WELCOME TO Val's Alentejo -I write about my region of Alentejo. My art ,painting, my cottages, Family life, my animals -Travels And my love for Roses- and rural country life.

Thursday, 6 September 2012

Desert Island dreams

Autumn is closing in, Although here in Portugal its still hot hot hot.    I thought that you might like to do a little desert Island dreaming with me.   While waiting for my computer to come from the doc's ..I fell into la la land..sitting in my garden , my mind wondered off to a place I am sure you would all love to visit.!

  I was dreaming and remembering  one of the world's most  beautiful Islands that I have ever seen and had the privelidge to have sailed too.      Crossing the South and North Atlantic Sailing from the East Coast of Africa to Europe. One of the Islands we come upon is .Fernanda da Noronha. It belongs to the State of Pernambuco Brazil.  It  lies  220 miles of the coast of Brazil . An  Archipelago of 21 islands. Mostly deserted Islands.     Fernando da Noronha being the main island.
(all the images are courtesy of Wikipedia )  The Island was discovered in the 1500's.(info at wikipedia)

Since the early 80's Fernando da Naronha, has become a holiday island for the wealthy.
The only way one could get to the Island when we knew it, was by yacht or fishing boat from the mainland.
It's the most stunning of Islands and one is just dumb struck on approaching  it .. The beaches are pristine , the sea hue's of blue and green. Its a true paradise Island.

The beach above, is pretty much the same as when we arrived and dropped anchor there.  I am pleased to hear that its still much the same.  Although now it has little b&b's.. and has become a richman's playground.
During the 30's the island was used as a prison island.  It was so far away from the mainland.
I think , I could be a prisioner there forever.
One can be self sufficient.  Abundant marine life.   Exotic fish that I have never seen before or probably never will.

Sunset over the Atlantic

Our eldest son Manel, learnt to free dive by two of the local native residents of the island. He made friends with them and we often ate at the home .
 Both brother and sister were natural divers. they had learnt from their father and their father from his father. It is inbred in the Island folk.
 The locals are natural fishermen. They tie a very small red ball onto a rope and tie it around their ankle, once they dive, the red ball floats on the sea , but you cannot see the divers.  At first sight of this floating little ball, you cant take your eyes off it. Why is it coming your way!   floating with the tide. Then just like that!   The two swimmers came up out of the depths of the sea and came along side our yacht and greeted us in such a happy natural way. Brazilian's are a very happy people.

We were flying a South African flag at the time, so how were they to know that we could speak their language!..What a surprise for the two of them , when Mr.M spoke to them and invited them both on board.
 Oh Boy, we had fresh fish morning noon and night. They took Manel to   depth's of 15 to  18 feet or  without bottles. Manel is still an excellent diver.   Here the divers are using bottles...
A tiny little dot in the middle of the Atlantic.  Fernando da Naronha, now has an airstrip. You can take a plane from Natal  on the mainland. .. many fishermen hire boats there, or sail over to the island. Its a tourist destination.. but with a difference.. Its beaches are amongst the most beautiful and exotic deserted beaches in the world, and very protected.

 In 2001 Fernando da Naronha became a  UNESCO  protected area , for its abundant Flaura and Fauna and sea life..  A very delicate ecosystem..
 When we sailed into Fernando da Naronha.  The population was around 1.800 habitants. today there are 2000.
The people of the Island are so friendly and welcome you with open arms.  
                                         A flying fish.. a most beautiful sea green and blue
  We ate and tasted fish from the sea , like we had never tasted before.  Fish of  all  colors and variety. At first we thought we might get sick , as they looked so so strange. We soon found out  the Islander's know their fish.   The brother and sister, would often come aboard after a mornings free dive fishing and cook for us.  Wonderful memories.

How I remember this sight so well.   magnificent and stunning white sand beaches .  I could go on dear friends.  I will stop here.
You might want to take a little tour around the Archipelago  and Fernando de Naronha..
 Have a happy day thinking of visiting your  dessert Island  of choice... who knows!! You might want to visit this one.    An Island one can never forget. One day I hope to return to this paradise. And so I dream on.

  Do you have a favorite Island that you would like to visit.

Wishing you all a happy Thursday.


  1. Hello Val:
    What an absolute idyll. And how wonderful that you had the opportunity to visit such a remote and totally unspoilt island when you did and to meet with such very kind and generous people. We can scarcely believe from the images you show here the blue of the sea, nor those stretches of empty beach, nor indeed the amazing colours of the fish. What a dream indeed.

    And, possibly, it should now remain such for it can never, never in your mind be altered or spoilt and to return might just not be the same.

    1. Fernando da Naronha , holds lovely memories for me and my family.
      we often recall our sailing travels.. its truly a beautiful paradise.
      The tropical sea fish so abundant there is amazing..colours like one has never seen.
      Thank you Jane and Lance..

  2. My dear Val
    How can you forget such a wonderful island? Is a paradise in the middle of the ocean! Thank you for sharing with me the dreamy days that you spent there !!!

    1. Hello Olympia.
      No, I will never forget this beautiful Island. Its a paradise.
      thank you for leaving your comment..xxx

  3. Sounds Idyllic! Val you have wonderful memories,
    I stayed on a caribbean island called Jumby (just off Antigua) years ago, it was paradise, beautiful beaches and saw lots of exotic fish in the sea, although now it has changed a lot and become an exclusive holiday retreat
    Thea x

    1. Hi Thea,
      Now that is a place i would like to go. The caribbean. I think its beautiful too.
      Its beaches are also white and inviting.
      Its a shame, these islands get discovered and the tour people move in.
      Happy weekend Thea. thanks for your comments

  4. Dear Val,
    I had never heard of this, indeed paradise Island, before.
    Thank you so much for introducing it to me.
    I'll dream of swimming on these clear blue waters

    Enjoy a lovely Thursday evening : )

    1. Hello dear Demie,
      How you would love to swim in those seas.. i can assure you.. its paradise.
      take a look at the island on google images.. Brazil too is a wonderful place

      thanks for passing by and for your wishes.
      happy weekend.. xxx

  5. Hi Val, You take us to some amazing places around the world it looks amazing. I have never seen a flying fish before. Your memories add so much too the experience.
    Sarah x

    1. Dear Sarah,
      Our youngest son Filipe.. would play with the flying fish.. they would sometimes land on deck, and we would put them into a bucket of sea water for him and he would play with them. They like to fly at night mainly.
      Thank you so much for your kind comments sarah.
      wishing you a happy weekend.

  6. Dear Val - whilst your computer was away you have been having some lovely day dreams and remembering times past. Fernanda da Noronha really does look to be a little bit of paradise in the middle of a wonderful brilliant blue sea.
    Do not forget Val that if you need any help re: Picmonkey just get in touch.

    1. Thank you Rosemary,
      I have very fond memories of our travels. Fernando da Naronha is a paradise.
      I tried yesterday with the picmonkey..but i seem to be floundering.. will chat to you soon.

  7. Dear Val, This beautiful island is not known to me; your photos are lovely and the memories so special. What a gorgeous place! We spent our honeymoon at a resort on Long Island in the Great Barrier Reef off the coast of northern Queensland. I have memories of crystal blue seas, and beautiful tropical fish. Heavenly. xx

    1. Dear Patricia,
      Now you can look up the Island and read about it. Its such a paradise Island..
      It will always be in my memory.
      Oh gosh. I have never been to the Great Barrier Reef.. how I would love to see it.
      We had the chance while living out there, but somehow never got over that side .
      It sure is heavenly.
      thank you Patricia.. pleased you liked the post.

  8. I am impressed and your narrative took me far away for some moments... heavenly, a paradise - I am very content that it is protected. How lucky you are to have these precious memories, Val and to share them with us! Thank you! Christa PS. Giveaway was sent off yesterday evening. Finally...

    1. I am so pleased that you enjoyed this post Christa.
      It sure is a heavenly paradise.
      I will be off to the post office around tuesday..it should be here then..can't wait.

  9. Dear Val, Thank you for this beautiful visit. We will probably never get to see it ourselves. What a wonderful experience you have had.

    1. Hello Gina,
      thank you for your kind comments. Its always great to see the places that other people visit and enjoy and share with us.

  10. Hi Val,
    thank you for your visit and lovely comment.
    I will email you the recipe of the corn starch dough. the origin of this particular dough is south american where it has really become a form of art.
    I do not spray my roses with any varnish or sealer whatsoever although I think you could if you are going for a more glossy look.
    Have a nice weekend

    1. I will look forward to recieving your e mail Rita..
      thanks for passing by

  11. So beautiful, Val! How lucky you were to have been there with your children. Thank you so much for posting the images and telling us the history of this lovely place. If I could travel to an Island I would love to take a Royal Mail boat to Tristan da Cunha. So remote, but so tantalizing!


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