It seems that people in Rio only pause their continuous beach volleyball matches to go for a quick run or wolf down steak. This week, we attempted to keep up.
We had booked an Airbnb in Ipanema, only a block away from the gorgeous beach and close to a lot of the action. Over the course of the week we squeezed in as many of Rio's greatest hits as we could.
First, we took a 15 minute train ride up the mountain to see the epic Christ the Redeemer.
Possibly even more exciting than the huge scale of the statue was the great view of the city below. Recognized as one of the seven natural wonders of the world, Rio's harbor has a number of impressive granite features, and it's not until you get up high that you can truly appreciate them all.
We took two gondola rides up one of these leviathans, Sugar Loaf mountain, and were treated with an epic sunset looking back.
And, of course, we partook in the tradition of all you can eat meat at a Brazilian steak house.
On our last full day we decided to make the pilgrimage to one of the great homes of soccer in South America: Brazil's Maracanã stadium.
The stadiums holds 100k people (though it once jammed in close to 200k people for the 1950 World Cup Final), featured the top matches during the last World Cup, and will also host the upcoming Olympic Opening Ceremony and football matches.
We went to see home team Fluminense take on Corinthians. While it ended at a 0-0 draw, the game stretched end to end and there were plenty of opportunities. We also got to watch the sunset through the cracks in the bleachers and the ensuing Fluminense red and green Christmas colors adorning the stadium.
While the stadium was far from full, the boisterous home and away fans positioned in opposite corners made up for it with match long singing and chanting.
After three wonderful months, we're sadly saying goodbye to South America and heading across the Pacific to New Zealand!