Almost stranded in Rio

Trip Start Jul 28, 2012
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of Brazil  , State of Espirito Santo,
Friday, August 3, 2012

We line up for the first gondola of the day to the top of Rio's iconic Sugar Loaf Mountain. The weather is clear, the views are spectacular and we practically have it to our selves. Across the bay we see the airport where our little lady patiently waits for our return.

Flying out of Rio is almost as exciting as flying in, but for different reasons.  We are packing up the plane and Patrick has asked the fuel truck to come.   A Petrobras truck arrives and before pumping the driver asks about payment saying he can't take a credit card.  Greg had hit the jackpot at the ATM, so Patrick says ok I'll pay cash.  The driver’s supervisor comes and says they can’t take cash because it is not an international airport.  But Shell had sold us fuel at a non-international airport the day before.   Meanwhile, a small jet has parked beside us and is being fueled by Shell.  Patrick goes over to see if Shell has AvGas.  They do and they are happy to sell it to him.  As they are making arrangements, the Petrobras supervisor comes over and tries to put a wrench in the works.  The jet pilots intervene to help Patrick.  After more than an hour we finally begin fueling, but we are at risk of the window in our flight plan closing.  We just make it. 

On the flight out we pass by Sugar Loaf and head north up the coast.  45 minutes later we pass over Buzios and tip a wing to Andy and Lily from La Cumbre in the event that they might be looking up.  It looks like they have chosen a spectacular place for a holiday.

It is our intent to follow the coast, but just north of Buzios, air traffic control sends us inland due to traffic.  Our disappointment turns to awe and amazement as the land below morphs into exquisitely lush, sensuous hills with mountains rising behind.  Due to the delay departing we land at our fallback airport, Vitoria

Vitoria, a large industrial city, is the capital of the state of Espirito Santo, Brazil. It is located on a small island in a bay formed by several rivers meeting the ocean.   The oceanfront is lined with luxury hotels, beaches and bike paths.  A major river runs through the middle providing a protected port for shipping lumber and agriculture from the region.  The airport is shiny new, as is the IBIS hotel where we stay.  After walking to a nearby Italian restaurant for dinner, we crash.  It was a long day and we have another one tomorrow.
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