First day of summer

In Brazil summer starts on the 21st of December. With this occasion the fair on Labradio Street was organized again, even though it wasn`t the first Saturday of the month. This time I was able to take some pictures.

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After visiting the fair we decided to take our chance and visit Sugar Loaf, even though it was cloudy. We walked all the way there, making quick stops on the Catete Street, in Largo de Machado and on the Botafogo Beach.

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View from the Botafogo Beach

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View from the Vermelna Beach

In order to reach Sugar Loaf you need to take two cable carts to the top of the mountain and they each cost around 25 R$. However, there is a path through the forest that takes you all the way to Morro da Urca, the hill where the first cable cart leads to. I`ve heard there is a way to get to  Sugar Loaf by foot, but I think it requires climbing gear. There are companies who offer guided climbing tours to the top, but it`s more expensive than taking the cable cart.

However, it`s very easy to get to Morro da Urca and you don`t need training. From the parking lot you just walk straight until you reach a small beach called Praia Vermelna. On the left side you`ll notice a paved promenade that surrounds the hill. After walking about 10 minutes you`ll see on your left a trail that goes up the mountain. It`s easy to recognize thanks to the logs that form a ladder. Also, there is a sign saying the tickets must the purchased from the parking lot (good to know for those who want to take the teleferico to Sugar Loaf from Morro da Urca).

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View towards Niteroi

Because we walked all the way there we arrived on the beach around 6PM. Luckily, it takes about 30 minutes to get up, so we reached the first hill at sunset. The view from there is amazing, you can see the sea with the islands, the city of Niteroi across the bay, the Christ statue, the Dos Irmaos mountain, the Pedra Bonita and many other neighborhoods. The sun sets over the Dos Irmaos Mountains, so if you have a good camera you`ll be able to take amazing screenshots. From the terrace where the second cable cart leaves you have a great view towards Sugar Loaf.

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Sugar Loaf from Morro da Urca

The view was so good that we didn`t even realize that it was starting to get dark. So after taking many, many pictures we left the platform and we headed for the path, but in the meantime the guardian had closed the gate. The guy I was with wanted to jump over the fence, but I thought it was too dangerous. So we went back to the booth, preparing the speech in Portuguese. I was sure I was going to get into a scandal because the guards ask for the ticket up when you are going down and we didn`t want to pay the fee. We were lucky because they didn`t ask for ours and we later found out that this is what they do after dark because they don`t want people hanging out there during the night. So we got to ride the cart for free!

We didn`t go to Sugar Loaf because it would have cost a bit less than 25R$ and I`m not sure if I`m going back. I`m sure the view is breathtaking, but the 5 minutes ride is overpriced! But we saw an amazing sunset, we admired the mountain from different angles on our way there and we took the teleferico. Great way to start summer! For the second time this year!

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Sunset over Dos Irmaos and Pedra Bonita

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