Over time Camillo and I have explored most of our local country roads. Since this is not something you read about in other blogs about Brazil, I thought I could give you some idea of the local color. This may take two or three entries, I hope you enjoy seeing the simple interior towns in our area. Today we go north of Friburgo to Cantagalo.
Leaving Rio by the BR 101, crossing the Rio-Niteroi bridge, you make your way around to the northern side of the bay, the following the signs head off towards Cachoeiras de Macacu (the waterfalls of Macacu) on the toll road RJ116, drive up the curving, winding, rising into the mountains road all the way through Nova Friburgo (new Freiburg).
Passing our own waterfall, and the park of the sitting dog (cao sentando), and Bom Jardim’s coffee plantations (nice garden – hum? the city is not very garden like), you will continue past the turnoff to Duas Barras and at the crossroads with RJ160 turn towards Cordeiro.
Taking RJ160, a quasi dirt/blacktop road, you can drive through Cordeiro (Sheep or Lamb?) and finally at the end of the road (literally goes no where else) you find the small village of Cantagalo (singing rooster).
Don’t you love the names of these places?
Cantagalo has a very nice central plaza (praça) with a its usual church (the front was well maintained but the roof in the back was in need of real repair), a colonial hotel with beautiful floors in the lobby and a very basic restaurant (buffet that did not look interesting to us but was full of local families), a few ‘relatively’ well maintained colonial style buildings, a very clean main street and NO PLACE TO EAT at 1 pm on a Sunday afternoon. From Rio to Friburgo is about 2.5 hours, from Friburgo to Cantagalo another 2 hours. Drive to Friburgo and spend the night (and several days if you like) Then fill your car with gas, take a snack for the kids and don’t plan for lunch until you have returned to Friburgo. This little town is worth the adventure.