A full week in Brazil was always going to be a week of people, and this week didn’t disappoint. We said goodbye to the other members of our Intrepid tour, then hung out with couchsurfers and my friend Washington and his family.

Monday 12/9 We started the week in Ilha Grande, but since the weather wasn’t up to much, we spent most of the day inside working. In the evening Angie and I went shopping to buy the ingredients for caiprinhas, which we made on the balcony of our pousada (guesthouse) and which turned out to be pretty good — it was a bit of a surprise, because our equipment was quite slapdash. Dinner was a barbecue at the beach bar nearby.

Tuesday 13/9 Yasmina had organised a private boat and minibus transfer to Rio, which was a little more comfortable than the bumpy public bus we’d arrived on. Our hotel in Rio was amazing — one block back from Copacabana beach — and Craig and I somehow managed to score the most fantastic room ever, on the twelfth floor with beach views. We stayed in and worked while the others did a whistlestop tour of Rio’s main sights, but we caught up with them in the evening for a rather expensive last dinner and caiprinhas on the beach.

Wednesday 14/9 Our plan to spend the morning on the beach was scuppered by rain, so we made the most of the hotel wifi and worked until 1pm when the others left. Luckily the rain let up enough for us to walk the 40 minutes or so to Ipanema and our Couchsurfing host’s place — also incredibly well-located. We had been going to stay with someone else, but his relatives had arrived unexpectedly and he couldn’t host us. Luckily, Pedro responded to our post in the Rio Emergency Couch group and we ended up spending a fantastic couple of days with him and Maryanne, another couchsurfer who was also staying with him. Craig and I went for a walk around Ipanema in the afternoon, and spent the evening chatting with the others.

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