entry. Since our dining rooms chairs were delivered yesterday and we are a little more set up for entertaining, we are having company over for supper tonight and I need to get a few things started. Hopefully I'll make it back online this afternoon to post Part 2!