Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Pedra da Gavea night hike. Sunrise over my favorite city. Pure magic!

We started the the hike after taking the bus from Ipanema to Barra da Tijuca around 2am. Then walking through town, up a neighborhood to the trailhead.

We wasted no time shooting straight up the rock climbing roots and rocks. Taking breaks for fruit and water.

The moon was near full, poking through the thick jungle foliage, rarely reaching the ground. The local frogs put on a free concert all night.

After two hours of 1500 ft of vertical climbing we reached some exposed rock sections. The strong wind and city lights far below made these sections challenging for my nerves, but with experienced friends near by and my trusty headlamp we persevered.

Above is the top of the Pedra da Gavea just before we summited. It was very dark as I needed to use a 2 min. exposure for this image.

We made it to the top, around 2500 ft above the sea level start, for a quick rest before sunrise!

Facing east over Rio as the first bit of light arrives.

The white lights in the center line the beach of Ipanema where I am staying.

Some other folks made it just in time!

Christ the redeemer on the left, the Atlantic on the right, the Lagoon in center, Niteroi across and ALL Rio.

After surfing all day, going out at night and a strong hike I was exhausted, but fully intoxicated by what I saw.

We took a nap in the grass, just meters from the edge, for a few hours after sunrise, before descending.

To give perspective the rock face above and right is the same as the one from the long exposure night shot from earlier taken while we climbed.

Juan catching some wind facing west looking over Barra da Tijuca.

The other side of this field is where we slept and watched the sun rise.

The rock face we scaled in the middle of the night with only a headlamp and an insane urban view.

This insect was glowing and shining like a green diamond. The most beautiful bug I have ever seen.

Lindsay acting like Jane.

I got a good swing in before the vine snapped mid-air sending me quickly to the dirt. If you zoom in you see that there is a foot and a half of vine above my hands then nothing. Hilarious.

Jaca fruit. Hangs off of trees like a big wart. Some people eat it, but it is less than appealing to me.

Hanging with the curious dog while waiting for Juan. A good day to say the least, but ready for bed.


  1. Oh my gosh Stephen, these pictures and your travel in Rio have been incredible, I'm having so much fun following your adventures. What an amazing hike. Cathy

  2. Fantastic !! Thank you for sharing your incredible journey. Love the pictures. Love you more xoxoxox !!!!

  3. Hey Moms! im glad yall enjoy the photos. I just want to share these places. It has far exceeded my expectations!