Sunday (Domingo) 11th April, 2010
Day 394

Rio De Janeiro, Brasil
Rio De Janeiro, Brasil
Miles: 40,417
S 22.99221°
W 43.23319°

We spent the morning walking north to Ipanema Beach. As luck would have it, it's Sunday and that's the day locals make the most use of the beaches - apparently. Half the beach front highway is closed so that people can walk, run, ride and just hang out along the beach front. Even though the summer holiday season is over the beach front was crowded. And there was a lot of activity. Many volley ball games, lots of jogging. We were surprised by the number of older (like us) people taking part in strenuous activities. I guess they have to do something to make up for all that beef they seem to eat.

One of the more interesting games we saw being played was a version of beach volley ball played football (aka soccer) style without the use of hands. The skill level is really something, we watched groups hold long rallies just with feet, heads and shoulders while running on sand.

After lunch we took a city tour, that included a trip to the top of the famous Sugar Loaf, the literal translation of the Portuguese and Spanish names is "bread sugar". This is a rock outcropping with a cable car that starred in the James Bond Moonraker movie.

The city tour was interesting enough, especially the cathedral,but the highlight was sugar loaf. From the top there are simply wonderful views of this very spectacular city. Also from the top we could see why our first night taxi ride seemed to go in every direction. The city is built around a series of sharp hills and there are no straight highways.

Today we also heard the story of Christ the Redeemer, the big statue on a mountaintop. It's closed indefinitely. It was already being renovated, but the recent rains washed out the road and closed the railway line. That's one sight we will not be seeing.