Monday, September 23, 2019

XXXVI - On to Sugarloaf and Back

XXXVI - On to Sugarloaf and Back

After 15 minutes or so of taking in the views of Rio from Mt. Urca, it was time to mosey on up to Sugarloaf. We entered the 'port' and after a short wait boarded one of the cars to go even higher. This was the view from the our cable car as we made our way up to the top.

On the top of Sugarloaf there were several large terraces at different levels. Once again, the views were breathtaking, although I did not venture to the edge.

In addition to the terraces with their views, there were paths that wound their way around the top of the mountain through the lush jungle greenery. 

I'm not sure when these paths were built, but considering the way they were constructed they looked old, well constructed, by old. There were staircases up and down.

There were shaded terraces with sitting areas on them stuck here and there. Views of the city below could be glimpsed through the leaves.

As with everywhere else, there were illiterate tourists who could not read the posted signs 'Do Not Feed the Animals." This idiot was trying to feed a Marmoset.

A little history, the Cable Car system was built in 1912. The original coated wood cable cars were in service for 61 years. 

(One of the retired cars on display.)

In 1972, the system was completely renewed. The 'Sugarloaf and Mt Urca National Monument' became a 'World Heritage Site' in 2012. 

Time to return back to the base of the mountain. The weather had been sunny with a breeze that kept the temperature fairly comfortable. It was only when we boarded the cable car, that we realized it wasn't a breeze it was a wind.

Certainly out of an abundance of caution, they would not operate the cars in the wind, I thought. That question was answered when the door closed and the operator started the car moving. As we left the port, the car started rocking. Great, I had survived the trip up. In fact, it went so well, my fears were allayed. Oh, the false sense security.

Slowly we made the trip down to the lower hill, swaying a bit as we went. Note here, any swaying - little or not, is harrowing when in a glass car with 65 strangers, thousand's feet above the ground, hanging on a thin cable. Since I am writing this, you can see I survived. 

Once at the lower port, we walked past the wall of icons. I'll take any comfort in a storm, or in this case, religious intervention from any source.

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