Monday, November 14, 2011

Retiro das Pedras

I celebrated my 2nd Brazilian birthday on Saturday.  Yay for turning two!  I told the husband that I wanted to drive out of the city and talk a "hike" with the family.  Brazil is beautiful.  And parts of Belo Horizonte are beautiful.  But it is a big city, and in my heart of hearts, I'm a country girl.  I need my mountains, my trees, my wide open, natural spaces every once in a while.  This is part of the reason why I commute to Alphaville for work once a week (it's a 40 minute drive one way).  I like getting out of the city and taking in the green, the deep red soil, the big trees, the potholes and trash....oh wait, I digress.

I thought about posting about Retiro das Pedras last year, but I didn't because I wanted to keep it a secret.  But I don't think that it's a secret for Brazilians, and there were LOTS of people there on Saturday.  So I will share.

View Larger Map

Here's a map, with the route from BH Shopping.  You have to go out of the city on BR 040, which is the way that you would go if you wanted to drive to Rio.  You go up a few hills, and past São Sebastião das Aguas.  Take the exit at Jardim Canada, and go past Verde Mar on the access road that runs alongside the highway.  You'll come to a stop sign where you can enter back on to the highway, and there is a sign that points to the right.  Go right, and up the cobblestone road.  You'll drive for about 5 minutes, and eventually come to the gate for the entrance for the condominium.  If you are facing the entrance/gate for Retiro das Pedras, you'll see a Banca de jornal (those little newspaper stands that are everywhere here, that sell magazines, candy, umbrellas, toys, stickers, and many, many other things).  You can park pretty much anywhere around the Banca, or along the street; just obey the parking signs.  The start of the walk/hike is to the left of the Banca; there is a little gap in the fence, and you can walk through there.  From there, it's a gentle slope up to a radio tower, a little rocky but mostly just dirt.  Watch out for the mountain bikers and the biting bugs (I have a HUGE bite on my leg). 


  1. Hello Shelley

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  2. whatever erika...

    Shelly - how wonderfull! That is the perfect getaway! I LOVE Minas!!

    Have you been to Serra de Cipó? GREAT place for hiking and swimming! Waterfalls!!

    Mil beijos -- j

  3. Hey, I'm an American from NYC married to a Mineiro. We went to Minas a few years ago and I met his family.
    If you get a chance, you should visit a quaint little town called "Diamantina" - home of Xica da Silva (the Harriet Tubman of Brazil). Being a small town woman, I think you will very much like this town.,_Minas_Gerais

  4. How different is AZ from Belo? I currently live in Tempe (originally from the NYC area). My husband says that Tempe reminds him of Belo Horizonte, somewhat.

  5. Hi Caroline! Say hello to Tempe for me :-) I actually find very few similarities, in terms of how things look. Tempe is flat, with very few trees, and various shades of brown. It's hot for 6 months of the year (yuck), dusty and dry. A great place for biking, and easy to drive around, but not very visually appealing. BH is green, lots of trees, lots of hills.

    I have been told that we need to go to Diamantina; it's only my list. I hadn't hear of Xica da Silva before, but I will look her up--thanks!

    Hello Jim! I have been to Serra do cipo, with Corinne last year and to a pousada. It's beautiful.