Rio de Janeiro, Brazil: Day 3

I went to Paó de Acúcar (Sugarloaf Mountain) and took the world renowned cable car to both station 2 and 3 for the most breathtaking panoramic views of Rio and the Atlantic Ocean while your feet are still touching the ground that is. (Hand gliding yesterday was by far the best view of Rio). Sugarloaf stands 1,299 feet high and got its name because it is said to resemble concentrated refined loaf sugar – whatever that means. From the side and shoreline view, it reminds me of the whale I always imagined in my head from Hermann Melville’s Moby Dick and when the cable car slowly reached the highest peak I began to imagine it was Mount Olympus and that Zeus and the other Greek gods had invited this mere mortal to join them for an extravagant feast!  This was particularly so because the dense fog brought with it that same eery and ominous feeling I had when traveling from Albania to Macedonia in the fog covered mountains. I don’t know why I always pictured Zeus and the other Gods feasting on a mountain cloaked in fog just like this one where the mere mortals couldn’t see them but they could look down, see and chastise us. While admittedly being in the fog was very cool as expressed, I suggest you pick a clear day for this type of sightseeing in Rio because not only was station 3 at the top of Sugarloaf hidden in part by the dense clouds, the Christ Redeemer also refused to come out and play not to mention the somewhat obstructed view of humanity below. I also recommend you arrive around 6:00 p.m. when it is still light outside but also so you can eat at the lovely Cota 200 at 8:00 p.m. While expensive like everything else in Rio, at least for tourists that is, Cota 200 is a lovely way to  see the city at night including a red (at least while I was in Rio) Christ Redeemer.

Some of you may not know when the Christ Redeemer on Corcovado Mountain in Rio blessed the world with its presence (1931) or that this iconic statute made it on the list of the new 7 wonders of the world in 2007 but I’m sure you are aware of this memorable statute standing at 125 feet (including its pedestal) even if you have not seen it with your own eyes. Perhaps you have read about it, seen a photo, saw it on TV during the Olympics this past summer or are a Fast and Furious fan so have seen it that way. Either way, it is a must see in real life. I have dreamed of seeing it by helicopter but, so far, it seems as though not ALL of my dreams come true despite effort and I’m sure the way it appears to all of you. Trust me. I’m not complaining. I will just come back and try again during Carnival.

I tell you all this because I don’t want you to make the same mistake I did when it comes to seeing the Christ Redeemer. Make this a priority on your visit to Rio. Note that one of the two helipads is at Sugarloaf so if you are already at Sugarloaf make a plan to take the helicopter from there.  Go on a clear day – that is the first piece of advice.  Not only could I not fly because of the ever so irritating cloudy days one after another during my stay in Rio, I could not fly unless I located two other passengers to fly with me. This is the second piece of advice. The hope is that on a clear day, there will be a couple or perhaps two other singles at Sugarloaf wanting to fly or, if you are a couple traveling to Rio, another single like myself who needs someone to fly with. This is less likely to happen at the other location because 1) there is nothing else there at the other location so tourists are not just happening by saying” oh that looks like fun”; and 2) because Helius won’t take reservations so you will just be sitting there for hours like me hoping and praying for the sun and a couple to stop by looking for what I laughingly call a ménage à trois 😉

That’s all for now. Lots of love from Rio and some hope for a threesome 😉

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