João Pessoa

Joao Pessoa

Can’t wait for the beach trip while in Brazil watching the World Cup. We will be going to João Pessoa , the famous beach town. This will be my notebook for what to do, where to go and what to eat there.


We have rented a place at Residencial Monte Cristo near Cabo Branco. See the location I have marked on Wikimapia:


 Where to go?

One day trip:

Porto de Galinhas -about 2 to 3 hours’ drive south of Joao Pessoa:


Or Porto de Galinhas and Maragogi on the same trip:

Maragogi natural pools

However, I have read online that : “The phenomenon of the natural pools occurs only during low tide. The time of low tide changes every day, moving between half an hour and 45 minutes. The ideal place to find the clearest pools is arriving 90 minutes before the minimum point of the tide. From the moment when the tide begins to fill, the water gets stirred with sand in suspension. When you are already in place in natural pools, can plan your way to the right time. When you come from afar, must conform to the time of giving to get. Operators are often not entirely truthful with respect to the tide and lead hikers even in unfavorable conditions.”

Nearby Beaches:

  • Cabo Branco Beach Cabo Branco is the main beach of João Pessoa with clean swimming water and many seafront restaurants. Limited by cliffs that are covered by the rest of the Atlantic Forest, this environmentally protected area has a sidewalk along the beach road. Everyday, during 3 hours in the morning (between 5:00am and 8:00am) the road become pedestrianised and hundreds of walkers march down the sea front to the Lighthouse (Farol). There is also place for runners, skaters and cyclists.  At night, you can join the many volleyball or football matches in the beach or dine in one of the many places around.
  • Praia de Camboinha
    Areia Vermelha (The Red Sand Island) is a sandbar about two miles long situated in front of Camboinha Beach (about 17km from Tambaú beach). It appears whenever the tide is low. It is a great place for swimming, with natural coral pools of transparent water with a bright green tone.    
  • use these tide tables to time the visit:


  • Picãozinho Picãozinho is a reef formation located about 1500 meters from the beach of Tambaú. During periods of low tide a large portion of the reef is exposed. You take a boat to the place and dive to check the diversified marine fauna and flora.
  • Sunset at Jacaré Beach In João Pessoa the sunset has a soundtrack. Everyday, when the sun gives the last gasps in the river beach of Jacaré, saxophonist “Jurady Sax” intones the “Bolero” by Ravel. The show takes place around 17:00h and attracts locals and tourists to the many bars along the waterfront. To get a good table on the decks, arrive early.

Other suggestions by my Brazilian friend are:
Pôr-do-sol (sunset) na Praia do Jacaré
Ilha de Areia Vermelha
Litoral Norte
Litoral Sul
Pipa (Natal)


Where to eat?

What to do?

Maybe try standup paddle again?




-Prachas and rowing

Value: £ 120.00 per person, 02 people R $ 200,00



  • Craft Market Paraibano Mercado de Artesanato  
  • Handicraft Market Tambaú  – feirinha de artesanato de tambaú



Belo Horizonte …Beautiful Horizon

I am so excited about my upcoming trip to the World Cup in Brazil. I will be staying at a friend’s house in Belo Horizonte (Beautiful Horizon).  This will be my notebook for what to do, where to go and what to eat in BH.

Belo Horizonte

In the meantime, this is a wonderful guide to the city:

One of the must visit places is definitely Inhotim:
The Centro de Arte Contemporânea Inhotim is a museum and contemporary art museum located in Brumadinho, about 1.5 to 2 hours’ drive from Belo Horizonte

The Savassi neighborhood in Belo Horizonte is even more charming with the opening of Inhotim’s first concept-store. The space, named Inhotim Box

Brazil World Cup Olé Olé Olé


Yes!!!!!!!  I am going to the World Cup in Brazil!!!!!!

We got the tickets to two games from :Game 27: Argentina vs Iran   and  Game 40: England vs Costa Rica.

The FIFA draw was way oversubscribed and many people did not get any tickets. Nobody we know could land any tickets to a game with Brazil.  We were lucky we got the tickets at FIFA prices.

To avoid the crowds in Rio and Sao Paolo, we will be watching the games in Belo Horizonte where we will be staying with our Brazilian friends.  Belo Horizonte means “Beautiful Horizon” so I am sure we will enjoy our stay in the town. The average high in July there is 24.6 °C (76 ° F) and the average low is 13.4°C (56 °F).

The stadium is Estadio Mineirao

Estadio Mineirao

One of the most historic venues in Brazilian football and called home by Atletico Mineiro and Cruzeiro, both former national champions, the 57,483 capacity Estadio Mineirao has undergone a complete overhaul prior to hosting six matches at the 2014 FIFA World Cup™ – including one semi-final.

No, we couldn’t get any semi-final tickets.  We don’t want to pay scalpers, so we will just watch the semi-finals and final with cerveja in hand at the roast pig party at our friend’s house.

In between the games, we will be going on a beach vacation to Joao Pessao….



Keeping fingers crossed for my FIFA World Cup tickets

I am going to Brazil  next year to watch the World Cup!

Tickets for the World Cup are sold on Application for the first sale phase started in August and ended Oct. 10. A random draw will allocate seats for oversubscribed matches.

I have already applied and anxiously waiting for the draw results.  I will be staying in Belo Horizonte, so I have applied for matches there and the Semi Final. I haven’t entered the draw for the Final since the ticket is more expensive. But most important of all, the lodging cost will be astronomical in Rio, and it would be difficult to find a flight from Belo Horizonte to Rio during those dates.

All applicants will be informed by e-mail or SMS on whether or not their application was successful by 10 November 2013 at the latest. A total of about one million tickets are available in the two sales periods of the first sales phase. Once the lottery has been completed, FIFA will announce how many of the one million tickets remain available for sale between 11 to 28 November.

A second sales phase opens Dec. 8, after the 32-team draw is made and the match schedule confirmed.

The matches I want are all in hot demand, so keeping my fingers crossed…

Weekly Photo Challenge: Sea


Bora Bora, Tahiti

Sea… it separates the world… it brings the world together… depending on how you look at it


Kowloon, Hong Kong


Providenciales, Turks and Caicos


Neavitt, USA


Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands

Sydney, Australia

Sydney, Australia


Buzios, Brazil


Heron Island, Australia



Punta Cana, Dominican Republic


Tamsui, Taiwan




Santorini, Greece


Baie Rouge, St. Martin

Huahine, Tahiti

Huahine, Tahiti

Venice, Italy

Venice, Italy




Ko Olina, Oahu, Hawaii

Cairns, Australia

Cairns, Australia

Mayan Riviera, Mexico

Mayan Riviera, Mexico


Villefranche, France

Villefranche, France



Varadero, Cuba


Palm Beach, Aruba


Vancouver, Canada


Moorea, Tahiti

Dubrovnik, Croatia

Dubrovnik, Croatia


US Virgin Island

Wilson Island, Australia

Wilson Island, Australia

Rio De Janeiro, Brazil

Rio De Janeiro, Brazil


Great Harbour Cay, Bahamas

I can only be grateful to the sea for bringing me all these beautiful memories

Glamping on Wilson Island, Great Barrier Reef

I had never camped before, and my husband  said I could never survive in the wild. So I decided to go glamping  (glamorous camping) , and live as castaways on a deserted island in the middle of the Great Barrier Reef for 3 days.


photo courtesy of Wilson Island Resort

I found Wilson Island on the internet.  There are only 6 safari style tents on the island, catering to a maximum of 12 guests, with a host couple taking care of the housekeeping and cooking gourmet meals.

It costs as much as an overwater bungalow in Bora Bora,  but you get to experience how shipwrecked in style is.


There are no phones, no internet, no TV, no electricity, no hairdryers and no private toilets….yikes, no hairdryer? Would I catch a cold from sleeping with wet hair?  Ugh…no private toilet…back to the old dorm days.

It was an epic journey getting there. We flew to Sydney to Uluru and then to Cairns. We took the 5:30 a.m. flight from Cairns to Brisbane, then changed to a smaller plane to get to Gladstone, where we took a helicopter to Heron Island from which we would take a boat to Wilson Island


We had the choice of taking a boat or upgrade to a helicopter to get to Heron Island from which we would take a smaller boat to Wilson Island.  We decided to skip the 2 hour boat ride and took the 30 minute helicopter flight over the reef so that we could have an aerial view. It was spectacular. We passed by a number of uninhabited islands and shallow reefs.




After arriving at Heron Island, we waited hours for our boat ride to Wilson Island where Gerri and Lyndsay welcomed us.



Welcome to our tent…


you have to walk past all the trees with mutton birds dropping bird poop on you every minute…


The only source of light would be the two tiny battery operated reading lights above the pillows.  We were given a wound up flashlight to use to navigate our way to the communal washroom at night.  I had to wake my husband up every night to accompany me for my night pee round  : )


Our tent, neat and tidy when we arrived


Our toys lying around…Gerri cleans it daily, and changes the bowl of fresh water for washing off the sand

There were trees surrounding our tent, and in the trees were many mutton birds’ nests. Those birds were really noisy, both day and night, so the resort provided us with earplugs in case we couldn’t sleep. Actually the moment you step foot on the island, you would be overcome by the smell of bird poop.We were kind of  numb by the third day.

Our neighbours…birds


Our front yard….



The toilets and vanities were communal. Also there was no electricity on the island, so no hairdryers. I caught a cold the first night …  my hair was wet because there was no hairdryer, and it was chilly walking to the communal toilet at night.  We did have our own assigned shower though.  There was hot water which was heated by solar power.

3 2


The weather was beautiful while we were there .We walked around to scout out the island, with its powder white sand beach, coral beach and rock beach. When we walked out to the beach, there was nobody. We had it all to ourselvesDSC02325

P1010176So our water shoes were very useful when we walked on the coral beach.  I can’t believe that I have been wearing the same water shoes I bought in Hawaii 12 years ago to all my beach vacations.  They are Body Gloves and still in really good condition. My hubby’s into his 3rd pair already, but not Body Glove.The white sand beach had sugar white, talcum powder soft sand. But unlike the Caribbean resorts we had been to, they did not brush away the corals washed up onto the beach


We found these flint stone chairs on the east side of the island.


It was so private, having the beach all to yourself.  It was also quite scary when you know there are no life guards, nobody around to save you while you’re snorkeling.  I’m that little dot in the middle of the photo below.  I didn’t dare to go too far.  The good thing about snorkeling at Wilson is that the corals are not far from the beach. You can see the light blue where the sandy entrance is, then it’s dense coral in the deeper water where it shows as dark blue on the photo.


I went snorkeling and saw lots of parrot fish, grouper and other fish, and used my underwater camera to snap a few shots. We were not supposed to feed the fish which were in their natural habitat in the Great Barrier Reef.  So I didn’t bring bread with me to attract the fish while snorkeling, like I normally would do in the Caribbean.

P1010135 snor6




The dark spot in the middle is actually a sea turtle swimming close to shore

Lyndsay was the gourmet cook who prepared all our delicious meals. He only had limited utensils and a giant BBQ but he whipped up the most amazing dishes. The souffle he prepared was heavenly. We couldn’t believe he could do it without an oven, but with just a BBQ, and it was the best souffle I ever had. His cooking was so good that we completely forgot to take photos of most of the dishes.

food food2


Here is the Long House where we had all our meals


Even though we got lots of  privacy in our tent and on the beach, we led a surprisingly communal life on the island.  We had breakfast, lunch, wine ‘n cheese sunset viewing, and dinner with other guests on the island. Most of the couples we met only stayed for a night, so over the 3 nights, we met 6 different couples. For two nights, there were 4 couples including us. One night just one other couple, and two single travellers plus us. They were all very friendly and we had very interesting and intelligent conversations.


This is where we would socialize before dinner.

The question I got most from the guests were “how did you find out about Wilson Island ? Most Australians have never heard of it.”  My answer was that when I decided to visit Australia, I googled “Great Barrier Reef, island, shallow beach, snorkel from shore without drowning”


Champagne and canapés during sunset…what more can you ask for ?DSC02376


It was a fun filled 3 days…but it was time to return to civilization…we took the boat back to Heron Island where there would be electricity and lights in my hotel room and I would have my own bathroom with hairdryer 🙂

Oh those No-See-Ums

Today is the first day those no-see-um bites I got in the Bahamas stop itching…believe me they itch like hell.  We took the morning flight out of Great Harbour Cay and it just rained before we got there. We stood at the back of the airport on the grass waiting… big mistake, we became no see um feast !

We also got bitten at the outdoor patio while we dined but since the hotel planted citronella right next to the tables, it wasn’t that bad.



As inspect repellents, I brought Deet and my own mix of citronella-eucalyptus oil with avacado as the carrier oil