Special thanks to Mario Costa (Petrobras) for sharing a beer or three on my birthday, much appreciated. Mario and I met in Houston when he was in town for a UH summer training program. I taught one of the classes and, as is my habit, after the class was complete we had a party. It was at Gingerman and he remembered it well. Interesting how good deeds can come back around to you. Thanks Mario!
Rio de Janeiro class photo, a great group! Mario is front left.
With a free day on 7 August I decided to head up to Batata de Açúcar (in English Sugarloaf Mountain). What a place! First you taxi to the cable car station, it is never a problem flagging down a courteous and fast-driving Brazilian taxi (unlike Beijing where they seem to royally ignore unscheduled fares). The cable car goes first to an intermediate peak with lots of fabulous views, then a second cable car goes all the way up. It is a 360 view of the finest natural harbor I have ever seen (that includes Barcelona, Aukland and San Francisco). Hours can be spent walking the paved trails and peeking out of lush vegetation to yet another great view.
After that it was a fine meal of fried Talapia and mashed potatoes with shrimp sauce. A nice walk along Copacabana beach settled the meal, then I headed to Ave Passos where I heard a rumor there were old book shops. I found a few on the other side of an enormous rabbit warren of a street market. Of course, english books are rare in Brazil but I managed to find a nice book about Pompeii.
Sugarloaf mountain as seen from the lower cable car stop.
Yours truly with Copacabana beach far below.
Chilling with an espresso overlooking Rio. Tough life.
Yep, those are my feet 1300 ft above the harbor. It was a tad steep.
A very literate cat at a Rio old book store. Should be named Socrates...
Think I may have found a Brazilian supplier for my new get-rich-quick scheme...