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23 July 2024
Alan Morris at the Christ the Redeemer statue in Rio de Janeiro.

Today was my third day in Rio de Janeiro & I went on a guided tour to see Christ the Redeemer & Sugarloaf Mountain.

Christ the Redeemer & Sugarloaf Mountain.

Today Gail & I booked a guided tour to go & see the Christ the Redeemer statue & Sugarloaf Mountain. I was surprised when the tour took us to a few other places as well. This was my favourite day during my time in Rio de Janeiro, visiting the Christ the Redeemer statue was my reason for going on this trip & I have now been able to cross it off of my bucket list.

Christ the Redeemer statue.

We were picked up from our hotel by a coach for our trip. When we got on the coach the guide asked a couple of people to move from the front seat so that I wouldn't have to struggle through the coach to get a seat. The guide checked Gail & me off her list & called us Mr & Mrs Morris. Gail pointed out that we were not married & we were soon driving through Rio de Janeiro to Corcovado Mountain where the statue is.

I was surprised at how steep the mountain path was, there was no way I would ever have been able to walk up the road. As we climbed up the mountainside in the coach, the homes gave way to lush vegetation & the views back down towards Rio de Janeiro & Guanabara Bay were fantastic. We arrived at the base of the statue & the visitors' store where you have to buy tickets. Our entrance was included in our tour & we were given 20 minutes to use the bathrooms, I took the time to buy myself a t-shirt before we were taken to the entrance to the statue.

When we were taken in there was a path winding up to the statue but our guide took me & Gail to an elevator for disabled people to use. When we arrived at the statue we were given some time to walk around the statue to take photos & admire the view. I took the obligatory tourist photo of me with the statue behind me & admired the view. I was glad I had been to see the statue & to have crossed it off of my bucket list but it was too busy for me. Hundreds of people all pushing & shoving each other trying to get in a small place to have their photo taken isn't that enjoyable. As I walked back to the disabled elevator & made my way down to the meeting point our guide saw me approaching & asked people who were sat down near the meeting point, to get up so that I could sit down. She was working hard to look after me & was very polite, she kept calling me Mr Morris.

When Gail arrived & we were ready to leave the guide walked us out & told us which way to go to get our coach. As we were boarding our coach another coach came around the sharp turn in the car park & hit the coach in front of it, knocking part of its bumper off. I thought we would get stuck for ages behind the two arguing coach drivers but they did move out of the way for our coach to leave. As we moved off our guide turned to us & asked me if me & my partner enjoyed the statue. We said we did & Gail pointed out that we weren't partners & weren't married either. The guide then began calling me Mr Alan & I seemed to get even more attention from her.

As we went back down Corcovado Mountain we had to go through the Favela that some of the Fast & Furious films were shot in. We didn't stop in the favela but we stopped above it so that we could take some photos looking down on it. Our guide was very good & gave us lots of information about the area. I was standing near a wall looking down at the favela & our guide approached me, she called out to me & asked "Mr Alan would you like me to take your photo here for you". I told her to just call me Alan, not Mr Alan, & she took lots of photos for me before we got back on the coach. We drove down through the favela & saw a few brave people walking up through it, I wouldn't want to do this for two reasons, safety & the steepness of the climb.

It wasn't long before we left the favela & we were soon stopping at the Maracana Stadium briefly for photos outside the stadium. Once again our guide got off with me & took photos of me outside the ground before we got back onboard & headed towards Sugarloaf Mountain.

Photos from Christ the Redeemer, a favela & the Macarana stadium. 

Sugarloaf Mountain.

We arrived at the base of Sugarloaf Mountain next to the Mausoleum of the Heroes of the Battle of Laguna & then on to where the cable car would take us up the mountain. Once again our guide showed everyone which way to go but led me through a disabled entrance & to a lift to take us to the Cable Car station. We were soon in a cable car & our trip to the first stop began. It was quite a steep climb & Gail & I were lucky enough to be right in the front of the cable car & had a great view as we ascended the mountain. I enjoyed the ride but I´m not sure how much Gail enjoyed it as she is scared of heights. I thought she did well & didn't show it if she was nervous.

We walked from the cable car we arrived at to the next cable car station & our guide showed us the different viewpoints & plants growing on the side of the mountain. Sugarloaf Mountain & its views were very beautiful & it was a lot more relaxing than when we were at Christ the Redeemer on Corcovado Mountain. We carried on to the final stop & the top of the mountain in the cable car & when we arrived we were given time to explore on our own. I walked around taking pictures of the different views & enjoying the scenery. Sugarloaf Mountain was a lot more enjoyable than Christ the Redeemer for me because there were fewer people, more room to move around & it was laid out a lot better. Every single rise in height had a disabled lift which made it a lot easier to get around the different levels.

As I was making my way back to the meeting point, our guide met me again & took me with her to different spots & she took my photo & explained everything we were looking at. She told me the names of the beaches below us & more about the history of the visitor centre & when it was built. I looked inside the small museum & saw the original cable car cogs from the original gear system that pulled the cable cars up & lowered them back down Sugarloaf Mountain. The Cable Car system that was there at the time of my visit was the third set that had done the job. My guide asked me which place I preferred, Christ the Redeemer or Sugarloaf Mountain & when I replied Sugarloaf Mountain she looked quite happy & told me that it was her favourite place.

Whilst I waited for the rest of the coach party I met Gail & she took a photo of me at the Sugarloaf Mountain heart photo point. I couldn't help noting four Brazillian girls there. They looked beautiful & were so overdressed for a visit to a tourist spot that I had to take a photo of them in their colourful dresses. They would brighten up anyone's day.

Back at the meeting point, our guide walked me through the exit so that I wouldn't have to queue or walk down any stairs & then showed me the point where we had to meet the coach. I stopped by a man selling water, bought a bottle of water & then walked back the short distance to the coach. The coach was soon on the move again & dropped & Gail & me back at the hotel. The rest of the coach had a full-day tour booked but it was to places I wouldn't have been able to enjoy, like the Escadaria Selarón, so we had only booked the first half of the tour. As the coach dropped us at our hotel I passed our guide a tip, she had been very good at making sure I was alright everywhere we went & I enjoyed my tour & the places we had been to & told about.

As we got off the coach she thanked me & said goodbye Sharky, my nickname, which was on my shirt. Since we had got on the coach Gail & I had gone from being thought of as Mr & Mrs Morris, a married couple, then to partners & finally travel friends. Our guide had started off calling me Mr Morris, then Mr Alan & finally to Sharky. She had gone from being our guide to my guide to my photographer. She had worked hard looking after me & fully deserved a tip.

Photos from Sugarloaf Mountain.

Copacabana Beach.

This evening Gail & I walked to a local restaurant near our hotel for something to eat & once again it was terrible. The food is quite cheap in the local restaurants but of a very poor standard, I couldn't recommend any of the local eateries in Copacabana so far. After our meal, we stopped at a local bar on the way to the hotel.

Gail had a beer & left but I stopped. I used the bars' internet to log into Arsenals' website & listen to the commentary of the Arsenal v Lens Champions League game. There was a local football match on the television & I got some strange looks from people during the game. I kept cheering when Arsenal scored, they won 6-0, this, of course, didn't correspond to the game they were all watching on the TV & they couldn't work out what I was cheering about. When the game finished I paid for my beer & went back to the hotel.

I had a great day, saw some lovely places, Arsenal won 6-0 & I slept very well.