Hang Gliding through the skies of Rio! + Gringo Boat party
Another late morning, we decided to try and see if the winds were good for hang gliding. It was a go! So we had about an hour to go eat and get ready for our transport pickup. Hanhwa and I gave that bumpin’ bar down the street for some lunch, and it was SO GOOD. The brocoolli rice… YUM! We were definitely having better luck ordering good food. Then a lady picked us up to drive to the other side the mountain to the beach. We made a quick stop to get “certified” for this activity but the certification process is literally reading a paper and agreeing to the paper, so not so difficult.
We got into the car with our glider, a very fit older man who had tattoos of his dogs on each of his armpits… He also had pictures of him and his dog hang gliding… an interesting man haha. He drove us up windy narrow streets up into the deep jungle. But our final destination was this little landing area at the top of a mountain… the view was another amazing view of the eastern side of Rio.
The flying guide said the faster and harder you run, the better the flight, so we would do some practice runs of us running together and him screaming “FASTER FASTER FASTER RUN RUN RUN RUN!!!!” Apparently the height of your flight depends greatly on this. But once it became my part, I got buckled up into this strange sumo wrestler body suit and then onto my guide. I was a bit nervous about the running part while laying on the ledge of this mountain, but the adrenaline rush came as he was screaming “RUN RUN RUN” to me and my legs just ran as fast as they could.
Wow what a rush! Not only did I just run off a mountain, I was flying within the skies of Rio! The view of the beach surrounded by mountains and jungle was an amazing feeling. It was a pretty good 20-30 minute glide… The flying guide had an awesome “office” for his work since his office was basically the skies of Rio. We landed safely onto the beach sands and I sat along the beach eating an Acai ice shaving, while waiting for Hanhwa. Hang gliding in Rio, CHECK off my life bucketlest of things to do! J
Our plan for today was to do hang gliding and then walk from Leblon beach to Copacabana beach since we still have not seen Copacabana, but by the time Hanhwa got done with her flight, it was almost sunset… So we just decided to drink beer on the beach, while enjoying the energy from all the people on the beach, and watch the sunset eating our cookies. Copacabana beach fail once again!
For dinner, we decided to go eat fejioda close by to Ipanema Beach. Fejioda is a traditional dish in Brazil with black beans and meats stewed in a pot with plenty of little side dishes like the manioc flour and rice. We went to a place called House of Fejioda, where they serve fejioda everyday. It was a very VERY heavy meal, but it was quite delicious. The pot filled with mystery meats and black beans was a bit intimidating at first because you don’t know if you’re eating tongue or butt cheeks or sausage… but it was very good! There was WAY too much food for the both of us and we eventually was in a food coma… so of course, we went back to the hostel for our siesta!
Later that night, we decided to go to the Gringo Boat party, where tourists from all the hostels party on a boat in the main lake of Rio. Girls had free drinks before 11PM, so it was nice to get some free caiprioskas! Our hostel bar tender came with us as well. She is such a gem! Hanhwa and I both loved the employees at the Lemon Spirit hostel since they were so friendly, fun, and helpful. We partied with our hostel bar tender, VJ from Canada, Nicolas from Switzerland, and Pablo and (I forget his name) from Argentina. It was really fun dancing on a rocking boat to techno/house music. I’m a mother fuckin’ boat! Hahaha We sailed along the lake with the downtown of Rio as our skyline, drinking caipirinha’s, colorful laser lights flashing, and just dancing the night away.
On the hour boat ride back to the shore, Hanhwa and I were actually falling asleep… I think we are getting too old for this… Partying four nights in a row was tough, but very fun! Today was a great last night in Rio! Another memorable night I will never forget!