Pulpology: Mark & Sonia's Intercontinental Absurdities!

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10 May 2012
Top of the Loaf, Ma!

Our last afternoon and evening in Rio was nothing short of magical. In a town where every other view is extraordinary, where you get tired of saying "wow," this took it to a whole new level.

Don't get me wrong, we had our fair share of frustrations too. Say it with me: This country needs an easy button! Brazil has the power to take you to the absolute edge of annoyance, and just as you're about to throw in the towel it delivers the goods, and you're so dazzled you forget what all the fuss was about. Our journey up Sugarloaf Mountain was just that.

no lines!
no lines

We arrived at the ground level ticketing area with high hopes. Sweeeeet, no lines! It was like finding a secret ride at Disney World while all the other suckers waited in line for something obvious like Space Mountain. As we wound our way around the outside of the serpentine and bought our tickets, a huge busload of Asian tourists with fanny packs unloaded. Hah, we smirked, too bad for them!

ohhhhh, buzzkill!
ohhhhh, buzzkill!

And then, major buzzkillington. That was just the line to get the tickets! Now we'd have to wait in the really really long line to board the actual cablecar. Yes, that line. The one with all those fannypackers who just got off the tourbus, shiny tickets already in hand. Cue the sad trumpets, wah-wah-wah-wahhhhhhhhhh.

cablecar locked and loaded  to the Loaf!

The view was actually kinda cool, watching the two sets of cablecars come and go. One set connects the ground with Morro da Urca, the midway point. The second set takes visitors the rest of the way up Pão de Açúcar, aka Sugarloaf. However, standing in the merciless sun for over an hour, and then having a bunch of British asshats cut in front of us as we started getting closer to the front, was kinda not cool. By the time we got in our first cablecar, I was hella crabby.

helicopter rides
helicopter rides

Morro da Urca houses some historical exhibits and a lovely visitor's center that shows a film about the history and construction of the Pão de Açúcar cablecar system. The film even features a clip from the James Bond movie Moonraker where nasty henchman Jaws attempts to bite through the cable and send Bond plummeting to his death. Morro da Urca is also where you can catch a ubiquitous helicopter ride around Rio, although the price was a bit out of our range. Thankfully there was just enough shade to cop a quick respite and get a snack. Which, due to our limited Portuguese, turned out to not be a tasty milkshake but instead some vile noxious medicinal swill. Ewwww! Have I mentioned that This Country Needs an Easy Button?

final stretch
final stretch between the Morro & the Pão

Nevermind, onward and upward! My crankipants attitude finally abated once we reached our final destination, and breathtaking views of Rio unfolded across 360 splendid degrees. The view from the Pão is the bomb. Not only did we see some fabulous beaches:

Praia Vermelha & Copacabana
Praia Vermelha & Copacabana


great day for a sail
great day for a sail

...and of course, The Big J off in the distance:

ever present
ever present

...but also some impressive flora and fauna:

lounge lizards
lounge lizards

cheeky monkey
cheeky monkey


And then the sun began to set.

golden hour

All frustrations melted away in a glossy mist of pinks and purples and gold.




Worth a little crabbypatty 'tude earlier in the day? Absofrickinlutely.


And then darkness fell, and the view continued to get impossibly more beautiful.

bark at the moon
bark at the moon

All at once we realized we didn't want to go! Not down the mountain, not back home, not to reality. Who needs reality when you have this view???


Oh yeah, that's right, someone's gotta replenish the coffers for the next adventure. Back to reality it is. Beijos until next time, Rio.

* browse all pics from Pão de Açúcar
* browse all Brazil pics posted so far

* Sugarloaf smooches
* Holy Floats, Batman (part two)
* Holy Floats, Batman (part one)

* browse all posts in Brazil category

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Posted by sonia at 12:00 AM | Link | 2 comments
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Re: Top of the Loaf, Ma!
What an enriching experience it was to have been there together!
Posted by mark on May 10, 2012 at 11:40 AM

Re: Top of the Loaf, Ma!
Definitely an epic birthday, FTW! Thanks for raising the bar so high... I have my work cut out for me for your next milestone bday, fer sure.
Posted by sonia on May 11, 2012 at 8:30 AM

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