In order , the view from our hotel room, Jen Aaron and I on a time lapsed photo from our run last night and Cyril and I on our bike ride to Copacabana today.
Rio has exceeded expectations and is really growing on me. It is funny how you have an image of a place before you visit it and then your expectations are exceeded when you actually get there. We arrived at 2pm Rio time on Wednesday and it took us a while to get out of the airport. All the bags made it except for one of Aaron´s bags...no biggie it arrived today. Last night we ate some steak at the Sheraton, it was unbelievable, and went for a run before crashing out.
We ran down the beach from our hotel and it was great. There is a lit boardwalk and there were people out on the beach playing soccer, beach volleyball, volleyball with their feet and a soccer ball(?), abs classes, lifting weights, hanging out drinking beers, walkers, bikers runners...totally awesome. The beach is like the local´s and the tourist´s gym and there are so many people out doing stuff until about 10 pm.
This morning we had breakfast and met up with our support team, which is comprosed of three locals (Marcelo, Jonatas and Gabriel). We hit up the local grocery store and got to see some of the sights around our part of town. These guys are local and one of them speaks fluent english ...the other two not, soo much english. Gabriel is our driver and is sporting this early 80´s Toyota Landcruiser sort of truck with a bed in the back, one might say it is a close second in utility to a Tundra.
Back at the hotel we went for a bike ride down to the CopaCabana district and ate a huge lunch of Pizza, Pasta and Salad. While we were down there we saw a beach rescue taking place and watched a helicopter drag a women through the waves that she had been swept out from...there is a huge swell here and the waves are monstrous. Fun to watch probalby not so much fun to get swept out in.
We checked in (Gear check, ropes and some other stuff) and met up with a handfull of the teams that we are competing against including Buufors, Sole, Abarth, Merrel, Go Lite and some of the local teams. It is cool to travel to South America and see some familiar faces and see how excited everyone gets for expedition racing. While everyone is competitive and wants to win I think they all understand that they have won by being here and by simply being a part of the race.
Tomorrow is a down day since we´ve checked in today and we will be running, biking and doing some tourist stuff with our support peeps in the afternoon. We are going to go up to the Christo and hopefully up to this local mountain where the hang gliders take off from.
Cheers from Rio!