Another View from Rio

One of the famous views of Rio de Janeiro, rather obvious as you can't miss it is what is called the Sugarloaf Mountain (in Portuguese, Pão de Açúcar). It is a peak situated in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, at the mouth of Guanabara Bay on a peninsula that sticks out into the Atlantic Ocean. Rising 396 metres (1,299 ft) above the harbor, its name is said to refer to its resemblance to the traditional shape of concentrated refined loaf sugar. I am not sure how but I guess sugar in those days were kept in a mound.

If you are a James Bond fan, you would remember this. Roger Moore fought against a character called Jaws played by Richard Kiel. Roger Moore with Dr Goodhead (can't remember what happened to her) were up the cable car at this Sugar Loaf when Jaws whose strong point was that his jaw and teeth are made out of steel bit the cable that held the cable car. That movie was called Moonraker, if you are interested in searching for it. Can't remember what year, my guess around the late 1970s or early 1980s.

Anyway, that mountain is only one of several monolithic morros of granite and quartz that rise straight from the water's edge around Rio de Janeiro. A glass-paneled cable car (in popular Portuguese, bondinho - more properly called teleférico), currently capable of holding 65 passengers, runs along a 1400-metre route between the peaks of Pão de Açúcar and Cara de Cão every 20 minutes.

At the mountain, there is an exhibition of the cable cars. The original one carried around 15, the second carried around 75 and the present one, a reduced 65. It is quite scary as 65 people in a tiny cable car are quite cramped and from my point of view, a tad too heavy for my liking.

The original cable car line was built in 1912 and rebuilt around 1972/1973 in its current form. The cable car goes from the base, not the peak of the Babilônia mountain, to the Urca mountain and then to the Pão de Açúcar mountain.

To reach the summit, you take two cable cars. The first one ascends to the shorter Morro de Açúcar, 220 meters high. You have to walk out and go out to the other side of the mountain to take a second cable car. This second car takes you to Pão de Açúcar. The second ride is the scarier one. The first one is from down to up. The second goes from the summit of one mountain to the other higher summit. The perambahan we use is you can feel your ***** shrivelling! Each ride is less than 5 minutes, but it is the longest 5 minutes of your life.

The fare for the entire journey is BR44 each about B$35 our money. The views of Rio de Janeiro are worth every single centavos.

[Note: this is an automatic posting of blogs which I wrote a few days earlier.]

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