I had a day to myself and decided to explore the sugar loaf mountain (Pao de Acucar). There are basically two main view points in Rio- this and Christ the redeemer statue. Having seen the mound whilst lying on beaches and walking along the coast, and doing an epic walk there two days previously, I thought it was about time I went up and saw the panoramic view seeing as it was a clear day. Thankfully no hike is necessary as cable carts take you the whole way up. The views are pretty spectacular and unfortunately I don’t think my camera phone does it justice…so you’ll have to use your imagination a little bit, but it does allow you to see the whole of the city.
The built up areas are surrounded by favelas which sit on the base of the hills surrounding the city and then there is thick rainforest type vegetation.
After taking photos and entertaining myself by watching people taking photos of the weirdest things…bins..benches…the inside of a cable cart…I then went for a wander around the paths around the mountain on the look out for monkeys! And I found some! However I wasn’t quite quick enough with my camera to get a good photo (tip: don’t reduce the brightness of your phone screen so you can’t see the screen in bright sunlight in order to unlock the phone). In summary a great place for a picnic and to read a book…I only ended up leaving because a cloud decided to surround the mountain meaning that all you could see was white.
I took a trip to The botanical gardens with Jess – although pleasant and a great way to spend a sunny day, they were a little disappointing..I was expecting amazing flowers, but really it was just Jurassic park style trees and bushes with humongous leaves. But it was really peaceful and cooler because of the dappled shade. Again a great people watching experience as there were people everywhere with professional photographer cameras taking modelling esque shots of normal appearing people…Brazilians seem quite into their appearance and posing from what we’ve seen!