LESVOS,GREECE

Cover The Earth Before It Covers You.

LESVOS, GREECE

Everyone's Life Is A Story God's True Masterpiece Is Humanity

COFFEE COAST, SOUTH AFRICA

Travel is in our DNA.

MITILINI, GREECE

Who Says God Doesn't Love and Bless Gay People?.

SOUTH AFRICA, MDUMBI RIVER

It is not a struggle to be Gay! It's not my struggle it is yours. -CJ

CURITIBA BRAZIL: A Visit to the Curitiba Bird Park

Curitiba Brazil: A Visit to the Curitiba Bird Park

Curitiba has some interesting parks, and our friend showed us this one. There is a small exercise park inside, but also a bird park. Being in South America and with the famous Amazon area, we naturally assumed there would be some interesting birds to see. 


The birds mostly were in huge cages and looked and behaved like detainees which have been locked in too long and are competing for your attention to let them free. 

 Each cage had an exotic bird, coming from different areas of Brazil as well as South America. Each one sang and competed with the birds in the next cage, making a cacophonous symphony for us who were nearby.
  
 We were certainly entertained by the different beautiful colours of the birds as well as their songs, or perhaps, pleas for help to be free?


There was a green area nearby which had many joggers and cruisy looking men going around- with the birds being in the background - perhaps is a space for meeting new friends. Looking up behind the bird cages we spied some open windows of apartment buildings just nearby. We would only imagine the constant bird sounds coming through those windows! 


There was a section of the park which also had a few monkeys climbing from branch to branch- this was fun to see also.

It is really fun to explore and experience the small nooks and secrets hidden inside and around the city of Curitiba, and around the state of Parana.

Brazil: A day at Ilha do Mel

Brazil: A Day at Ilha Do Mel ( The Island of Honey)



It was a wonderful day to go on a boat to the nearby island, called Ilha Do Mel. The weather being sunny and fantastic encouraged us to do something adventurous.




We hopped onto a boat which was empty except for us and one other passenger. After about a half hour, we arrived at the island!



We were happy to finally be visiting an island in Brazil!




Upon alighting from the boat and wandering around a bit, this island reminded me of some of the islands in Thailand which were not completely on the tourist scene yet, but were gaining popularity, and this island felt the same way.


 No vehicles were allowed on this island and there were no sealed roads (obviously!) and ways of getting around were via these trail like paths.


  Or a leisurely walk along the shore! Wonderful!


 There was a ruin of an old fort ( Used to keep away the English ships!)


 Inside some of the rooms, the feeling was a bit haunting as if some slaves were kept there in the prison room at one time a long time ago! 




The island has a nice restaurant and a few pubs to relax and enjoy. We had a nice sea food lunch at a nearby restaurant, and then made our way back to the boat and back to our friends' place. It was a wonderful way to enjoy a sunny afternoon!

Parana, Brazil: Lazy days with our Brazilian friends at their beach cottage

Lazy days with our Brazilian Friends at their Beach Cottage

Our lovely Brazilian friends graciously invited us to come with them for a few days to the sea, which was only a few hours drive away from Curitiba.
It would be the first time Chris would see the Atlantic Ocean so it was a special treat. Their humble cottage was a few minutes walk from the sea, and the roaring sounds of the sea mesmerised me to sleep when I was in bed at night.
We arrived in Brazil during their winter time so when we got off the plane from Sao Paulo, I felt like I was coming back to England or even a summer in Hamburg, Germany! It was wet, rainy and around 15 to 17 C during the day! The nights were cold and cozy so that we would stay close together to keep warm.

The beach felt like a beach in England, but with waves like in Hawaii, but we enjoyed it all the same, and got some nice walking exercise in along the sandy shore.


We truly enjoyed wonderful dinners together with plenty of wine. We had some very heart to heart conversations about everything; family life, living situations, racial situations/ history in each of our countries, and the like. Di is a very good chef so we tried all kinds of Brazilian favourites. There was a fish mongers nearby which had shark on sale that day, so we grilled shark with some spicy sauces which we found in the market.


This is not the market with the shark, but it was fun wandering into this fish market as it was immediately by the sea. It reminded me a bit like Negombo in Sri Lanka.


There was a wine shop which Chris enjoyed studying about all the favourite wines from around South America, and we tried some really fun Brazilian ones too!

There was a festival being run by the village that evening, so we all decided to go to it and see what fun that would be like.

The last evening in the cottage by the beach, a dinner was made in which Dei's family would come over. The day before, Dei's mother cooked a fabulous dinner for us to try!

We enjoyed our visit and would really look forward to a different experience here in our Winter when the beaches here are lively and warm!

Curitiba, Brazil: Couchsurfing with our Brazilian friends


Sitting in front of Curitiba sign

retrograde coin phone!

After some years passed, we finally met up with our wonderful Brazilian friends who live in Curitiba, in Parana state. They are a black and white couple who have a very entrepreneurial spirit and enjoy the finer things in like as we do.
They have their own upscale home with a nice homey feeling in a quiet part of town. We stayed with them there and got to know Curitiba a bit more with them.


We had a nice visit to the Curitiba Botanical gardens which has nice plants and a good park which is open to all for family outings, picnics, and for other fun activities! There is a botanical building which reminded me of Kew gardens in London.  We also visited the Curitiba bird park which has exotic birds from all over South America. It certainly was a noisy site as very colourful birds were  singing and moving around all over inside their cages. 

Our last day in Curitiba was celebrated with a large fancy dinner party, with all the wine, nice friends and of course Dirceau's fine cooking. We enjoyed several courses of his cooking including soups, and various other specialties he made.










We feel we had gotten closer to each other on this trip, and are really looking forward to another time when we meet up and enjoy more of our company and experience more of Brazil together.

Experiencing Sao Paulo, couchsurfing style!

Sao Paulo. 


It is a major Brazilian city and has a feel of Tehran, and Bangkok with some feelings of Chicago mixed all together. (I liked Tehran and Bangkok!)
A kind of big city gritty, industrial feel with lots of wildly tangled electric wires coming from nowhere and going probably nowhere and much of the visible infrastructure looks a bit shabby.


Graffiti is in every possible space on a building and many places are in need of a good paint job. One could see the difficult economic times were here for a while already, but big cities in the USA and Europe ( ie Athens!) are like that too.
 One aspect of Sao Paulo which I was impressed with is the politeness and kindness of the people there.
All the people we encountered were  good humoured and smiles were generous everywhere, like Bangkok.

We took a Uber ride instead of taking a taxi or trying to figure out the metro during our stay. 
Our uber driver was friendly and a very safe driver. In his very limited English, he tried to point out along our route some famous places which he knew.

We stayed in two moderate hotels in the Paulista Avenue area which is the city's upper scale neighbourhood. The hotel had a small swimming pool which I used a few times, and also a nice full breakfast buffet with some local Brazilian breakfast specialties.
                               nice guy who signed us in to our hotel room

 We even struck up a fun conversation with a fun busboy
who practiced his English with us and told his opinions of Sao Paulo and things to do.

The other time we arrived in Sao Paulo, we stayed with our lovely friend Adilson, and we "couchsurfed" at his downtown apartment.

 He invited a few of his cute friends to meet us.
 Our lovely host Adilson cooked a wonderful dinner in his modest kitchen for all of us, and even offered his own bed to us, but we preferred to stay in the sitting room on the large couch.


We all tried a traditional meal  at a humble local restaurant. I had Feijoada, which is a stew of beans with beef and pork, which is a typical meal. Feijoada is viewed as Brazilian soul food, as it was first introduced by the slaves.

After dinner, we went to a quaint cafe which was reminiscent of old days gone by.



It had a fun feeling and we sampled different pastries as well as the coffee.
There was a street named Calvalho street which has the gay flags and different gay establishments, near our friend's home. Sao Paulo seemed to be a very cosmopolitan city with an invitation to come and experience more!