We were once again blessed with great weather, the skies weren’t as clear as the day before, but whose going to moan over a few candy floss clouds, especially when it was +35degrees. As the buses in Rio don’t have any structure in terms of timetabling, we joined the other commuters who aimlessly stood around for what felt like forever and constantly wondered ‘Is it coming today?’. We persevered though and after about 20-30minutes our bus finally turned up and we were on our way.
We were quite surprised by Sugar Loaf, as unlike Christo, there wasn’t hoards of people or touts and we were there on a sunny day, so certainly wasn’t affected by the weather. We simply waited for 5mins to reach the ticket office, as some people pay more than others and need to prove they are from Brazil, so they hold up the queue. Everybody is then shuffled onto the cabs which can hold upto 50 people and are very snazzy and new. The only downside was that nobody is instructed to or not to stand on a certain side and therefore when everyody decides they want a front view, it sends the cab into a slight tilt and swing!! Which Cheryl wasn’t too keen on at all. There are two stations to Pao do Azucar, both offering different views and totally different views to that of Christo Rendentor. The first station/stop offers great views over Guanabara bay, across Botafogo, Flamengo to Christo Rendentor and upto zona norte. There is also a club here which is very exclusive and hosts a very exclusive NYE party, which unfortunately, unless we win the lottery, won’t be happening for us, but has very good views over the Copacabana fireworks…….apparantely.
There is also a blast into the past at the first station, of old cable cars, which to be honest, is quite terrifying and I have big props for the guys who took it when it was running, as I would have been bricking it the whole way up in this thing:
If your wondering ‘do I need to see the first station’, well the choice is made for you as the cable car doesn’t go all the way up, instead there is two separate lines with (obviously) two separate stations, but walking between station 1 and 2, you also get to take in a little bit of nature and there are several small trails which go into the vast greenery at the first mountain. The second station takes you upto the final stop (station 3…..durrrrrr) which offers the best view points of this attraction and also very nice walks around the top of the mountain. The 360 degree view gives not only beautiful views of inland Rio but also out to sea and the nearby islands. Landmarks such as Copacabana Beach and Christo Redentor can both be seen in their full glory.
Walking to the back of the final station, there was a really nice trail which again offered awesome views out to sea and along Copacabana beach, as well as taking you through some beautiful nature. As we are both smitten by nature and monkeys in-particular, we were very fond of standing around and watching the little marmosets jump from tree to tree and runaway from the screaming kids. It was great to see them having such fun in the trees and not being interested in human interaction one bit. Which being so active, made it very hard to snap a good photo, as the little buggers don’t sit still.
We had a great few hours doing Pao do Azucar and it was certainly a lot more relaxed and tranquil than Christo Redentor. As the mountain is not as high, the view obviously isn’t as panoramic, but it still offers great views of Rio and its surrounds and should certainly be on anybody’s to do list for visiting Rio.