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Published: June 10th 2012
Christ the Redeemer
After the clouds passed
Day two started with a little sunshine, a good breakfast and some noisy neighbors. We got up early to shower before breakfast because we had a full day of touring Rio ahead. We returned to our room after breakfast to grab our cameras and rain jackets (just in case) and learned just how thin the walls in our hotel really are. Our neighbors, or neighbor, we only heard a man, was quite loud while gratifying himself or his partner. He finished right before we needed to be downstairs to meet our guide. This gave us a good laugh to start the morning.
Our guide, Victor, picked us up promptly at 9 am. Betty and Judy were late as usual and kept everyone waiting. The tour was in an open jeep, so thank goodness it was mostly sunny and didn’t look like rain. Our first stop was to Sugar Loaf. Sugar Loaf is a mountain that overlooks the city and you take two trams up to the top to see a spectacular view. Now we are just a small tour of 4 plus our guide. There’s a reason we are willing to pay a little extra to stay small group instead
of a herd of cattle being run through the gates of each of the sites. This one particular tour guide with a very loud, deep voice and a whistle had to make sure his presence was known to all. He was a guide for a fairly large group and let’s just say this guide was about half way through his/her transgender transition. Again, he/she had a very deep voice, long blonde hair and boobs, not your typical man-boobs that overweight men develop, these were boobs, boob-boobs. Anyway, as we tried to block out the whistle and his/her voice we did see some great areas of the city. Copacabana Beach, Impanema Beach and the lagoon were amazing scenes.
From Sugar Loaf we were headed to Christ the Redeemer, the statue the stands above Rio. Getting to the statue on the first sunny day in a few days was another story. A race up the stairs to the statue had just finished so tons of cars were driving down the road, while tons were driving up. It was stop and go for awhile and when we did get fairly close, we just got out and walked up. Surprisingly it was organized
View from Sugar Loaf
once we did get up there. The line to the vans that takes everyone up to the statue was winding all the way up the hill and into the parking lots. There were plenty of workers and police to prevent any line cutting. Something that never happens in a lot of places around the world we have visited. But as you would know it, as we are walking up the 240 some steps to Christ, what does it do? Wait for it. . . . yes it starts to rain, and rain pretty good. As well as the clouds and fog started rolling in. Awesome. We got the pictures we could, but there were so many people it was hard to get any pictures in front of the statue. We waited for the rain to pass and the clouds and did manage to get ones of his face. The view of the rest of the city again was amazing. The clouds passed through but you still get to see a lot. Since Rio is located between the mountains and the ocean clouds and rain move in and out quickly. We taught our guide Victor a new word in the process
with all the people and craziness. It’s a two part word, the first part is “cluster”, and the second half of the word rhymes with “duck”. We also taught him what an “urban cougar” is.
Lunch was a nice break after the whole cluster%@#^ of the statue. We headed into the largest urban forest in the world situated right in the middle of Rio. We drove up winding roads through a beautiful canopy of trees and foliage. On the way out of the jeep we had our first casualty, Judy lost her balance on the step and was fortunately caught by the driver and Chester, but she managed to rip up her arm in the process. We should have known that was only the beginning. At the top we hiked up a path that followed a brook up to a beautiful waterfall. The history we learned from Victor was interesting and worthwhile. Our last stop of the day was on our own at the Botanical Gardens. By the time we got there we had less than an hour to see it, but we definitely did our best to see what we could. We made it to the Orchid House
and saw some gorgeous orchids. They were all different colors and sizes. Many locals were all dressed up and taking “senior yearbook” type pictures. We saw some other plants too after all it was a botanical garden. The palm trees were 200 years old and looked like we were in Beverly Hills but taller. With light fading early since it is winter here we started to make our way to the exit. Judy unfortunately slipped in the mud and bit it. Kirsten warned Chester that this is what she has to look forward to and that Chester better be ready for when those clumsy years hit.
So our last day in Rio was a great one seeing the sites. We had good weather and a great guide. Chester is hoping she made a contact for when they come back in 2014 for the World Cup with our guide.
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