Rio de Janeiro to Ihla Grande

We are on the island of Ihla Grande about 2 hours bus ride and an hour ferry West from Rio. A big and welcome change in scene from a bustling metropolis to an unspoilt island population 6100. Our 2nd apartment in Rio was in Copacabana about 10 minutes from the beach and surrounded on 3 sides by favelas (extremely poor and often dangerous districts) just a couple of blocks away. I am not sure if the constant police car presence on the corner of the small park outside our door was reassuring or a warning?

Ihla Grande Beach View

Our view on Ihla Grande


Family Gap Year – 1 Week In

Family looking over Ipanema Beach

Ipanema beach, not a place to get a passer by to take your photo!

A lie in today, I woke at 7am, not the 5-6am we have been used to as our bodies adjust to the 4 hour time difference. Only Zoe is up as well, busy colouring so it is lovely and quiet, perfect to reflect on our first week before we leave the excellent WiFi in our apartment.

With kids everything takes longer and we have been concious not to rush between tourist sights and cram too much in. The thought crosses my mind that after our hectic lives in the UK we are ‘slow cooking’ our travels to extract maximum flavour, but that is probably a tummy rumbling hint that I need to go to the supermarket and buy fresh bread for breakfast.

I am going to cover ‘safety’ in another post but so far we have taken plenty of sensible precautions and not had any problems, even the taxi’s have their meters turned on, if not their headlights (it saves fuel!?!!). More

The Adventure Begins

Ready at Heathrow, we think…

We made it. The last 3 weeks have been truly manic but I’m sitting on flight BA249 to Rio with everything we need for a family gap year:

  • My family
  • Passports
  • Several credit and cash cards
  • A pin cushion of vaccinations
  • A sense of adventure

Rest assured we have a few other bits and pieces in our rucksacks but these are conveniences as you don’t want to buy new socks or toothbrushes each day, you wouldn’t get much else done.

4 hours to we land and More

Naked Walls

With only 6 nights before we have to be completely out of our house we actually started packing in anger yesterday. The first thing to come down were our paintings and the naked walls make the house feel very different and not ‘lived in’.

We were concerned about Ben, Zoe and Lara’s reaction when they returned from school but they dashed excitedly from room to room savouring the spaces and showing no sign of distress that their beds and many toys had ‘gone’. Only Lara asked about the missing TV! I think many kids would have a bouncy castle in the lounge rather than furniture?

Oma on Trampoline in Lounge

Something to keep the grown ups happy


Rock ‘n’ Roll Moai

As we are just about to buy our tickets to fly out of South America via Easter Island this is pretty topical. There are a 1000 of these ‘moai’ on Easter Island, up to 30ft tall and weighing more than a few tonnes. Scientists now think they, as the Easter islanders believed, actually walked into position.

Moai being moved on Easter Island

So that’s how it’s done?

There is more info and photos on the Daily Mail and National Geographic. We might take a couple of pics when we are there as well if we can avoid the 50,000 other tourists that visit each year!

A gift to Oxfam

Appropriately I bought a compact travel camera at Amazon which arrived today. Here is a quick test pic, full review to come once I have used it for a bit.

Lara outside the backdoor at Oxfam

Smile, Dad’s got a new camera

Interestingly I resized the photo and saved it as a new file and it kept the EXIF data. Bit geeky but bear with me. More

Only a phone call away

I’ve been following the hoo haa about Nancy being left in the pub by Mum and Dad and felt a touch of empathy as we have encountered a similar situation ourselves. It certainly did not surprise me to read in the news that it had happened to many other parents but what amazed me was the ‘commentators’ who thought these unfortunate children be taken into care immediately or worse! It must be wonderful to be so perfect but I am not sure their kids will want to be escorted to the loo as teenagers, I can see it now:

Mum: Hold my hand Kevin, roads are dangerous.

Kev: That’s SO not cool Mum!

Mum: When you leave home you can do what you like.

Kev: But Mum, I’m 32!

Mum: Exactly and I don’t want you talking to strangers again.

Just what age children can cross the road by themselves is a subject I’ll probably come back to. More

The kitchen sink

Another popular question about our family gap year is how are we going to carry all our stuff? Are we taking a lorry or four wheel drive overland? I am guessing that this is the sort of thing that people have in mind:

Go anywhere transport (Credit

Perfect for the wilds of Africa where anything else just won’t cut it. More

Budget for our Gap Year?

George Osbourne with Budget Box

in happier times

I thought I would try and answer some of the top questions we are asked about our family gap year starting with our budget.

When I was younger the budget for travelling consisted of More

Out of Office

old word processor

The height of innovation

With the lack of progress in gap year preparations I thought I would tackle some easy wins, what could be easier than my ‘Out Of Office’ or ‘OOO’ if you live on TLAs.

I started my business before email, in those days the telephone on my desk had a dial and wonder of wonders More

Previous Older Entries Next Newer Entries

Pages Viewed

  • 101,623 hits
%d bloggers like this: