Ah lovely Ouro Preto! After another 25 hours on Brazilian buses, it was more than a pleasure arriving in this town. The only way to describe it is, like someone picked up a small town in Switzerland and dropped it right in the middle of Brazil. Honestly, we forgot we were even in Brazil. It was a welcoming break after the madness that was Carnival. It is the definition of colonial, the streets are so cobbled stoned (that's my phrase now, don't rob it) that you're legs will start to hurt very quickly. I did see one idiot wearing high heels and in a way I wouldn't mind if she did break her ankle because she was definitely asking for it.
Ouro Preto is about an hour outside Belo Horizonte but the buses run very frequently so you'll have no problem getting to and from there. It a a small town and you don't need to stay any longer than 2 days but it's definitely worth a visit if you are looking for something different. Once you get off the bus don't bother getting a taxi as the town is a 5 minute walk but If you're like Andrew who loves throwing away money on taxis (and in general) because he is too lazy to walk, then go ahead!
Crap! We stayed in a place called hostel Lagarto so now you know the name, don't stay here. The only good thing about the hostel was the location but then again all the hostels in Ouro Preto have that attribute as the town is so small so it wasn't really a good thing, I'm just trying to be nice! The place claimed they were a take away as well but I never saw any food (maybe it was code for some drug organisation as the people running it were a bit seedy and never seemed to be around during the day. Also you were only allowed pay in cash...)
There are plenty of little churches and museums to visit during the day and lots of nice bars and restaurants. Its a very hilly place so it is tiring walking around and when you have someone moaning (not mentioning any names...) the whole time about being too warm (because I'm supposed to be able to control the weather too), its even more exhausting! If you're looking to save money, a good option always in Brazil is "per kilo" restaurants. These are like large buffets, they are everywhere around Brazil and always have loads of things to choose from like different meats, salads, rices, noodles and of course your standard ham and cheese options. You only pay for the weight of your food and not what you get so really it only ends up costing approximately €5-€8 and that's for a big plate of food. The two I'd recommend in Ouro Preto are Adega and Quinto do Ouro. There is another all-you-can-eat buffet called Restaurante Chafariz which is also good if you're very hungry! Another must do/see is a little chocolatier shop quite fittingly called Chocolates Ouro Preto. Recognisable by the massive chocolate fountain in the window, you can't miss it. This place is amazing, serves all sorts of sweet pastries and cakes and weirdly enough Duff Beer.
That's it from Ouro Preto, next stop Florianopolis!
I'll keep you posted!