Tuesday, 17 February 2015
17.02.2015 - 17.02.2015
The arrival of our ship into this incredible harbour was accompanied by one of the most spectacular sunrises we've experienced. At the first hints of the dawn the statue of Christ the Redeemer showed up as a spot of light through the low cloud. My attempts to capture it failed to produce an acceptable image. No problems with the sunrise on the starboard side and views of the Sugar Loaf Mountain on the port side.
There were three ships already in port and the skipper was required to squeeze our ship between two of them. Having access to bow and stern thrusters to call on the manoeuvre was completed without any drama. He stopped the ship parallel to the wharf opposite the gap then slid this huge ship neatly into the gap. We've never experienced such a tight berth before.
We have no plans for anything until our Shore Excursion at 1500 this afternoon. After breakfast we spent some time in the atrium and watched the electricians replace light-bulbs in the three-story ceiling balancing precariously on a folding gantry which extended up from deck 5 to the ceiling of deck 7. I stepped off the ship briefly to try and photograph the four ships lined up bow to stern. The just wasn't enough space and far too many obstructions to get a clear view.
I had a chance encounter with the 'Customer Services Director' Johnathon and discussed some of the implications of half the passengers going on ship's tours and half of the remainder touring independently, he figures that the internet speed will be the best ever today.
Filled in some time reviewing this morning's images and had some lunch and made our way to the Wheelhouse Bar, our designated meeting place. Enough of us to fill three buses were ready to go half an hour early and the buses were ready we were on our way by 1445. Schedules were thrown out of the window with closed roads and venues closed due to Carnival. The tour company made the best of it and drove as close to the scheduled route as possible. The main attraction was the cable-car ride to the top of the Sugar Loaf Mountain and went unexpectedly smoothly. An impressive ride up these two climbs. One cable car climbs to Mora da Urca where there is a short walk to the second cable-car to take one up to Pao de Acucar. These cable cars have been operating for about 100 years and were the third such installation in the world.
Views from the top were amazing despite a significant haze and later some rain. We were given a free hand to make our way down and free to wander. We found an ice-cream vendor and happily spent US$7.50 on some relief from the 32 °C heat. The air-conditioned comfort of the bus made for a pleasant trip back to the ship. We were back aboard by 1830 and after another quick bite we joined a sell-out crowd in the Theatre for the Local Folkloric Show. Gorgeous young women in elaborate but brief costumes prancing about on the stage kept all of the men awake at least.
There will be about 1000 people leaving the ship tomorrow and another 1000 new faces coming to join us. Another day in Rio with nothing specific planned, we'll see what happens.
If you want to look at what I've been up to you can view my latest photo by following this link to the image for Today
Wishing you good health and safe travel.
Have a great day and stay well.
Cheers .. Tony