Rio Day 4 - Botanical Gardens & Impinima Beach

Day 4 {Tuesday 4.11.17} was my first official SOLO day in Rio...let the exploring begin!

I began my day out by grabbing some breakfast {{a Brazilian tapioca crepe filled with local cheeses} checking out a nearby church, and then heading to the lagoa with a walking trail wrapping around the lagoon with beautiful views of the water, the local neighborhood, and Corcovado Mountain (where the Christ Statue stands).
 

To me one of the biggest benefits of traveling solo, even if only for 1 day, is that you get to call the shots and decide what's worth seeing, doing, and {most importantly} eating! For me that typically means lots of walking, lots of street food, and lots of fun!


And that's just what I did! Walking over 2 miles I find myself hot, sweaty, and ready to explore the Rio Botanical Gardens. This wouldn't typically have been a high priority spot for me, but I had heard amazing things about this botanical garden in particular and figured "when in Rome!" ...and they didn't disappoint!

After a stroll through the expansive gardens I left the area and stopped nearby at a local stand to buy a frozen acai bowl {a popular and healthy Brazilian desert}. This was not my first time talking to a local here, but it always made me giddy inside knowing that if we spoke slow and simple enough I could use my Spanish to communicate with the local Portuguese speakers and have some idea of what was going on...languages are such an amazing thing!

Onwards && upwards I was headed to the beach...but of course...first a pit stop! I had marked a popular horse Jockey Stadium on my possible todo list for the day and when I realized I would be more-or-less walking right by it on my way to the beach I figured I had to stop ;)  Finally, tired, hot, and ready to cool off I made it to the ever famous Impinima Beach where I enjoyed dipping my feet in the sand and a cool drink before heading back to Caitlin's {at a several mile walk back though...I opted for the subway at this point...12 miles of walking was enough for one day!}


Caitlin had a spot she was dying to take me for dinner and I happily obliged. We stat and ate kabobs on the beach, watching the sun set over the water, while drinking our caipirinhas and all was well in the world...thanks Brazil for a spectacular day!