by Jorge Sanchez - 8 months, 2 weeks ago
I would arrive to Diamantina at about 6AM, too early to visit it because it was dark, therefore I killed time having breakfast in the bus terminal, and when I had light I descended the hilly streets until the historic downtown. During my walk down I read in several signs: Caminho dos Escravos (road of slaves). That was sad for me. The richness in Diamantina, Ouro Preto (that I would visit two days later) and other mines, were extracted by the slaves from Africa, and many died due to the hard work plus the cruel living conditions. Anyway, I enjoyed the day exploring the town, populated only by about 50.000 souls. There were museums devoted to the diamonds, to the history, etc., but I did not visit them since I was short of money. Diamantina was the last stop in the Estrada Real, or Caminho dos Diamantes, starting in the coast, near Sao Paulo. Some other interesting stops in that historic road are Ouro Preto, Congonhas, Sao Joao del Rei, Mariana, Tiradentes, and a long etc., and I would manage to visit most of those pretty little towns during the following days. Some tourists travel the long of this road by bicycle, and I heard of young tourists that during their summer holidays make this long trekking on foot. After visiting Diamantina properly I returned by bus to Belo Horizonte and then continued my journey to Congonhas, where I would arrive late in the evening and would sleep in a central hostel.