The Fernando de Noronha islands are a paradise picture. Wether you arrive by plane or sailing boat, the contours and green colours splash out of the blue ocean. A post card view, were we see each other again and feel love like never before.
When we finally stand ashore our astonishment rises. It look like a Hollywood film set. Tanned beach boys drive around with their bikini dresses wives in super mario cars. They cruise on the only paved road which goes from north to south and drift over the unpaved muddy side roads. A real life video game where the man feels like his childhood. The islands are dramatically beautiful. We arrived in surreality, in paradise.
We didn't see each other for three weeks and communication was almost impossible. Zoë battled the waves of the Atlantic while Olivier discovered Senegal and visited some charity projects. An empty fuel tank makes Jatinga celebrate a holiday on the most beautiful islands of Brazil. Zoë arrived in the morning and did all the arriving formalities for the sailing boat. After a miscalculation with the time zones she has to rush and hitchhike to the airport. Olivier is still standing in the line, while Zoë can spy him behind the reflecting window. Suddenly Olivier spots some sun glasses that he recognises. Quickly Zoë retreats, but when she looks again, Olivier makes a little jump of joy. The window almost breaks because of the love butterflies that want to break trough when our eyes meet.
There are too many things that need to be said, too much emotions to release and there is too much love to catch up. We spent five days on Fernando de Noronha and there couldn't be a better place on earth to be united again. From day one our hands to do not release anymore. The islands are 525 kilometer from the Brazilian mainland and are described as heaven in Brazil, with crystal clear water, abundant under water life, paradise beaches and tropical landscapes. It is hard to find words for this beauty. All island is protected and the major part is National Park. All the flora and fauna is protected against overexploitation. The residential area is limited and a maximum of 500 people is daily allowed on the island. Paradise is ours!
The price of this paradise is almost unpayable. Sleeping is more expensive than in Amsterdam, some sticky breads costs almost five euros and there are daily environmental taxes. To reduce costs we sleep in the sailing boat and hitchhike in the mario cars. The first night doesn't go according to the plan. A miscommunication makes us sleep on thd beach. We waited for hours but Dieter and Margrit didn't appear. The next morning we finally find a local fisherman that brings us to the boat. After some heavy arguments it is clear that we had to come directly to the boat after arriving at the airport. Our mistake, but still incomprehensible to let us sleep on the beach. Anyways, in the end we had a romantic night inside a wooden boat and enjoyed breakfast with sunrise and our feet in the sand.
We swim, sunbath, walk, dive and snorkel. Swimming is just like a wild warm swimming pool where the waves splash against the rocks. A shower in open air with scenic mountains on the back is Zoë her first shower in 25 days. The trails are marked with all shades of green and even the rain showers can't change the beauty. We snorkel above a giant sea turtle and swim next to a reef shark that hides under a rock. We dive with Atlantis Divers and on the last day we snorkel in the natural pools of Atalaia beach, where only one hundred persons are allowed everyday. The underwater life is astonishing and colourful, just like the Great Barrier Reef.
After five days our romantic holiday is over and five more days suffering on the sailing boat last, before we meet again on the mainland. Dieter and Margrit are still angry and make life very tough for Zoë. Those five days feel much longer than the three weeks before, counting every minute to the end. The wind doesn't help and blows Jatinga too far to the north, which make them arrive in Cabedelo, 150 kilometer north of Recife. But finally there is the moment we have been waiting for so long. We lift the bicycles from the boat, touching earth again. Tearing of the plastic feels like opening a present and the bicycles survived, looking like new. They did well, three months without complaining, from Las Palmas to Cabo Verde, Gambia and now Brazil! Time for a new adventure!