Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Day 10: Cruzilia to São Lourenço

After two long days we decided to take it slowly for a day and just bike about 50km. Our stop for the night would be São Lourenço. We left the Estrada Real for about 20km and took the tarmac directly to Caxambu.

The charming city of Caxambu is renowned by its waterpark, ´Parque das Aguas´, which has twelve sources of mineral water flowing 24 hours a day. The legend says that Princess Isabel cured herself from infertility with the mineral water of Caxambu and one of the sources now bears her name. We decided that if this water is able to knock you up, maybe its wiser to forgo the park ;-)

Caxambu is touristic in a very sweet and oldfashioned way: there´s a litte sight-seeing train, a teleferico, old ladies are selling souvenirs in front of the waterpark... Very rare in Brazil, Caxambu even has a pedestrian zone and some sidewalk cafés! We enjoyed some açai and fruit salad on the sunny sidewalk, had a look into the park from the outside and then followed the Estrada Real to São Lourenço.

When getting closer to São Lourenço many cars with bikes on the roof passed us by. They waved, shouted, gave us the thumbs up and hooted... we were happy to see so many fellow bikers and waved back, excitedly! When we arrived in São Lourenço we found out why they had greeted us to enthusiastically - that they there had been an international mountain bike competition and those guys must have thought that we were the last ones to arrive and wanted to support us! We got some more thumbs up on the way to the center, were we settled down in a calm hotel and enjoyed some great soup in the restaurant ´Ki bom´, which even had a poster at the door saying ´Welcoming all bikers´. I guess it was meant for the participants of the mountain bike race - but we loved it anyway :-)

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