Saturday, January 25, 2014

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

We just returned from a three-day cruise around Cape Horn in Chile and Argentina. No Wi-Fi was available in that very remote part of the world. Posts from there will be coming but first here are pictures from Rio (where  I  spent a lot of time in the 1990's as a frequent visitor). 

It was awesome to watch the wide Atlantic pass beneath our wings. Most people have no interest and will sometimes ask when I'm looking out the window, "Anything to see out there?" I guess as a geologist I should be gratified that rocks and landscapes are deemed as interesting to see but I'm a little disappointed that the cloud formations are not seen as beautiful and interesting as well. 

We needed to make a fuel stop in the mid-Atlantic and landed on Ascension Island. I took this photo as we made our approach. Note the cinder cone in the center that has a brown-colored lava flow coming out of its left side. The black lava flow coming in from the top looks as if it is younger and was deflected and spread around the outside of the cinder cone. Ascension Island erupted right on top of the mid-Atlantic Ridge, the submarine "crack" in the ocean floor where Africa and South America have split apart. This theme has been a major topic in my lectures on this trip.

Here is the source of the black lava flow - another cinder cone. It's flow has here also wraps round other light-colored cones.

We came through a fantastic summer storm on the way into Rio. I gave my third lecture in this flight, "The Natural Wwonders of the South American Landscape".

The Copacabana Palace on Atlantic Avenus in Rio de Janeiro. What a treat it was to stay here.

Feathered hats in preparation for Carnivale in Rio. I went on a tour of one of the samba school for Carnivale.

This where they make the floats for the four day celebration. There are twelve major samba schools and they each compete for top prize with eight floats for each school. They prepare for one full year and each school might employ a few hundred people. It was amazing to learn about.

Imagine a few hundred of these in each school

Amazon Indian in the plaza of the samba center.

It was a beautiful day to visit the Christ statue on Corcovado (hunchback) Mountain. Surprisingly there were no clouds and the temperatures were in the 90's.

The neighborhood at the base of the Sugarloaf Mountain is called Urca and is where I used to hang out in the 1990's

It' a great location for a city. The Atlantic Ocean can be seen on the right with Guanabara Bay on the left. This bay is one of the original Seven Wonders of the Natural World, along with the Grand Canyon, the Great Barrier Reef, Paricutin volcano (Mexico), Victoria Falls, the northern lights, and Mt. Everest. I've been to all but Paricutin. 

Copacabana Beach from the Sugarloaf. In the summertime, this beach can easily hold 1 million people and offer does.

Looking the other way we can see the downtown district and Flamingo Beach. The jet is coming in to land at the domestic airport right in the city.

Guanabara Bay and Urca neighborhood

Looking west to Copacabana and Ipanema beaches. Rio de Janeiro will be in the spotlight for all of us soon as the World Cup of soccer will be held here in just five months and in two years the summer Olympics.

View from our jet as we fly south to Cape Horn. This really was a great stop.

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