Countdown to Spring!!

It’s fabulous Friday..48 days until #Spring and a balmy 0C today here in Burlington, Ontario!!! Happy Days!

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Wanderlust Wednesdays ~ Horseshoe Bay Beach, Bermuda

While the wind might whistle and blow outside our doors..and the arctic temps  make even the most ardent Winter lover pack on another few layers before  attempting to leave the house we have a respite. We are free to crank to heat, close our eyes for a few minutes and let our imaginations and some pictures take us to a sun filled paradise. A small escape but one that brings a smile to every beach lovers lips and soon reminds us that Summer will also find us in a few months..and this year it will be all the sweeter.

So take a seat, get comfy and follow us to the enchanted island of Bermuda this week.

Bermuda is made up of 181 coral covered, lava based islands and is divided into 9 Parishes. Famous for its pink sand beaches, scooter filled roadways and sublime snorkeling in its calm, clear turquoise waters. Located to the east of the bottom tip of Florida, the climate is temperate year round and generally between 20 – 30 C!

Bermuda location bermuda_map

With so much shoreline and reef  protected azure waters you can imagine just how many spectacular beaches the island is home to. Today we venture to one of the most popular..making the top 10 list of Worlds Most Beautiful Beaches for many years.  

Horseshoe Bay lies on the main islands south coast in the parish of Southampton. Easily accessed, the public bus can drop you off right at its doorstep! As soon as you catch a glimpse of the wide swath of fine pink sand and beckoning still waters you will run, not walk down the giant hill that marks the entrance. Magnificent limestone rock formations  dominate its flanks and the warm sheltered sea almost radiates different hues of blues and greens like glittering gemstones.  The fine pink sand defies photography and keeps its true beauty for the person that can witness it with his own eyes. The warm waters of the Gulf stream bring over 650 different types of marine life into its sheltered waters making it one of the best places in the world to grab your snorkel and be able to spot magnificent creatures from the beach. 

Turquoise Waters  here comes paradise

This little piece of heaven is fully public with bathroom facilities, a small food stand and handfuls of umbrella and chair rentals during high season. Soliciting isn’t permitted so you won’t find the usual souvenir traders or wandering craftsmen. Even during the busy season, when the fine sands are full of day trippers  you can continue walking and find relative solitude if you prefer. Make sure to take the trail that leads up to one of the rock formations as it gives you another different breathtaking view of this pretty little cove. With all this going for it, you can easily see why it attracts beach lovers from across the globe.

View from the pathSnorkeling in Bermuda

In trade for the abundance of beautiful sand….. Bermuda depends on imports for most of its needs making it one of the priciest places to visit and live.  In fact other than a few fresh water wells the majority of fresh water is collected on the pretty white rooftops and stored in underground tanks built into each home! More quirky facts that help give imbibe its unique vibe include that visitors are not permitted to rent cars and everyone drives on the left hand side of the road. Bermuda shorts can be worn by gentlemen for nearly any occasion and taxi’s are the norm as most public transportation stops service at 7 p.m. The island has a mysterious past as part of the famous Bermuda triangle and a long history with pirates of the high seas and over 150 shipwrecks in its waters.

Bermuda shorts everywhere!Collecting rainwater

While most food and daily living necessities are shipped in, Bermuda is blessed with an natural abundance of  beauty, super friendly people and Gosling’s Black Seal Rum. You can’t leave the island without partaking in the infamous Dark & Stormy 😀

Goslings-Dark-and-Stormy

 

 

Wanderlust Wednesdays ~ Monterosso al Mare, Italy (Cinque Terre)

This little boot shaped country jutting out into the Mediterranean Sea instantly calls to mind happy thoughts…excellent wines, fabulous climate…delicious, fresh food and of course…glorious beaches!

Italy, like its gorgeous neighbouring countries is littered with beautiful beaches and exploring them all would be a fantastic way to spend a Summer!

Today we will venture into an area nicknamed the “Italian Riveira”. Located in the middle of the Western side of Italy, this stunningly rugged peice of coast line is known as Cinque Terre (Five lands). Strung along an 18 km stretch of steep cliffs and mountains, a footpath connects the 5 pictureque villages that perch along its edges. The entire area became a Unesco World Heritage site in 1997, which includes the entire length as a  protected marine area and national park.

Rio Maggiore Sangria on the Italian Riviera = Perfection

The entire area is visually stunning and old world Italian. The five tiny villages are also connected through a mono rail for those that don’t want to hike up and down the 18 km’s of mountains blessed with olive groves and dry-stone-walled vineyards as far as the eye can see.

Each of the villages– Monterosso, Vernazza, Corniglia,Manarola & Riomaggiore have their own charms and if you are in the area it would be a crime not to visit each one! If you are able..the absolute BEST way is to take the footpath and walk along the coast…the views are absolutely spectacular and you can reward yourself with an tasty treat when you arrive at each village! A little tip though…if you get up at 4 a.m. and venture off on this crazy hike on your own…don’t walk softly as there are lots of wild boars in the area! (Yes, there is a story there lol) The world famous “Lover’s Walk” is a small part of the trail and offers spectacular sunsets and a place to “lock” your love forever.

Lovers Walk

Of the 5 villages, the beach that captured my heart was Monterosso al Mare. Last of the five heading North, it features a gorgeous castle overlooking a beautiful large white sandy cresent beach. Along its shores a boardwalk is backed with colorful, old italian buildings and mouthwatering local cuisine. The water is warm, usually calm and provides excellent snorkelling. A giant statue of Neptune built in 1910 oversees the very west end of the beach and towers over the sea making a visually gorgeous swim! After you are done, the rest of the time can be spent wandering the cobbled alleys discovering tiny shops and tasty delicacies.Monterosso

If you find yourself planning a trip to Italy, make sure to include Cinque Terre for at least a few days…it is one of those places that will live forever in your dreams.

Wanderlust Wednesdays ~ Nosara, Costa Rica

As we finalize the details for our epic SUP & Surf trip this November, I thought it would be fitting to cross over and head back into the gorgeous Costa Rica where our adventure will take place. We have already visited a couple of villages and beaches but have yet to take a virtual wander to the sublime Nosara.

Located on the Pacific  along a string of stunning coastline, this tiny former fishing village still retains that wild & free vibe along its shores. For generations this area was used mainly as a pasture for cattle but that all changed in the 1970’s. Reforestation and tourism interest has returned it to one of the lushest and loveliest spots in the country. There are quite a few beaches to explore in the area along with a river that winds its way to the ocean. Here are a few of our favorites:

 Playa Guiones

If miles of white beach stretched out in a perfect crescent shape with gentle waves lapping at the shore is your idea of perfection..Playa Guiones is for you. A rare tropical dry forest borders the crescent and is home to an assortment of wildlife. Within this 3 mile stretch there is soo much to see and do. One of our favorite walks in to the South Point, where you can wander on the pink hued sands. Lots of tide pools are a daily occurrence and a perfect spot for snorkelling with an abundance of colorful seashells scattered on the shores.

For those with adventure in mind, this is also THE spot for surfing with perfect breaks with multiple peaks found on the left and right sides.

Playa Guiones sunset-at-playa-guiones

Playa Peleda:

Very family oriented with lots of shady almond trees and tide pools to play in. One of the memorable scenes of this gorgeous strip is a natural ‘blow hole” that gushes through the rock formations giving a sense of how powerful the ocean really is. The best time to catch the show is when the tides transition. Just behind the  rocky reef you will find a beautiful walk toward the river mouth. Pelicans flock to the area and you will be surrounded as they fish for their dinner where the river meets the ocean.

Playa Paleda Playa Pelada

Playa Nosara :

This beach is quite remote and you have to hike up through the river to get there. The hike is well worth the effort though as this is where you will catch a glimpse of local fishermen using time honored methods to catch their dinners. Further upstream you will arrive at the black sanded Playa Nosara bordered with mangroves and surrounded by so much wild and aquatic life you could spend hours just taking it all in. Howler monkeys can easily be spotted on the shores but you won’t hear their famous howls unless it’s morning. Make sure to take everything you need as there are no amenities close by. The surf and waves at the mouth of the river are some of the highest and most dangerous in Costa Rica and reserved only for the most experienced. Swimming is not advised at all but that’s fine as a 15 minute walk brings you to another fabulous and safe area.

Playa Nosara

Nosara itself is a tiny village without alot of ammenities. It still carries that remote beach feel and calls to the hearts of eco tourists, yoga practitioner and surf enthusiasts. Many world class schools that cater to these passions can be found. Another amazing feature of this area is the abundance of seas turtles that come to nest here. They can be found year round but the greatest numbers congregate between August and November on the days just before a full moon. Put all this together and you can easily surmise why many a traveler has lost his or her heart after stumbling upon this tiny paradise.

This tiny, gorgeous piece of heaven will be the first stop on our EPIC SUP, SURF & YOGA adventure this fall so if you want to experience all of it for yourself…reserve your spot now! 

 

 

 

Welcome to your Full Moon Wanderlust Wednesday !!

Wanderlust Wednesdays came into being to help us get through the bitter Canadian winter while we wait for warmer temperatures to return to our beautiful Burlington, Ontario beach!
Travelling and exploring one delicious beach somewhere in the world per week <3. This coming November we are planning an epic group adventure~ SUP & Surf Costa Rica. An amazing journey through 4 coastal paradise villages! Perfect for beginners & experienced adventurers! An info meeting is being planned for early February, contact us directly if you might like to have an adventure of a lifetime and tick off some of your bucket list items!!
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