A bird's eye view on Rio
The Floresta da Tijuca is a tropical rainforest in the city of Rio de Janeiro and claimed to be the biggest urban city in the world with a vast variety of flora and fauna. Right next to Pedra da Gavea, a 850 m high monolithic mountain at the shore of Rio was our takeoff spot for hang gliding.
The only thing dangerous about flying is the ground - Wilbur Wright
The glides start from Pedra Bonita, a 400m high peak with a great view of the city and it surroundings. If you plan on seeing as much as possible of Rio de Janeiro, this is definitely the best option for you and a very unique experience! We found our hang gliding expert via facebook through an acquaintance who has flown with him before and as it turns out, he is quite famous in Brazil, or in Rio at least, flying around VIPs, actors, and us 😉 He has been hang gliding for 39 years with a very good reputation so we felt very safe.
The plan was to fly together around the same time and we were both very excited. Hang gliding was on our own bucket list and in my case, I had been looking forward to this for months, but as it had been raining the first days, we were not sure if it would work out.
Things turned out differently than expected, though.
First of all, we decided to do hang gliding rather than paragliding, in Johannes case because he was curious, in my case because I have experienced paragliding when skydiving so hang gliding would be something new.
Secondly, instead of flying together, Johannes flew first with another guy and as he reported later, his flight was really good with a very beautiful landing. I instead had to wait about an hour or more until it was finally my turn to fly. After having seen about 20 people jump into the Bay of Rio de Janeiro with beautiful weather, I was getting slightly upset when a cloud made its way towards our take-off area. Despite having mentioned several times that I do not want to fly when it is cloudy, simply because I won't be able to enjoy the view, we jumped anyways instead of waiting 10 min for the cloud to pass, so we flew through it and through the rain. I was quite upset about that, especially as this had been on my to do list for a while and instead of enjoying the pics and videos, i was getting sad because of the bad footage and not so nice/ just-the-average experience. I decided to complain and the guy offered me another flight for free which I was getting very excited about, but unluckily for me there was too much wind to fly on our last day, although the view would have been beautiful.
I try to see it from a positive aspect which is that we will have to come back again one day, for the Christ the redeemer statue and for my second flight.