I realised it this afteroon arond 5 o’clock: It was yet another day I could write a blog about.. Just like pretty much every day before. If you have something to write about every single day because somehow it leaves such an impression on you that you don’t want to forget it, then you know you’re on a wonderful journey.
Tomorrow I’m having a day off and the day after that, I get to go to Sao Paulo for the Belgium versus South Korea game, but today there was still some work to do. Gabi, Benjamin, Wout and me started working a little after 9am. All the smaller tents that were no longer in use had to be emptied and cleaned. After that we checked the luxurious tents again to see if there had been any changes and clean the ones from people who had just checked out. The sun started shining pretty early so we went topless to start working. Well, the guys did, not Gabi of course. We’ve had a lot of sunshine in the past three days, with temperatures rising up to 30°C or over today.
We worked hard and fast, resulting in getting the job done by noon so we got the afternoon off! We were sure about one thing then: we would go to the beach. Yet.. Which one? Benjamin decided we should go to Grumari, a little bay with allegedly a very beautiful beach, recommended by Freddy De Kerpel himself. We were five to go there: Gabi, Benjamin, Raphael, Simon and me. Dylan, Kristof, Laurens, Pierre and Tanguy would join us later.
The bay really was a beauty. A really nice location.. If I recall well, it is also a protected area/environment, so the bay is surrounded by the beautiful sight of mountains and nature, no hotels or skyscrapers. Every time you raised your head to look at it, you wanted to take a picture. That kind of view.
Raphaël couldn’t go in the water because of an injury, Benjamin and Simon wanted to eat first, so Gabi and I were the only ones to go swimming. The ocean was colder here than it is in front of the DeVillage, but the currents were also less strong and the waves were smaller.
We swam a bit further to the flanks of a rock on the right hand side. If we could climb up, is a question that turned out to be answered affirmatively. There were some mussels on the rock at sea level, which made it quite tricky to climb up, as I would later find out. We got two to three meters higher and sat down, but not for long. Gabi felt the urge to go higher and at first I let her go. My fear of heights, remember.. But after a while I decided to not care about that fear. “Fuck fear, I’m just going for it.” And so I climbed up as well.
At the highest point we reached, I think we must have been 50 or 60 meters about sea level. I’m not good at guessing distances but Gabi agreed with me on this.. We stayed there for thirty minutes or so. An amazing moment. I hadn’t brought a camera as it wasn’t waterproof and on one side that was a pity because the view was amazing, but on the other side, not having a camera also meant not being distracted by it and being able to fully enjoy the moment.
The furthest we could see were – or so we think – the “two brothers” of Rio. But anywhere we looked, to the left, to the right or straight ahead of us, the view was always breathtaking. Another very nice memory was made. I have experienced so many beautiful moments here that I even don’t remember what I’ve done in the first week.. Thank god I’m writing these blogs!
As we went back down I injured my heel on one of those mussel shells. It bled a lot, but I couldn’t do more than just be careful and try not to have too much sand in the wound. I started by putting on my flip-flops/thongs/flippers/whatever-these-shitty-things-are-called and no longer walk barefoot. Benji and Simon were eating the last bits of their fish and chips, I took a sip of their coconut (yep, coconut milk straight from the coconut!) and it tasted pretty good actually. Gabi and I climbed onto another rock then, the one Raphaël had been sitting on the entire time to enjoy the sun. The perfect spot to take some pictures as we didn’t have to go through water to get to this one. And there were stairs as well, so that made it safer too.
Eventually, we had spent a little over two hours at Grumari Beach and Dylan, Kristof, Laurens, Pierre and Tanguy had joined us. After that we headed back. On foot, as no taxi drives all the way to this beach. Along the way we got split up. Kristof and Laurens in front, running. Then me on foot, then Tanguy and Dylan, then the others, out of my sight. It got darker and when a car then stops next to you, you’re reacting kind of scared for a second. Pierre was in the passenger’s seat and asked me to jump in. So they had found someone to drive us.. Four of us were already in the backseat so I had to sit on Benji’s lap. The driver, Pierre in the passenger’s seat and five people in the back… That’s how we got back to the DeVillage..
At the camping lot I immediately had the wound on my heel taken care of. Two shell cuts. One was ok, the other one was pretty deep and had to be cleansed and disinfected. Then I got some tape around my foot and now I’m sitting here with that foot lying on another chair. My foot has to rest, I’m not allowed to walk and my heel mustn’t get wet when I shower.. Apparently it could get infected or not heal well enough and that wouldn’t be good, knowing I go to Corcovado tomorrow and to Sao Paulo the day after..
Anyway: Grumari Beach! Remember that name if you’re ever anywhere near Rio de Janeiro. A perfect spot for a lazy afternoon at the beach. From Rio it’s at least one and a half hours by taxi I guess, but it might be worth it. It also seems like the perfect spot for beginner surfers whereas the beach in front of DeVillage would be for more experienced surfers. Well, ‘DeVillage’, after this World Cup it will just be called ‘Camping Clube do Brasil’ again, situated at the Estrada do Pontal 5900 in Recreio. I don’t know if I would recommend the camping site, but it might be just fine for surfers.
So I’ve had another beautiful day. One of those that could last forever, even if I don’t possess an eternal life. Or that’s what I think, because if Christ Redeemer turns to me tomorrow saying “Aha, Dad, finally you’re visiting me!”, then that changes things of course.