in azores in portugal traveling

hiking calheta do nesquim

we’ve taken the boat to pico, where we’ll be staying for some time, half-working and half-exploring the island. the small town we’re staying at is called calheta do nesquim (after a dog named nesquim, who is said to have saved some shipwrecked people, many years ago). right by our house, there’s a circular trail (PR11PIC) that goes around the town and up to the whale watching hut, so of course we had to give it a go!

halfway through the hike, we found a friendly dog that decided to follow us around for a few kms… and then eventually got more interested in a local mechanic and left.

i love these rural paths, bordered with black stones and covered in moss. tiny volcanic stones crunching underneath our boots, the ominous sky, the cows munching on grass with a sea view. now and then, the sun shines through the clouds and the whole island looks green green green, as if we were on drugs or watching color for the first time.

i don’t know what it is about the azores… we come, and i always feel silly that we haven’t come sooner.

analogue wednesdays in iceland traveling

analogue wednesday #254

the neverending skies of iceland, around this time 5 years ago.

birdwatching traveling

abetardas trail

last year, we did a little trip on a campervan for the first time — it sounded like the safest way to go out and explore a little, while technically not leaving home. we enjoyed the experience, and used the opportunity to visit some of our favorite places in alentejo. at the time, we were just starting our birdwatching hobby, so it seemed fitting that we would try to see the biggest bird in europe, the bustard

alas, it wasn’t meant to be. despite being big birds, bustards are shy and not easy to spot in the vast steppe-like prairies of alentejo. no matter — we still enjoyed the trail in the vicinity of castro verde, with its never-ending open skies, soft rolling hills and almost dry river beds.

we’ve since acquired a pair of binoculars, and plan to go back to re-do this walk and hopefully spot some bustards at last! :)

in thailand traveling

riding a scooter

“seriously ana… did you do nothing but eat in thailand?!”

pretty much — but let’s give it a break and talk about something else for a change. in between meals, temple-hopping and other shenanigans, i discovered my love for riding on the back of a scooter!

these were practically the only way to cheaply move around the island (€5/day, gas not included), so we decided to give a try, and lo and behold, it was a blast. the first rides were scary, sure, holding onto the boy for dear life… but the strangeness of it quickly gave way to delight as we zoomed around with our friends. after a few rides, i could already navigate with one hand while taking pictures with the other! :D here’s a 10 second clip from the gopro:

the village roads are chaotic, with people and traffic coming in from all sides, but my favourites were the small roads between the coconut plantations, where water buffaloes grazed and birds did their thing.

the videos do a poor work of showing the pure joy that was riding then, and we found ourselves making excuses to ride just a bit more each day. i even (briefly) considered getting an electric vespa for our trips to the butcher or into town back home… but the traffic on the 125 is still way too scary for me to venture out like that. well, who knows — maybe someday! :)

in canada traveling


i don’t remember the last time we did a trip far away enough to justify having jetlag, but i definitely has it. luckily, tim hortons is here to help…

…because we’re in canada! :D it’s been over 10 years since the last time we were in north america, but things still have the same familiar feel. like walking down a movie set, we recognize their cemented driveways and big houses, the restaurant chains and the easy greetings of the people that we meet. i can’t wait to get out and explore… but first, coffee.