RIP Kin Fertor
Trip Start Jul 19, 2010
26Trip End Aug 13, 2010
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The majority of us who were left in Rio, minus Aoife and Stefan, took a minibus to a beautiful secluded beach where the hang-gliding office was, this was also where we landed. We met our pilots who were perfectly friendly and were living the life, doing these hang-gliding flights multiple times a day and taking in the breathtaking views. We then had to fill out some forms, basically declaring we knew that our life was in danger, and then we were given "Aspiring Pilot" cards with our names on, and a cool picture on the back
Our pilots then pointed into the mountains overlooking the beach and showed us where we would be taking off from- incredible! We then quickly jumped into the cars, which didn't have any normal seats, instead, deck chairs! Crazy. We then made the drive all the way to the top of the mountain winding round and round as we reached the run off point. So crazily high!! Oh MAN!!! Out of the car we were then shown the runway which just drops into the mountain, literally just wooden planks which look out all over Rio de Janiero- UNBELIEVABLE! My legs just turned to jelly, as I walked to the edge of it to look down, I genuinely feared for my life as my knees just buckled at the overwhelming views, and of course the height. I then got kitted up first and after brief instructions from my pilot we were ready to go. He spoke to me in broken English and so when I say brief, I really mean brief... just a tad worrying. As we stood at the top of the runway, my hand on his shoulder ready to run, he told me "You just have to keep running, do not stop running else big shit will happen" ... wow "big shit will happen" - I really can't choose to back out at the last minute. Here we go!
I have never done anything like this, and the feeling I had after lifting off was indescribable
All the hang gliding excitement carried on throughout the day and we returned to our hotel around 12 and enjoyed a mini pizza for lunch
The drive up there reminded me of the drive we had just taken up to the hang gliding drop off point, and so I knew what heights to expect! Exciting! Wow, the views were beyond anything I've ever seen, just as good as the views from Hang Gliding, but I was able to fully appreciate Rio from all angles as the views were panoramic and you could see for miles as the weather was so clear. Incredible, absolutely incredible. It was pretty packed to be honest, and so it was hard to get a good picture with the statue, but it was still an amazing experience. The statue itself was also awesome! The exciting thing was that we could see all the sights we were about to visit, including the magnificent, majestic Sugar Loaf mountain.
Next stop on our visit was to another view point of the city. Ruins of a building which had been cleverly transformed into art, this gave us outstanding views of Rio de Janiero, and more closely the shanty towns. I am running out of adjectives to describe the absolutely incredible inspiring views.
We were then dropped off outside this Cathedral which looked so dreary and scummy from the outside, but on the inside it was incredible! The cathedral was triangularly shaped, however from the outside it looked so dull and uninspiring- a complete different story to what awaited us on the inside. Spectacularly coloured glass windows which shone through to provide beautiful lighting to the historical Cathedral. The colours were intense and amazing
The next stop is a must for any music fan, in particular hip hop fans, more specifically, Snoop Dogg. We visited the famous steps in Lapa which were incredible. Each tile told a story, stories from all across the world including England and Ireland. England was depicted by things like the red double decker bus and The Beatles. The colours on display were so eye catching, and the art was so interesting and beautiful. The steps of Lapa were made famous by Snoop Dogg's music video and many famous artists like U2 have also visited. Whilst taking pictures sat on the steps we were whipping out the gangster poses, it was good fun. The steps were pretty steep, but it was impossible to study all of the tiles due to the sheer amount of them. Awesome steps, depicting the culture of not only Brazil, but the world.
Next stop, Sugar Loaf. WOW. Sugar Loaf is made up of two different cable car routes taking people from mountain to mountain, and there are two stops in total. The views just kept getting better and better. Truly spectacular. We had timed it perfectly and we were at the peak of Sugar Load mountain in time to see the sunset behind the Jesus Christ statue which was just amazingly beautiful- see photo. After admiring the colours of the sunset, it was then time to admire the colours of the nightline which we could see from all angles
What an incredible journey and trip to take by myself, the most spectacular and breathtaking sights, from the coldest of places in Bolivia to the boiling hot paradise of Brazil, inspiring eye opening moments and some beautiful friends made. After Costa Rica, this has confirmed my interest in travelling well and truly.