Climbing the Sugarloaf
Monkeys, hungry birds and vertical climbs
I love climbing, but unfortunately I wasn’t born with the privilege to have mountains in my back yard so they could serve as my playground when I grew up, unlike Thiago. This Brazilian Tarzan took me to climb the Sugar Loaf mountain and gave me an unforgettable experience.
We parked the motorcycle at the foot of the mountain and started our trekking with a beautiful walk. Ocean on the right side and forest on the left. Surrounded by little monkeys, huge butterflies and tropical birds. The magical scenery makes it unbelievable to think that the city is just a few meters away. This is what makes Rio so magical and easy to fall in love with, it has everything in one place.
As we continued the dirt got switched for rocks and the angle of the ground under my feet started to become more steep. Thiago kept up his pace as if nothing had changed, of course I couldn’t slow down too. If he was going to be Tarzan, I wanted to be Jane.
The rocks began to get really steep and I had to use my hands to climb now. With mixed feelings of admiration and frustration I watched Thiago fly over the rocks without his hands. It looked so graceful, with no difficulty at all, as if he had learned climbing before walking. And he did. The sight of the ocean, the greenery and the rough rocks around me raised my heartbeat with excitement. Monkeys were still everywhere. From time to time they would slip from between the rocks and do a quick check to see if we had any food with us. All the while big birds would circle above our heads waiting for something they could take a bite of.
We made it to the point that I was very grateful with Thiago’s climbing level. The rock we had to climb was completely vertical and it didn’t have the nice grips you get in the climbing hall back home. I don’t want to know what would have happened if my
climbing partner that day didn’t have me backed-up with his gear.
Nothing happened. I did a beautiful climb and made it to the top in a good speed, if I may say so myself. After such a beautiful climb it’s really a waist to get stuck in the crowd of fancy looking tourist who had just taken the cable car to go up. Luckily we escaped the crowd and went to the off-limits area where we had the most spectacular view you can possibly get from the sugar loaf. With our bodies covered in dirt from the climb, we lay down on the rocks, took in the beautiful view, and then closed our eyes for a good nap on top of the sugar loaf.