By Chesney Hearst, Senior Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Tourists in Rio de Janeiro have experienced difficulties while visiting the iconic Cristo Redentor (Christ the Redeemer) this holiday season, as some waited in long lines in extreme heat for transport vans or for the Corcovado train, while others were left stranded when train cars malfunctioned twice in three days between December 31st and January 3rd.
The first train malfunction occurred on December 31st when a Corcovado train car stopped due to engine problems at around 8:30 PM. Then on Friday, January 3rd, one car descending the mountain stopped shortly before 8PM, leaving 120 passengers stranded in the dark on the 2,330 ft Corcovado Mountain, located within Rio in Tijuca’s National Park.
“There wasn’t even a flashlight,” systems analyst Glauco Pedroso told O Globo. “The security guard warned us to be careful because there were a lot of snakes around and he had only the light from his phone to guide us as we walked.”
Some passengers reportedly waited for over two hours for another train to arrive while others received transport down in the Corcovado vans. Additionally, tourists on the ground reported long lines for vans on January 2nd and 3rd. Standing in the scorching heat, some tourists endured temperatures over 30 degrees Celsius at 9AM on Friday morning, in the hopes of visiting the landmark.
“The line is too long,” tourist Gerson Pereira told Agência Brasil. “I waited forty minutes and I give up. I will get a taxi. They are charging almost the same thing to take us.”
According to O Globo, the Municipal Secretary of Tourism, Antonio Pedro Figueira de Mello, scheduled talks with Roberto Vizentim, president of the Instituto Chico Mendes de Conservação da Biodiversidade (ICMBio) for Monday to attempt to solve the transportation issues at Christ the Redeemer.
Read more (in Portuguese).
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