The Augustana basketball teams are in Brazil this week and are blogging on the trip. Tayvian Johnson is blogging for the men’s team and you can catch their blog posts on the D3hoops.com Daily Dose. Chaney Tambling is blogging for the women’s team.
Today was a day of breath-taking events. After an early rise we went to see one of the most photographed statues in the world, Monumento do Cristo Redentor or the Christ Statue. After a long wait in line and a card scan we were traveling up Corcovado mountain.
To get up the mountain we took a train and out of both sides of the window there were small glimpses of what would be one of the most amazing views we could ever ask for. When the train ride was over we had reached the monument and neither pictures nor the view from ground level do this amazing piece of art work justice. This was one of the most amazing things I’ve seen, standing 98 feet tall and a wingspan of 92 feet it was breath-taking to say the least. You could see everyone on our team light up as we finally reached the top of the stairs and looked up.
Along with the breath-taking view of the city of Rio de Janiero, the statue lit up faces from people of all nationalities and ages. It is a true spectacle when you can cross language barriers and see true enjoyment on people’s faces. Underneath the statue there was a chapel where I found teammates Brandon Motzel and Ben Ryan. Ben was putting in an offering and Brandon was praying.
Seeing that made me stop and realize how fortunate I was to be on this trip with such great people. I sat down said my prayer, took a few more pictures then we all started our trip back down the mountain. While waiting for our bus we saw two men playing a game that looked like a cross between badminton and handball. They we hitting a small ball with a tail in front of us and surprisingly hit it to me with no warning. I returned it to the men and one of the men started playing the game. It must have excited our whole team because we bought about 10 of them and will be bringing them back to the states.
After we got back to the hotel it was more giant waves on the beach. After we washed off and started gearing up for what would be the hardest game of the trip. We played C.R. Flamengo. Coach Giovanine had been telling us we need toughness to compete and we found that tonight. After being down four at half and down two with one and a half minutes to the best youth team in South America it was clear that our trip was a success from a basketball standpoint.
Although a few calls that didn’t go our way and some free throws ended up in a loss it was still a great game to play in and be a part of. Today might have been my favorite day and I know everyone on the trip had a blast.
The Augustana basketball teams are in Brazil this week and are blogging on the trip. Kevin Schlitter is blogging for the men’s team and you can catch their blog posts on the D3hoops.com Daily Dose. Chaney Tambling is blogging for the women’s team.
The day started overcast, but the views we saw made it seem like a bright day.
Sugar Loaf Mountains in two words is “simply breathtaking.” We started off zipping up the world famous cable cars that can be seen in James Bond’s movie Moonraker. The ride up was a little unsettling for most of us seeing how the cars swayed so much on a windy day.
Once we made it to the first mountain we were amazed with the views of the city of Rio de Janeiro and more importantly, the several beaches and mountains in the background.
But we weren’t done just yet.
Another cable car ride brought us even higher into the sky where it seemed like we could see for hundreds of miles. A great team picture at the top and then it was straight down on solid ground.
After the mountains we did a little shopping at the international market where they were selling everything from t-shirts to earrings to even ‘love sacks’. Hundreds of vendors flock the square right off Ipanema Beach every Sunday. A brisk windy walk back to our hotel and it was right back to the beach where there were the biggest waves I have ever seen in person. These waves had to be at least 15 feet high.
At first only a few brave souls wondered out to take on the beasts but as time passed more and more came in. Coach Giovanine’s wife was talking to us about how someone’s bathing suit was bound to come off with how strong the waves were. Sure enough, the words were barely out of her mouth and Ben Ryan’s bathing suit showed up right in front of me!!!
Dinner tonight was at a Churrascaria or Brazilian steak house which is famous down here. We ate and ate and kept on eating until we physically could not fit anymore. Later tonight we plan on heading down the beach to another local night market in search for souvenirs.
Tomorrow will be my favorite day when we visit Cristo Redentor, or Christ the Redeemer statue. We finish the night by playing a very tough C.R. Flamango team which beat Kansas State last summer.
The Augustana basketball teams are heading to Brazil this week and will be blogging on the trip. Chaney Tambling is blogging for the women’s team and you can catch their blog posts on the D3hoops.com Daily Dose. Kevin Schlitter is blogging for the men’s team.
So last night we went to Lapa which is similar to the District of Rock Island, but much bigger. Lapa is often a dangerous place because of all the nightlife, but we stayed safely with our guides, Joseph and his wife Roberta, and were able to sit casually around a table and experience the area.
Most people in Rio don’t go out until about midnight and stay out until 4 a.m. We were there from about 8-11, so most people weren’t out yet, but it was more about getting to see the nightlife and experience the true Brazilian social scene.
We’ve now settled back at the hotel after a long day on a boat. Today we took a tour of the islands off the coast of Brazil by boat. First we took about a two and a half hour bus ride to get to the dock where we got on the boat. Then our group and some others got onto the very large boat and headed across the water to the different islands.
We got to stop three times while on the boat. The first stop let us jump off the boat for some swimming while surrounded by lots of fish and the beautiful sun. The second stop was at a beach where we got to get off, take pictures, and see an old cathedral that was located on the island. The final stop was the longest and included our traditional fisherman’s lunch.
The food different than anything we had eaten, but judging by how much everyone ate it seemed to be pretty delicious food. After a long day in the sun, we finally took the trip back to the dock and finally a bus ride home. Now we’ll hang out by the pool, possibly order some pizza and prepare for a free day of shopping and the beach tomorrow!
The Augustana basketball teams are in Brazil this week and are blogging on the trip. Ben Ryan is blogging for the men’s team and you can catch their blog posts on the D3hoops.com Daily Dose. Chaney Tambling is blogging for the women’s team.
The day started early for us with a bus trip to Rio de Janeiro. Along the way we made two stops, the first was to get paperwork that we needed and the second was our lunch. At lunch we had different places to choose to eat but most of us choose to eat at McDonald’s.
After loading back on the bus we started the part of the trip that was most scenic; going through a beautiful mountain range that led up to the city. We drove through the city to get to our hotel, which sits across the road from the first beach and ocean that a few of us have ever seen. The view from the rooms show the beautiful Copacabana Beach and Atlantic Ocean that stretches as far as the eye can see.
After unpacking we made our way to the beach which was packed full of suntanners, volleyball courts and soccer fields. The most impressive sport that was being played on the beach was a mix between the two sports and that was volleyball without using your hands. The beach is also lined with vendors and restaurants for those who work up an appetite on the beach.
After the beach we were free to explore the part of the city by the hotel. It was full of shops of all kinds and restaurants.
Judging by the man following us chanting USA! USA! for a block we stand out as Americans. It is amazing to see how much is going on in this city at all hours of the day.
The Augustana basketball teams are heading to Brazil this week and will be blogging on the trip. Chaney Tambling is blogging for the women’s team and you can catch their blog posts on the D3hoops.com Daily Dose. Ben Ryan is blogging for the men’s team.
Well today was yet another beautiful day in Rio de Janeiro!
We started the day by taking a long bus trip up to the Christ the Redeemer statue. Let me tell you he’s much bigger on top of the mountain than when you see him from any other place. The statue oversees everything in the city and is quite a breathtaking monument. From the top you can see every part of the city and all that it has to offer, from the waterways and other mountains to the thousands of houses and other sightseeing opportunities in Rio.
The ride up to the statue was another experience in itself. The drivers were flying around corners and barely clipping each other’s mirrors just to get people to where they needed to go. While up by the statue we, of course, took lots and lots of pictures and even happened to meet a family from Naperville, Ill., who was visiting Brazil as well! We also got to frequent the many different shops that were held on the mountain by the statue and while waiting for a bus to bring us back down, we even saw the Canadian Prime Minister going up to see the statue.
After getting to see Christ the Redeemer our bus took us to a part of town where they host the Carnival celebration. While there we got to go into a shop and pay to get dressed up in the different Carnival outfits. The crazy outfits were accompanied by big headdresses and large bejeweled shoulder wraps. A video of the actual parade was playing and it was very extravagant, loud and full of excitement. Judging by the color and nature of the parade you would have thought the people were preparing to send the participants into the Hunger Games.
The Carnival shop was the last stop on our agenda. When we got back we grabbed a quick lunch and headed down to the beach for a relaxing afternoon. Tonight we will be going with our guides to Lapa, the downtown area of Rio to see what a typical nightclub here is like. We are excited to learn the Samba and any other dances that they will be willing to teach us. I’m sure that it will be lots of fun!