Being the first up means I must be doing something good today. And I am. But my plans are scuttled early on when with the weather. Steve, Luke, CJ and I are heading to one of the most famed attractions in Rio – The Cristo Redentor. Or Christ the Redeemer for you gringos.
The journey starts with a long bus ride on Rio’s public bus system. It takes about 30-40 minutes. Enough time to grab a bit of a sleep on the ride to the base of the Tram. We decided on the tram, as its the easiest option (I’ll walk next time for an adventure).
The scene that greets us as we hop off the bus (with all the other tourists) is quite phenomenal. About 50 taxis and touts shouting “we take we take” to us in their broken english.
I usually brush past these touts with ease. And I walk by to go to the Tram station to get a ticket. Only to be met by the fate of a closed sign.
So what is a gringo to do? We can walk up or be lazy and catch the taxi. We go to haggle, but we don’t really have the strong hand but we get a good deal with another foreigner.
The bus ride up is somewhat slow, and curvy. The road snakes up through the forest. And you get glimpses of the view below over the bay and beaches. We then come to a massive long queue. We hop out, with not much instructions given to us, and wait in the line.
This is the line to get another taxi to the top. Blimey! So we wait, and wait. Then it hits us. All the people around us, have tickets to get in, we don’t. So a few of our group collect the necessary reais, and set off for the ticket booth. Its then another ride to the top. You don’t get to see much of the statue, its hidden, but you get some great views looking out over Rio.
At the top, we head on through, and up the stairs (if your lazy you can take the escalator). To be greeted by the back of Cristo. And a little shrine underneath it (I shouldn’t be so shocked with that).
Around the other side, its wall to wall yoga poses. Every person is either doing a ‘tourist pose’ or taking a photo of someone doing it.
The statue is quite remarkable, and very humbling. The soft angelic face shows a compassionate savior embracing the cariocas.
The view of Guanabara Bay to Pao de Açucar to Ipanema is obscured. The clouds have overcome the top of Corcavado. And its hard to make out any details. The wind blows up and the clouds dissipate for a short time, making for one of the most incredible views you’ll see.
After some brief ‘tourist clowning’ around in front of Jebus, we head on back to Copacabana. Steve goes for a nap and lunch, whilst CJ, Luke and I head towards Copacabana and the beach. The suns come up and its time to take it in.
In Sao Paulo, Fernanda said to try Biscoitos Globos, so we brought some of a beach vendor, and dug in. They weren’t too bad, but probably not something you’d want a lot of. Plus nothing can beat the Queigo de Coalho’s.
A good end to a pretty epic day.