Monserrate

There are moments in life when a sensation is felt that remains with you forever. I experienced such a moment atop the Cerro de Monserrate, the mountain overlooking the city center. The air was crisp as the sun was bidding us farewell, welcoming the city lights below, soon to be joined by a sky of stars. The melodies of Enya sounded from the church where complete serenity was found.

Bogota!


Arriving in Bogota left me breathless, literally. Bogota is located 2600 meters above sea level, bordered by the mountain peaks of Mt Monserrate and Mt Guadalupe. I did not know what to expect in this city that sounds of salsa and tastes of coffee, home to several close friends, one of whom joined me on this chapter of my journey, my dear Dave! He placed us safely in the north of the city, near the eateries and nightlife of parque 93. But it was not until I ventured to the center of the city, the old world sector of La Candelaria that I fell in love with Bogota. The streets are cobbled and the buildings are filled with color and charm. This is where most of the political buildings are located, providing perhaps a false sense of safety amidst the many armed guards. Here too are the museums, namely the Museo del Oro (gold museum) which was most impressive, revealing more than 34,000 gold pieces from all the major pre-Hispanic cultures in Colombia. One of the richest art collections of South America is found at the Donacion Botero, housing the works of Fernando Botero, the most prominent artist of this vibrant land.

com emocao!


We decided to be proper tourists for a day and left the sanctity of our beach town for the sand dunes of Ponta Negra near Natal. With strong emotion, ‘com emocao’ as the Brazilians say, we had quite a ride in our little buggy, as our driver sped over the dunes and through the beaches (literally!). Genipabu was the most beautiful, I have become quite a connoissier in the last few weeks. It was our last beach day together, as Fabio departed for Jericoacoara’s windsurfing haven and we flew off to Bogota…

Praia da Pipa


I wonder how many times I will feel the sensation of paradise. here in Praia da Pipa life is very tranquil, surrounded by the sounds of the sea. This is a little beach town not far from Natal, a place frequented by foreigners seeking a place to relax, surf, and watch the sunset. And of course there is the nightly street party with all the life and energy that is so typically Brazilian. Every day the sights and sounds create a beautiful composition similar to the day before. This sensation of deja vu feels quite comforting as it brings a little bit of stability to a transient life. Yesterday I experienced a moment of awe at the sight of dolphins swimming by just feet away from my kayak. Tomorrow another adventure awaits, the sand dunes of Ponta Negra…

sleepy town of Olinda

As a cultural aside, we spent a few days in Olinda, one of Brazil’s best preserved colonial cities, filled with churches and artists ateliers, revealing Olinda as a historic bohemian city of pastel colors and cobblestones streets. A perfect momentary refuge from many days of beaches and nights of carousing. Until Praia da Pipa where the beach life continues…



Fernando de Noronha



I am on an island virtually untouched by man. Some of the most beautiful beaches I have seen, surrounded by cliffs and a nature you cannot capture in words or photos. It is very underpopulated here, as only about 400 people are allowed on the island at once. So much for the nightlife! This is truly a hidden paradise. Sooji and I are traveling with Fabio our Italian friend, and now driver. Our days are spent driving around in a buggy exploring the 12 beaches, snorkeling, tanning (yes we are VERY tan!!), eating lots of moqueca and grilled fish. It has become a simple existance, and indeed a happy one. This afternoon we will return to Recife and find our way to Olinda, an old colonial village…