Thursday, February 18, 2010

Brazil Trip-Travel Buddies: Not my husband, not my boyfriend, not my brother

On this 10-day adventure a fellow Peace Corps volunteer, Brendan Hughes, was my primary travel partner. I met him very briefly at the US Embassy 4th of July party during Training, and saw him again at Thanksgiving, where I mentioned the trip I was going on to Rio with some other volunteers. He was also interested, and we started planning the trip from there.

Initially I had planned on staying with a group that rented a condo in Rio for 10 days. However Brendan and I discovered that neither of us wanted to spend the entire time actually in Rio, so we planned our side trips to Sao Paulo, Guaruja City, and Ilha Grande.

During the trip I began describing Brendan as my ‘Not my husband, not my boyfriend, not my brother’ since people always assumed that we were ‘together.’ Sorry folks, we’re just friends who happen to have the same travel interests and style.

In Rio Brendan and I met up with two other volunteer groups. One was the original condo group through whom I initially learned about the trip, which consisted of about 5 other volunteers and 2 US friends, who were staying in Copacabana. We did end up staying with them, though Brendan and I did our own sightseeing most days. The condo was packed at night: 3 people in a full size bed, 2 in a 1.5twin, 1 in a trundle bed, and 3 on sleeping pads on the floor. Fortunately there was a really nice terrace with a pool table and pool on the roof, so we spent most of our group time up there. Also Brendan and I usually got a much earlier start than the rest of the group, so we stayed out of the morning preparation chaos.

The second group consisted of 4 volunteers who were staying in a hostel in Ipanema. We weren’t able to meet up with them until the night of Carnival since, without cell phones or constant internet access, we kept missing each other.

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