The US squad started their off day early with a catered party on the night before hosted by the Sonnier, Rees, Zonnenberg and Hall families, who are ensconced in the proverbial house on the hill, complete with cook, maid etc. They organized a Brazilian barbecue for all 40 or so in our entourage. There was some betting among the adults over who would 'fall' into the pool first, but no real payout when the nearly even odds Dodge did a cannonball from atop a poolside bench to spray many of us. Earlier in the week, the girls have been equally mischevious but more devious. First they stole all the toilet paper from the boys room, then they took and hid their life jackets just before race time. John was scrambling for the former, the boys were scrambling for the latter. Convinced, based on the events of previous evening that the Brazilian boys must have climbed into the US container to steal their lifejackets, the girls got nervous and the LJ appeared in the boys' boats, averting international incident.
For our tour, we chose to go to the Pao de Azucar cable car first, then to the Corcovado cog train. The views from atop these landmark are nothing short of spectacular. The Pao rises 400 meters more or less vertically out of the sea and boasts a small forest on the top complete with squirel monkeys. The somewhat periless cable car ride makes it a thrill for everyone. Jon Fauer reports that the cars are originally put into service in CH. When they are considered too old, they are sent to FR. When too old for FR, they are shipped of to ES, when too old for ES, to BR. I might have missed an IT step in there, but yikes either way.
Corcavado is much higher, occasionally obscured by clouds, and absolutely breathtaking. Lots of photos ops on top due to the Cristo. Minimal detail casts him as a powerful figure who seems to be moving as they sky swirls around him. Watch this space, and Jon's web upload site http://www.kodakgallery.com/fauer for photos.
Our driver took us by Lablon and Copacabana beaches on our way home. Plenty of sand scultures and beach volleyball--including a soccer style in which players may not use their arms. As it was late in the day, the boys were disappointed that there were not more girls on the beach. Gerard entertained them however by actually putting on Mary Kate's just-purchased bikini top. The day ended for most as they often do with skewered meat and caipirinha.