Travel Journal

Belo Horizonte

(Tuesday 22 March 2011) by Mike and Julie's sort of round the world trip
Day 216-219 3/11-13/11
I was the only person on the bus when it left Niteroi but that soon changed when we got to Rio and other stops when passengers boarded. I had hoped to make it in by eleven PM and find a bus station hotel nearby but we didn’t arrive until midnight. The guidebook says that it is not safe to wander about Belo late at night especially near the bus station and being the cautious type and cheap bastard, emphasis on the later, I opted to stay in the bus station until daybreak.
I did manage to arrange my bus tickets for the return trip to Rio and also the ride to and from Inhotim the following day. Come sunrise, I walked the streets and checked several hotels until I found an eighteen dollar a night one which would let me check in immediately. After a nap I went to the Mercado Central which was recommended in the guidebook but was nothing remarkable. I contemplated buying some cashews but declined and that was the extent of my mental exercise for the day.
There is only one bus out and one bus back from Inhotim and it runs only four days a week so plan this well if you want to repeat my journey. It was about an hour and a half ride and I got to the gallery/park about 10:30 AM along with some clouds. It really hard to describe the place; it’s like several contemporary art galleries, mixed with Huntington Park, with a touch of Frank Lloyd Wright and the children’s playground at McDonalds thrown in. You are not allowed to take photos in the interior galleries but the exteriors of the galleries and the outside art work are fair game.

The grounds are well maintained but nothing as a garden it’s rather disappointing. The architecture of the galleries is inspired and, as the case of the Niteroi Contemporary Art Gallery, often more interesting that the works contained within. The outside arts projects range from whimsical from the parts-exchanged VW cars to thought provocative men in motion. There were rather bad art films where the artist really needed to know how to use a camera and if you actually sat through the entire film, Inhotim would take a full day to explore. The skies opened up halfway through the day but Inhotim has umbrellas at each building that you use and leave at the next building.
I’m glad I got to experience this as it is like nothing I’ve ever seen before. Now, whether it is worth the long ride from Rio is another question. If you are in Belo Horizonte though, I would highly recommend a visit here. After another night in my luxurious hotel room, I boarded my bus for the trip back to Niteroi and my long overdue ATM card.



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