I was visiting my family in Brazil after two years at Baylor University in Texas. A group of missionary kids decided to go up to the famous Sugar Loaf mountain, in Rio de Janeiro where most of us had grown up. I don’t remember everyone who was with me except my sister, my “namorado” boyfriend and his brother. There were about 8 of us.
We boarded the “bondinho,” cable car, that would take us to the top of the first mountain, where we had lunch and enjoyed walking around and seeing the beautiful view of Rio. Then, around mid-afternoon, we took a second cable car to the top of the second mountain. The ride was pretty astonishing and somewhat scary. The car felt small as it dangled far above Guanabara Bay but the scenery below was breathtaking.
After arriving at the top, we decided to take a hike down the side of the mountain where we could sit and watch the sunset. It was very romantic. Albert, my namorado, and I found a spot with an incredible view and we talked about our future plans, our marriage, how many kids we would have…we always had great conversations, in Portuguese of course. We both loved Brazil and wanted to spend as much time there as possible, even though Albert was planning to get his PhD Degree and teach Portuguese in the United States.
Time flew by and suddenly his brother appeared to tell us that we had all missed the last bondinho going down, and that Sugar Loaf was closed for the night! There were no cell phones in those days so we couldn’t call our parents to let them know. What were we going to do? We were all in complete panic. We sat together trying to decide what to do. One of the guys went to look to see if there was a caretaker on the premises.
Finally he came back and said he’d found a man who lived in a small cabin on the far side of the mountain. He wanted to talk to us, so we rushed there hoping he would have a phone. He seemed skeptical about our situation. Apparently some couples would “get stuck” up there on purpose to spend the night. When he realized we were Americans, even though we spoke Portuguese like Brazilians, he finally agreed to call down to the second mountain, just in case the cable car was still there. Luckily it was and they were going to send it up for us.
We were able to call our parents on his phone and they talked to him as well to confirm that we were not pranksters and really did want to get home. So, the Sugar Loaf Mountain lit up just for us and the bondinho was on it’s way!
This story has been told for many years among “missionary kids.” This is the actual account from someone who was there. Every time I see pictures of the famous Sugar Loaf Mountain I remember the eventful day which had a happy ending and forever will remain in my memory.