• Live On The Edge At Pedra Do Telégrafo

    Pedra do telegrofo!

    Pedra do telegrafo!

    Maybe you’ve seen this death defying pictures somewhere on your social media or other blog sites that you follow? Maybe you’ve thought, “OMG why are people so crazy? The likes aren’t worth it!” But what if I told you that the most dangerous part of these photos was the hike to get there… and also the dangers of losing your mind while waiting in line to get these pictures taken.

    pedra-2

    Alright. So Pedra Do Telegrafo is about a 30 – 40 minute drive outside of Copa Cabana. Now, the trick is knowing where in this tiny almost favela town, this mysterious rock is located. I will admit, I cheated a little bit. There was a local man with a motorcycle who informed me that he would take me and my friend on his motorcycle halfway up the mountain which would save us almost an hour and a half of uphill walking. Why would I accept a ride from a stranger? Well.. because my friend and I were not prepared and were not dressed nor equipped with the tools to go hiking. Aka.. proper shoes or water. So we took the ride up this bumpy mountainside then began to walk for another 40 minutes. I fell down a lot… got a lot of scratches… could hardly breathe and was insanely dehydrated by the time I got to the top but MAN!!! The view was phenomenal.

    The view from the edge of Pedra do telegrofo.

    The view from the edge of Pedra do telegrofo.

    You’ll have plenty of time to enjoy the view because there will probably be a 2 hour wait to take the picture you climbed the mountain for. Yup. A line. A line so long that the weather actually transitioned from clear and sunny to cloudy and rainy. But the experience is fun nonetheless. Seeing other tourists who have traveled far and wide to take goofy looking photos.

    When the clouds rolled in

    When the clouds rolled in

    The final product is usually a million times worth it though. I will admit it gave my Facebook friends and MOM a serious shock. There will be people who know it’s all camera angles but, the photos will serve it’s purpose.

    Just be careful on your way down the mountainside. It’s still a tough walk and the round trip excursion can be classified as your day’s workout. Also, be careful when walking around the town. It’s not necessarily tourist friendly if you catch my drift. But it’s fine, you’ll have your “Living on the ledge” pictures to keep you company.

    The town I walked through after my hike to Pedra do telegrofo.

    The town I walked through after my hike to Pedra do telegrafo.

    This may have been one of the highlights of my trip if I do say so myself… aside from the Olympics of course.

    :P

    😛

  • Road To Rio – Summer Olympics 2016

    View of Rio from Sugar Loaf Mountain!

    View of Rio from Sugar Loaf Mountain!

    The Summer Olympics occurs once every four years, but for some, the chance to experience the Olympics (be it, as a spectator or athlete) may occur only once in a lifetime. With that said, I was given the once in a lifetime opportunity to spend 10 days in Rio de Janeiro and watch some Olympic games. So strictly speaking, this post will be about my overall experience at the Rio Summer Olympics and popular questions I was asked upon my return. 🙂 Here we go!

    Was Rio ready?

    This was a popular question not only from my friends and family, but apparently, the media of the world. The general conclusion was that no, Rio, would not be ready. With that in mind, my expectations were very low. However, it seemed that Rio was as ready as the city could have been. The Olympic stadiums and the staff were organized and helpful, but the issues I ran in to were prior to entering the grounds. Issues such as no uber driver knowing the roads to the arenas and also the lack of food options at the Olympic parks. (I was real sick of burgers by the time i got home! grossss…) But from my Olympic research, it turns out that asking if the host city is ready, is a common occurrence. Unless the city is Tokyo… because those guys already seem ready.

    Some of the buildings in Rio. Beautiful color and fairly clean streets.

    Some of the buildings in Rio. Beautiful color and fairly clean streets.

    Was Rio safe?

    Yes, I thought so. But of course that comes with the disclaimer that you should still not go down sketch alleys and ideally stay near the tourist locations. There was security everywhere (because of the Olympics). When I say everywhere, I mean everywhere. Olympic stadiums, near the boardwalks, on street corners. The military police were intimidating at face value but very approachable. I can’t speak to how Rio is on a regular basis, but in my experience, I have been to far shadier places.

    Hanging out with some Military Police at the Christ the Redeemer statue!

    Hanging out with some Military Police at the Christ the Redeemer statue!

    What games did you see?

    A little of everything! Women’s medal matches for Football and Volleyball. A Gymnastics gala. Women’s basketball. But my favorite were the Athletics sports. Athletics included Relay Races, (where I saw Women’s USA get screwed by Brazil and then ran alone later on), watched Usain Bolt SPEED past his competition and also found a new respect for the men’s Decathlon. I do wish I had a chance to see men’s basketball and of course watch Michael Phelps swim, but I know damn well that any event was a once in a lifetime experience. No one really cheered for the USA, but the feeling you get when you see the USA flag in 1st place and when you hear the National Anthem play is priceless.

    Front Row at the Women's Gold Medal Football match!

    Front Row at the Women’s Gold Medal Football match!

    How did you get around?

    Uber. More Uber. Lastly, Uber. That’s how I preferred to get around, but of course there were other options. There’s a metro and the public bus system, but Uber was the easiest option. It would take you closer to the Olympic drop off points. (With the exception for the two times I hitchiked.. once up a mountain on a motorcycle and the other while trying to get back to civilization from a gorgeous beach. But more on that later.) Uber is also a great way to flex your trust muscles. By trust muscles, I mean… you don’t know what real trust is until you fall asleep in someone’s Uber car during a 2 hour ride and you wake up in front of your apartment and not in a dark ditch. 🙂

    Would you do it again?

    I would absolutely do the Olympics again in a heart beat. Either the Winter or Summer games. However, I don’t believe I have a desire to return to Rio. I loved being able to experience the city and explore the sites, you’ll see some incredible pictures I’ve captured! But the truth is, Rio didn’t capture my heart the way other destinations have and we all know that life is too short to revisit a place you didn’t love when there is the whole wide world in front of you!

    Peace out Rio~ Sitting 4th row back at 2 days of Athletics!

    Peace out Rio~ Sitting 4th row back at 2 days of Athletics!