The city of Rio de Janeiro has a singular relief, historically expanded right between the sea and several mountains, such as Corcovado and Sugar Loaf. We have here the largest urban forest of the world, Tijuca Forest. The entire state is cut by mountain chains that still preserve, in some areas, forests that date back to the discovery of Brazil, as seen in the images of the Mantiqueira Ridge.
These landscapes have filled my imagination since I was a child, when I sat in the back of the car with my parents traveling to the countryside to visit my grandparents along roads set on cliffs that to me, seemed very dangerous! In my imagination, the mountain that I saw in Rio on the way to school was the same one I saw 60 miles away from the city. Everything for me was a dream of mountains and forests.
The first time I went to Parque Nacional de Itatiaia in 1981, I saw one cabin in the middle of a green ocean, practically unreachable at 4,300 ft altitude. I wondered who would live there and what kind of life this person would have. How would he buy food? Would he watch TV? I promised myself that one day I would find a way to get there. I fulfilled that promise only 34 years later.