Brasil “Estrada Real” – cycling with bags

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New trip!
You will discover the treasures of Minas Gerais and, after going across the mountains, you will have the chance to take a dip and see countless colorful fish!

La Estrada Real was opened by the Portuguese crown on the 17th century. It was based on old indigenous trails. It connected Ouro Preto , deep in Minas Gerais, with the port of Paraty on the coast of Rio de Janeiro.
It is currently the oldest and most prestigious road in Brazil, their version of the “Camino de Santiago”. It is, luckily, a very solitary road and still almost virgin, with the exception of a few courageous pilgrims.
The Instituto Estrada Real www.institutoestradareal.co.br has been promoting this cultural and natural gem since 2001.
In order to ride the 750 km of the ancient “old road” (camino velho) of the Estrada Real, we will have to ride on more than 80 % of dirt road, with several stretches of trails and old roads with centuries-old cobblestones. It’s an adventure out on the hills, discovering historic villages that are a treasure to Brazil and to mankind.
It’s a trip for experienced cyclists, we will do it with saddle bags and no support vehicle. Group spirit is essential. Every cyclist will carry his/her own luggage: few spare clothes, climate is warm.

2 May 2018
Photos of the last travel in Brasil “Estrada Real” – cycling with bags

Day 1- Ouro Preto (1100mosl):
Meeting in the hostel after midday. We will see the sights in this old city. Introduction dinner.

Day 2- Engheneiro Correira (1100mosl):
At the start of the trip we will have one of the steepest climbs, going through two small villages and doing some stretches on trails. We will finish the stage in a “pousada”.

Day 3- Entre Rios de Minas (980m):
stage with some stretches on paved roads, dirt and trails. We will go through the city of Congonhas, home to the Basilica do Senhor Bom Jesus de Matosinhos –UNESCO’s World Heritage Site-, where we can find life-size statues of the 12 apostles made by the famous Aleijadinho. We will cross Serra do Gamba.

Day 4- Lagoa Dourada (1050):
We will ride on inland dirt roads that connect “fazendas” with corn fields across Sierra de Camapua. We will also make a couple of kilometers on a trail and a brief stretch on pavement until we reach an old lagoon where the Portuguese discovered gold.

Day 5- Tiradentes (900m):
In order to get to the village of Prados, we will have to do some stretches on the mountain trails. We will then go through Bicinho, a peculiar artisans village.  Then, and riding on a cobbled road, we will arrive to one of the most beautiful villages in Brazil, with its surprising church of San Antonio –built in 1710 with almost 400 k of gold -.

Day 6- Carrancas (1050):
the pebbled road continues across the sierra to the city of Sao Joao Del-Re which, like the others, is defined by its picturesque architecture. We will continue on some trails, with ascents and descents. We will cross the Camargos dam on a raft. It will be one of the toughest and most beautiful stages.

Day 7- Cruzilia (1050):
a quiet day, on isolated roads that go through beautiful fazendas. The historic Fazenda Traituba stands out among them.

Day 8- Sao Lourenco (900):
This will be another quiet stage, riding through Caxambu, a city famous for its “Parque das Aguas” with a dozen different mineral springs  and the church of Nossa Senhora dos Remedios. We will finish the stage in San Lourenco, where there is another water park.

Day 9-Passa Quattro (950):
most of the tour is done on the valley of the Sierra da Mantiqueria, parallel to the train tracks.

Day 10- Guarantigueta (550):
After a 10k ascent, we will descend from Sierra de Mantiqueria on
trails –pavement optional- for quite some time. We will arrive to the village of Guarantigueta –meaning “white herons” in the native language- with its important historical heritage.

Day 11- Cunha (900):
On this stage we will ride the steepest ascent of the itinerary, doing 500m in 7 k. We will finish the day in Cunha, famous for its ceramic crafts and for being the starting point of trips to the Parque de la Serra do Mar.

Day 12- Paraty (000):
We will start riding on the sierra, with a long and gradual ascent that will last 30 k, on dirt roads along thick forest and some waterfalls. The last 25 k are on a steep descent on pavement (stone).

Day 13- Paraty (000):
Breakfast and end of our services. We recommend having this last day off in order to enjoy the place.

750 km.

Daily average: 67 km. Average speed: -approximate- taking into account that in some stretches we will have to get off our bikes in order to go over obstacles, it will be 13 km/h.
Level difference: +13300m

during the night it can go down to 15 C, in the high areas and during the day it can reach 30 C.

5 people. In order to be properly organized and get better flights the registration should be confirmed 3 months in advance.

  • Constant assistance of 1 or 2 guides.
  • 12 nights in hotels.
  • breakfasts included.
  • 10 dinners.

  • Tickets to National Parks or historic sites, boat rides and transfers.
  • Lunches.
  • 2 dinners on days off.
  • Extra drinks.
  • Optional outings.