I thought I had already seen some of the most beautiful sights the world has to offer when I visited my family in the Dominican Republic … that was until I went hiking in Rio de Janeiro.
One Saturday morning, two friends and I had decided to wake up early in the morning after a night of partying until 4am (when in Rio, you party like the Cariocas). We gathered at the metro station where we uber’d to Pedra do Telégrafo. Surely we were insane for wanting to hike up a trail that was an hour away from Copacabana at 9am while running on only 4 hours of sleep but, as a wise man once said, YOLO.
Once we arrived, we began our trek. Five minutes into our hike, my body reminded me that it had been months since I had exercised and to make matters worse, I hadn’t fed my body anything that morning. Moreover, I powered through and 45 minutes later, we reached the top of the pedra.
Once at the top of the mountain, I simply stood in silence, taking in everything before me. The exhaustion I felt, the cramps I endured, and the heat that made everything feel twice as horrible, was suddenly undone as I stared at what awaited at the top. In that moment, I felt complete serenity and purity. The ocean was calm, inviting its guests to enter it; the waves that were once angry and aggressive, laid still as visitors took pictures; the sky pushed its clouds away in order to allow the sun to shine its maximum. This was one of the most beautiful sights I have ever laid my eyes on.