The days had quickly passed for our Brazil Research Trip and before we knew it, our final day had come. The group gathered together in the early morning and had our last Brazilian breakfast. Since we had been such diligent workers, Adam decided to let Day Ten be more of a day off. Soon after breakfast, we piled into a group van and drove up the 700-metre (2,300 ft) Corcovado mountain in the Tijuca Forest National Park to one of Brazil’s most iconic attractions, O Cristo Redentor (Christ the Redeemer). After about a 15 minute drive to the mid-point of Corcovado mountain, thirty minutes waiting in line, and another 15 minute drive by van to the top of Corcovado Mountain, we arrived at the foot of the statue.
The view from the peak of Corcovado looked across almost all of Rio and took our breath away. The sheer size of the O Cristo Redentor statue and the palpable energy around this loved icon left us all flabbergasted. People surrounded the Christ figure and prayed, some people were on romantic dates, and many were simply taking their family to pay respects. It felt obvious that this monument holds immense sentimental value to very many people. The ride down the steep mountain side was treacherous and made some of us a little nervous, but we all made it out just fine.
After lunch at a local café restaurant, we had some time to go shopping for the first time in Brazil. The girls loved this and had a blast contributing to the thriving Brazilian economy. We spent the rest of the day relaxing on the beach at Copacabana reflecting on the trip while sipping on coconut water straight from the coconut. I had a nice swim in the water then rinsed off and began to get mentally prepared for the plane ride and leaving this extraordinary place. We all didn’t want to go back home. We had all become so close, and the thought of Adam not paying for all my lunches or not being there to check both ways before crossing the street was daunting. But our trip had come to an end, and we packed up and headed to the airport to begin our long journey home.