You may recall last week we had our first mini trek to see Sugarloaf mountain, followed by a weekend of luxury. Sadly the luxury is over for the time-being but very much not the end of our trekking to see Rio from dazzling heights.
This week we reached two high points, geographically speaking. I’ve combined both experiences into this one post because whilst seeing Christ the Redeemer was a privilege, there’s not really any story to accompany the day.
Some stats are that it’s nearly 100 years old, its peak is 700 metres high, the mountain is named Corcovado and the statue’s outer layer is made of soapstone.
Furthermore, there’s three popular methods to get to see Cristo Redentor. Car, well van more accurately, a train (tram) and there’s even a well trekked hiking path. All similarly priced except the hike which isn’t costed but you’d still be charged to see the statue.
Cost was approx £12 per person with transportation included so acceptable to us. As for the hike, it’s allegedly a 3 hour return of moderate difficulty. Truth be told, if it wasn’t for my sun bun, I think we would have taken this on as that’d have been pretty cool to have achieved.
Instead we opted for the tram and chose the second departure of the entire day. Crowds were building and I was beginning to feel like a tourist although one stroke of luck did come our way; we managed to get the best seats on the entire four carriage tram!
In reality the journey was uneventful but still, no cheap seats for us today. Incidentally this is the 4th generation tram and was only put into action in 2019 so relatively modern looking and comfortable to sit in for the 15 minute journey to the top.
Once you reach the top, you either rush to see The Christ or you take your time and observe what’s around you and indeed, beneath you. As you can imagine, the images don’t do the full view full justice – though we do have a quick video later on.
Years ago it was tourists from a particular photo-snapping country that would be migraine inducing. You know the ones. These days whilst they exist I’m sure, even in the pandemic, we’re in the all-consuming era of the ‘selfie’. Of course it isn’t the ‘selfie’ that’s the problem, rather the dough-brained zombies that perform their obsessive ‘look at me’ shots for social media purposes.
It’s no longer just the Millennials, everyone of all ages are at it. It dawned on me that for many people, actually gazing at the magnificence of The Christ would be a secondary action. Some might have even forgot to look at it with their own eyes, so strong is the obsession with seeing it through a phone lens! Their priority is capturing their face with the Big Fella serving as a mere backdrop.
As a people watcher and someone interested in psychology, I could “enjoy” watching these people for some time although for maximum enjoyment, I’d have loaded potato-gun with me.
Anyway, here’s a couple of shots of The Christ as you’ll want to see it. In it’s full, undisturbed glory with no tourists around. (Only made possible because of the height of the statue perched on a stand).
With a little perseverance and some firmness towards less mindful tourists, we were finally able to capture a less crowded image of Vivian with ‘The Christ’ without any buggers photo-bombing the shot.
Though as you’ll see in the middle image below, it wasn’t easy to achieve with the crowds building at just 8.45am.
We also took a quick 180 degree video to show you these sights in video-form.
Pedra do telégrafo
With my limbs much less sore although still very visibly burnt, today we ventured across Rio de Janeiro state having sought out a location worthy ‘for the gram’. The older generation might be unfamiliar with that expression so to break it down; it simply means sharing a photo you’re proud of on Instagram. It can also be in reference to a shot that’s daring, risky, crazy etc… and today we got our shot ‘for the gram’ as Instagrammers will have already seen. Boy, did we have to work hard to get it though – physically and logistically.
Our options were either to take a tour, grab an Uber or explore ourselves how to get there using public transport. A tour was looking like £35 for both (with lunch), Uber showing as £15 for one-way so perhaps £30 combined whereas doing proper backpacking style was looking like £6, return, for two of us! I think you know which one we chose! (It does pay-off to look into things thoroughly but it wasn’t all plain sailing because of one hiccup on our end).
Basically we caught the bus from the wrong side of the road so instead of it travelling in the direction we needed, we went on a 45 minute bumpy, crashy ride to its other end/start point. That was an unpleasant realisation and so was the fact that we would have to endure this same 45 minute ordeal drive back + then a thankfully smaller 20 minute ride to where we were originally headed.
We did eventually make to the start of the trail and a ‘tough-for-us’ 45 minutes later, we did capture these views.
So it turned out to be a tough day and our first super long one that returned us no more than a few hours of enjoyment from an 8am to 6.30pm day!
Was it worth it?
Of course it was, ‘for the gram’ 😉