Sunday, October 12, 2008

The Rio de Janeiro Scene

Rio is a wonderful venue for outdoor sports. Bicycling, surfing, wind-surfing, kite-surfing, rock-climbing, trekking, etc. But I think it is fair to say that the most beneffited of all outdoor sports here has to be hang-gliding.

We are so fortunate to be able to live inside a very nice hang-gliding site. Where else can you enjoy gliding over a major city and count on many nice landing options?

Without being (much) disturbed by the aeronautical administration, you can enjoy fabulous views, count on generous and frequent smooth coastal lift just to stretch those gliding muscles any day, and perhaps the greatest bonus: there´s a smart cross-country challenge to hone those thermall finding skills and test your mettle as you fly over your home!

I am talking about the ever present desire to make it to the Christ Statue and back. This flight flight is somewhat like a rite of passage for the carioca pilot. After that it becomes your permanent goal while flying in Rio. You try to pick the days with more chances to make it as we well know that the crossing is just not possible more than maybe two days a month on an yearly average. Maybe four a month on the best times of the year.

Well, that being said I post a few pictures of the Rio flying and outdoors scene.

Take-off, circa 1992, showing the Pedra da Gávea on the background. This picture was taken by Chico Santos and shows me on a Keller Hi-Tech harness flying a Moyes GTR.

This next picture I took while mountain biking on the mountains, and shows the Christ agains a backdrop of building thinderstorms, on a North wind day, not possible to take off at Rio´s ramp with that kind of wind.

This next image is a panoramic drawing of Rio´s landscape. Notice the mountain ranges surrounding the South Zone. This is where we mostly fly.

Besides the excellent Nova Iguaçu mountain, the so-called Volcano Sierra, which lies only a 50 minute drive away from São Conrado, but may take another 50 to climb the muddy and slliperry ramp road, and offer the possibility of flying back to Rio, like I did a few times. (check

Also the mountain ranges around Rio are only a 2 hour drive and offer great cross-countrying opportunities. Among these a natural challenge is flying all the way back to Rio and landing on the beach. It´s been done quite a few times. It´s a critical cross because you overfly no-land areas and necessarily break quite a few airspace restrictions too. This is the view from the Petropolis Parque Sao Vicente ramp on a comp day.

These next pics show the getting to the Christ cross.

The fresh formations of a Christ promising day:

This next picture by pilot Nader Couri show a wonderful afternoon base on a excellent Christ day:

I plan to keep adding Rio hang-gliding scene pictures on this post in the future, so check it again sometime!

Below, flying over the Rio ramp on smooth lift.

1 comment:

Visit Brazil said...

Cool Video! On Rio's waves: