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Photographs from Punta del Este, Uruguay

After a nice breakfast and a long morning walk through the city here in Montevideo, Kathryn and I are having a bit of a siesta in preparation for what will likely be an enormous steak lunch. That gives me time to post several leftover photos from Punta del Este.

Just a few blocks from our apartment in Punta del Este is the Church of Our Lady of Candelaria. We found the Mass times and went back at noon. Unlike the previous Sunday in Montevideo, there was a priest and a standing-room-only crowd in attendance.

Across the street from the church is El Faro, the lighthouse. It’s still in use today. The tip of the Punta del Este is mostly cottages, so it’s easy to imagine when it would have been the tallest object in the area. Now there are high-rises just a few blocks away.

Here we were walking along the river side of Punta del Este, just north of the marina. There are miles of boardwalk on both sides of the peninsula. Even early in the morning there were people out strolling the ramblas, most of them carrying a mate.

This Shrine of Our Lady of Candelaria — note the same name as the church above — apparently marks where the first Europeans came ashore on what is now Uruguay and celebrated Holy Mass. This happened on February 2, 1516. Since February 2 is Candlemas, I finally connected the dots on the references to Candelaria.

I’ll end with what is probably the most recognizable landmark in Punta del Este, a concrete sculpture on the beach called El Mano. It’s next to impossible to get a photo without someone in front of it, but I like this photo with just the one guy standing on the thumb. It gives you an idea of how big the sculpture is.