Rio de Janeiro! What a funny week, one of the best of the trip so far and matched by a great group we met.
We stayed in Books hostel, in the heart of Lapa, the party district of the city. The first day one of the rooms had a spout of bed bugs so all the guys clothes and bags had to be fully fumigated and frozen. All they had to wear was their bed sheets so everyone in the hostel donned the same and had a toga party! The 10 of the guys we spent the week with all arrived the same weekend, Mike was probably the funniest person I've ever met..
Hungover most days but determined to get all of the city sights in. After the first few days spent around the hostel and Lapa; we went on a city walking tour to learn all about Rio, done a favela tour at night and hiked up the 'Two Brothers' mountains for views around the city.
Rio is surrounded by favelas (shanty towns) and in the one we visited we saw local samba groups, youth projects to get the kids out of the gangs and all the local community shops and areas. Only hairy moment was when one of the local drug gangs got a bit funny with us after some pictures we took and the guide got a bit worried and shuffled us quickly along...
Mid week we moved to a hostel on Copacabana, chilled on the beach and got smashed by some of the biggest waves I've ever seen. Street sellers are at there for whatever you want on the beach, serving up the strongest caipirinha cocktails!
Saw 2 sunsets over Rio, one from Salt Rock, in between Ipanema and Copacabana beaches and one from the famous Sugar Loaf mountain. Great views of Christ Redeemer and the sprawling city. Crazy to see the city from above, nestled in between mountains, forests and stretches of beach, it ranges from vast favela's to modern rich neighbourhoods with their own private golf courses.
After paragliding in Montenegro we wanted to do a hang glide over Rio! Long day as there was a lot of others doing the flight but amazing experience and views of the city. Spent about 15 minutes in the air, taking off from the mountain and landing on a beach!
Last few days we went back to where we started in Books! Said goodbye to the group and the workers with some partying in the hostel and in Lapa which made it a funny end to the week! DJ Alan on form! Went to a strange nightclub in Lapa and made an attempt to watch the sunrise from the beach after the sun has already risen... a failure but a funny attempt!
As all of the guys we spent most time with are from Ireland or England (or living in London from abroad) a reunion is definitely on the cards!
After a manic week in Rio we looked forward to chilling in a tropical island off the coast called Ilha Grande. An island with beautiful beaches and chilled vibes was definitely needed!