Friday, June 6, 2008

Bonde Anyone?

Yesterday we finished our night of sightseeing with a ride on the Bunde. The Bunde is a small trolley, much like a single trolley car seen in San Fran, only probably in worse shape yet still able to transport people up a steep hill and into Santa Teresa. We took the Bunde at a stop in down town Rio at the base of the Santa Teresa neighborhood. At first we were all worried whether or not we would fit, little did we know that capacity was not a concern on the driver`s mind.

We boarded the Bunde and proceeded over an aqueduct at a good sped, maybe 15-20 mph, give or take and headed into the hills. It was like a fun roller coaster ride until the driver kicked it into high gear. We were all having a great time, then a certain stop, we picked up about 10 kids, but not by choice. They chased down the trolley and hopped on as it was in motion. No wonder Brasil continues to dominate futbol, these kids start training very early. They were hanging from the sides, running alongside it and hopping over cars (I am not joking) as they held on and pulled themselves over the parked cars. It was pretty crazy. At one point we thought it could not get any more crazy until we (lightly) hit a bus that was on the same path.

The ride continued and we made the entire loop into Santa Teresa before returning back to downtown. The last bit of excitement came as we were ascending and saw another trolley approaching, also on the same track. No crash occurred as our driver told the trolley to back up and let us through, which he did. On the last portion of the ride, most of us if not all decided to try the hanging on the side of the trolley thing, and it was pretty sweet. We survived, then headed back to the Stone of a Beach.


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