After a nice and relaxing week in Rio, we are ready to start our road trip! The first stop is Ouro Preto, the colonial town made famous during the Brazilian Gold Rush. The house we rented is actually in a small village a few kilometers away, called Lavras Novas. Early in the morning, I take a cab to the Santos Dumont Airport to pick up our Thrifty rental car. Santos Dumont is the equivalent of LaGuardia, the second Rio airport, focused on internal flights. I arrive at SD around 9AM, but soon discover that our rental company, Thrifty, does not have a kiosk at this airport, I was supposed to call them ahead of time. It's ok, I have a backup reservation with Herz, but the line is quite long and I end up with a smaller car. In the end, I am back in Ipanema around noon, somewhat later we expected. We load the car, embark the kids, set up the GPS and off we go to the state of Minas Gerais. By 7pm, thanks to our GPS guidance, we finally reach Lavras, but cannot find the house we rented. Also the town is much bigger than the small village our hosts had described?!?! We call them and learn that we are in a different town, 3.5 hours away!!! Thank you Tomtom :-( We have no choice but to head back on the road. We reach Our Preto around midnight, then it takes us another hour to figure out how to reach Lavras Novas (we'll always remember this nice man who took the time to draw us a map at 1am). But our surprises are far from over. To reach Lavras Novas, your have to cross a mountain on a dirt road, which is not a big deal, but in the middle of the night, when not expected, it is quite an unusual experience. Our hosts were very gracious and waited for us until we arrived at 2am! The house was amazing, and the trip was exhausting, but something definitively we'll never forget.