Goodbye Rio
Carnival dancers
  More carnival dancers 
Another carnival float
More carnival dancers
Several floats and samba groups feature topless women
It's going on all night….
... a beautiful and elegant swan
An elaborate float that turns into...
Two floats back to back
People had warned me to be careful going to the Carnival but we felt pretty safe. Police was everywhere watching over the crowd. We stayed at there until 3:00 AM then hailed a cab back to the hotel.

Sunday March 1, 2009

Our vacation had ended. It was time to go home and back to the old routine. Lee went down to the hotel beach for some more pictures
Our last day in Rio
Did I mention the water is very clear here?
Saturday February 28, 2009

We got up this morning and took the shuttle to the Ipanema Section of the City. It was around 10 and shops started to open.
Lee near a flower stand in Ipanema
We saw this little restaurant that serves breakfast. You can order six different breakfast items at this restaurant for $5 per person. As I mentioned before, Brazilian currency is the "real" and a dollar is worth about 2.2 reais. Things are slightly less expensive here than in Buenos Aires.
A Rio breakfast
After breakfast, we hit the beach. Since it was still morning we were able to rent chairs and umbrella just fine. You can rent an umbrella and a pair of chairs for $7.50 a day.
 Lee on the Ipanema Beach sidewalk. Coconut drinks are popular
Stepping into the water. The Sheraton Rio is in the background at the foot of the mountains.
Lee on Ipanema Beach
In the afternoon, the beach started to fill up. People were everywhere on this several-mile-long beach. They played sand volley, soccer, and whipple ball everywhere. I can't stress enough how clean this water is. It's a little cool when you first step in but after a while, very refreshing under the hot sun.
Of course you know Brazilians men wear speedos and women, thong bikinis at the beach. I've never seen so many skimpy bikinis in one place before, but unfortunately they are worn not only by tall, tanned, and beautiful people but also other women of all sizes and shapes. Since the City has strict laws against topless sunbathing, people compensate for it by wearing almost nothing at all.
Lee enjoying the water.
Lee has too much cloth on her
At night, we went to the Carnival Champion Parade.

The Carnival floats are designed by numerous samba schools in Rio and tonight, six winners among those schools got to parade in this final event.

The parades began at 9:00 PM and didn't end until 6:00 AM the next day. Parades take place at the Sambadrome, a half-mile long enclosed boulevard with stands on both sides.

Tickets as mentioned before are expensive and you can order them on the internet.
The Sambadrome was fantastically electrified by beautiful floats followed by groups of dancers in colorful costumes. They danced to the drum beats of samba music while spectators waving hands and dancing on the stands all night long.

I have never experienced anything like that before.
I am going to show you a few of the many carnival pictures we took.
A carnival float
Each of the six schools got 90 minutes to present their floats and dancers followed by a 15-minute break then another school would begin.
and the local kids
Lee saying goodbye to Rio
Do go to South America.

(Written March 2, 2009)
As with past trips, this trip has gone as well as I could expect. We have really enjoyed the new experiences and will definitely miss Buenos Aires and Rio de Janeiro. Writing this blog on the plane, I look forward to seeing the kids and grand kid. We will hug them tight.
One entry on my bucket list states: "Six continents in six years". We have done four and will plan trips to Australia and Africa next.

I wish this website allowed me to post larger pictures. I hate these tiny ones but still hope you enjoy reading this blog.

What do you think?
Feel free to leave a comment.