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Nazaré | Portugal

A few images from a trip up the west coast to the fishing town of Nazaré, famous for big wave surfing and bad-ass old ladies who wear loads of skirts (all at the same time). I didn´t get any photos of the ladies, but next time I will.

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Alcaçovas Alentejo
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Alcaçovas | Alentejo

Most of my husband´s family is from the Alentejo and half of them still live out there, in various towns scattered across the countryside. This works out perfectly as we are always visiting one house or the other and the Alentejo just so happens to be my favourite part of Portugal. This is Alcaçovas, where we spend our Easters.

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Berlenga Islands Peniche
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Berlenga Island | Peniche

Last summer we hopped on a ferry boat in the fishing town of Peniche to spend the day on Berlenga island, off the west coast of Portugal. The Berlenga archipelago is a nature reserve so the “human footprint” is quite limited… apart from a few houses at the harbour, the lighthouse and the fort, there isn´t much here apart from seagulls and clear blue seas. We only spend the day but I loved the wildness of this place and would definitely like to come back and spend a few days here.

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Tiny Atlas Quarterly Travel Photography
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Tiny Atlas Quarterly | West Coast

Tiny Atlas Quarterly is one of my very favourite online travel magazines and I´ve been a fan since they published the first issue in 2013, so it goes without saying that I am very stoked to have one of my images on the cover of their latest, the West Coast issue.

Apart from their inspiring imagery and creative layout, what I love about TAQ is that it´s a labour of love, a personal project started by Californian photographer Emily Nathan, that has grown exponentially since it launched a few years back. What started out as a space for creative collaborations and personal assignments has become one of the fastest growing brands in the world of travel and I´m proud to be a (small) part of it. Here´s hoping some of their coolness rubs off on me! 😉

Tiny Atlas Quarterly Travel Photography

Juncais - Serra da Estrela
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Juncais | Serra da Estrela

Being a freelancer and  working from home has it´s pro´s and con´s, like everything else in life. Pro´s include being able to work when the inspiration strikes, whether it´s during the “real world work hours” or at 3am and conversely, being able to take time off on a Tuesday afternoon because the weather is great and you´d really just like to be on the beach right now. It also means that you can spend the entire day in your pyjamas which may or may not be a good thing… I´m on the fence about that one.

The crappy part, however, is that for the most part, it´s just you… all day. I am lucky enough to have a husband in the same boat as me (which also has it´s pro´s and con´s but that´s a WHOLE other story) but for most freelancers, it´s a solo gig and that can get a bit lonely at times. Reaching out and creating a network of like-minded creatives is something that has changed my life in so many great ways. The internet is great for this; it´s so easy to find people travelling the same path as you and connect with them. But even better than virtual friendships is when you actually get off your butt and do stuff with these rad people that you “see” every day on Facebook. So that´s what we did, last year in central Portugal.

We spent 3 days in a rural village with a motley collection of photographers and videographers, drinking wine and working on personal projects. These guys are such a source of support and inspiration and we feel so lucky to be able to count on them as professionals but even more so as friends, advice givers, shoulders to cry on, problem solvers, cheerleaders and a never ending supply of political incorrectness and terrible jokes. I have a huge amount of love in my heart for this crazy bunch and while I don´t think that these images adequately convey how I feel about them all, these are some photos from our long weekend in the middle of nowhere.

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Henrique Cepeda, one of the videographers in the group, make an incredibly cool little clip from our weekend away, which I´ve embedded below. If you don´t speak Portuguese you´ll just have to imagine that we´re all saying very humorous and witty things…

Porto Portugal
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Porto | Portugal

Every time we visit Porto I fall a bit more in love with this quirky little city. It´s different from Lisbon, in spite of still feeling Portuguese it´s almost as though you´re in another country. It´s a small, compact city, which is great because you can abandon your car and head everywhere on foot and there are so many cute little corners and tiny shops to be discovered, it´s always such a treat to spend a few days here.

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wine farm photography portugal
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Quinta de Sant´Ana

qsa-wine2wine farm photography portugal

These images are the culmination of a year long project documenting the day to day activities of the Quinta de Sant`Ana, a wine estate just north of Lisbon. The idea of the project was to capture the year of a wine farm, following the seasons and recording all the elements that influence the time-line of small scale wine production. The quinta recently updated their website with some of these images, which you can see in the screen-grabs above. And the photos below are some of my favourites from the year long project… as well as a “behind the scenes” shot of me looking ridiculous in a beekeepers suit in order to document the hives.

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travel photography iceland
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South Coast | Iceland

Our last few days in Iceland were spent on the south coast, near the town of Vik. It was at this point in our trip that we realised just how big this island actually is. Bigger than Portugal, according to our friend Google. We drove from Budir to Vik all in one go, via Reykjavik as there was no alternative route to avoid the city. The speed limit here is 90 km/h and there are speed traps EVERYWHERE. For people accustomed to the Portuguese driving style (ie: as fast as you can get away with) this was worse than Chinese water torture and made an already long journey seem to go on forever.

However, once we arrived on the south coast it was definitely worth the effort and this part of the country is dramatically different to the western part we had just left… much greener and more fertile. We visited the black sand beaches at Vik, checked out a few waterfalls, stopped to chat with countless beautiful horses and just generally spent our time here driving around and exploring the countryside.

Southern Coast Iceland

The highlight of the south coast (for me, anyway) was Seljavallalaug, a geothermally heated swimming pool hidden in a glacial valley. It was tricky to find and required a good 15 minute hike up the valley to get to (which thankfully eliminated all but the most determined of visitors) but the effort was more than rewarded by a swim in the warm water. We spent a few hours here and I would love to see this place in the winter, covered in snow… the warm water must be even more delicious in comparison.

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This is a map of the places we visited and the general route we took during our week in Iceland… click the image for the original map if you want to zoom in or see more details. We would love to do this again as there were so many things I wanted to see that we did´t have the time for. Our next visit will definitely be with a 4×4 and at least 2 weeks long, to be able to drive all the way around the island and explore a bit more off the main roads.

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If you missed the previous blog posts you can see them here: Reykjavik, Golden Circle and Snæfellsnes Peninsula.

 

Snaefellsnes Peninsula Iceland
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Snæfellsnes Peninsula | Iceland

After several days in Reykjavik and our day trip through the Golden Circle, we hit the road for a longer drive out to the Snæfellsnes Peninsula on the west coast of Iceland. This part of the island is very wild and windswept… not much in the way of human settlement as the area isn´t very habitable, or farmable. It seems that the biggest industry in the part of the island is fishing and the few towns we did encounter were all on the coast.

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We spent a few nights at the Budir Hotel, which stands by itself on the edge of an enormous lava field. Besides the famous Black Church, there is nothing else around for miles and when we drove up the mountain and looked back down to the hotel (see below) the vastness of the landscape really dwarfs the hotel on the edge of the bay… makes you feel really small, in the greater scheme of things.

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Next up: the South Coast.