This past week has brought several outdoor adventures that have highlighted the natural beauty of Brazil.
The first big adventure was our hike last Friday to the top of Pedra Bonita. The hike was only 30 minutes long, but very strenuous. We did not realize that were supposed to keep a certain distance from the guide, so our pace was very quick because she thought we were pushing her to go faster. Meanwhile, we all panted and pushed ourselves up the steep mountain.
But once we reached the top, it was beyond worth what it took to get there. I could see all of Rio below. It was breathtaking. It put into perspective just how much this beautiful city has to offer. I just need to venture out to find it.
After the hike we headed to Copacabana beach where we decided to play soccer in the sand. Every day the beach is packed full of people playing soccer, volleyball, or foot volley… I finally felt like a true Brazilian in that moment. Before long a local man formed a group and asked to play against us. We couldn’t speak the same language, but we all knew the game. It was a lot of fun.
Toward the end of the game, though, I hurt my foot playing defense. I’m not exactly sure how it happened, but I knew it would take awhile to heal. My foot swelled up to the point that my toes were immoveable. I had to take the next week off to let it heal, so I couldn’t go on my morning runs at Praia Vermelha.
But I didn’t let that stop me from hiking up to see the Christ the Redeemer statue the following Friday. This hike was much more intense than the first had been. This hike was 2 hours long and VERTICAL. At one point we had to use chains that had been attached to the rocks to pull ourselves higher. Amidst the terrain we saw monkeys, toucans, and hidden waterfalls along the way. Though the challenge was much greater, the reward was all the sweeter.
The statue was awe inspiring. I felt so feeble in its presence, heightened even more so by the surroundings. My eye had no limits. It was the most incredible thing, seeing just how high we had come knowing we started from the very bottom. I could see my neighborhood and the entirety of the Lagoa lake. It was beautiful. Definitely the highlight of my week.
This week took a lot of perseverance, with the hikes and my injury. But it brought with it some of the most beautiful sites I have ever seen.
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<p><span style="color: rgb(29, 29, 29); font-family: Arial, Verdana, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: normal; background-color: rgb(237, 237, 237);">I grew up in the small town of Tahlequah, Oklahoma where I lived with my parents and sister. I currently attend Princeton University, Class of '17. I am a LEDA Scholar.</span></p>