A year of adventures, half way round the world!

Kia Ora! Hello, Greetings!

A year ago today we flew out of London, Heathrow on our way to Rio to begin our family gap year and round the world adventure! We’ve travelled for 365 days! We’re half way there, enjoying time in New Zealand.

Ready to fly - at Heathrow a year ago and in New Zealand today!

Ready to fly – at Heathrow a year ago and in New Zealand today!


Top 10 paradises!

The little island of Fernando de Noronha has recently been recommended by a friend of a friend as a must visit whilst in Brazil.

No 6 Top Paradises in the world

Fernando de Noronha, Brazil

Then I found it listed as No 6 in the Top Paradises on Earth – courtesy of Lonely Planet  – we will definitely have to go!

Then I had a closer look at this top 10 paradises list and found we should be able to visit 6 out of 10 on this trip without going out of our way. I have been to two before – Cape Tribulation and the Gili islands – they were pretty awesome!

Here it the list! Love to hear any 1st hand tales about these ?

Paradises on Earth (full article Lonely Planet top 10 paradises)

1. Atiu, Cook Islands (on our itinerary!) This particular Cook Island has got all the tropical gear: deserted beaches, bluest water, whiter-than-white sands. But it’s also got that little bit extra, with a clutch of famous, multi-chambered limestone caves tucked away in thick jungle on the coral coastal plains surrounding the island…

2. Rangiroa, French Polynesia (also on our list!)A coral atoll beyond compare, Rangiroa (the world’s second-largest coral atoll) is about as languorous and remote a place as you’d care to find. There’s also a huge lagoon that’s more like a massive inland sea…

Kuna Yala region, Panama

3. Kuna Yala, Panama (not on our list but maybe a possible detour!)
These small islands (also known as the San Blas Islands) are part of the semi-autonomous territory of the Kuna people and feature palm trees, gorgeous beaches, thatched huts and timeless charm.

4. Cape Tribulation, Australia (probably on our list)
This World Heritage–listed, biodiverse region in Queensland deserves to be on your radar for so many reasons. Gorgeous beaches and ancient rainforest that extends right to the water, fringing reefs, wild and beautiful animal and plant life, rock pools, mangrove boardwalks and a backdrop of breathtakingly rugged mountains…

5. Gili Islands, Indonesia (almost certainly – last time I was there was 1992 – probably just a little more civilised now!)
This collection of three beloved islands, northwest of Lombok, have all the essentials: coral reefs, stunning beaches, pristine water, superb fishing and snorkelling opportunities, and friendly locals. According to legend, there’s also a magical ring around the island that makes it impossible for people to leave….

6. Fernando de Noronha, Brazil (first on our list!)
This sparsely populated archipelago off Brazil’s northeastern coast is famous as a diving destination, with dolphins, shipwrecks and psychedelic coral all available for underwater viewing…

Lalomanu Beach, Samoa

7. Lalomanu, Samoa (I think Samoa is on our Pacific plan!)
Mmm, thank God for the South Pacific, keeper of more sea, sand and sun than any person can cram into a lifetime. This time round it’s Samoa’s turn, with Lalomanu beach on ‘Upolu turning out to be the perfect spot for first-class swimming and snorkelling. From the beach, you can spy the uninhabited island of Namua. If you want to stay, sleeping in open beach fales (huts) can impart the sense that you’re doing it in some kind of authentic, beachy, tropical island style. A kind of paradisiacal virtual reality for jaded Westerners, perhaps? If you like, locals will argue the toss. Lalomanu is what it is, and the sunsets just have to be seen to be believed.

8. San Andrés & Providencia, Colombia (not en route!)
Beautiful beaches, coves, caves and swimming holes combine with native architecture and lots of reggae, rum and cocktails to provide sensual delights.

9. Tulum, Mexico (possible detour to Mexico but not sure yet!!)
Make no mistake, Tulum, on the Yucatán Peninsula in the Mexican state of Quintana Roo, is one of the world’s premier beaches. It features 7km of the finest powder sand, perfect blue water ripped straight out of your dreams, and the beach’s famous, unpowered, cabana-style accommodation right along the coastline. ..

10. Cape Verde (sadly, right off our itinerary!)
This archipelago of 10 volcanic islands off the coast of Senegal has long been a byword for ‘mystery’… unspoiled coastlines and uninhabited beaches…

This has got me thinking about our own Top 10’s – will save that for another blog!

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