All posts filed under: Travel

An Afro-Brazilian Jewel | Salvador, Brazil ~ Day 11 (Evening)

I don’t know how and why but the journey back from a place always seems way shorter than a journey to a place. You would think it would be the opposite way around… the anticipation gone, with maybe a little misery in the air as to the passing moments of joy… On that sunny and positive thought, we finally arrived back in Salvador after 4 hours of driving and another hour on the ferry back to the port of the city from Ilha de Itaparica. The sun set as we left the harbour in Bom Despacho, and we sat on the floor of the ferry ‘balcony’ watching the landscape turn from a bright blue to a beautiful magenta, then purple, then navy blue speckled with clouds and stars. It should’ve only been a ten-minute ride to our Airbnb from the harbour, but oh boy nothing could’ve prepared us for the spaghetti that is the roads and streets of Salvador. Maybe 40 minutes later we actually got to the place, thoroughly infuriated after missing nearly every …

How Chocolate is Made! A Cocoa Farm Adventure | Itacaré, Brazil ~ Day 11

We had a mere few hours left in Itacaré, those of which were filled with heavy rain and uncertainty as to whether to head straight to Salvador or hang around and visit one last place that I had in mind: Vila Rosa. Itacaré belongs to the ‘cocoa coast’ and, until recently, the town’s livelihood and history was very intimately connected to cocoa production. The town actually was a notorious hangout for Dutch and Portuguese pirates during the early colonial period and then later became a haven for cocoa plantations. When on a boat sailing through the river running next to the town, and then through Brazil, you’ll spot acres and acres of cocoa farms, boasting as much cocoa as you can possibly imagine. One farm of which belonging to Vila Rosa, a historic house only 30 minutes driving away from Itacaré.  It was pouring down with rain and we had to make a snap decision whilst driving out of the town. At Vila Rosa, you could head on an amazing cocoa farm tour for only 50 …

A Tropical Tale (PART 2) | Itacaré, Brazil ~ Day 10

*FOR PART 1 HEAD HERE* * Totally starved after our magical hike to Prainha beach in Itacaré, we ventured to the main road of the town which is filled with bars and restaurants and shops. At the nearest end of the road was La Cabana Restaurant, recommended to us by our tour guide for amazing Bahian food. Having been awfully sick the past few days, we were terrified of eating anything too crazy (basically anything that wasn’t a can of guarana or crisps). It had been two days or so since, so we took our chances and ordered a tropical meal fit for a queen; a piece of meaty white grilled fish with a passionfruit sauce, rice steamed with mango and fresh grilled vegetables. The sweet meaty fish seemed crazy to be paired with the creamy, tangy and fruity passionfruit sauce. After having not eaten for a few days, my tastebuds were totally overwhelmed. The rice was… fruity?!?! What was this abomination?! The only flavour I could recognise came from the grilled red peppers, aubergines …

A Tropical Tale (PART 1) | Itacaré, Brazil ~ Day 9

Birds sang their early morning songs amongst the coconut palms surrounding the little house we awoke in, a rooster crowing in the distance and the faint rustling of the locals waking up and going about their daily routines echoed in the area. I climbed up to the small rooftop of the house to soak in the morning, taking a peek at the disorderly houses surrounding ours, spotting chickens, guava trees and all manners of items hanging from windows. The sky was cloudy, of course, but hey, at least it wasn’t raining… with this news, we made a speedy exit in the car, armed with our beach gear once again, ready to take advantage of the only full day we had in Itacaré. A crazy dog that was waiting for us outside our house hahahhahaha. We drove toward Resende beach and Tiririca beach, as we had the previous day, but decided to explore a little further, there being one long road connecting the main beaches on the coast. Where the road ended was a stunning closed …

A Slice of Paradise | Itacaré, Brazil ~ Day 8

We awoke in our Ibis hotel in Salvador, like daisies springing from a freshly mowed lawn in Summer. The room ceased to spin and my stomach had finally stopped doing backflips. Finally, it was time to go on holiday. (If you’re behind the times we were horribly ill for like 5 days and now we are finally seeing the light… of health, not death… *cough*) It was bright and early in Salvador, the capital of the glorious state of Bahia in Brazil, and we packed up everything ready to head to Itacaré (where we should’ve been the night before). We rushed to get back to the airport, only 10 minutes away, to pick up a rental car to begin our 5-hour journey. A small town on the coast of Bahia, south of Salvador, Itacaré promised beautiful white-sanded beaches, un-adulterated nature, tropical food and, overall, a tranquil paradise – the very words two very sick people needed to hear. A five-hour journey might seem like a crazy journey, but throw in a peaceful ferry ride in …

Peril in Petrolina | Petrolina, Brazil ~ Day 5, 6, 7

The fifth day in Brazil arrived and we bid adieu to a rain-drenched city, flooding before our very eyes as we gathered our belongings and fled to the airport. At least we left at a good time (or arrived at a terrible one… it’s a cup half full/empty sort of situation). We were heading to Petrolina, another city in Pernambuco, toward the West, all feeling truly wrecked from the flu that had stricken us, some more than others. I had yet to feel the worst of it, but my naive self thought I could fight it off with positive thinking (and lemon meringue pie). Little did I know I was the next unwilling victim… Some SERIOUSLY delicious Brazilian juice! As a budget traveller, these will be your new best friend. Lovely weather. Lemon meringue pie. HUGE carnival puppets. * We ascended and descended pretty much instantaneously, the flight taking a little less than an hour, which was good news for our weakened bodies. The dry heat of Petrolina came as a shock from the stormy …

Burns, Botanical Gardens, Brigadeiro | Recife, Brazil ~ Day 4

Morning dawned, and as did the illness. It began to hit members of the party one by one, taking down Pedro first, then his mum (who was holidaying with us for the first week in Brazil) and eventually me. It would have been far more convenient for us to have all been hit at once to get it out of the way but oh no, that would have been far too lucky. We had really wanted to visit Porto de Galinhas, this incredibly beautiful beach about an hours drive away from the city, but with the rain and now with the illness, it was removed with haste from the plan, as if it had never existed there to begin with (to try and soothe the pain). With one man down, passed out in bed amongst a pool of used tissues, two of us waited… we watched the telly, ate some food, browsed the web, looked out the window onto the rainy cityscape solemnly. Suddenly, the sun broke through the sky. The two of us ditched …

A Storm of Events | Recife, Brazil ~ Day 3

The rain and flooding ensued. The sun had broken through momentarily upon awakening, but by the time we made the snap decision to run to the beach whilst it was dry the rain came back, but ominously from the distance, the curving distant horizon slowly fogged by thick dark grey clouds that were drawing ever nearer… it looked like something from a horror movie – what the heck was this crap. I paid to go to a tropical sunny country and god dammit I wanted the sun. Nonetheless, we were adamant to enjoy the beach, sun or no sun. We strolled up and down the seafront, with a brief pause for a swim (I was the photographer for this bathing) and then a little jog – I need to squeeze in some exercise somewhere amongst all the eating. We ran briskly, splashing now and again into the water lapping up the sand and running on the firm wet ground instead of the dry sand that swallowed our feet instantly. Five minutes after running in one direction, …

Back in Brazil | Recife, Brazil ~ Day 1 & 2

3 flights, 5 hours of sleep and 2 years later, I was back in Recife, Brazil. We departed from a blisteringly hot Budapest, where Summer had truly arrived, and arrived into a flood-ridden Recife were rain and thunderstorms were wrecking havoc – and this was only the beginning of our tumultuous journey across the country. We left on a Friday evening and arrived around midday into the city, so the rest of the day was spent visiting family, eating, picking up a car and pitching camp at our Airbnb. I didn’t break out the camera quite yet, hence the lack of imagery of our arrival, but I was determined on this trip to get more photos than the last time – I pretty much only have photos of fruits and cats from that holiday. Coming from living in a very safe part of the world though is always a bit of a shock when it comes to adjusting to the… let’s say, adventurous nature of living in Brazil; don’t look too flashy, don’t take out …

Chaos in the Capital ~ Snow in London

Engulfed and shaken, London was under siege; The Beast From the East reached the UK and with no mercy, taking the country and its, seemingly, unstoppable capital with it. Flurries of snow reached every nook and cranny of the city, coating the urban jungle in white like never before. Blizzards swept businessmen from left to right, icy tracks grounded trains to a halt and regular city-goers braved icy winds and many inevitable slips and falls to reach their destinations – but despite the chaotic conditions, no one could stop a Londoner from their business.   The turbulence was unbearable. I was flying into London Luton from Budapest on this particularly crazy snow day and, upon the flight’s descent, nothing could be seen from the window but white until we landed. The violent winds shook the plane left and right, up and down – the kind of turbulence that makes your heart fall out of your body and cause your hands sweat like never before. Once on the ground, air hostesses braced themselves, wrapping up in their …