Sitting in the hotel reception, we struggled to keep our eyes open. One too many caipirinhas the night before, meant we weren’t really feeling hiking Dois Irmaos (Two Brothers) today. Plus, our legs were still aching from the Corcavado hike two days previously.
Our guide, Sam, a bubbly Australian came bouncing in and declared it was time to go. He reassured us that it was an easy hike and he’d previously done it in flip flops.
An hour later, we were standing outside a school-cum-sports facility in the pacified favela of Vidigal. We’d taken a metro train, a local bus and slightly dodgy van to get there.
hiking dois irmaos begins
We slinked through the fence, and found ourselves on a well worn path that led upwards into the trees. The steps were rudimentary but purposeful, and there were branches to hold on to, provided you didn’t grab the ones covered in sharp thorns.
We climbed and climbed, feeling a bit trapped in the repetitiveness of trudging through the jungle in the sticky, humid heat.
our first breathtaking view
That was until we reached a break in the trees and saw Rochina, a multicoloured favela nestled next to a five star golf course. It was a breathtaking view, helped by the gushing wind blowing in our faces, refreshing our senses and preparing for the next part of our climb.
The next part was harder. Steeper, rockier and slippery due to the rain the day before. Not a hike for flip flops.
We squelched and scrambled up, keeping our eyes on our feet to make sure they were landing in the right place.
The view from the top was worth all the sweat. The views were astounding. We could see beaches, mountains, houses and gardens. You name it, we could see it.
the real prize
From Two Brothers, you can see the three famous Rio landmarks, Copacabana beach, Sugarloaf Mountain and Christ the Redeemer. Everyone took copious amounts of pictures before we started our descent.
On the way back, we wandered the streets of Vidigal, admiring the street art, and watching the daily bustle happen around us.
Have you had the fortune of hiking Dois Irmaos before? Have you been to the favela Vidigal? Let us know about your experience below.
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