Friday, August 24, 2012

Salvador- Edition 2 of Brasil

Where to begin?
The second instalment of our Brazilian adventure. We landed in sunny and hot Salvador- please remember that we are travelling in a Brazilian weather which is AWESOME! Tropical and warm and because it is winter, it is not summer holiday season- I can't imagine how more crowded it could be in areas!

We stayed in an awesome BnB which I found on but can also be found on Tripadvisor at Pousada de Bem Estar Esmeralda.
We loved staying here- Such amazing hospitality and beautiful hosts! Very generous, caring and happy people! When we go back we would stay here again!
Not to mention how amazing the french cooked breakfasts were!!

It was a good walk into the cultural centre which I will talk about in a second- we did a lot of walking, but it was so beautiful and easy to feel like you were becoming a part of this vibrant place!
Public transport was great too- but we were lucky we could speak spanish which helped us understand Portuguese surprisingly well. At least we could ask for bus stops and directions etc... Something I think someone who could only speak english would have trouble doing.
But the Pousada/bnb was very helpful and have us so many tips and how to get to places!

A mini side story- but boys be warned- I am talking about jeans and butts... sorry-
I even bought myself pairs of jeans!! Now this is exciting for me because I think jeans are the hardest things to buy! Is any girl with me on this? How hard is it to find a pair of comfy jeans that actually fit correctly in the right spots?! Well Brazil is the place to get them!! Brazilians love their booty- I'm talking women with mean butts! It is fact (and I saw it with my own eyes) that women get bum implants! No joke, they seriously get cosmetic surgery to get an upgrade on their buttocks! which was PERFECT for me because I have booty and I found my magic travelling pants! Jeans that look good and feel good and fit in all the right places!! yayaya!!! and cheap cheap too!!
so ladies with the booty- Brazil is your place for pants and a praised rear end- Hallelujah!

Okay- Back to the travel journey
It was located on the outskirts of
'The Pelourinho' which is the historical centre of Salvador. All the houses, churches and buildings have been beautifully restored in the traditional colonial style of the Portuguese.
We got very familiar with this place as we were staying close by - only a 20 minute walk and we found ourselves in this colourful place!
It was also really evident how rich and vibrant the Afro culture still was in Salvador! In the Bahian food, culture and music and just the people! It was fantastic and so enriching!! You just know you are travelling when in Brazil- and loving it all at the same time!

We also went for 2 nights to a beach side village called Praia do Forte which we LOVED!! It was set up for tourists, but it wasn't tourist season- It suited us just fine! We went snorkelling and ate some of the best pizza I have had in a long time (wood fired thin and crispy gourmet goodness!). There was a turtle sanctuary that was really quite amazing. As you can see I was so amazed I turned into a turtle... Actually, highly amusing, I got stuck!
There were baby turtles that were 3 days old!! absolutely amazing and gorgeous to see them flipping around in a safe little pool! Was cool!

We loved walking up and down the beach fringed with palm trees and swimming and being in paradise! what more could you want!?

It was also cool seeing all the stadiums going up for the Football World Cup 2014! Pretty epic constructions going on and I can guarantee a fire has been set in Chris' belly to get to the World Cup somehow... We would LOVE to live in Brazil- there are some super big draw cards!! But it is a passing thought.. nothing yet on where we will be or what we will be doing yet... Still loving life here in Argentina.

But back to Salvador- hmm what else?! It was just super cool!!!

We did have one special night in a really really nice hotel in The Pelourinho. Amazing rooms and HUGE bed and nice pool with an amazing view and you can see. The food wasn't so hot.. very bad food actually which was a bummer- But very nice hotel! We had a great afternoon pretending we were king and queen by the pool with the view watching the sunset. special stuff!

At this point in our second week of the trip we are thinking we never want to leave Brazil!! We were eating and drinking so much tropical fruit and eating Acai (have I explained what that is yet? I can't remember?!) Just being happy together.

Totally glad we picked Brazil as a country to travel while living here in South America. We would definitely (and hopefully) get back there!!

Besos a todos,

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Skip June and hit July with BRASIL! Pipa Edition

June was a continuation of work work work.. Chris had so many events he was managing in the Theatre over this month- Each week there was some Musical or play production or concert or big important assembly.. It was a little too hectic! But not here to complain, just trying to paint a picture of how busy that month was- I don't miss it, put it that way.
I put together a big event called 'The Big Sing' after directing the College Musical. It was a hugely successful night with all Choirs of the school coming together, community choirs, special guests and soloists- it was one might vocal showdown! haha 
It is after successful events like that that just make both Chris and I (speaking for you here babe.. haha) feel so full in the energy we put in. It is this extra curricular stuff that makes this job worth while! But it is so much on top of all the other normal demands of the job... need to find the balance. But loving the work journey as we go! Lots to learn and grow and develop- it's awesome!

So we are just going to skip June completely for now because compared with July, you'll forget I even mentioned work stuff.
WE WENT TO BRASIL FOR 3 WEEKS! and it was the best ever!!

Where to begin? 
Well I am going to talk about each week in separate posts. This edition is:
- The Pipa Edition -

We spent the first week up on the North Eastern Coast of Brasil, an hour South of Natal in a beautiful paradise tiny town called Pipa.
The best way I can describe it is a 'Latin Byron Bay'- a tiny Bohemian, tropical, natural town by the sea, with nothing to do but swim with dolphins, eat eat eat yum yum food, surf, swim, lay in the sun, swim some more, read books in a hammock, eat, swim.. okay you get the idea- just completely what we wanted and what our tired bodies needed!

We stayed in the most AWESOME Pousada!! I have reviewed in if you are interested in knowing more about it. It was called Pousada Pomar da Pipa and was so beautiful and awesome!! We would fully go back!!

Our days in Pipa were spent swimming in the beautiful clean aqua sea. We had very hot sunny weather and the water temp was warm and lovely! Lots of places to eat fresh delicious seafood right on the beach. We did spend one afternoon (probably one of my fave days of the whole trip) at a place called The Beach Club in Pipa (to the right of the main beach, past all the tourist lunch umbrellas on the sand). 

We laid all afternoon around on the sun loungers, ordered fresh pineapple juices, order my first cocktail (a cocktail virgin.. sad I know.. But I don't drink.. so there you go)- It was a Caiparinha, Brazil's national cocktail drink.. it was okay.. Fresh juices were way better!
We had grilled prawns and salad and spent all afternoon, swimming, eating, taking funny photos as you can see and just being holiday tourist bums! loved it!!

The restaurants in Pipa are great and had many great meals, from hot corn cooked fresh on the street, to salads and lots of bean dishes, to grilled seafood and yummy yummy fried 'cassava' chips- like a tropical potato, more starchy but sooo good when fried!!

We laid in our hammock a lot together for siestas and to escape the sun a little.. It was just a paradise holiday!
I recommend Pipa to EVERYONE! It was superb!

We rented a moto one day which was super fun to cruise around the coastline together- it was magic!
The coastline in Pipa itself is amazing- big red cliffs with white sand beaches and blue blue sea! Had some fun taking photos and exploring!
It was a treat week of unwinding and doing/going wherever the wind carried us. 

Stay tuned for the second week in Brazil- Salvador de Bahia Edition!

Big hugs,

Monday, August 20, 2012

May, Machu Picchu and Musicals

It's hard to begin writing this blog because we have to go back along way to where the M's began:

Machu Picchu - At the beginning of May we had a week off school and set off for Cusco City in Peru, to take on the Inca Trail on our way to the restored ruins of Machu Picchu. It was an incredible experience and an adventure jammed with culture, history, food, fun and serious trekking. We arrived in Cusco for a couple of days of acclimatization and we did some exploring of the this beautiful city as well as a trip on the local bus to the ancient city of Pisac. Tip: Getting to Pisac early on a local bus meant we beat the tourists and enjoyed a lot of the stalls without much hassle!

We loved hanging out in Cusco! Staying at Hospedaje Recoleta meant a 10 minute walk through local back streets to the amazing town square. Hanging out at Greens Restaurant helped the acclimatizing process and trips to the Choco Museo were fun and filling!

We did our trek with the company simply named Peru Treks and we couldn't recommend them highly enough. The speed, service, food, price and vibe were perfect! We did the 4 day trek and the scenery was nothing more than mind blowing! Beginning at 2800m and climbing up as high as 4200m, we passed through rich farmland, unique rainforest and highland scrub whilst stopping off at numerous ancient remains of Incan civilisation. The weather was awesome and we generally had perfect moderate temperature with only light rainfall at night. We have to make special mention of how amazing the food was...with a group of 16 really chilled and friendly people, we had two guides and 18 porters and a cook to carry tents and food supplies. Obviously, being a trek of such length and difficulty, we didn't expect much in the food department, but what we ate each breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea and dinner was incredible. Full 4 course meals were prepared for us in a special food tent and we were stuffed after every meal and ready for the long walks each day.
Waking up at 3:30am on the final day to race to the 'Sungate' (awesome first view of Machu Picchu at sunrise) left us with one last breathtaking walk before finally completing our pilgrimage to this ancient wonder of the world! After a morning guided tour, we headed to the small neighbouring town of Aguas Calientes for lunch, hot spring baths and the final train ride home to Cusco. We feel like we could describe so much more about this trip as it was truly a magical adventure that fulfilled much more than our expectations! (p.s. If you want any more info about our trek, please feel free to ask!)

When we were at uni, we always talked about the 'Mad Month Of May'! Here back in BA, we had a mad month of May...and June! Mika directed the college school musical and it went off! The kids were amazing and the production team worked hard to help the kids put on an awesome show...Chris co-directed the prep school musical and in between there were two other major school productions to organise and produce for us both! It was massive, with lots of extra hours at work, but lots of exciting and fulfilling outcomes.
Final bows of the Secondary School Music Production- Directed by Mik
The first half of the year ended like a bomb. We were so tired but felt really full in the work we had accomplished.
We rewarded all that hard work and long hours with a 3 week trip to Brazil! It was awesome and we will write about that soon!

If any teachers are reading this blog- It is absolutely worth your while to try out for an International teaching position at least once in your life. The experience is invaluable to your professionalism and the travel- oh the travel!!!
It is also amazing to see families who move over to these international schools- it is not just young people who have freedom with no family ties- Whole families make their way to a new country to work full time and experience. It's awesome!

Both of us can't believe the opportunities we are getting- not just in work and travel- but in the simple things like living together. The way we make our space into a home or hanging out or saving money.. life stuff is great together!! So in love and so free to be ourselves! So blessed!

Over and out with big hugs,
Miki & Chris