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Erin’s Travel Diary

Wednesday, 25 Feb 2009

Location: Parati, Brazil

MapIn the morning after Rio we got up and left at 8am to drive the 5-6 hours to get to Parati.

It was all a bit strange at first as no one really knew each other and we were having all the get to know you questions.

I was going to sit at the back but then I wanted to put my pictures on my netbook so I took it down the front and sat with a group of girls so I was chatting to them (one of which was one of the girls I had met on the Friday called Imogen) and then it turned out I had met them when I got up for breakfast in Rio on one of the days but I was still quite hammered (at the time) so didn’t really remember – oops!!

So I was there for a few hours and sitting backwards – now I never usually get travel sick but after a while I felt sooooo sick because I wasn’t facing forwards – note to everyone – don’t start off travelling in a truck backwards after recovering from a really messy weekend!!!! So I decided to go up the back and my seat had been taken up by one of the guys but I had to sit forwards so just sat next to him! I had sat with him and his girlfriend at dinner the night before so it wasn’t like he was a stranger.

I had to force myself to nap (I know what your all thinking “force”??? yeh right!!!) because that was the only way I stopped feeling sick and I couldn’t find my travel sickness tablets (turns out they were in my daysack all along but I didn’t find that out until I had got rid of my travel sickness anyway!!!) and then we got to Parati to set up camp.

Swampy was already there so I was pretty excited about seeing them – it had been a whole morning after all..

Let me explain about the trucks – basically they are all named so ours is called Bernie and our Tour Leader is Owen and driver is Logan. Swampy is the truck full of my friends and their tour leader is Val and driver is Marc. There are another 2 trucks that I will mention – one is Moose and the other is Sex Panthers (which you will understand if you have seen Anchorman) but officially it is called Shanna!!! And they are all big and yellow. There are about 34 seats on the truck – much like being on a coach really – they all recline (except the ones right at the back and the front as there isn’t enough room for them to recline.) and there are 2 tables of 4 at the front of the truck which is cool for watching films or playing cards or just talking to more people. There is a sound system so we can hook up our ipods and turn it up or down to suit!! And there are plugs at the front so we can charge all of our electricals. Like a coach we can put all our day to day stuff on the shelves up the top and there are books on board aswell. On the outside of the truck there are 2 lockers for our bags, one for tents and walking boots and a couple for food and equipment and Owen and Logan have their own lockers for all of their stuff. And there is a safe for valuables on board aswell which is good but the truck is pretty safe anyway!! Ok – enough about the truck but at least I have said all the main points.

So we get into camp and Owen shows us what to do to set up tents and things for lunch – it all seems quite daunting and quite a lot to remember.

So then we pick tent partners if we haven’t already!! Mine is my roommate from Rio but she is staying for a few more days so I promised I would wait for her. So basically I was putting the tent up on my own but one of the girls – Dominique – helped me once she had done hers which was nice. And then we all mucked in to help set up for lunch.

We had to decide which cook groups to be in – now I cant quite remember about other trips that I have heard about but there are only 3 jobs on our truck – cook group, truck clean and packing. 2 boys in the group are the packers and that is their only job and the rest of us split into groups of four which was decided by Owen and Logan thinking of different Kiwi (as they are both from New Zealand) to split us up into and we had to write our names under one of the band names. I went for Otora Millionaires Club (clearly it was because there was the word millionaires in it) and turns out they are OMC who sung “How Bizzare” and not much else!! And my cook group buddies are 2 girls – Jaski and Hannah (both from London) and Sam who is from Adelaide in Australia.

So we had lunch which comprises of rolls, ham, cheese, and loads of tasty veg and then usually some melon for pudding which is pretty awesome!!

And then we had the option of going into the town but I wasn’t really in the mood so went for a swim with Logan instead which was nice – I hadn’t really been swimming except jumping in the sea for 5 mins on the booze cruise in Rio so it was really cool to just chill in the water with (surprise surprise) a nice cold beer (the awesome thing about out here is that they have litre bottles of beer so you can have like 2 and be smashed (I can anyway!!!) when we got back to camp turns out it had been totally flooded in the town (wet season) and most people just looked for a supermarket and the internet so I hadn’t missed much!!

We set up for dinner and had an amazing stir fry and then just sat around chatting for a while and went to bed. I have no problems with sleeping in tents, used to love camping when I was younger and so I didn’t mind – it was really weird being on my own for the first few times as I kept panicking that I had overslept but then usually I’d be the first up and go back to bed for a bit!!

The next day we went on a boat ride so we walked into town and walked round for ages finding a supermarket that serves beer as it wasn’t free drinks this time! And then went to catch the boat – I was hoping to be with swampy but we were with Shanna which was cool because I got to meet some more people from there (turns out the group I went to Sugarloaf and Christo were on Shanna) and the scenery was sooooo beautiful – its quite difficult to put pictures on here but check in on facebook – one day I will upload them all fully – it takes so long though!! And we stopped for 20 minute swims I think about 3 times – the water was crystal clear and soooo warm!! It was just beautiful and peaceful and lovely.

After the boat trip a few of us went to use the internet and Owen went to go food shopping for dinner, it ended up being just me and Logan so we tried to find Owen to see if he needed help and it had started raining so it was getting a bit rubbish – we couldn’t find the supermarket anywhere and in the end I was like I’m just going to go back because I’m now soaked and getting a bit chilly so we decided to abort and go back to the camp.

It was a bit tense when we got back because both Owen and Logan hadn’t been back to open up the truck and everyone was just sitting in the lunch tent drinking but seemed a bit funny with us when we got back – it was fair enough because no one knew what was going on and it was really raining but the reason we were back so late was because we were looking for Owen to help him out.

Eventually Owen got back with the shopping and the cook group did an amazing curry for us and I was on wash up team so after dinner we got on with that and because I thought everyone was being bitchy I just wanted to get out of there and go and see the guys from Swampy. One of them came over to find me anyway so I finished up and went with him to a bar where the others were and there were 3 other guys from my truck there – turns out they felt the same as me so we became fast friends right then and there!! So I had a few drinks and a nice chat and then went to bed!!