Day 13 & 14: Rio de Janeiro
Updated: Oct 6, 2019
On Friday we had to leave the northern part of Brazil behind us and headed south for the final chapter of our trip. The destination of our 3 hours flight was Rio de Janeiro, famous for its beaches, carnival, favelas, Jesus Christ statue, Olympic games and the Van Oord branch office.
We received a very warm welcome thanks to Johan Vos, Van Oord’s regional manager of Brazil. Kite Team Van Oord and the Brazil branch staff were invited for a delicious dinner at his rooftop house with fabulous view on the Copacabana. It was really nice to share our experiences and adventures with colleagues who are living in Brazil. The start of our short visit to this magical city could not have been better, so thanks again Johan!
After the dinner the group went to the Lapa neighbourhood to experience the vibe of this city by attempting to dance on the rhythmic samba music of a Brazilian band.
It was clear that we had entered a different world than we were used to the week before. Instead of the sleeping fishery villages, we arrived in a metropole with millions of citizen. You can really feel the energetic atmosphere in the streets, which is mainly created by the temper of the Brazilian people and the never-ending action and activities everywhere in town. Some of the group members directly fell in love with the city and probably the branch office can expect some application letters on the doormat later this week.
All good things come to an end and so was Saturday planned to be our last day in Brazil. A tour around the famous highlights in Rio was scheduled for this day and everybody hoped that there would be sufficient wind for a last kitesurf session at one of the famous beaches.
First stop was Ipanema beach, well-known for the spectacular view on ‘The Two Brothers Hill’, its swell waves and surfing events. Because this Saturday was Brazilian Independence Day, we were not the only ones at the beach: all Brazilians had a day off and spend their time on the beach by doing some exercises, playing football (we tried to scout the new Ronaldinho), drinking and eating with families or just sunbathing and lots of photo-shooting for their Instagram-accounts.
The wind was just enough to launch a kite and make some pictures, although we had to block a part of the beach to do so… Unfortunately it was too crowded and insufficient wind to grab a board for a last kitesurf session.
Next stop was Flamengo beach, which is inside the Guanabara Bay and therefore more sheltered for waves, which makes this place perfect for sailing activities (like during the Olympics). This beach is also famous for its impressive view on the “Sugar Loaf” mountain. After the photoshoot the team stilled their hunger with a typical Brazilian Rodizio lunch near the Flamengo park.
Last stop of the day was the Miranta Dona Santa Marta, which is a hill with a spectacular view on Guanabara Bay, large parts of the city and the Christo Redentor statue. Sadly about the nearing end of their journey, the team inflated a kite for the last time this trip on top of the hill for some photo-shooting.
Back at the hotel, the team had pack their bags for the final trip to Amsterdam. Everyone could feel the sadness for leaving this wonderful trip and ditto country behind.
It is unbelievable how many amazing places we have passed and visited in the last 2 weeks, which makes it feel like we’ve spend months in Brazil rather than days. It has been an astonishing journey, which brought us along the most varying and remarkable landscapes and sceneries. To achieve this challenging 800km downwind ride, we had to push ourselves to our (physical and mental) limits which is only possible with the strong team effort and cooperative spirit that was generated within the group.
All this made it to a memorable mind blowing experience, which we will never forget. We are grateful to all the people who made this adventure possible and would like to say thanks to: the local guides (Geules , Marques and Rodrigo) who supported and directed us during our downwind trip, our support on the jetski (Gael) who secured our safety during kitesurfing, our photographers (Daniel and Marcelo) for the astonishing footage they made during the trip, and not to forget Area Brazil and C&M department for supporting this trip, for which all team members are very grateful.
Stay tuned on our social channels and website for the upcoming Kite Team Van Oord activities!