Kayaking in Itacaré

By: Bella Papadopoulou.

It is not a secret that Itacaré offers a little bit of everything. From Atlantic forest to white sandy beaches … from sea to lakes. The varied environments allows one to practice various kinds of sports and experience new and exciting adventures.

The edge of Itacaré’s calmer river fronting the neighborhood ”Forte”, is also the home of the Association of Kayaking of Itacaré. Every day members and tourists take the kayaks and row along the beautiful Rio das Contas that starts in Chapada Diamantina and ends in Itacaré.

Josenildho Monteiro De Jesus, who is the founder of the association goes kayaking every day and believes it to be an amazing experience each time he paddles out.

”Kayaking is great because, first of all, it is calming and also healing in a way. Secondly, it is a great way to make new friends while having fun together in a group. Last, but not least, you are out in this breathtaking nature and can enjoy it up close” Josenildho says.

And it is absolutely true! Paddling along the river one will pass next to the Atlantic forest with the small fishing boats in the background and a setting or rising sun ahead of you (depending if you go early in the morning or in the afternoon).

But kayaking here is not only a hobby. Itacaré is in fact a leading city withing kayak championships both nationally and internationally. Today there are 15 champions that proudly represent Itacaré at national and international competitions as well Marta Ferreira who is a two times paraolimpic world champion.

”As our athletes train in an environment that is made up by both river and sea, they definately have an advantage in competitions because they alredy know how to paddle in all kinds of conditions” Josenildho says.

The association is also the oldest institution that makes social work in the town allowing children from the poorer areas to get educated about how to have a healthy life.

”Over the years we have given support to many children by keeping them away from drugs and allowing them to become competitors and responsible citizens” Jozenildho says.

To book a kayak tour or make a donation, one can go to the associasion that is located in the neighbourhood Forte, Monday-Saturday 07.00-17.00.

 

 

Yoga in Itacaré

By: Bella Papadopoulou.

People come to Itacaré from all over the world, each for various reasons. Yet what each person has in common is the desire to enjoy everything this beautiful coastal Bahian town has to offer.

In the hectic world we live in today, it’s hard to stay focused on what is going on around you. Instead we either reminisce about the past or fixate on plans for the future. When vacation time finally arrives, staying in the present becomes even trickier.

“Yoga helps you stay in the present moment, which is the only place where life actually exists”

Renata Segrada Cavalhero, also known as Lua, has been giving yoga classes in Itacaré for over eight years. Her weekly classes at Pousada Ilha Verde´s garden are a big success in town and all are invited to join.

“In the class we practice Hatha Yoga mixed with bits and pieces inspired by Michelin Berry. I don´t like repetition so I try to make each class different.” Lua adds.

It is said that a peaceful and natural environment ensures a calm mind. In this case, Itacaré with its rich wilderness, creates an ideal scenery for the practice of Yoga.

“What makes Itacaré a special place for yoga is its amazing nature as well as the warm and comfortable climate. Also, since Itacaré is a famous surf spot, yoga is a good complement for surfing” Lua says.

The classes take place on a circular wooden patio that is surrounded by a big garden with flowers and fruits. Additionally, the lit candles and the smell of incense creates a very “yogic” vibe.In Sanskrit the word Yoga means “union” referring to the bond between the mind and the body that needs to be in balance.

”Through the practice of Yoga we reach a higher level of both well-being and awareness. It’s a good moment for us to observe ourselves and accept all sides of our personality” Lua says.

It doesn´t matter if one is a new bee or a master, Lua’s practice is open for everyone who wants to experience Yoga in a beautiful and peaceful environment.

Classes are held at Pousada Ilha Verde on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 8.30 and 18.00. To participate in a class, simply arrive at the scheduled time. And for private classes, feel free to contact Lua directly at +55 73 9133-9702.

Halloween party in Itacaré

By: Bella Papadopoulou.

The pumpkins are out, the spiderwebs are hung and excitement is in the air. Halloween is fast approaching and Itacaré is ready to trick or treat!

Globally, Halloween is a beloved holiday and a great excuse to act foolishly and child-like all over again. Although not yet well known in Brazil, Itacaré’s Language school, Easy2Speak, knows how it’s supposed to go down and throws the town’s favorite Halloween party every year.

Easy2Speak is a school where one can learn both English and Portuguese easy and fast. Katia Pitta, owner of Easy2 Speak, expects the party to be an even bigger success this year.

“Last year people came and had a great time! This party is unique for Itacaré. Most of the parties here are either reggae or traditional style” says Katia.

The two-day long party is divided into 3 parts so that everyone, regardless of age, can participate. On the 1st of November at 6.30 pm the party will be open for guests from 11 to 18 years old. There will be a walk through the haunted house followed by music and dancing.

The following day from 4 pm until 7 pm, doors will open for our youngest friends from the age of 4 to 7 years old. There will be activities appropriate for their age along with lots of candy, fun and games.

Later that same day at 11 pm the adult party that everyone has been waiting for will begin!

“In addition to live music, Halloween spirits and scary jelly-shots, there will be cool gifts to win, for example a spa day, dinner at a local restaurant, petrol coupons or free English courses” Katia says.

Last year the party was a big hit and people from all over town came and danced the night away in a Halloween-atmosphere. Are you ready to be frightened?

Dresscode: There will be a prize for best costume! If you don’t want to dress up, wear black and you should be fine.

Reiki in Itacaré

By: Bella Papadopoulou

Some call it energy, others call it magic. Whatever the word, it’s no longer a secret that Reiki is beneficial form of alternative healing that can lead to a balanced and harmonic mind and body – and thereby life.

I first met Lala in Itacaré and when I found out she was a Level II Reiki practitioner, I was curious to try it out. Lala left hectic New York a few months back in an effort to alter her lifestyle and enjoy living in a warmer climate. She initially planned to visit Itacaré for two weeks and has been here for nearly six months now. She claims it to be a tropical paradise with a magical vibe.

”Itacaré is loaded with creative energy. People that live here are artists or creative types. They paint, dance, make art in various mediums, surf, skate, juggle, and even work with food” Lala says.

Lala herself was enchanted with Reiki a few years back when she was running a busy cafe-restaurant in New York City, and found herself totally worn out after a long day with eight more hours until closing. When a former employee offered her a Reiki session she accepted happily. What happened after their brief session was incredible.

”It was as if my battery was re-charged. I went from being a tired business owner into a happy host full of energy for the event that followed.” Lala says.

This intrigued me even more. Truth is that I was not sure what Reiki actually was and along with several others, I thought it was a mix of hokus-pokus and massage.

”In a Reiki session, I do nothing really. I’m only a channel through which universal energy flows. This energy aids in the body healing itself” Lala explains.

I followed Lala to her space where the sessions take place, I walked into the incense-smelling room and the spa-feeling kicked in right away. I laid down on the massage table and she asked me to close my eyes and relax. Slowly she placed her palms on my head, chest, stomach, belly and back. I began to feel a burning and vibrating sensation on the areas that Lala placed her palms and I could feel my body dozing off into a deep relaxation.

”Reiki helps to restore balance to the body. We are all made up of energy and Reiki helps unblock energy caused by stress, poor lifestyle choices, and accidents, she says.

After nearly one hour, Lala asked me to open my eyes. I felt like Sleeping Beauty who had slept more than a decade. I stood up and felt more alive than ever as well as inspired and creative. As a plus my knee that had been bothering me for over a month, suddenly was totally fine. I thought to myself: this is magic. Lala agreed and said ”Reiki to me is kind of like magic. It is inexplicable and very personal”.

Just like Reiki, Itacaré is a magical place. If you’ve thought about giving Reiki a try, Itacaré is the place and Lala is the person.

You can find Lala on her phone (+55 73 98104558) or via email (okalalea@gmail.com). Hours are flexible and discounts are offered for those who are interested in several sessions.

Storytelling as a social act!

By: Bella Papadopoulou.

Last Friday the doors of storytelling were opened and it was a big day for all the children of Itacaré’s neighborhood Barrio Novo.

Casa do Conto (House of the Tale) is a social movement focusing on reading and literature. It is was created exclusively for children ages 5 to 14 who live in the Bairro Novo community. It is a project that was founded by Ana Laura Nodar, Francielle Benevides, Marcelo Fantucci and Rafael.

“Our intention is to tell stories that hopefully will awaken the children’s interest in reading and expanding the knowledge in their lives,” says Marcelo Fantucci, one of the founders of Casa do Conto.

The whole thing started when the owner of the house where Casa do Conto is, had an idea of doing something for the children of this neighborhood. After which, it didn´t take long until Marcelo and his friends came together to create a place where children could gather and become part of a beautiful tale.

What is the aim of Casa do Conto?

“Our aim is to stimulate children’s interest in reading, believing in better school performance and thereby improving the self esteem of these children that come from a lower-income community” says Marcelo.

At the opening, the response was overwhelmingly positive. Children from the whole area came and showed their excitement about this new voluntary project. “We were expecting around 300 children to come to the opening but over 500 kids ended up coming! We had several clowns, friendly volunteers doing face painting, a judge that organized a football game, a popcorn and a hot dog-stand and of course lots of candy!” Marcelo told us and continued to say that “we did not know how they would react and to our great surprise the games were very well received (soccer, musical chairs and sack race). Everyone enjoyed themselves a lot”.

A philosopher once said “stories have to be told or they die, and when they die, we can’t remember who we are or why we are here”. If this is true than the founders of Casa de Conto are doing something much more than a social movement.

Children’s day in Itacaré

By: Bella Papadopoulou.

Yet another holiday is about to arrive in Itacaré and the town is preparing for events, concerts and loads of celebration.

The 12th of October is known as Brazilian Children’s Day or dia das criancas in Portuguese. This year It happens to fall on the same day as the country’s Patron Saint day, which is a holiday as well. On this special day parents usually give their kids gifts and there are various activities in the schools to celebrate the occasion.

But the celebrations don’t stop there. On Saturday the 13th of October there will be a live outdoor concert held at Ribeira beach – the last one of Itacaré’s famous Four Beaches.

The concert, a tribute to Bob Marley, will host Itacaré’s favorite band Ethiopia Federation who will be followed by DJ Banzai, DJ Wolverine and DJ Duroc for music until the sun rises.

“As an opening of the October holidays, the sound of Reggae will reach Itacaré in a big tribute to the king himself, Bob Marley. His songs will be performed by great Reggae artists and it will surely be an event that one should not miss!” say the organizers of the event.

The following night, Sunday the 14th, the party will continue on Concha beach. At Cabana 17.00 at Corais there will be a big party with music and dancing for every taste including samba, forro and electronic DJ-ing.