Dicas
16
November

Know that dream trip? Yeah, it has a name and it’s called Maldives.

When I went shooting Sol & Sal in the South atolls of Maldives didn’t think twice on stretching a bit more and take a time from the work on that paradisiac place. Everything I want when I’m on vacation is waves pumping and warm water, and there were plus crystal blue water, palm trees, desert islands, girlfriends, boyfriend and his family to make it even more unforgettable.

Eleven days of great surfing, the people who I spoke to said I was lucky, besides the good quality it’s not that constant, but the world conspires in our way (thank God!) and we had eleven days of dream waves. Of course, not everything are flowers and there was a current in the afternoons, and a harsh once in a while to get in and out of Lohis, the spot right in front in the hotel which we surfed almost every single day.

The resort is luxury, the double room has a sky open roof, where you can shower staring the stars and a wonderful tube, which we did not use by lack of time or extreme tiredness, we could have slept there and drowned!

The plan was wake up early, 5AM and surf once without even having breakfast, crowdless. About 9AM, leave the water starving straight to breakfast, where we had thousand of options of bread, cheese and fruit, etc. The only thing that was below my expectations was the box juice, not having fresh natural juices is frustrating to us Brazilians.
Time to relax a bit on the deck watching the waves pumping while we do our digestion and suddenly we are paddling back to the lineup, brunch my favorite plate, fresh fish, then finally the last session of the day.

For who does not surf, the resort has diving, fishing and wonderful massage offers.

At night, beer time! There are few bars along the resort, our favorite one was the located by the pool perfect for relaxing after a stressful day, right? The dinner is a wide miscellaneous buffet, for everyone enjoying.

That island is definitely a DREAM, to surf, recharge, charge, dive, it’s a must go for life, my favorite place in earth.

Hints: bikinis, boardshorts, repellent and a lot of sun block.
Some people might get heat sick or get too spicy so bring medicine for insolation and bellyache.

Resort: Hudhuran Fushi – in front of Lohis or the Pasta Point resort.

Flying company: Emirates or Qatar (Emirates is more comfortable and no surfboard taxes)

Contact: Danilo – Surf travel
E-mail: atendimento2@surftravel.com.br

16
November

Jamaica happened to be almost just as I expected. What comes into your head when you decide going there? Reggae, consequently Bob Marley and more directly ganja. Before you ask me, the answer is NO. Marijuana is not legalized in this country, unlike many people might think. Truth is: it`s easy to find and great part of the population smokes it at home, but you don`t cross with a bunch of jamaicans rolling up joints in the streets.

Second thought, reggae! This one is in the speech of every sweet person that passes by your path. The population, mostly rastafaris, is very receptive and chat almost chanting.

Arrived to film in Kingston, the capital, normally where the tourists don’t stay, but as I was seeking for waves it was the best place. Dear Icah Wilmot, local surfer that owns the Jamnesia lodging where the crew and me were hosted welcomed me.

The lodging is humble, but at two steps from the beach and right next to a surf spot called Copa, sharp rocked point break and nobody inside the water. The surf spots are hard to find and a guide is essential in the seek. By the time I was there, January, the winds blow just too early, so the most important thing was being at the right place right on time. The best spots were Lighthouse, tubular A-frame above a sharp reef, Makkas, Zoo, destroyed after the last hurricane and Roselle.

The trip to Boston Bay, northward, is essential to feel the Jamaican energy, that’s the place that carries the essence of surfing and has one of the most limpid water I ever saw.

Besides surfing, I believe the most wanted place is the Bob Marley Museum, even being a classic I wouldn’t miss the cliché because the place is absolutely awesome! Not only the story of the most important reggae idol is told, there is the place that he actually lived for years, and his room, clothes and many personal stuff are around. The most impressive was the home-studio inside the home-museum, where many of the songs that we sing till these days were made.

The local food as I like it (fresh) is too much spicy and didn’t fulfill my eyes, most of them are vegan, so tofu and proteins are always there. I believe that in fancier restaurants the menu must be more varied, but as my scheme was roots, square bread with cheese and cream cheese would save me.

Talking about roots scheme, got into those challenges life puts us up to test ourselves. Just in the second day at Jamnesia, the water was gone. That’s right, the bathroom, which was shared by everyone, was without water. The result? One day sleeping salty and shower at Cane river (attended by our friend Bob) at least once for ten days. Bothered me in the beginning, but I assume I got into it afterwards. We appreciate most stuff by the time we lose it. And so it was…

My advice to who wants to visit Jamaica: Disconnect! Go open hearted, explore every single inch of this country, don’t limit your trip to the north (what most of tourists do), talk to everyone you can, Jamaicans exhale an amazing vibe and do not miss a reggae concert.

Oh, an important and unfortunately negative advice is, Jamaica has one of the worst rape rates in the world, so women should be careful going out by themselves. Having reliable men around is always the best option.

Other hints: plenty of sun block, insect repellent, underwater camera, havaianas flip flops, booties for the reefs and first-aid kit.

Fly with American Airlines.

Stay at Jamnesia with Icah Wilmot.

28
April

The idea of going to Iceland started with an improbable project. Five freinds: Elias, Osaná, João, Mineiro and Vitinho were going to helisnow there and has the idea to film it. A double challenge for me: my first documentary and a different environment, from water to snow. Our budget was high, and still two months from the date, but everything conspired for it, on the run and we made it.

The first resistance test was almost 3 days to get to Akureyri region, our final destiny.

Left Rio towards Amsterdam, straight to Norway, where we got to Sandefjord Airport Torp and a 2-hour train to Oslo Airport Gardemoen. There we fled to Reykjavik, icelandic lands still far from our goal. Slept and woke up early to fly to Akureyri, just one more white hour and a half drive to get there. We arrived JB’s farm and the environment couldn’t be better, far from everything, peaceful, silent, comfortable and snow, snow everywhere. They told us we’ve got the best snowfall in 20 years, it was snow till you’re done and the perfect scenario for our documentary.

We had 8 days exploring virgin snow, learning about the risk of avalanches and how to rescue someone, testing gear, flying helis, living together 24 hours a day without anywhere to hide.

We had eyes on the forecast all the time, as we had the hours of flights included in our package, we weren’t intending to burst because it’s an expensive game to play, so the thing was enjoy the right moments of powder snow and sun to seek the best mountains and the best shots, of course.
Between the downhills we had our all included beers and we were all smiles. A hired chef in charge of everything made the also included meals from the main plates to the deserts and recommending always the best wines. A little detail, the nearest market was a hour and half drive, so or you eat or you eat what’s being served. Need to say I got sick? Raw fish here, whale meat there, while I excused the boys eaten everything in range. I was running after chocolate, the only one that could get me satisfied.
In the middle of the trip there was one single day that was impossible to go skiing because of the flat light and awful wind conditions. And you might wonder what happens when five guys get bored of doing nothing, right? You’ve got it, they do loads of sh*t. Before that, they invented a ramp to do some jumps, what handled us some great super slow footage and lots of laughs.
With them everything is fun, the wipeout, the best downhill ever (almost every day), and the best snow ever, the most incredible place in life! In the final, we almost forgotten it was about work, since it was such fun, you can testify this and more by watching the doc Helisnow na Islândia.

Hints:
• Lots of warm clothing
• Sun block
• Food, like crackers and chocolates (I’m not kidding, for who is finicky like me, it’s essential)
Stay at: http://www.arcticheliskiing.com – talk to J.B.
Flying companies: KLM and Icelandair.

19
February

Morocco is a hard to describe country. Religious, dangerous, cold water and a not so receptive population.

Yet with these not too attractive particulars it is still a freak crowdless wave generator. It’s surprising the length of Moroccan coast from Taghazout to the Sahara Desert, that’s right, perfect lonely waves breaking along the desert. But I’ll talk about that in another topic.

Almost every flight from Brazil has a long stop at Casablanca, Hassan II Mosque is worth a visit. To get there you need a train and a cab, the place is beautiful and reveals to any person the Muslim culture.

Back to the airport, fled to Agadir in my way to Taghazout in an about one-hour drive. Taghazout is a very touristic place with good waves and less radical Muslims. The La Source hotel lies in front of Killers wave and accommodates very well 4 people or more per apartment in two rooms, living room, kitchen and a balcony.

The official spoken language is Arabic, they look like their fighting while talking because they smile and shout at the same time. Men greet each other with one to four kisses in the cheeks, the quantity varies related to respect, more kisses, more respectful is the guy, of course that doesn’t work for women. If you don’t speak Arabic, many French and a few English is spoken so it’s alright.

There are a lot of surf spots in the region of Taghazout, all can be reached by car and some are hidden in the middle of the road, it’s better having a guide. The wave period starts at September but the constancy is from October to March.

The surf spots are: Killers, Boilers, Slabs, Chambre, Panomara, among others, most of them are point breaks with hedgehogs. Camels beach is where you can find camel rides, a wonderful sunset and a restaurant in the sand.

A typical food in Morocco is the famous tajin that can be from doubtful origin meat or fish and the Moroccan couscous is a lot different, which we know from Brazil.

The North side of Taghazout is about a hour and a half drive, there’s a place called Mswan with fish baked at the time you want it. You can stay in Taghazout and come back and forth. Changing direction, to the South side (4 hour drive from Taghazout) there’s a fabulous place, famous by having the shape of a giant elephant foot (look for it in the guides), it’s in Tiznit and Sidi-ifni area and close from there there’s a spot called Boats, really hard to be found. There are a lot of surf spots southwards that can be found with the help of a good guide.

In my way to Marrakech, a little dangerous place for women, we really needed to walk covering our whole bodies, because on their belief they can touch what they can see, and they really do! When I was leaving the hotel a car keeper spitted on my face because he judged my tip insufficient for the free hotel parking lot! Typical Moroccan treatment to independent women solo travellers that affront their culture, even without trying.

The visit to Djema El Fna is shocking, looks completely different if you go at day then at night. It’s there where you’ll find doped snakes and monkeys to gain attention from tourists and earn some money. The very receptive people throw snakes at the ones who take pictures and don’t leave tips; it’s comic when you walk away, and when you’re there its kind of scary.

Still in Marrakech you can find marketplaces selling cloths, carpets, handicrafts and many souvenirs that are not found in Taghazout.

Hints: Rubber suits, booties, long clothing for woman.
Bottled water.
Buy original Argan oil.

Taghazout hotels: La Source or La Point

Cheapest flight: Iberia

Contact: Alexandre Grilo

05
December

I was in Brazil less than a month after coming back from Morocco and had the opportunity to go back there, this time to go camping in the Sahara Desert.

I couldn’t resist, packed up my semi ready stuff and went after what keeps me alive: fun, challenge and adventure. The trip overcomes all my expectations. The desert is the place where you can find peace in the virgin sand for miles till you lose the horizon and the sunset brighter day after day.

Obviously it was about calm, so with two Portuguese plus four Norwegian friends I went after good waves breaking lonely, waiting for us.

To make it happen we rented two tough 4×4 to ride along the desert coast. Inside the trunk, our camping tent, wood, pots and pans, lots of water, food, warm clothing, among other essential items to have when there’s nothing around you.

Between the crowdless sessions, we prepared our “brunner” meal in the firewood, once in a big while you’ll cross with fisherman from the desert who’ll sale some fish or trade them for fruits, but just in case keep you cooler fulfilled.
In the middle of our trip, of course our car broke to increase the thrill and as the tide rises for women desperation and men’s fun, but how always things go alright, the 4wd was fixed, slow almost stopping, but got away from the risky zone, we made our camping right there.

It was 6 days exploring the Desert, practicing stuff detachment. Laptops, iPods and iPhones got discharged, we hadn’t signal, internet? Don’t even think about it… We even disconnected from our hygiene daily habits, going to “the bathroom” was a mission, but everything is a habit matter, see the sand below and the sky above turned into fun. Shower? Don’t think either… the salty water was what was keeping me clean, but I confess I brought with myself my John Frieda, kerastase and effaclar and took one “cat shower” with a bit of clean plus a bit of salt water, mixing up everything I was almost clean.

Rough? Sure! Again? And again!

Hints: wetsuits, lots of food and water, gas, wood, matches and alcohol, warm clothes.

Car rent: La Point

Fly cheap: Iberia