A Travellerspoint blog

September 2016

Rio Rio Rio

Days 2 & 3 in Rio de Janeiro

View 8 Month Adventure on elliehirch's travel map.

Everything in Rio has been so spectacular! On my second morning I joined Laura and Moritz, a couple people from Germany that I met in the hostel the night before, for a hike. Second day, already hiking... No surprise there. And with some awesome new people I met. Doesn't get better than that. We journeyed to the top of Morro Dos Irmaos (Twin Brothers Hill). You access the trail from the Vidigal favela. (If you don't know what a favela is.. Google it and check it out.. Basically they are slums in an urban location.. But they are very unique and despondently beautiful places). The motorbike ride from the drop off point to the start of the trail was so much fun! I was probably hanging on fairrrrrrly tightly while being amazed at the driver's maneuvering and 'risky' driving up the steep hill, around cars and people. Loved it. Then the hiking began. Thankfully it wasn't toooo long because the heat and humidity made it feel longer than it was! For my Temple fitness crew... I would rate it a 2/5 prowler sprints. Hard but short... And worth it for this view!


And this view....


This is what the trail looks like:

(And this is a typical Ellie while hiking photo.. Expect more of these over the next few months ;)

We walked all the way down to get a good look through Vidigal..

I am totally loving all the street art.

Then we kept walking to Vidigal beach, walked along the sand, watched the waves, and continued to Leblon beach.


And had a coconut... Look at that beautiful frizzy hair in this Brazilian humidity.


There's a look back at the mountain we climbed!


The rest of the evening was spent enjoying the Paralympic opening ceremonies with the girls I met the night before, eating a Brazilian hot dog (so many toppings.. So good) and later a sandwich called the Manitoba!! (Couldn't say no to that!)

The next day I headed to check out Santa Teresa neighbourhood in the morning, walked around by myself (it was totally safe Mom, don't worry!) And beautiful..


Then continued to Escadaria Selaron (Selaron steps)..


Next stop... Paralympics!! I joined the girls at Judo. We got to see 4 medal classes (so 12 matches/bouts). They are all visually impaired contenders and it was so interesting to watch how they compete without sight. The atmosphere of a live competition and the Paralympic environment was so amazing.. I loved it.


After we returned to the hostel I had to decide what I was doing the next day. Those of you that may have commented on my 'over planning' of the trip will be able to throw in an "I told you so". I totally changed destinations at the last minute. Heading for Ilha Grande instead of Paraty based on a number of other backpacker's recommendations.
And then I proceeded to decide to go out to a bar with others from the hostel before a 7am bus ride... Hadn't been out yet ya know, gotta start the trip off right.. Even if it made for a loooong bus ride! But that's for the next post!

Posted by elliehirch 09:24 Archived in Brazil Comments (0)

Flights and Day 1!!

View 8 Month Adventure on elliehirch's travel map.

Day 1 is finally in the books. After almost 14 months of planning it feels surreal to finally be here. Everything about the flights was just peachy besides the whole flying overnight thing. I connected in Houston and there were a number of paralympians on the second flight.... Perty cool. Despite a late take-off we arrived in Rio on schedule after 10 hours overnight where I compensated for the uncomfortable middle seat with gravol and two glasses of wine. Zzz


After we landed, I arrived to my hostel too early for check-in so I left my bag and headed out to the highly recommended Botanical Gardens (Jardim Botanico). And they did not disappoint! Talk about lush vegetation and luscious flowers! Huge variety of flora and fauna in a huge space right in the city. Rio is unlike any place I have ever seen before. A huge city next to the ocean on one side and mountainous jungle on the other. Talk about spectacular.
Here's some images of the Jardim Botanico:


I loved the Orchid House! And felt like my mother taking so many pictures of flowers! ;)

Next stop, part of Freitas Lagoon (Lagoa), this is where the rowing is set up for the Olympics.


Last sightseeing of the day was Park Lage, another lush and luscious park. You barely have to walk into the park before you can't hear traffic and basically forget you are in the city!


After checking in to the hostel I went for dinner with 3 other girls staying at the same place, then celebrated my first night of travel with some caipirinhas and flip cup and a few other games at the hostel!

So far I am loving this city and loving the people, travellers and locals, everyone is extremely friendly and any culture shock I initially experienced is fast disappearing. Two more days in Rio might not be enough! I do get to come back for one more before Peru :)

Posted by elliehirch 13:19 Archived in Brazil Comments (0)

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