It’s finally Marc’s last day! After 36 days of on/off (mostly on) travelling together, today was the day we ended our joint South American travels for good. However, Marc’s flight was a night flight, so we had more or less the whole day to do some sightseeing. Given we saw Christ the Redeemer yesterday, the obvious place to visit today was Sugarloaf Mountain.
To get to the base of Sugarloaf Mountain we had to take a bus from the same stop as yesterday. Ironically we saw the elusive bus which never managed to turn up the day before, though clearly they aren’t very frequent so we didn’t feel too bad about the cab we ended up getting. Once we arrived at the base, we both grabbed some lunch and then went to enquire about the cable car to the top. The cable car runs in two stretches; one to the top of a smaller summit called Morro da Urca, and then onwards to the top of Sugarloaf. Rather than getting the cable car all the way to the top, we thought we would take the hiking path up Morro da Urca in order to save a bit of money.
Marc was a little hesitant about the hike to begin with because he was only wearing flip-flops, though he quickly got into the swing of things. Talking of swinging, the forest we were hiking through was probably the most tropical I had ever seen, with interesting plants and vines hanging tangled around the trees – one of which I couldn’t resist swinging from. As we got further up, the weather unfortunately took a turn for the worse, and we were soon hiking in light rain. The resulting clouds obstructed our view somewhat at various outlooks, though we still got some decent views of the city and beaches below.
We emerged from the hiking trail on to the top of Morro da Urca just as the clouds were clearing above us. The timing couldn’t have been better, since a huge rainbow was perfectly forming over Sugarloaf in the distance. This made for some great pictures, and was a unique touch to our last outing of the trip together. After the rainbow passed we got on the cable car to the top of Sugarloaf, where once again the weather decided to spoil my photos. Large clouds were moving in, and it was much colder than at ground level (where I had made the decision to just wear a t-shirt for the day). It was a real shame, since on a good day you can see the whole city and Christ the Redeemer in the distance. As a result we didn’t actually spend much time at the top, and only took a short walk around the viewing platforms before getting the cable car back to the mountain’s base.
At this point Marc’s final hours were approaching, so we headed back to the hostel where he packed and we self-catered. It was then time for farewells, even though it’s probably only two weeks until we are going for a reunion Nando’s!
Photos of the day: rainbow over Sugarloaf, swinging from a vine, a rather cloudy view from the top.