A Flash Worth Watching
So, this is our final entry on Brazil. We spent a total of 6 weeks in this enormous country and honestly, we have seen a teeny little part of what Brazil is about.
Our trip ended back where it started, beautiful Rio. We were so happy to be back in this vibrant and lively city. The food, the atmosphere, the people, it's all great in Rio.
On our first day back, we did what any rational minded person would do when in Rio. We climbed a mountain called Sao Conrado and attached ourselves to hang gliders and jumped :)
Ok, there was more to it than that. I had told Andrew from a long time ago ( specifically when the cartoon Rio came out) that we HAD to go hang gliding in Rio and he was totally in! So we found a reputable company and were picked up at 10 am for our flight. We arrived at the bottom of the mountain, signed some papers and bought insurance and headed up in a 4x4. Once we got to the end of the road, we parked and got strapped into a body suit.
My instructor was a little italian named Massimo and andrews guy was a taller guy, i guess they pair you up based on size for the running and landing. We got simple instructions "never touch the kite, only hold on to a strap with the right hand and hold on to a handle on the instructors jacket with the left". Ok, this I can manage. Then, "run off the platform as fast as you can and don't stop running even after you hit the air, never ever pause because that will not be safe for either of us". Right. So I will run off the mountain in order to not die. That makes total sense. Andrew was sweet enough to come by and give me a kiss for encouragement, but Massimo's jokes about it being our last kiss kind of killed the moment :s
Once I was into it though, it was business, no games. I ran off that mountain so fast I honestly don't even remember the first 5 seconds or so. I was still in shock. Massimo and I then watched Andrew and his instructor do the jump. They lost some height right away since they were so much heavier than us. Massimo also said that Andrew didn't jump off the mountain with as much speed as I did, which Andrew refuses to accept. I am however comforted to know that my husband was a little reluctant to do a jump and a little disturbed that I did it with such ease!! We soared above the city and even on top of some birds, looked into people's mansions and watched the waves crash from hundreds of feet above. It was the closest thing a human can experience to flying.
My landing was pretty rough, I wasn't able to go from flying at a crazy speed to running, Andrew definitely did better than me on this with a perfect landing.
More pictures of hang gliding to come when we can access the pictures from the CD they were burned on.
We also spent a good half day by the Rodrigo de Freitas lake which is an amazingly entertaining lake right in the middle of the city, a couple of hundred meters from the beach. We watched people paddle boat, sail, run and bike. We also spent another day walking around Ipanema and Copacabana beaches and decided that we both prefer the former. Ipanema seems to have a nicer residential neighborhood, so you still feel like you are in a regular city but you are steps from the beach. Copacabana is too commercialized. There is just no getting away from the hustle and bustle.
As much as we enjoyed Brazil, we were ready to leave. Beans and rice, safety concerns and not being able to carry a purse or a camera were annoying.
Next stop, Lisbon!!!
Yasmin and Andrew