I know that everyone of you has experienced some disruption of plans during a vacation. We travel often, and over the years have sat on the tarmac during an air traffic controllers’ strike, a massive snow storm in Paris kept us in Paris 13 hours with the requisite lost luggage, a thunderstorm in Dallas that got us rerouted to Oklahoma city and who wants to go to Oklahoma city, a church in Tuscany that was closed for maintenance and the exterior was shrouded in orange mesh, and these are just a few examples spread out of a twenty year history. But when on vacation what can you do? You adjust and enjoy.
I often wake, here in Rio, and immediately look out the window, glimpsing a very small patch of mountain right behind the Christ. How this mountain looks tells me what to expect of the weather that day; clear crisp line between mountain and blue sky says good weather all day, cloud sitting on the ridge between sky and mountain say, “oops rain today and soon.” My mind goes to the poor tourist that held back on the drive up to the Christ and today is their last day in Rio. Even if they go up, they wont see anything, neither the Christ nor the spectacular 360* view of the city. Unexpected things just happen.
Now our plan with Carol looked good on Friday when setting it in motion but by Sunday morning we knew we would have to ‘adjust and enjoy’. Just to remind you her plan was –
“Our short list: she wanted to jump off the mountain in Sao Conrado () – attached to a hang glider of course, see the Niemeyer Contemporary Art Museum in Niteroi, see Santa Teresa, and if possible visit the botanical gardens. We decided to start with Niteroi on Saturday and Santa Teresa on Sunday so Camillo could join us, these would include trips on the subway, a Barco. lunch in a fish place and any side-shows we might run across. She would hang glide on Monday and Tuesday we would stay closer to Ipanema so she wouldn’t be totally worn out to travel back to the USA. The plan was good.”
The plan for seeing Santa Teresa included going to Lapa and taking the tram (bondinho) to this charming little bit of Rio history, visiting the Museu da Chácara do Céu, which is one of our favorite places to take visitors and we would lunch in one of the many small family owned restaurants overlooking Centro Rio. On Sunday, we woke to bright, clear skies and the news of the tram accident on Saturday. The tram had turned over on its trip back down to Lapa – not yet knowing how bad the accident was we decided to adjust the plan bypassing Lapa and go to Santa Teresa by taxi. The ‘motorista’ was full of information – the main street into Santa Teresa was still closed for the investigation, six locals and tourist had died, 54 were injured. A sobering moment, how close we had come to being in the middle of this accident, the difference between choosing Niteroi or Santa Teresa on Saturday.
And also per the taxi driver.... all the Museum workers were on strike – museums were closed for the day all over the city but he was willing to try and get us up to the museum, the grounds should be open if not the museum itself. They weren’t. Now what? Camillo and the taxi driver decided on the Naval yards..... okay if you have young boys this is option is great – there is an old helicopter, a submarine, an old frigate and the boat of the king from the 1700s. For us, we were all hungry. Lets go back to Ipanema for lunch.