This was our first disappointing glimpse of Cristo Redentor. Barely discernible from behind those hazy clouds. We decided it would be pointless going to Corcovado if visibility was going to be so poor. So we went to the Päo de Açúcar (Sugar Loaf) first instead and prayed hard that the weather would clear, for we had very little time in Rio.
Wrong decision! The clouds lifted as soon as we were up on Sugarloaf mountain, from where we got this fist real shot of the statue of Christ the Redeemer. By the time we reached the train station below Corcovado around 11 am, the lines were miles long and we were loath to waste our entire day trying to get to the statue.
He was omnipresent! Wherever we went we felt his towering presence watching over this beautiful city. A constant reminder of our disappointment.
We felt the effect of our 26 odd hour flight the next morning and barely managed to drag ourselves out of bed. We found even longer lines at the base of the hill and dejected, we decided we would have to be satisfied with this view (below) from a spot halfway up. Then off we went for our Sunday morning stroll around Ipanema and Lagoa and in the afternoon a drive across to Niteroi with Marcio Guedes whose help we had enlisted to maximise our limited time here.
On our return from Niteroi around sunset, the sight of the illuminated statue tempted us to make one final attempt to get up close and Marcio decided to drive us all the way up instead of waiting for the train. There were barely a handful of tourists at this hour and the tram and elevator up from the car park was a breeze.
Cristo Redentor in all his glory!
Christ enveloped in the warm glow of the flood lights with his hands outstretched in welcome. How could we have even considered leaving without seeing this!
We hung around a while and were rewarded with this additional bonus. (I know my poor camera does not do this scene justice, but you get the picture)
I was now ready to bid Rio adieu.