Rio de Janeiro: 28th January, 2017.
The first question we asked on waking up in our hotel was ‘Can you see Jesus?’ Which sounds like a question from the Jehovah’s Witnesses on your doorstep, but what it really means is ‘Is the cloud so low that you can’t see the Christ the Redeemer statue. Not that it’s a great problem if you can’t; on two occasions we couldn’t, but it brightened up considerably later.
Now, purely by coincidence, the two threads I am running at the moment deal with cable car rides. Today’s trip was a cable-car ride up the Sugarloaf Mountain; one of several in Rio de Janeiro, and a great favourite with locals as well as tourists. It’s totally different, though, to the Banff Gondola, which I posted about a couple of days ago. Like the Kuranda Skyrail (https://travelrat.wordpress.com/2011/11/02/kuranda-skyrail-video/ ) the Banff Gondola cars only seat four. Here, about forty people are squeezed into the car … standing room only, of course!
So, I had to cut out a lot of video footage of the backs of heads and selfie sticks on the way up; I fared better on the way down, because I got a place near the window,
A city with mountains within its bounds comes as no surprise when we were told it’s the only city in the world with a rain forest inside its limits.
The cable-car ride is a two-stage one, which lifts you up to give you a superb birds-eye view of the city. And, it’s one the birds …vultures and frigate birds … enjoy too.
This, you may remember, was the ride that featured in Moonraker but not as James Bond would have known it. There wasn’t a big guy on the roof trying to bite through the cable, for one thing, and anyway, they replaced the cars for the Olympics last year. But, at the halfway station, they have preserved one of the ‘James Bond’ cars, as well as one of the original cars from 1910.
Like ‘Christ the Redeemer’ it can get pretty crowded, but the waiting time is fairly minimal, and the view is really worth the ride.