Farewell to Rio

Rio de Janeiro Travel Blog

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Sugarloaf Mountain and cable car

It's my last day in Rio and I still have to see two of its most famous sights:  Sugar Loaf Mountain and Christ the Redeemer!

My friends and I agreed to meet up at 7:45 this morning to head to Sugar Loaf.  We took a hotel car over and were the first in line that morning!  It was a beautiful, sunny day -- so glad the rain had finally stopped.  The rock in Sugar Loaf seems to be a lot like Stone Mountain in Georgia or Enchanted Rock in Texas -- granite schist.  There are cable cars that take you up to the top, and we caught the first one of the day.  The cost is 35 reals (about 17.50 USD at rates in effect then).  The cable cars take you up to the first big rock (Orsa, or Bear), and you change cars to take a second one up to the top of Sugar Loaf.

Helicopter circling Sugarloaf Mountain
  The views of Rio are simply amazing.  You can see that Rio has many islands, an incredible bay area with lots of sail boats, lots of mountains, lakes, lagoons, rain forests and beaches.  It really has it all!  I wish I had done this earlier to get my bearings!  I took lots of pictures from atop the rock.  You could see over to Big Jesus (Christ the Redeemer), the soccer stadium, Copacabana and Ipanema Beaches and the airport.  I was remembering that one of the James Bond movies was filmed here -- with an iconic fight scene between James and "Jaws" fighting on top of one of the cable cars -- Moonraker, I think.  I'll have to watch it again to confirm (google might be easier, but not as fun).

On top of Sugar Loaf there were lots of monkeys -- marmosets, actually.

Marmosets at Sugarloaf Mountain
  They were very cute an very animated in the warm sun.  Got a few shots of them too!

We headed back to the hotel to get packed, as all the rest of us were taking off later today.  I got my things together and checked out, and then headed out to see Big Jesus.  I couldn't get anyone else to go along, as they had seen it earlier in the week.  It was a 30 minute ride by taxi over to Corcovado, where Big Jesus is located, but it was well worth the drive.  The setting is amazing -- it is high on a granite peak called Corcovado, which means "hunchback."  The road up is very narrow and winding.  It feels like there should be hundreds of accidents the way people drive here, but it all seems to work out.

Christ the Redeemer on Corcovado Mountain.
  I spent about an hour here just walking around, snapping pictures and watching the hang gliders soar around the statue.  It's really a magical place!  

I returned to the hotel and had a late lunch.  I tried a traditional Brazilian dish, Feijoada, made with black beans and pork.  Along with a cold Chopp (Brazilian draft beer), it was a great farewell lunch.

One last stroll on Copacabana Beach in the sunshine, and it was time to go.  Nine of us packed up into a large van and headed to the airport for our departures.  I hung out at the Admiral's Club at the airport until my departure time (8:50pm).  My flight home is Rio direct to Miami, then to Dallas, and finally Austin -- all on American.

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Sugarloaf Mountain and cable car
Sugarloaf Mountain and cable car
Helicopter circling Sugarloaf Moun…
Helicopter circling Sugarloaf Mou…
Marmosets at Sugarloaf Mountain
Marmosets at Sugarloaf Mountain
Christ the Redeemer on Corcovado M…
Christ the Redeemer on Corcovado …
Entrance to Cable Cars at Sugar Lo…
Entrance to Cable Cars at Sugar L…
Looking down from Sugar Loaf Cable…
Looking down from Sugar Loaf Cabl…
Sugar Loaf Placque
Sugar Loaf Placque
View of Corcovado from Sugarloaf
View of Corcovado from Sugarloaf
Atop Sugarloaf Mountain
Atop Sugarloaf Mountain
Sailboats dotting the bay below Su…
Sailboats dotting the bay below S…
Scottie in the Old Cable Car
Scottie in the Old Cable Car
Marmoset monkey
Marmoset monkey
Coconut Trees at Sugar Loaf
Coconut Trees at Sugar Loaf
Placque at Christ the Redeemer
Placque at Christ the Redeemer
History of building the Big Jesus
History of building the Big Jesus
Big Jesus under construction
Big Jesus under construction
Behind Big Jesus!
Behind Big Jesus!
Hang glider over Christ the Redeem…
Hang glider over Christ the Redee…
Hang gliders around Christ the Red…
Hang gliders around Christ the Re…
Copacabana -- on a clear day (my l…
Copacabana -- on a clear day (my …