Or, How We Make Plans
Two days ago we left Rio and toted our caipirinha-induced hangovers about 90km north to a small city called Teresópolis, up in the mountains and known best for its state park and hiking. After we arrived and found our hostel (a really beautiful place nestled up on a steep hillside), we took our map of the park out for pizza to plan our next couple of days.
In addition to several shorter hikes within the Teresópolis side of the park, there is a 55km hike that starts in Teresópolis and finishes in Petrópolis, another city that we'd considered visiting.
K: Maybe we could do that hike tomorrow.
G: 55km? In a day?
K: Yeah, that's just over a marathon. How long would that take?
G: Hm, I guess we could do that in 8 hours.
Later that night Ken did some research on the World Wide Web: The 55km trail is a 3-day hike for which you need to hire a guide. We agreed to spend Tuesday at the park to do some shorter hikes and gather more info. When we arrived, a very friendly guide apologized for the weather (it was extremely foggy) and showed us how to find the trailheads for the trails accessible from Teresópolis. She also advised us to hike one in particular (Post Card Trail) that is rated moderate to difficult to gauge our readiness for the 3-day hike.
We set off up a steep road of about 2km to find the trailheads. The first trail we hiked, rated easy, was ony 400m and took us all of 10 minutes. We felt studly and set off to find the next trail, rated moderate. This one was 1.1km and took us an hour. I was starting to realize the error of our previous night's calculations. We continued up the steep road to the trailhead for Post Card Trail, and decided to save it for last (read: I wasn't sure we should start it without at least a little break first).
After a snack, a bathroom break and a nice flat 400m hike we started up Post Card's steep 1.2km trail, and reached the lookout point in just under an hour. There was a handy sign that illustrated the various mountain peaks visible from that point.
*Visibility may vary according to weather. See also: Extremely foggy.
Anyway, after 4 hours of hiking and a couple of hot showers, we realized that we're unprepared at this juncture for 3 days of hiking. Instead, we're going to spend the rest of the week doing that for which we are well-suited: sitting on the beach. Hopefully our visibility will improve.
P.S. On Monday we purchased a large bag of oranges for about 54¢. As an experiment, I'm going see if I can survive on only oranges for the next 24 hours. No matter the outcome, it will be a real boon to our budget.
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
Or, How We Make Plans