Neil and I decided to go for a little hike up Urca mountain today! :)
To get there, we took the public bikes to Praia Vermelha where the trail up Urca mountain begins.
You take the Pista Cláudio Coutinho and then about 15 minutes in, you’ll see the beginning of the trail start to go up into the woods, rather than along the edge of the mountain.
Oh, but, before you get to this little trail, you’ll probably see some monkeys…
…I can never get enough of monkeys.
So anyway, then there’s this trail…!
This trail, called the “Trilha da Urca” is not quite as hard as the trail that takes you to see Mr. Jesus, but it will definitely leave you a little sweaty. …Is it just me or is the temperature higher in the forest? Or maybe it’s just more humid with all the greenery..? Either way, I always somehow end up getting super sweaty when I go hiking in the forests around here.
This trail is kind of tricky, because there are 2 or 3 forks in the trail. Through much trial, or should I say trail, and error (ahahaha see what I did there?), Neil and I managed to figure out that you want to just always take the left fork. Even when there’s a giant fallen tree in the middle of the path. Yup, take that one.
However, we did take a right at one of the forks and stumbled upon this nice little lookout…
…All I can think of is my former co-worker yelling at me, “Rachel get down from there!!” Ahahahaha.
After about 30 minutes of slight huffing and puffing, Neil and I made it to the top of Urca mountain. The trail very nicely leads you right into the touristy lookout area which is more like a mini-shopping center than just a lookout.
Look at this AMAZING view!!! It’s like Mordor.. But a little less ominous.
The shopping center has all the important thinks you need in a tourist attraction: an ice cream shop and bathrooms. I mean, okay, there are other stores and stuff, but those were the only two that I really cared about.
The ice cream shop they have up there, República da Fruta, is expensive.. BUT I love that I was able to get two giant scoops of ice cream (one was vanilla, the other was cream with chocolate flakes), covered in little crunchy chocolate balls, pieces of mango, pieces of kiwi, and drizzled in condensed milk. Um. Yeah. I’m a fat kid.
That thing cost like $8 USD. But it was so worth it. Even though I had a stomach ache afterwards.
(Pssst, look at the size of my bicep in that picture!!! INSANE… I swear I don’t always look that beastly..)
Then, with my belly full and more than a little achey, we headed back down the trail (only took like 15 minutes going down!) and back onto the pathway to head back to the beach…