Idiot that I am, instead of taking a one-way flight home from Rio de Janeiro, I opted to "save money" and take return flights back to 1. Buenos Aires and 2. Lima. Here's a quick look at my last time in each city.
I got back into Buenos Aires late, so the next morning before I flew to Lima, I quickly went to Recoleta Cemetery, final resting place of Evita among others.
If it weren't for the crowds, Evita's grave would have been nearly impossible to find in such an enormous cemetery.
Next stop = Santiago de Chile (again!). Just passing through this time...
Finally, back in Lima, I went to see the historic center, Plaza de Armas.
It was a school day, and multiple field trips were occurring in the plaza (like this one to La Catedral).
I believe this was the bishop's palace, adjacent to La Catedral
One side of the plaza was almost entirely yellow and... oh look a horse!
La Catedral, Plaza de Armas
Jiron de la Union is a pedestrian street that links Plaza de Armas and Plaza San Martin. It's a nice walk.
Inside La Merced, a major church along Jiron de la Union
Gran Hotel Bolivar, allegedly the birthplace of the Pisco sour.
Plaza San Martin
My lunch at the Hotel Bolivar, including a pint-sized sample of their famous drink (very strong and acidic).
Final tourist attraction before going back to the Miraflores district = the Monastery of San Francisco.
For some very odd reason, this group of students on a field trip decided to surround the gringo. Very amusing.
The monastery is famous for its catacombs, which are highly recommended (note = photos aren't allowed, but if you linger at the rear end of the tour group line..........)
The highlight of the catacombs was this display of bones... very macabre. I wasn't the only tourist breaking the photo prohibition at the sight of this.
This man is guilty of surreptitious photography in 49 countries...
A sneak peek into La Catedral (which cost money that I didn't want to spend; this was taken just beside the ticket counter)
Back in Miraflores, just in time for sunset.
Miraflores is known for funky art installations by the water.
"Love Statue" and some, uh, lovers...
Last meal in South America = pizza! But not just any pizza = this is Glorietta's signature eponymous pizza, which features ham, bacon, and white asparagus. Outstanding.
Glorietta was on "Pizza Street," a hot spot of local restaurants and nightlife... and of course, pizza.
Thanks for looking at my photos... not sure where my next trip will be, but hopefully it won't be as crazy as this "vacation." Lesson learned!
I was pretty lazy in Rio... after Ipanema and Corcovado, I only did a few other things. Here's the rest of my time in The Marvelous City.
The Jardim Botanico (Botanical Garden) in Rio is a must-see.
The Avenue of Palms, just inside the entrance
It was almost sunset, and I wanted to see Rio at nighttime from above; so I went to Pao de Acucar, commonly known in English as Sugarloaf Mountain. The only way up was by gondola (about $40 US).
The first of two gondola rides.
Copacabana is the curve on the left (Ipanema is behind it, not in view).
Pedra da Gavea in the distance, the world's largest monolith on a coastline.
Dinner was at Frontera, with friends. Frontera serves all-you-can-eat pizza, including at least a half-dozen different dessert pizzas (chocolate and various other things substituted for cheese and toppings). This particular slice had bananas.
Matt, from England, mocks my American-ness.
Daniel from Norway also mocks me.
Daniel, Ingrid, and Matt all liked Frontera as much as I did.
Copacabana (Sugarloaf is to the right, but invisible for the fog)
Arpoador, the small peninsula that separates Copa from Ipanema
Some fat dude... ;-)
I'm a sucker for moon shots.
Last night in Rio... I passed by this church and peeked in.
Then I went for a beer at a Belgian-style cafe. This was the cheapest (I was low on local currency).
The pub was right next to my old hostel in Ipanema.
One of the guys that came out to the pub was this fellow from Egypt. I'm not used to seeing Egyptians abroad. He had saved up for three years and was vacationing in Latin America for a few months.
After Rio, I would take the long way home, by taking return flights to each of the places I had been previously. To be continued...
I'm a Bay Area native with a love-hate relationship towards my homeland... so I try to get out as much as I can, so that I eventually come to miss it! Oh, and I'm the teacher of some of the best kids in the world.