Tag Archive: travel


blue

What do you make of a blue?

It’s the sky, the sea

the deep look, the saddest lyrics

the past, the present the future

it’s slick, sly, tricky
powerful, beautiful, true
it’s a drug, a vision..
It’s not only a colour, it’s an analogy.

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capoeira blues

there’s a specific shade of blue I miss: the Aegean blue

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This is a segment of an article I wrote for danube-river.com. In fact, if you visit the website you will see that I’m a partner on the project, as I’m writing most of the content. It’s a site devoted to cruises on the great Danube river.

Quick: do you know the differences between ocean and river cruising?

The main difference is that ocean cruises employ much larger ships than river cruises. The capacity of some ocean cruises is staggering – generally a few thousand people. River cruises are more intimate.

As rivers are narrow stretches of water, they tend to traverse more interesting and varied landscapes, keeping it more engaging for the travellers.

And river cruises tend to sail along the shores, close to the banks, so they can offer a great scenery, which is the primary reason for travellers to choose this type of a trip.

Ocean cruises last longer, even though they sail faster. Ocean cruising requires crossing large expanses of water, sometime enduring continuous, long, uninterrupted horizons and the swaying of repetitious waves, with nothing to break up the monotonous rhythm. Although looking at an unbroken horizon and the expanse may be very soothing for the mind and give one a sense of freedom, it is likely to become slightly dull after a couple of days.

The liners have a tendency to offer extravagance of the same standards as hotels. For this reason, instead of the view, they invest more into elaborately appointed interiors, such as swimming pools, sun decks, dining halls, and more spacious cabins. They tend to rely on these facilities to keep a traveller’s interest, as the surroundings often provide none. These can include music clubs, casinos, gymnasiums, spas, and even movie theatres.

So, the question really comes down to: do you want to have an adventure and explore? or do you want it to feel like you never left terra firma and all its sinful indulgences?

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adventures

My imagination & appetite for adventures may get me in trouble
(..but isn’t trouble, in turn, an adventure?)

Reality itself is different on that other side

sunset sandboaring sessions, Jericoacoara (CE), Brazil

impulse

This is it: a menagerie of ideas, dreams, possibilities ..

I am assessing how realizable, reachable, probable, and functional they are

Or I’ll do what I do best: act on impulse.

Lagoa do Paraiso, Jijoca – Ceara (northern Brazil)

capoeira on the beach, Jericoacoara – Ceara (northern Brazil)

After all, life’s best adventures often arise from mistakes and spontaneities..

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sneak peek

once an idea bubbles up in your mind you can’t ignore it..

like a mosquito bite, you scratch and it swells ..and you have to do something about it!

There are so many adventures, I only have time to churn out segments. This was on that side of the Andes. Stay tuned for what’s happening on the Chilean side!

I wrote this article for living green magazine. Check it out in full here.

Mendoza is Argentina’s famous wine-producing region, with over 1700 wineries in the region. Argentina’s is the fifth-largest in the world, and Mendoza accounts for over 60% of it.

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I am walking down the leafy wide Avenida de Mayo trying to hide from the screaming March sun. A postcard catches my eye. It’s a painting of a couple dancing tango. A simple painting and layout, devoid of all the kitsch I hate in postcards. I stop to grab a few because, after all the video skyping and endless emails, I still believe in postcards.

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- There are no buses back to Punta del Este today, I’m afraid you’re stuck here.

I look down the barren, dusty unpaved road weaving unevenly between the colourful shacks. The early afternoon sun is cutting across so it seems even more desolate than it is.

The huts are in all states of construction, with stuff scattered about, as if everyone just suddenly dropped everything because there was a beautiful swell, and went to surf. But it’s the off-season so they’ll be back only around October.

Too bad. It’s idyllic now. Only a few more open cafes lazily playing some reggae could possibly make it better.

- Bueno.. could you hang a couple of hammocks for us tonight? But right now, I’m going for a swim.

4 hours earlier

I had just broken the water surface when I see Alon from the nearby Rancho Azul, sauntering down the alley towards the beach.

We previously met at a hippie coffee shop Canoa Quebrada, my favourite discovery of the Punta surroundings.

I said I happen to know one Alon, who was a magic carpet salesman. He didn’t believe me, but believe me, he was real. The magic carpets, perhaps, not so much. He was eccentric like that.

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the soul of a Brazilian favela

Rio de Janeiro boasts a stunning natural location, the city sprawled along the coast and weaving in and out of bays and jungles, but that doesn’t exclude instability, crime, and poverty – and this results in a kind of melancholic appeal that may not be immediately recognized.

These are the same characteristics that give it its reputation and shape its main image.

In Rio’s peripheries you will find the infamous favelas (slums/shanty-towns), striking and quite scenic clusters of neighbourhoods that are speckled on the edges of steep hillsides all across the city’s vast territory. When first encountered it can be astonishing, as these examples of disparity indicate their transitional nature.

The visual aesthetic of these chaotic and unrestrained slums is a rush: a combination of cultural and visual symbols which personify it.

Rocinha, biggest favela in the Americas. Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Cidade Meravilhosa is a city that can be seen as functionally disordered – confusing and messy, yet this anarchical functionality turns into a vortex of unabating energy that is not necessarily reflective of the realities of life within it.

It can also be defined in terms of massive social and economic contrasts: a vast gap between rich and poor, and a large number living in conditions of poverty. This resulted in many suburbs being made up of slums and situated on its hilly peripheries: hasty, disorganized, and fragmented city ‘planning’.

As it happens, the spirit of the favela is better viewed as a concept of contemporary art and a component of traditional Brazilian culture, where a connection between representation and experience show characteristics of the uncertainty of Brazilian cities.

It is fascinating how these architectural and planning patterns co-exist in Rio de Janeiro, which does have a structural plan and layout. That is also its uniqueness: their closeness to the wealthiest districts in the city, creating an image of striking social disparity and the marginalization of the urban poor.

Settlements in favelas are mainly informal, constructed without official permissions or building codes. The space is creatively negotiated by the residents, but it would have, otherwise, officially been dismissed as uninhabitable.

Favela dwellers, in other words, invent space. The settlements are never really considered ‘completed’, always in the process of progressing and spontaneously expanding.

CaRiocas, what Rio’s residents are known as, living in favelas build their own houses on top of already occupied lots, seeking to settle anywhere, however difficult it may seem. The huts are made of different materials and often use any scrap pieces of cardboard, wood, brick, plastic, fabric or any wayward objects that are found, and are assembled slowly, piece by piece. They don’t appear to be stable at all, but it doesn’t stop people from living there for years.

But the beauty of the favelas, the harmony of its people and their persistent energy can be felt – they are exhilarating places that grab the attention and curiosity with the kind of cultural energy that compensates for all the weaknesses.

life is a trip

Pelourinho, Salvador de Bahia

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As I cruise through inspirations, expectations, opportunities, and hidden paradises

I challenge my doubts, fears, and hesitancies

and I stand facing the imagined future, mended past, and a raw present - representing all the experiences that I’m not yet experiencing

hey, I’m in a hurry because “it takes a life to learn how to live”

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..more than just wanderlust: life is all one big trip.

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