Shortly after our arrival in Sao Paulo, Daniella and I took a night bus to Rio de Janeiro and spent two days relaxing and exploring there. It was every bit as beautiful as I remembered, plus more.
We booked an apartment in Ipanema, a short walk from a very nice part of the beach, and spent many hours lounging in the sand and sun. We also caught a beautiful sunset on the peninsula where Copacabana & Ipanema meet.
Every meal and snack was delicious and beautiful. I loved that healthy, natural options were so easy to find. The farmer’s market was popping. Photos below.
My favorite part of the short two-day excursion to Rio was the hike to Morro do Vidigal - a summit that overlooks everything. To get to the hike, you have to catch a ride on a motorcycle through a winding road that leads through a bustling section of town up to the beginning of the path. The ride was fast and a little scary but equally fun and thrilling. I can’t efficiently describe it - I can’t do it justice with words - and I also didn’t get any pictures or video because I surely would have broken my camera. I guess some things are best left for the natural memory - especially those multi sensory experiences.
Unfortunately, Daniella burned her leg while getting off of her motorcycle which would eventually alter the larger Brazil trip in a huge way (more on that later).
The trail was forested and clean - not crowded - and offered shade from the bright sun. It was pleasantly overwhelming to be surrounded by so much plant life that I am completely unfamiliar with. Even the grass is different.
As we got higher and higher, we began to see the views and I became speechless. Ocean to the right as far as the eye could see; the beaches of Leblon, Ipanema and Copacabana straight ahead; the sprawling city of Rio; and to our left, a massive favela. So much life. So much beauty.
I am grateful to the land and residents of that area for offering and allowing that moment in my life. It’s always a humbling and surreal experience to be surrounded by such immense beauty, and I’ll never forget it.