Forte Do Leme – What a View!

Brazilian Flag

If you ever find yourself in Rio (actually it’s a big enough place where you could lose yourself quite easily) not that I expect anyone to randomly go, but anyone who might be thinking about going to the 2016 Summer Olympics, plan to do this:

Walk to the end of Copacabana Beech toward Leme.  Veer off to the left.  Go to the kiosk.  Buy a ticket to Sitio Historico do Forte Duque de Caxias for R$4 or about $1.80 U.S. and head up the hill. You have to enter a military base to access it, so don’t be alarmed to see an armed guard staring at you as you pass through. Just smile.

Rio is known for its hills called morros.  Leme is one of the larger beach side hills and is the site of an 18th century Fort built to protect the city.  It is the third largest hill in Rio next to Sugarloaf and Corcovado where Christ the Redeemer welcomes with outstretched arms.  Morro do Leme has a nice stone paved twisting trail that you can take to the top to visit the Fort and get a magnificent view of Rio.  As you enter the trail, look straight up at the rock face and you’ll find cactus growing. It reminded me of a Dali painting.  Wear your walking shoes because it’s a bit of hike, but a pleasant one, as if going through a rain forest, with an abundance of fauna and flora, colorful birds and tiny squirrel-like monkeys called micos. And what a glorious view!

The walk from the middle of Copacabana Beach to the top of the Hill and back is about 9 miles, 17,000 steps according to my pedometer, and is well worth your time and effort; highly recommended!





Happy New Year!

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Heavy Equipment Photoshoot, a set on Flickr.

On this cold 1st day of 2013, these wonderful machines assembled for their first and likely only photoshoot of their careers. Cheers from all of us at Ribbie’s Weblog!

Leef Peeping In the Rainy Swing State of NH

My wife and I took our annual fall foliage tour – just the two of us, the first time in 20 years we’ve gone without at least one of our daughters.  And the colors did not disappoint, but it rained and rained hard all day.  We got up early, headed up 93 to the White Mountains.  We stopped off for breakfast in the small town of Warner, known for its Fall Foliage Parade, and perhaps for nothing else.  My wife ordered the “Breakfast of Champions” which we affectionately nicknamed the Kurt Vonnegut special and I ordered a large blueberry pancake the size of tractor trailer tire. We walked around the town afterwards, and bought some used books.  I picked up a copy of Game Change by John Heilemann and Mark Halperin for a buck (I reviewed Game Change the movie here) and the 2011 Guinness Book of World Records for 50 cents.

There were lots of leef peppers  leaf peepers on the famous Kancamagus Trail, an east/west scenic byway that cuts through the White Mountains in Central New Hampshire.  About the only peeping going on came as swirling leaves plastered the windshields creating near white out conditions for drivers.

One political note:  New Hampshire is a weird state.  There are no state income or sales taxes in the Live Free and Die state. The roads are paved, however, and it appears they get all their state revenue from lottery tickets, tolls and from the drunks coming over from Massachusetts to buy duty free spirits as it were.  The other thing about NH, apart from it being whiter than the white mountains, is that the state, at least from the signage, appears evenly split between Obama and Romney supporters.  And there’s some guy named Ovid running for something, maybe county clerk or governor, who is perhaps related to the famous Roman poet by the same name.