Sunday Special – La Mano de Punta del Este (or The Hand of Punta del Este) – Uruguay


Since February 1982, Uruguay’s Punta del Este has been home to this famous sculpture by Chilean artist Mario Irarrázabal. Located on Brava Beach, in the popular resort town, stands the concrete and plastic statue of fingers struggling out of its sandy location. Irarrázabal created the iconic artwork during the first International Meeting of Modern Sculpture in the Open Air. La Mano has become one of the most recognized pieces of beach art and has been photographed by media and tourists alike. In fact, the popularity of La Mano prompted Irarrázabal to create similar works of art in Madrid, The Atacama Dessert (Chile) and Venice.

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La Mano de Punta del Este – Photo credit:  Wikimedia Commons – Photo taken and owned by Rosina Piexoto 

By Rosina Peixoto (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

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La Mano / The Hand at night – Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons – Photo taken and owned by Marcelo Campi

By Marcelo Campi from MVD, Uruguay (The hand) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

 

 

 

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Sunday Special – Rio de Janeiro, Brazil


In honour of the 31st Olympics we will focus on the host city of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The second largest city in Brazil, Rio is known around the world for being a beach city, it’s famous Carnival and Christ the Redeemer statue overseeing this vibrant metropolis.

With a population of over 10 million in its metropolitan area this South American city has much to see so several days would be needed. Do pack your sunscreen as temperatures can be hot in the summer months (December to March). Winters are cooler but it is still tropical. Aside from Carnival and the beaches there is music, food, sport and museums to fill your days. Not to mention some great views from surrounding mountains and lookouts.

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Sugar Loaf Mountain, Rio de Janeiro – Photo Credit: Owned by Travelbusy.com – via Wikimedia Commons

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Ipanema Beach, Rio de Janeiro – Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons – Taken and Owned by Zinneke

 

Sunday Special – Dakar Rally, South America


Growing up I sometimes watched car racing with my dad. He particularly enjoyed Formula 1 racing but sometimes watched NASCAR. Although I do not fully understand it all it was a time for him to tell me a little bit of what he knew about these races he occasionally watched. Of course, when you watch racing you hear about some other races as well. That is where I heard about the The Dakar Rally (formerly the Paris-Dakar Rally), which as its name implies ran from Paris, France to Dakar, Senegal. This race began in 1978 and participants drove tough off-road routes through Africa until late 2000s due to security reasons in Mauritania. Now the race (or more accurately Rally Raid) is held in South America. Open to both professionals and amateur drivers it sees participants careening the at times insane route in cars, trucks, motorcycles and quads. Although I have never watched it in its entirety I do catch it now and again. I think these drivers are all crazy yet admire their adventurous streak.

Dakar 2006

Dakar 2006

Photo Attribution: MAINDRU PHOTO via Wikimedia Commons

SUNDAY’S SPECIAL SPOT – FITZROY TREK, PATAGONIA


I am not a die-hard hiker. Heck I rarely hike at all but am willing to do a nice trail that is a couple hours. I am much more a city girl. But there are many souls who love all that a challenging trek brings them – a stunning challenge in a dramatic natural playground. A definite area of beauty is Patagonia. A glacier filled area that spans the southern tips of both Chile and Argentina, Patagonia has the Patagonian Andes mountains, grasslands, deserts and glaciers. It is here that there are numerous treks that draw the adventuring souls. One of them is the Fitzroy Trek in Argentina. The trek is named so as there are majestic views of Monte Fitz Roy that rises upwards of 1,828.8 m/6,000 ft from the glacier’s base. Located in the Los Glaciares National Park, 2 – 5 day treks are available around the base of Fitz Roy, as well as daily hikes and combining excursions with the Torres de Paine W trek in Chile. The options for all the hiking enthusiasts are varied and amazing, no doubt.

Monte Fitz Roy, Patagonia, Argentina

Monte Fitz Roy, Patagonia, Argentina

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photo Public Domain