At this point, I was using only the Canon G5x, so that I could determine the level of safety before breaking out the Canon 5D Mark III and Canon 24-70mm lens.
There are some Olympic Rings on the beach, with a long line of people waiting to get their photos in front of it.
My friend Vitor, and his son Arthur even got in line and I shot this photo of them.
There were some really cool sand sculptures on the edge of the beach, and I just had to stop and get some photos of this.
Pretty cool huh?
For this shot, I waited for the wind to blow the Brazilian flag so that it was in full view.
Once again, I saw military presence walking along the main sidewalk by the Copacabana Beach.
Built on the sand of the beach is a very large Rio Olympic Megastore.
And for the first time ever, I purchased a bunch of gifts for the family BEFORE the Games started. That is a real achievement for me. :)
Of course, Brazil was well represented inside the store.
They had this huge pile of Olympic mascots. I was a little shocked at the price. 115 Real which is equivalent to $40 for a little stuffed animal. Yikes!
And just like every Olympic Games, there are serious pin traders camped out wherever they can gather a crowd.
I sat down outside the store to grab a soda and this American reporter came over to me and the group. She saw my Team USA shirt and asked where we were from. We started talking and I asked her where she was from. She said that she was, Steph Sticklen (@stephstricklen), an NBC reporter from Portland, Oregon. To which I replied, "Hey, my daughter goes to University in Portland". Without missing a beat, she asked if I would do a quick interview with her and a shout out to the school and my daughter. That was fun! (Thanks to my friend, Junior, for taking this photo.)
After we did the interview, we had to get a photo. As you can see, we were having a good time. (And thank you to Vitor for taking this photo.)
Soon afterwards, I saw this group of guards. For all of you at home that are worried about me, so far things have been very safe. We did have a couple of people warn me about carrying the DSLR out in the open, but I have not felt unsafe. But don't worry, I am still being careful.
Towards the end of the afternoon, we went over to the Red Beach by the Sugarloaf Mountain.
Vitor took this photo of me and his son, Arthur in front of the Sugarloaf. And then he suggested that we hike on the path around the mountain. I had been up Sugarloaf on a previous trip to Rio, but never hiked along the base.
Once again, I felt very safe with three heavily armed military at the base of the walking path. Here is a photo of one of them. (Interesting that some would let me take their photos, and some would not.)
Here is a photo of the walking path.
...and a look back at the Red Beach.
Arthur was being funny and climbed up this rock. He wanted me to take his photo, so I got really low and close to the face of the rock to get this shot of him. He is a cute kid.
And here is a shot of Junior, Vitor, Arthur, and Greg (from USA Water Polo).
This was a nice view of one of the many islands in the vicinity.
After sitting in brutal traffic for hours, we made it back to the hotel at 6:30pm. I quickly downloaded the photos for this blog, retouched them, and uploaded them. Then I took a quick shower and made the 45 minute Uber ride (yes, I actually trusted them in Rio and made it there and back safely) to the Canon party.
That was a really good party, hanging out with the great Canon people and enjoying the live music. I even got to meet the man who designed the Canon 70-200 2.8 IS lens (my favorite lens of all time!!!) That was a real honor. (Thanks to Elizabeth for the intro).
OK - it is now almost 1am and time for bed. I need to get some rest. Tomorrow I have an amazing blog entry for you. I can't tell you what it is yet, but I am going to share some photos and information of something that has never been shown before at the Olympics. I think you will love it. Stay tuned.
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