Riserva di Zingaro

To go or not to go? Yes! Go! 

We took a 4 hour tour of the Zingaro by boat. It is refreshing to go by boat and see all the different coastal spots of this reserve.    

You will see rock formations, old caves, secluded white beaches… and Bella Mare!  At this particular excursion they let us swim in two spots, we saw many fish and jellyfish. No, that did not stop us from swimming.  

Take a big excursion boat. We took a small one, it was ok but they were not well equipped, no fins, no food, no snorkel gear… It was too bare bones. If we could do it over we would go with a bigger boat.   

Go and enjoy the natural beauty of Sicilian coast!! Buona Giornata!! 🇮🇹

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Buon Giorno from San Vito Lo Capo!

We are posting from the beautiful beach of San Vito Lo Capo today!!

This is the best beach in Sicily and arguably in southern Italy.  If you are a beach lover and can’t go to Maldives, this will do for now.   For our Maldives paradise adventures see our past posts :))  

The sea is clean, clear and gradually getting deeper. Buoyancy is high, the water is very salty. We love it like this!

The sand is very fine and light yellow. To rent a one um fella and two chairs roughly will cost you $12 euros. There are zones on the outskirts that you can just put your own chair and towel – but we recommend renting since they are situated in the best zones of the beach. 

🇮🇹 Ciao!  We must go swimming now 💦🏊 

Maldives: Kuredu exploration continues

20140606-161156.jpgWhen you swim and a fleet of fish swim behind you and when you stand they circle around you and play — you can’t help but feel happy and so enchanted by the Maldivian ocean.

Truly our one big regret is not having underwater camera to capture and show you all these amazing fish. IF you ever decide to visit Maldives you MUST buy an underwater camera or some kind of gear so you can take pictures.

The food debacle continues… today we spent 30 min until staff finally directed us from one closed restaurant to another for a simple lunch. We ended up eating at the O Restaurant, which suppose to be the upscale one. Setting was pretty over the water and with breeze coming through windows. Food was OK and was served buffet style – we expected menu and service since it is advertised as a la carte. Well, we embraced the unexpected and ate up!!

A long walk on the beach took us to the island’s sandbar. So far on each of the islands we had the joy of exploring a sandbar. We can confidently say the Kuredu sandbar is the best and biggest. Saw 3 types of fish and a small shark.
20140606-161237.jpgOn our way back from the sandbar we decided to walk through the center of the island, where there is a sandy road and bit of jungle. This is also the main road where they drive golf carts (taxi) to shuttle people from point to point. We heard this funny squealing and decided to see what it was. See for yourself — they were two baby birds.
20140606-161326.jpgWe don’t know what kind they are but they sure are cute birds.

So the full day of sailing we were looking forward to… it was cancelled this morning via a letter at out door. Reason was there was not enough people signed up to do it. Frankly this gave us the opportunity to schedule excursions and reef snorkeling with the diveshop instead of the hotel. Diveshop staff has been very helpful and providing clear information.

Tonight the food theme is Arabian and we were told there will be a White Party at the bar — we have our white dresses ready!

We noticed this little charm lock at the beach swing. How adorable… we dedicate it to all of our readers, may you have a love filled fantastic summer 🙂
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Maldives: Komandoo island resort – full report!

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Komandoo is located north of Male and takes about 35-40 min by seaplane to get there. It is surrounded by couple other islands, some where locals live.

The resort is operated in partnership by a Swedish and Maldivian firm. It also operates the Kuredu island which is very nearby. The general manager is Patrick who greets everyone at arrival and he is Belgian. We were greeted by songs, cold coconut juice and homemade coconut ice cream. They know how to start your holiday on a positive note.
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We found the hospitality and level of service to be much better here than Gangehi. Also the beach front villas are better and cleaner. But we would advise to pick one not facing the local islands, the view is better. Our villa is nearly at the end tip of this 500 meter long island. Also the villas have outdoor bathroom, shower and jet tubs. Rooms are cleaned twice a day, but as a environment conscious island they won’t change sheets everyday unless you leave the cute wooden turtle on the bed. We love that they are eco friendly.

At first we were ambivalent about the half board but we love it now – the food is quality and lot of fresh fruits.

There is a bit of nightlife as well — last night we had a great cover band with a great variety of songs and sang some requests too.

The staff is better trained in hospitality and services in general. There are also women working at this island which we did not see at Gangehi except for the spa and the souvenir shop.

Water is fantastic – private beach with deafening quiet except of the sounds of ocean. The black tip sharks and stingrays go up and down the beach. So exciting to swim next to them and be in their presence. They are harmless and very cute (we think).
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While this is the rainy season we have had great weather on both Gangehi and Komandoo. Occasional rains in the evening or overnight have been welcome after the heat of the day.

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Now we are off to snorkeling – catch you later!!

Guest Blogger Edition: Paradise Found at Majahuitas!

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Our good friend M had recently gone on an great trip that made us seriously envy her. She gracefully granted our wish to be a guest blogger and share this special trip with all of you!

In her words:
We needed a getaway from the Wisconsin winter and were craving something unlike our typical educational, sightseeing, ‘pack-as-much-as-possible into each day’ trips we were used to taking. This time we were looking for a place to unwind, eat well, surround ourselves with nature, and above all else, relax and rejuvenate.

Not at all interested in the conventional Mexico spring break trips or all-inclusive resorts jam-packed with people, we thought we found heaven when we came across Majahuitas. It is an extraordinary gem, an hour cab ride and a 15 minute boat ride from Puerto Vallarta. It’s an eco-friendly resort so no electricity – just solar energy for a few sparse lights and not a television, phone, or computer to be found. And I can honestly say I didn’t once miss being ‘plugged in’ during our stay.
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Our casita for the week was the Sunset House, where everything was open-air, including the bathroom & shower. We fell asleep to the sound of the ocean waves crashing against the beach and awoke to tropical birds singing outside our porch.
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The gong rang 3 times daily, signaling it was time to head down to the beach for an amazing meal – most often including a mexican breakfast with fresh fruit, local seafood and tapas for lunch, and a delightful dinner that was enjoyed by all guests, family-style, under a candlelight chandelier.

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After the evening meal and a beach bonfire, we would make our way back to the casita (all the paths and our bungalow were filled with hundreds of handmade candles that were lit while we were dining) to play some cribbage, enjoy our surroundings, and gush about how lucky we were to be staying at such a dream locale.

Some highlights of the trip included an intense hike through the jungle to a beautiful waterfall, an outdoor massage with the babbling river sounds in the background, spotting a sea turtle during our morning kayak excursion, and a little trip to the nearby fishing village of Yelapa – where we saw another gorgeous waterfall along with yoga studios and such for the many ex-pats that live there. Of course, relaxing on the beach with a book and, thanks to the yellow labs at the resort that would bark with excitement and run out to the beach at the first signs of whales and dolphins, we got to add those sightings to our list of great moments.
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It is hard to describe this magnificent place in just a few paragraphs and photos – in fact, now that we’re back in the snow and cold, it seems hard to imagine this treasure of a resort even really existed. It was the perfect marriage of luxury resort/dining and rustic camping. It’s remarkable how much you can leave behind and do without, as long as you have fresh air, good company, and outstanding food. What I wouldn’t do for some fresh octopus and empanadas on the beach right now…

Thai Massage Guide

20130130-135400.jpgAmong top 5 things we will miss from Thailand is the massages we had almost daily. We tried various types and places. Given how cheap it is compared to USA/Europe, it would be a shame to come here and not indulge fully. We have not encountered male massage therapist in this area, they are all female. Here is our take on what we have tried…

Beach Massage:
500 baht for 1hour massage for two people. This is the cheapest option, done by locals on roofed platforms. Outdoors by the beach; nice to hear the soothing ocean, but passerby traffic could be distracting. Also products they use are not the best, but still great technique and you leave refreshed and feeling better.

Silk Spa:
600 baht per person for 1hour body and half an hour head massage. Indoors, slightly upper scale than a complete dive. I had a near medical experience during my coconut head and body massage; think she almost cured my back problems. G’s shoulder and neck felt better than ever. J was regretful that she did not try Silk Spa. We just need to go again!

Sukko Spa:
4,800 baht for an hour and fifty minute package of body wrap, aromatherapy massage, and a facial. We think it is a great deal. Tried Aloe, Spirulina, and Coconut variety; all great. They had a buy 1 get 1 free — needless to say we have been great customers. J had an after sun package today; it was so good, she is still in trans — we like her even more like that. A Spa though pricier than the other options will guarantee higher quality and cleanliness, quiet contemplative atmosphere.

We feel lucky to have tried them all and can now testify to the medical and psychological benefits of Thai massage techniques. Our thighs also agree… Only problem is that our vacation is nearing the end and we are not sure how we will cope with not doing this almost every day.

Herbal Steam:
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The Gift of Andaman Sea

20130128-111038.jpgWe are in awe of the Andaman sea. It is like a giant hug: warm, wide, and welcoming.

The beach is broad, light yellow sand and clean, making it perfect for long walks. The surface is pockmarked with crab holes, and other sealife… making for an endless fascination.
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The water temperature is perfect; warm enough and cold enough for a good swim or lull in water. It is shallow for a few meters making it a relaxing swim.
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For 3 days every evening rain clouds gathered and it poured… watching the sea and sky change, listening to the rain from the safety of the sheltered swings on our beach is priceless.
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The Andaman sea rises advances every morning. As the afternoon rolls it starts slowly retracting. Love watching it and getting dizzy… we realized we have even forgotten what day it is!! This is the gift of Andaman sea.20130128-111130.jpg