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Homeward Bound

Here I am writing with only single digit hours left until I get on the plane and head back to Canada. When I consider how I had triple digits worth of *days* when I began this trip, my return starts to hit home a little bit. But only a little; I think it won't truly hit me until about mid-February when I come out of hibernation.

Today I plan only to lie on Copacabana beach and then I have a return engagement with my backpack which, over the course of my trip, I have nicknamed "L'il Slutty" for the feelings it creates every time I have to deal with carrying or re-packing it. I am half tempted to leave it here for the next traveler to root through but as I sit here typing in a tank top (I have never even owned a tank top in Canada) and am heading back to Toronto, I figure a few extra clothes might be handy.

Stephanie and I are back here in Rio after a sad departure from beautiful Florianopolis. It feels strange to be in Rio as it the city where this trip started and moreover I am staying in the same hostel and the same *room* in which I first arrived over 6 months ago; it definitely puts a little closure on the whole thing, which is nice. Our time has been spent just down at the beach, wandering through downtown and I made another visit up to Giant Jesus ("J.C."), which was at least as impressive the second time around; it is amazing what a beautiful city Rio is.

I have also noticed a few things this time around in Rio that I had never before noticed about the Cariocas (a "Carioca" is a native of Rio and there are 10,000,000 of them, as opposed to Bolivia where there are 10,000,000 Karaokes). There is

A STRANGE ABSCENCE OF: Frisbees. For a country with thousands of beaches the lack of flying circular objects seems really odd. Although I suppose at Travelbugger-Brazil there is someone writing right now (well, in July) wondering why everyone at Canadian beaches is throwing large, plastic orbs at each other.

A STRANGE WEALTH OF: Beagles. I don't know why but I have seen dozens upon dozens of them since I got here 3 days ago - it seems like every second dog is a beagle. I realize that this IS the continent of Darwin's greatest accomplishments but I think the tribute is slightly over-done.

Also interesting in Brazil is that they have stores here called "Borracharias", which in Portuguese means "Place Where They Sell Rubber" (specifically, tires). However, coming in from a Spanish country the translation would be "House of Drunk Women" (presumably also a place where they sell rubber). I am really surprised these places aren't more popular with Argentine tourists.

And that is it. Besides L'il Slutty, the last concerns of the voyage are budgetary:

BUDGET - THE GOOD: I had hoped to do this trip on a budget of under $50 CDN/day and I managed to slide in just under the wire at $49.10, but that included buying a new camera, another visa for Brazil, developing all my photos and spending over a month in Argentina, a budget-blower in itself.

BUDGET - THE BAD: Whereas I did manage to keep my budget under $50, I ended up spending over 2 more months here than originally planned or, in Mastercard Terms, spending over $3500 than I had expected. Money budget, good.Time budget, B-A-D.

See you all of you soon if I can get time off the 3 jobs I am going to have be working...

Travelbugger over and out.