1 Day at Regua.
I normally start my day sleeping, I have a bedroom i share with Suzie in a little house backed onto a wetlands. In the house we have 3 bedrooms for people staying, a lounge area (with a table lots, of books and two sofa`s) and a bathroom.
Around 7.00 to 8.00 we wake up (unless we have a long walk to do, or fancy a lie in). I have a shower, and prepare myself for another hard days graft - Ha haaaa!!
We have breakfast at the kitchen across the coartyard. The walk is across a grassy area, a dirt road and the coartyard, even by 7.30 the heat can get oppressive, often exceeding 30*C. Breakfast usually consisting of Granola, cheese sandwiches, bread and jam, a good selection of tropical fruits. We try to be ready to work by 8am, but it can be earlier if it is going to be hot and we want to go walking.
In the morning we could be working in the nursery, planting trees, walking in the forest with rangers or collecting seeds with Mauricio (the nursery manager), helping with maintanence, clearing leaves. . . . On the odd day we could start the long process fo waiting for the rain to stop.
Lunch is between 12.00 and 13.30 depending upon who is about, who has visitors etc etc. I eat with the other volunteers (during my stay this included Sam, Humphrey, Holly, Suz (Blates!!), Alex, Paul, Jenny, Lisa and Louise) normally Nicholas and Raquel (the owners managers of the reserve), somtimes forestry engineer Aline, computer dude, Mauricio and any others who are about and have a hankering for some food. Our food is prepared by the ladies that cater for the tourist house. Lunch nearly always has beans, rice and salad. Somtimes we have pies freshly prepared, potatoe dishes, lentils, soup. The quality of the food is outstanding and the sheer quantity is exhausting!
After lunch I maybe take half an hour or more to relax, use the internet or read. After this we go back to one of the activities mentioned before, maybe take a walk to a river for a swim, maybe take a dip in the swimming pool at the Villa. Work for the employees ends between 4.00 and 4.30, so we finnish around then.
Supper is left for us to eat when we want, usually between 6.00 and 8.00. Again, almost always including the typical Brasileiro Feijao è Arroz (beans and rice) and any of the other delights above. After supper we Read, Internet, Swim, Chat, Play with the ferrel children that live on/near the reserve, go to Guapiaçu or Matumbo for a beer or walk about the place. At the weekends we go to Guapiaçu for a swim at a small river beach, go to Rio do Janeiro, Nova Friburgo, Cachoeras de Macacu. One weekend we went for a comunity bikride with the young rangers, and another we had a Churasco (BBQ) with the staff. If all else fails you can just R e l a x . . . .
I go to bed between 9.00pm and 11.00pm and normally end my day sleeping.
Regua is a not-for-profit NGO aiming to conserve the upper catchment area of the Guapiaçu river, an important water supply for nearby towns and cities, and a major water source for the people of Rio de Janeiro, and to conserve the unique habitats found in the area. The work consists of Patrolling the protected areas (using local men, many of whom have used to be hunters) Creating opportunites for reasearch by people from universities all over the world, Reforesting areas that have been deforested in the past (there are alot - all but 7% of the atlantic rainforest has been lost) And restoring small areas of wetland that we drained for agriculture. The NGO is run by Nicholas and Raquel Locke. Nicholas inherited some of the land and has bought other areas from realtives as the surrounding area was once a huge family farm.
After 2 months at the reserve i decided to go and see some of the surrounding area. I saw Petropolis, Walked from Petropolis to Teresopolis (one of THE famous walks in Brasil) And went to the beach resorts of Rio dos Ostras And Buzios where i met Matias and Juan. It was fun.
Below you can see photos of My time at Regua after this.
Nicholas and Raquel at a BBQ we had.
Mayara, the real boss of Regua, Brasil, and the WHOLE WORLD!
The Regua Team.
This little friend was growing in my leg.
Caraça and Ouro Preto in Minas Gerise. Me and suzie we for a week, Foi muito bom!