Sometimes you don’t realize how much the everyday stresses of city life build up until you take a drive through beautiful countryside and feel your tension float away.
Our kids’ school varsity sports teams recently competed in a 4 day multi-school, multi-sport tournament in the mountains of Minas Gerais. My husband was able to take a few days off from work in Rio and we drove south to watch our senior daughter play volleyball in her final high school tournament.
We left at 5:30am to avoid Rio’s notoriously horrendous morning traffic. The kids left the day before by bus.
State of São Paulo
It’s easy to see why the early European settlers were drawn to this picturesque area.
The small resort mountain town of Santo Antonio do Pinhal has restaurants, a delightful bakery/cafe, numerous pousadas (inns), and wonderful pines (pinhal means pinewood).
The State of Minas Gerais
5 hours after leaving Rio we reached Pousada Rancho do Cowboy.
My husband immediately passed out in the hammock for a short nap.
A nice couple owned the pousada and we were brought fresh fruit soon after we arrived.
Our first visitors were Mel
And Thor, who likes to play ball with limes.
After my husband’s short rest, we hopped back into our car and successfully (only had to backtrack once) found the dirt road that lead to the camp hosting the sports tournament.
Marvelous trees – so different from Rio.
The kids brought sleeping bags and pillows and slept on cots in dorm rooms with their teams.
During the 4 day tournament, girls and boys volleyball, futsal, and softball teams as well as cheerleading squads competed.
GO PANTHERS!!! GO 22!!!!
My daughter and team had a great tournament, making it to the final round and bringing home silver.
The morning wake up crew at Pousada Rancho do Cowboy
Thor wanting to play
I threw a lime and he followed me over to say good morning to the horses.
The grass is greener
Momma and babies
Bernardo being standoffish.
Cowboy breakfast for two
Mel waited patiently outside but Thor was a shameless beggar.
After breakfast, we drove two and a half hours to the city of São Paulo to sightsee, hit a few museums, and meet up with friends for dinner.
We were pleasantly surprised by São Paulo – my next blog post.