Archive for October 11th, 2020

October 11, 2020

State of Minas Gerais, Brazil!

And on my road warrior trips in beautiful Brazil, I like to take you back to the State of Minas Gerais with new text and new photos in my blog. This is inland Brazil often too often overlook by visitors but the real thing as often the case in what could be call off the beaten paths. Hope you enjoy it as I did.

I have told you a bit about Minas Gerais but let me tell you a bit more.

The State of Minas Gerais is known for its colonial-era towns founded in the 18C during the Gold Rush. With cobbled streets, rich, ornate mansions and Baroque churches. This state is rich in mines of precious stones ,emeralds in particular. Its name in Portuguese means “Common mines”, an allusion to the mines which then depended on the Portuguese Crown. Minas Gerais is called “the mountain state of Brazil”, because the South and the South-East correspond to the Brazilian highlands, with the serra da Mantiqueira and the serra do Espinhaço. To the southwest, the Mining Triangle stretches out, with its sandstone plateaus, of extraordinary geological diversity and a great wealth of ferrous and non-ferrous ores.

A bit of history I like

In 1708, the first major conflict in the region took place, between Emboabas (“Those who offend” in the Tupi language) and Paulistas, from the province of São Paulo. Defeated, the latter went to colonize more distant regions. The creation of the Minas de Ouro harbor master’s office in 1709 which were called from 1720 Minas Gerais also helped to end the conflict . From the second half of the 18C, gold production showed obvious signs of decline. This encouraged the Portuguese Crown to raise taxes and confiscate the property of those who could not or would not pay. In response, deep discontent on the part of the Mineiros, the inhabitants of the region, arose. Influenced by the ideals of the Enlightenment born in Europe, the Creole elite supported a republican project for Minas Gerais. After independence in 1822 and the establishment of the Empire, the conservative party took power in 1840, causing the revolt of the liberals. Armed conflicts broke out in the province of São Paulo, with the support of liberal Mineiros. To contain the insurgents, the imperial government sent the army until the insurrectionary movement was crushed. You know then came the Republic of Brazil and dictatorship and then democracy as of now.

After doing some roundups in Sao Paulo State , it was time to come back to some familiar places in Minas Gerais State. I first went to Tres Coracoes which is best known as the birthplace of the great football/soccer player Péle! It has a statue in the entrance to the town.  It even has a museum on the street house he was born. See post

Once there, had the honor of staying at the Pousada Calabreza, a nice simple hotel too simple the TV did not work but did had time to rest after the long 4 hrs trek by car.  They have a hotel propertly said in city center a bit better for longer accommodations. My info tells me the pousada has been closed or handle thru the hotel site…The Facebook page is here :

tres coracoes pousada calabrese pool may17

I was taken to eat at Venda do Chico, more on the side of Très Coraçoes on the road to Varghina; a marvelous place in a farm with cafeteria, resto and grocery store where the coffee is done on an oven the old fashion way. The company was nice, the service great, and the food sublime with minas gerais original food in pork,beef, rice and beans, salads all in different dishes to serve oneself,and original antarctica beers! wonderful;need to repeat here!! More on their webpage:

Tres coracoes venda de chico resto arriving may17

tres coracoes venda do chico cafe stand nov15

Of course, on this trip, went again to Varghina and stayed at a wonderful hotel restaurant there! The hotel was the Hotel Café Royal right in city center near the University campus and much more lively.  This was a very nice hotel, good space rooms and good service as well as a great restaurant with glass windows views of the city. More info here:




This is one more fact to show that when traveling as I do, prefer the in country ambiance and real people for great talks and sharing a glass of beer rather than the more bigger tourist traps.  This country is laid back and nice with real people and if you are looking for relax, nice natural sites, architecture ,and especially nice folks around then come here to Minas Gerais inland.

In Varginha we went to a nice restaurant trés chic on a secluded street in town but great chefs creation of beef. The great cuts were awesome and the wine from Chile Taparapa was nice.  The chef owner came out to talk to us and it was nice indeed, a memorable moment. this is the Braseado restaurant at ave Salum Assad David ,30. Due to covid19 I believe the restaurant seems closed but the chef has a Facebook page for home delivery meals here:


If anything, these need to be in my blog for the wonderful memories given to me over the years visiting Brazil. You have the tourism information from the State of Minas Gerais here:

The tourist board of Minas Gerais is here in Portuguese too:

The tourist board of Brazil on touristic sites in Minas Gerais

A private site with good information on Brazil, have it on Minas Gerais:

Voilà, another wonderful trip to beautiful Brazil and the State of Minas Gerais, recommended to dwell into this area. For me there will always be great memories and good friendship now still in contact! Hope you enjoy the post as I did/do.

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

October 11, 2020

Brazil and two States!

Ok so here I am taking you again to wonderful Brazil. A dear country and now a long trip of two weeks taking me to two States, Sao Paulo and Minas Gerais.

Wonderful big country with great ambiance and friends; always a pleasure to visit and Lucky to do it every year since 1988 and lived there in 2008. This time went a bit to old grounds and had the opportunity to visit new ones. First I got there from Nantes, Paris CDG and Sao Paulo Guarulhos airport, then on  to Paulinia and Descalvados in the State of Sao Paulo to repeat. I then went on to Varghina in the State of Minas Gerais. A wonderful round trip!!

Varginha is located in the southern region of Minas. The city is located on the banks of Lake Furnas, and at the same time equidistant from three Brazilian capitals: São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro and Belo Horizonte. The city is one of the main centers of trade and production of coffee in Brazil and in the world, and is a reference in the production of high quality coffees, in addition to an export hub for the product, draining most of the production in the douth of Minas, making grain trade with several countries.

A bit of history I like

The pioneers from São Paulo through the Paraíba Valley crossed the Serra da Mantiqueira in the region of Embaú gorge, now Passa Quatro. Many traders from São Paulo (the tropeiros) also passed through the region, selling products from São Paulo and Portugal.  The tropeiros, who were regularly passing through Varginha, made, in 1785, a small chapel, close to where the Divino Espírito Santo Matrix Church  is currently located. In 1806, the Chapel of Divino Espírito Santo das Catanduvas was built and, in the same year, the land required by the district  was donated. Then the town was called Catanduvas or Catandubas; word originally from indianTupi, which means “low and closed, rough and thorny, small bush”. Due to the patron saint of the chapel, it was renamed Espírito Santo das Catanduvas.

Varginha was one of the towns that received the most Italian immigration to Brazil in this period. With enormous commitment and workforce, many Italians bought their own land and also started their own businesses, which generated great economic development for Varginha and for the south of Minas in the late 19C and early 20C. Another considerable flow was that of Syrian-Lebanese immigrants, which occurred in the first decades of the 20C, immigrants who lived in most of the products trade in the São Paulo capital. Varginha also received in the seventies several Japanese families, who immigrated as a result of the acquisition by the Japanese of one of the German company at the time, CBC, which had a factory in the city. Nowadays, as a result of the transfer of Taiwanese companies to the region, the city hosts immigrants from Taiwan, who invest, generate jobs and work in Varginha.

The Heritage Foundation on its history in Portuguese:

The Heritage Foundation on its heritage monuments in Portuguese:

Upon arriving at Varghina I went straight to the hotel, Grand Enio very modern, nice but had no gel/shampoo in bath! The resto for breakfast was very good indeed. The hotel was in front of the Universidty UNIFAS Santa Luiza; I later in another visit stayed here again. Here I stayed for two nights as well. The best was the breakfast and dinner time here. good dish of picanha beefs with onions in a mayo base sauce with good beers Itaipava premium. More info here:

varghina hotel grand enio entrance nov15

I was able to go out for lunch to the Recanto Flora, and forgot my camera/phone !!! lol! oh well the place is a typical Minas Gerais cuisine with shop and restaurant overlooking the greens of the fields behind it. Very friendly service was promise if call ahead will cook something typical just for me!  They  have other businesses like a cheese making company in the farm or fazenda casa flora more closer to Très Coraçoes.  The views on this resto search site is just like it for reference and to be back with photos ! here is their Facebook page waiting for the virus nowdays to open again:

At night to top it all off I was taken to Pinga Com Torresmo Avenida Princesa do sul 29 A ( an intriguing word pinga for some Spanish speaking people ::)) but here is an rum alcohol base drink similar to Cachaça. It is another term for it a bit cheaper. And the place was great with pork ribs, fry fish, and great itaipava premium beers. The views over the city as the night fell was fantastic and live music playing oldies but goodies was a king size top off to a wonderful night send off from Brazil; I should be back here::) Cold beer and good bar food with live music on Fridays. No doubt, the best bar of Varginha! Service note 10 and the wonderful menu!!! All done with excellence… Cozy atmosphere, perfect! That’s a restaurant where you can go and try every food on the menu.   Facebook page here:

varghina cafe pinga torresmo nov15varghina cafe pinga torresmo inside wall nov15

For info Varghina has a good bus terminal or rodoviaria with connection to all the big cities like Sao Paulo, Belo Horizonte, Rio de Janeiro etc. More info here:

varghina gare routiere nov15

There was a big project to open a mall or shopping center just outiside Varghina call Via Café; this is huge and awaiting stores and completion. I am happy to tell you is open and will surely visit if have another opportunity to visit the area. More info (have it on foodie section for stores go to lojas) here:

The State of Minas Gerais tourism in Portuguese here:

I went by car to Descalvado in the countryside of the State of Sao Paulo, the main sight in city center is the Church of Nossa Senhora do Belem is imposing in the town. The hotel Descalvado was just across the street , the only one, more like a truck stop hotel but decent, clean ,and friendly service. My home away from home for the last 9 years there!!! road warrior from here to Brazil! I am already missing it…! Here is their official page and history in Portuguese:

Created with Nokia Smart Cam


We had breakfast all you can eat and room for about 27€! per night. I stayed two nights here enjoying the country life. For dinner I try the new Japanese restaurant here Nintai, newly open and friendly welcome with buffet all you can eat and beers. Unfortunately, this one is close and just here for the memories. For dinner I try Cabana Churrasqueria, a big place lively with local people and local food steakhouse all you can eat with great desserts! and course beers Original Antarctica! This is my central here, always great! and already looking forward to be back! Their webpage here:

A better looking Facebook page here:

descalvado nintai jap resto ent nov15

descalvado churrasqueria cabana menu out nov15

I have come to Paulinia couple times, as also a new town created in 1964 carved out of part of Campinas. The term Paulínia is a tribute to José Paulino Nogueira, a farmer from Campinas, one of the owners of Fazenda do Funil, located between the current cities of Paulínia and Cosmópolis. The village that gave rise to the town of Paulínia was called Vila José Paulino until 1944, when a state decree prohibited localities from having names of living persons. Due to this fact, the village was elevated to a district with the name Paulínia. It is now 118 km from Sao Paulo city. Paulinia is not for the tourist curious but more business , however, good to be here and see the other side of the country always fascinating and educational.

I had dinner needed to go on the road to Campinas at the Churrascaria  Estancia Grill, a big place with friendly service and the typical Brazilian grill house with all kinds of cuts of meats, salads buffets,and desserts with beers was a great place and good company.  Many memorable lunches here with old friends and new ones met there too! More info here:

Created with Nokia Smart Cam

More on the history of the city of Paulina from the local government page in Portuguese:

I always came here by car from the Guarulhos – Governador André Franco Montoro International Airport in Sao Paulo on the SP 332. More from the chamber of Paulinia on its history in Portuguese here:

The association of tourist offices for the State of Sao Paulo in English is here: 

The convention center for tourism of the city of Sao Paulo here for info:|en)

Therefore, now you know some new places in Brazil , some known some don’t off the beaten path, this is a huge country , lots of good things to see and do. Hope you like the post and give you some ideas to go deeper into the countryside. Varghina, Descalvado, and Paulinia will stayed on in my memory of good times and good friends; always looking forward to be back.

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

%d bloggers like this: