Tag Archives: chile

Spring Equinox!

Happy Spring Equinox! ūüėäūüĆĪūüĆł

“You can cut all the flowers but you cannot keep Spring from coming./
Podr√°n cortar todas las flores, pero no podr√°n detener la primavera.”
~Pablo Neruda.

#WorldPoetryDay #unesco



Mother Language Day

Mother Language Day


Languages connect us. I’m grateful to have grown up multilingual and multicultural. It took me a while to fully embrace the importance of this when I was younger, but now I proudly celebrate being different. I’m proud of my Portuguese, English, Spanish, Egyptian, and Scottish influences and heritage. I may not have one place to call home, but calling the world my home is a great thing too! ¬†Happy #MotherLanguageDay!


Snippets of a Nomadic Year: From South America to the Balkans

Extremely excited to have my travel article published in the current Explorer issue of F*Shift Magazine about my adventure year exploring South America and the Balkans! Check out my story for F*Shift Magazine in the digital edition (pp.40-41), order in print, or view on the website! Thanks and I hope you enjoy the snippets!

My travel article ‘Snippets of a Nomadic Year: From South America to the Balkans’¬†published in the current Explorer issue of F*Shift Magazine, pp. 40-41, digital edition and in print! (now also on the website).

Short excerpt from the article:

I breathed in the earthy humid air as I took another step deeper into the dense tangled jungle. As I trekked through knee-high swamps any sudden sound would conjure mirages of Cayman crocodiles known to roam these waters. Ancient watchful trees whispered stories across the mist threaded forest. An orchestra of squawking parrots and howling monkeys followed me as I explored this sensory maze. I will never forget the Amazon.

A backpack, scuba kit, and boarding pass ‚Äď these have been my three survival essentials of this spontaneous nomadic year. The moment I passed my Ph.D., I knew I was seeking a complete shift in lifestyle. As an underwater archaeologist with a curious spirited mind, I had a yearning for a stimulating adventure away from academia. My childhood dream had been to explore South America, submerging myself in its captivating nature and culture. Though I love the incessant, vibrant creativity and rhythms that flow through London, I needed to escape life‚Äôs rush. Coincidentally, a friend told me about a possibility to work in Chile. That was all I needed to hear ‚Äď so I seized the chance, jumped on a plane and set off! I was suddenly teleported to the charismatic, colourful port-town of Valparaiso, where this year‚Äôs journey began.


Continue reading Snippets of a Nomadic Year: From South America to the Balkans

Discovering the Atacama Desert!

ATACAMA ¬†DESERT! A dry and barren lunar-like geology surrounded me. Silence filled the air. I felt as though I had somehow stepped foot on another planet. It was otherworldly. In the heart of Northern Chile‚Äôs Atacama Desert, Valley de la Luna‚Äôs jagged land is one of the the driest places in the world, shaped by the Atacama Desert colliding with the Andes mountains, pushing salt lakes below surface, leaving salt flats in view. Despite these arid conditions, the Atacama Desert holds diverse landscapes painted with soaring¬†volcanic and Andean mountain backdrops, contrasted by vast salt flats, fiery rocks and flamingo-filled lagoons with beautiful symmetries in their waters. The towering summit of the Volcano Licancabur formed the natural border between Chile and Bolivia. Rock-formed ‚ÄėMonks‚Äô and ‚ÄėCathedrals‚Äô shaped by volcanic eruptions and winds watch over the sweeping sand dunes, commonly compared to the ‚ÄėMoais‚Äô of Easter Island. Spouting geysers and thermal springs lurk at higher altitudes. Local villages are filled with artisan crafts and designs, surrounded by wandering llamas and vicu√Īas. This enchanting canvas is transformed with the settings of the sun and the revealing of the immense starry skies and milkyway that leave lasting imprints on your memory.

[excerpt from my ‘Snippets of a Nomadic Year: From South America to the Balkans‘ article published in F*Shift Magazine‘s Explorer issue, Oct 2016, pp. 40-41]

Just got back from an incredible trip exploring the surreal Atacama Desert in northern Chile! If¬†you’re an adventure-seeker, nature-lover, photographer, archaeologist or explorer… Atacama is for you!

Here are a few snaps from the adventure:

Valle de la Luna

Lagunas Altipl√°nicas, Piedras Rojas y Laguna Chaxa

Star-gazing and the Milky-way (with Space Observatory)

Atacama’s starry sky and milky-way. Photography: Steven Lopez

Rock cathedrals and Monjes (Monks) de la Panaca in Salar de Tara

Geysers de Tatio y Thermal Springs

Laguna Cejar, Ojos del Salar and Laguna Tebinquinche

Fun shots with amazing people:

For a detailed low-down on how to plan your trip with tips on what to watch out for and things to not miss out, check out: Oh Snap! Adventures blog post!

And make sure you add Atacama Desert to your bucket list!!!

Wreck diving in Valparaiso

Centre for Maritime Archaeology alumni (University of Southampton) reunited in Chile! Diving on a shipwreck in Valparaiso. I’ll update this soon with more¬†about the wreck and what diving is like here, so stay tuned!

Centre for Maritime Archaeology alumni (Uni. of Southampton) reunited in Chile! Diving on a shipwreck in Valparaiso.

My first earthquake!

I felt my first earthquake this past Monday night, 25th Jan 2016!

According to Centro Sismológico Nacional it was of:

“Richter Magnitude 5, 61 Km NW of Valparaiso, Chile.”

Apparently these more moderate earthquakes are quite common and daily, though we only feel them if they are above a magnitude of 4.5. Just to give you a little background, Chile is on a subduction boundary, generated by the collision between the Nazca and South American tectonic plates (and¬†bordering the Antartic plate). The most powerful and “largest recorded earthquake in the world”¬†happened¬†off the coast of Chile¬†in 1960, with a magnitude of 9.5!!

Also,¬†my South American friend¬†told me you can download the ‘Quakewatch’ app¬†to keep updated on¬†earthquake activity around the world.

Shipwrecks & Runways

VALPARAISO! As the bus turned beyond a mountain pass, I was suddenly welcomed by an explosion of kaleidoscopic colours of Santiago‚Äôs bohemian sister town, known to the locals as Valpo! And my new home. A dynamic harbour-town built over 45 hills on which its traditional elevators, ascensores, still trundle up and down the steep hills, cerros. From atop you breathe in this city with all its beautiful chaos, the same views that inspired the Chilean poet and activist Pablo Neruda’s poetry, and many others.¬†This city re-awakened my senses and thirst for creativity. At every turn, I was faced with gritty multi-hued houses and alleys, with the town acting as a canvas for inspiring street art representing post-dictatorship progressive political expressions and movements. It was great to dive and explore Valparaiso‚Äôs bay, aside from the cold Pacific waters! The many shipwrecks and artefacts discovered in its bay continue to give us clues into its historic past, having been a strategic port during the gold rush for trading vessels rounding Cape Horn, which led to its boom and cosmopolitan nature. Street performers and Latin rhythms always resonated across Valpo, bringing the streets to life. Art festivals showcased influential artists like Chilean rapper and activist Ana Tijoux. I even made it onto the local newspaper once, enjoying a wine tasting event which gathered traditional wineries from around the country! It is also the town where I experienced my first earthquake ‚Äď though common in Chile, the sudden strong trembling that pulsated through the apartment shook me! A fond memory was my weekly stroll by the seaside where I would be greeted by an unexpected horde of large sun-bathing playful seals! ¬†This is Valpo!

[excerpt from my ‘Snippets of a Nomadic Year: From South America to the Balkans‘ article published in F*Shift Magazine‘s Explorer issue, Oct 2016, pp. 40-41]

I thought I’d kick off this creative trigger with my¬†first post to this new blog…a venture I’ve been meaning to take on for a while. I lead somewhat of a double life:¬†I’m an¬†underwater archaeologist and international model. And so here it is, ‘Shipwrecks & Runways’ – a glimpse into my adventures around the world stemming¬†from two of my main pursuits. Hope you enjoy the ride! ūüôā

P.S. To follow my various pursuits, check out:

streetart valpo - collage
The whole city of Valparaiso acts as a canvas for amazing street art and graffiti representing progressive political and creative expressions and movements.
market - Copy2
Valparaiso is a charismatic harbour-city, full of colour, art and tradition. Bohemian performers, markets,¬†street art, ascensores… all bring the city to life! It is also a UNESCO world heritage site. Bring on the Chilean adventure! ūüôā