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Brazil: Hidden Pousadas - Pousada do Capao, Serro, Minas Gerais

By Alison McGowan
May 30, 2010

Pousada do Capão definitely classifies as one of the most hidden of all the hidden pousadas, set in 38,000 square metres of rolling green land just outside the village of São Gonçalo do Rio das Pedras near Diamantina in Minas Gerais.

There are 4 rooms in the main house and eight chalets dotted around the grounds, each with its own veranda and hammock. Rooms themselves are basic, and none have TV, air-conditioning, heating or a fridge, but they are spacious and comfortable nevertheless, with good lighting, excellent showers, and a wonderful sense of peace.

Inside the main house, guests mingle round the communal table over breakfast and dinner, sharing stories and chatting to Brazilian/American hosts, Marcinha and Peter. Peter is a former chef and his combination of local ingredients together with a formidable knowledge of interesting global cuisine makes for some mouth-wateringly excellent dishes.

Although only 34 kilometres from Diamantina it takes a good hour and a half to get to the Pousada do Capão as it is all dirt road along what was formerly the Estrada Real or "Royal Way". However the trip in itself is worthwhile for the amazing scenery and the arrival in the pousada is just a continuation of a wonderful day. This would be an ideal base in the future for a yoga retreat a painting holiday, or a historical road trip, but for the moment it's just a great base for foodies or for exploring the surrounding countryside or just for chilling out. We will definitely be back!

The colonial village of São Gonçalo do Rio das Pedras is a rare and hidden gem - a place where time seems to have stood still for centuries. This is a place where visitors are greeted with a smile, where everybody knows everybody, where traditional crafts still survive, folklore and medicinal remedies are passed down through the generations and where the whole village turns out for the festivities of Nossa Senhora do Rosario and the Frango Caipira (free-range chicken!).

Surrounding the village is an area of extraordinary natural beauty, of crazy rock formations, caves, waterfalls and pre-historic paintings and the whole region forms part of the historical diamond and gold circuit. The Estrada Real-or Royal Way, built in the early 18th century, passes through São Gonçalo en-route from Diamantina to Serro, Ouro Preto, Tiradentes and finally Paraty in the state of Rio de Janeiro, and although much of the road itself is now just a dirt track, the villages it passes en-route are testament to a time when this was one of the richest places on earth. For lovers of history, geology, and local culture you could not find a richer region to visit in Brazil - or one that is so wonderfully unspoilt.

Not To Be Missed
- village of Sao Goncalo do Rio das Pedras
- trekking to Pico do Itambe/Serra do Raio
- pedra da Rapadura/Grota Seca waterfall
- traditional cachaca distillery Velha Serrana
- festival of Nossa Senhora do Rosario in October
- festival of frango caipira (free range chicken) in November
- handicrafts: rugs, embroidery, tapestry
- natural cosmetics: soaps shampoos, lotions & conditioners

Starpoints
* beautiful location and spacious grounds
* atmosphere of peace and tranquility
* amazing gourmet food included in price
* Peter & Marcia and staff

Try a Different Place if...
...if you don't have a car or you want a fast internet connection

Alison is a British writer, musician, and marketing consultant, based in Rio de Janeiro. She can be contacted on alison@hiddenpousadasbrazil.com. Visit her site at http://www.hiddenpousadasbrazil.com/.

Previous articles by Alison:

Brazil: Hidden Pousadas - Pousada Luar do Rosario, Milho Verde, Minas Gerais
Brazil: Hidden Pousadas - Pousada d'Oleo de Guignard, Tiradentes, Minas Gerais
Brazil: Hidden Pousadas - Pousada Chalé Oasis, Galinhos, Rio Grande do Norte
Brazil: Hidden Pousadas - Pousada Bela Vista, Novo Airão, Amazonas
Brazil: Hidden Pousadas - Pousada Beijo do Vento, Bahia
Brazil: Hidden Pousadas - Pousada Agua de Coco, Ceara
Brazil: Hidden Pousadas - Artjungle Eco Lodge & Spa, Itacare, Bahia
Brazil: Hidden Pousadas - Alcino Estalagem, Lençois, Bahia
Brazil: Hidden Pousadas - Pousada 0031, Cumbuco, Ceará
Brazil: Maguire‘s Guesthouse, Manaus, Amazonas
Brazil: Hidden Pousadas - Hotel Casa do Amarelindo, Salvador, Bahia
Brazil: Hidden Pousadas - Hotel BeloAlter, Alter do Chão, Pará
Brazil: Hidden Pousadas - Fazenda Santa Marina, Santana dos Montes, Minas Gerais
Brazil: Hidden Pousadas - Casarão da Amazônia, Soure, Ilha de Marajo, Pará
Brazil: Hidden Pousadas - Casa Mila, nr. Ubatuba, São Paulo
Brazil: Hidden Pousadas - Casa Beleza, Santa Teresa, Rio de Janeiro
Brazil: Hidden Pousadas - Bambu Bamboo Pousada and Spa, Parati, Rio de Janeiro
Random Ramblings on the Weather in Brazil
Brazil: Hidden Pousadas - Pousada Beijamar, Bahia
Brazil: Hidden Pousadas - Hotel 7 Colinas, Pernambuco
Brazil: Hidden Pousadas - Pousada dos Quatro Cantos, Pernambuco
Brazil: Hidden Pousadas - Pousada Estrela do Mar, Bahia
Brazil: Hidden Pousadas - Pousada Vivenda, Rio de Janeiro
Brazil: Hidden Pousadas - Pousada da Terra, Minas Gerais
Brazil: Hidden Pousadas - Pousada Mirante de Pipa, Rio Grande do Norte
Brazil: Hidden Pousadas - Pousada do Caju, Alagoas
Brazil: Hidden Pousadas - Pousada da Amendoeira, Alagoas
Brazil: Hidden Pousadas - Estalagem Caiuia, Alagoas
Brazil: Hidden Pousadas - Lagoa do Cassange, Bahia
Brazil: Hidden Pousadas - Ponta do Muta, Bahia
Brazil: Hidden Pousadas - Santa Clara, Boipeba, Bahia

5/30/2010


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