May 25, 2016
Rio de Janeiro has so much to explore and see. The vast mountains, beaches, and beautiful architectural buildings put you in awe. On May 25, 2016 we took a bike tour around Ipanema, Leblon, and Lagoa. We started the tour in Ipanema right by the beautiful beach with vicious, but breath-taking waves. As we biked passed, there were many surfers, street vendors, and Cariocas taking advantage of the sunlight left. After, we biked through Leblon around a beautiful lake with mountains surrounding it. Leblon is the wealthiest neighborhood in Rio de Janeiro. The buildings in Leblon were more modern and looked well constructed compared to many other areas in Rio such as the favelas. As we made our way around the lake (Lagoa), we could see Dois Irmãos (Two Brothers Mountain). It is called two brothers mountain because of the two peaks on it. On each side of Dois Irmãos are the favelas known as Vidigal and Rocinha. We could tell they were favelas because the houses were built up on the mountainside and the roofs were more flat. I was able to tie what I saw during the bike tour to things we had learned in class. In the late 19th century, soldiers who did not have a home built houses up on the mountainside. After abolition, former slaves who had no jobs and land ownership ended up settling in these areas. The term favela came to be because the people who settled in these areas brought plants with them that were called favelas. I was able to apply what we learned in class to what I saw during the bike tour and it left a meaningful impression on me because it was one thing to read about it, but to witness it also was an amazing experience.