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  • Writer's pictureDavis Young

DY: In Just a Few Words (#121)

Another - inadvertent - chapter in overcoming my fear of heights.

This is a story about a sinner who was saved and ultimately redeemed in an amazing place called Brazil. We’ll start with being saved.

Have you ever been to Triphobo Mountain? No? Well, it’s part of the harbor in Rio de Janeiro, the famous Brazilian city of nearly 15 million people. The name Triphobo Mountain has been modernized to read Sugar Loaf Mountain (elevation 2,500 feet +) and it is a very popular destination for tourists from all over the world. Unfortunately, you can’t drive from bottom to the summit. You go in a gondola hanging on a cable or you don’t go.

When I got to Sugar Loaf, I was still a recovering Acrophobiac (one fearful of heights). Looking from the ground up to the top of Sugar Loaf is a sobering experience, perhaps better done when one is not sober. But, alas, I was. Sober, that is.

I stuffed my lingering fears into a far corner of my anxious mind and climbed aboard the gondola. There is a single stop going up and down the mountain at about the halfway point. The view of the harbor is breathtaking. I resisted exiting the gondola. Off to the top we went.

If it’s spectacular halfway, it is mucho spectacular at the top. You are sure you can see forever. Isn’t that Portugal over there in the distance just 4,500 miles on the left? And a mere 1,600 miles straight across the Atlantic is Senegal on the African coast. Could there ever be a more welcoming site?

Well, stay tuned.

Back onto the gondola we went for the return trip to terra firma. As we descended to the halfway point, we actually stopped a few feet short. Seems there was a slight mechanical issue with the gondola. The operator nudged it to the platform, but that was it. No further. Halfway from the top and halfway to the bottom. Ninety-two of us got off the gondola to await a solution. How in the world would we get back down to ground level?

Well, there was only one way. Helicopter. They took us off four at a time (that’s 23 trips, if you are counting). Needless to say, Karen and I were among the last to cross over the harbor and land on a soccer field. They had a small fleet of buses there to take us back to our hotel.

Enough thrill-seeking for that day.

The following day we went to another high, and famous, landmark overlooking the harbor. I refer to the massive statue of Christ the Redeemer - 98 feet of magnificent concrete overlooking Rio. Back on rail transportation, but this time not a gondola.

I was saved and redeemed all in 24 hours.

Wow! What an experience.


DY: In Just a Few Words is a blog that comes out when something needs to be said or every Tuesday - whichever comes first. Davis Young is a communications professional who adds 50+ years of experience and perspective to issues of the day. His emphasis in DY: In Just a Few Words will be humor (a touch of sarcasm here, a pinch of facetiousness there...). Once in a while, he will touch on something a bit more serious - but hopefully not too deep or depressing.

This blog is a product of DY Author & Speaker LLC. Feel free to quote content with attribution. Respond. Agree. Disagree. Share the content with your friends. Heck - even invite him as a speaker for your group! Enjoy!

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1 Comment

Sandra Shaheen
Sandra Shaheen
Feb 07, 2023

I too am acrophobic but would hate to pass up that opportunity. Such a wonderful story, Davis.

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