After all the mayhem of carnival I decided on Wednesday that what I needed was a nice tranquil walk in peaceful surroundings. I had heard that there is a path that goes around Pão de Açúcar and unlike many of the hikes in Rio, this was an easy stroll without any steep slopes – perfect for my carnival-weary body! You pick the track up just next to Praia Vermelha, not far from where the cable car takes you up to the top of Pão de Açúcar.
There are plenty of more taxing hikes that actually take you some of the way up the Sugarloaf or its neighbouring hills, but I opted for the super-easy path which I had heard was a little over 4km. In the end it turned out to be even easier as after around 2.5km there was a sign warning people not to go any further without a guide. I expect it is quite possible without a guide, but I was feeling intensely lazy and only wearing flip-flops so I was quite happy to turn around and stroll back the way I had come.
Even on this fairly short walk I spotted all kinds of interesting sights along the way.
I was leaning on a railing as I took that last shot and luckily for me I looked down just in time to avoid this rather spectacular fellow:
When another one showed up, I grabbed one more quick photo and decided to make a swift exit!
I continued on my walk and before long I spotted more creatures, this time of the furry kind!
Later on I spotted some much smaller marmosets. I don’t know if they were a different type or just young ones, but they were quite friendly and seemed very happy to pose for photos.
On the way back I spotted the tree that gave Brazil its name. Completely unrelated to the tree that produces Brazil nuts, Pau-Brasil (Brazilwood) produces a strong red dye and is highly prized as the best wood to make bows for stringed instruments.
Danielle wrote in a recent blog post that she’d learned that Carnival in Rio is what you make of it. I think that can be expanded to Rio in general. If you want crazy times at favela parties and bars in Lapa then you don’t have to look far, but Rio also offers plenty of options for people who like to take things at a slower pace.
What do you do in Rio when you want to slow things down a little?