The weather had been relentless in Rio and tropical storms were battering the coast. We were told we would be messaged at 7.30 a.m to confirm if the hang gliding was happening. With all our fingers and toes crossed, we drew back the curtains and were treating with astonishingly blue skies! A text from Renato quickly followed and we excitedly prepared ourselves to jump from a 1000 meter cliff.
We grabbed an Acài bowl for breakfast, which was quickly becoming a staple of our Brazilian diet, then called the cab to pick us up. After a 30 minute drive to Sao Conrado beach (less than a fiver with Uber!) we met our instructors, Renato and Edson, who instantly put us at ease. With over 10,000 jumps between them, they were the ideal people to calm our nerves and get us ready for the jump.
But… it all happened so quickly! One minute we were in a room signing our lives away, “in case of death blah blah blah” and next minute we were on our way! Parked outside was Renatos’ pride and joy; a SICK, bright red, beach buggy. He explained how he had modified the engine so that it could go ridiculously fast, then told us to jump in. This was our ride to the top of the mountain. So much fun!
Once up at the top of the mountain we given instructions on how we needed to hold our instructors side and RUN RUN RUN. We practiced this a few times before it was time for the real deal, but not before a few photos on the launch pad!
Ben was absolutely POOPING it – check out his face on the picture below!
In an instant, Ben was running for the end of the launch pad- he was off! It all happened so quickly! We didn’t even get to say goodbye.
Hannah was next. As cool as a cucumber, the practices became a reality. 3… 2…. 1… RUN! RUN! RUN! Instantaneously we became weightless. A surreal feeling of truly flying. Our pilots pointed out favela’s, lawless neighbourhoods and home to Rio’s slums, as well as the Two Brothers and Sugar Loaf Mountains in the distance. It was amazing and the perfect way to see Rio.
After a few photos from the different GoPro cameras we made our descent back to São Conrado beach. We were taught how to steer the hang glider and for a few funny snaps, including Hannahs Superman pose above! Lots of fun!
Hannah was a natural and casualy glided to ground, making a 10/10 landing even the professionals would’ve been proud of. The less said about Bens flailing landing, the better!
With a celebratory kiss, we made it safely back to base to wait for our photos and videos!
We had done it!!!!!!! Happy birthday Benny Bean 💞
We were invited over to watch snippets of Bens video and we were CRYING with laugher at Bens! “F**K MATE! F**K! I LOVE F*****G RIO! I LOVE YOU EDSON!”
Hang gliding is one of the best things to do in Rio and was honestly one of the most amazing things that we have ever done. Thank you Edson and Renato, our experience was incredible!