Wednesday, 9 June 2010

Same Place, New Place.

The bus ride today was as perilous as ever and I was mentally poring over the geography of my journey. The view was spectacular but impossible to focus upon, the schoolchildren disappeared like little bright shadows in a green backdrop and the large crosses with the white ribbons tied around their limbs my only marks of reference. We were not going far but there was time for a daydreaming roller-coaster.

I've spent some considerable time in Brazil by now and this positively feels like the fourth different country I've been within it. After the cosmopolitan Rio and the Costa Verde, the African and sensual Bahia and the European South now I find myself in the heartland of Minas Gerais. A land of green mountains and humble people, rocks fused with history, girls with long hair and graceful steps, revolutions and gold, innumerable churches and unparalleled beauty, sweet words and strong cachaça. The place of the first revolt against the Portuguese rule was soaked in blood, the same blood that filtered the tones of mined dust for a few precious ounces of gold. The Citades Historicas have been on the itinerary for a while and it was time to make my pilgrimage.