Jumping off a cliff!

Trip Start Jan 19, 2006
Trip End Jan 19, 2007

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Flag of Brazil  ,
Sunday, August 20, 2006

Up this morning and checking the weather (is still a bit cloudy) hoping we can paraglide on our last day. Fortunately we are told it is ok so are picked up and head to the beach that we will land at not far from Leblon. There are a lot of paragliders and handgliders hanging around and practicing. We watch for a bit and wait before we head up the mountain in his buggy which was an experience in itself.

At the top could see there was some low cloud but still hoped all would be well. Walked to the jump off point which was a sheer drop down the side of the cliff and I had serious second thoughts at this point. Apparently it is better this way though! I was going first with a guy called Luis and before I knew it I was being harnassed up and giving an excessive safety briefing (just walk off the edge and thats it). After the clouds disappeared for a bit a few handgliders jumped off and it was then our turn. Literally just walked off the cliff and the wind then swept us up into the sky to marvel at the views of forests, the mountains, favelas, high rise hotels, golf course and the beach. Was amazing and pretty quiet. Drifted around and around for what seemed like ages but was only about 5-10 mins. Tried to video and take photos on the way down but not that easy at times! As we drifted towards the beach we went straight over some hotels where could virtually touch people´s balconies. Next thing the beach was coming towards us and was told to walk when we reached it. Tried that but for some reason Luis had fallen over on the beach and I shortly joined him and were covered in sand! He had got his foot caught in the straps that I had my feet in when we were sitting down on the way down. Fortunately all was fine though!

Sat down for a while to wait for Dave (he was too scared to go first obviously) but cloud had come in quite a lot so he had to wait on the take off platform for it to be ok again. He did eventually take off about 20 mins later but was in semi-cloud but soon disappeared. He landed fine and we were all happy to be in one piece! Thoroughly recommend it was great.

After that headed home and went straight out into town (which is completely dead at weekends) to get the tram into Santa Teresa the oldest district in Rio. Is on a hill with some lovely houses and we wandered around a bit and found a restaurant, Bar do Armaudo which specialises in NE Brazilian food. It was fantastic and possibly best meal have had in Brazil (even better than Churrascarias in my view). Had lovely steak with beans with cheese, farofa (manioc flour) but with olives, nice rice and grilled goats cheese. All flavoured with onions and coriander. We were stuffed and had only ordered one portion between us and had to take the rest home!

Walked down through Santa Teresa and to the Monastery which was sadly closed for renovation. Got some pics of the nice viaduct that we got the tram over and then got the bus home.

Chilled out in front of the telly with our leftovers. Was great to watch crappy American crime programmes and in English.
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