If you read my beauty blog, Mirror on the Wall, then you will probably have a) already seen some of these holiday snaps, and b) be aware that I'm currently spending some time in Brazil. My husband is Brazilian, so we tend to spend a lot of time over here, and while we are not usually based at the seaside, last week we decided to take an impromptu road trip to our favourite place, Arraial d'Ajuda, Bahia.
A beautiful colonial town situated close to Porto Seguro, the point at which Brazil was discovered by the Portuguese, Arraial d'Ajuda is crammed with beautiful beaches, high quality restaurants and bars, nature and wildlife.
It wasn't our first visit - in fact, we'd already been there several times before, having fallen in love with it the first time we set foot on the narrow cobbled street, lined with cute boutiques and beautifully lit restaurants, that leads down to the sea. But each time, we are every bit as awestruck as we were the first time around, and it's always a huge wrench to leave.
I won't take you through every last detail of our daily activities, so let's just say there were lots of cocktails, sunbathing and beach walks involved during the day, and more cocktails and dancing by night. My favourite thing about Arraial is how beautiful the village begins to look from about 6pm, when the sun goes down and the lights come on. Everything is beautifully lit, with fairy lights lining the outsides of restaurants and shops, and trees bathing in pools of green light. The picture (fifth from top) really doesn't do it justice, but it really is breathtaking, and there is not a 'hair' out of place anywhere on the street. The night air is filled with the soft sound of live music, and while there are huge numbers of bars in close proximity to one another, all in the open, they all seem to be perfectly in sync, each one perfectly complementing the next and never interfering with its vibe.
The highlight of the trip was definitely visiting a beach called Praia do Espelho (Mirror Beach, pictured at the top), a true hidden gem and a certain taste of paradise. It's place we had always intended to visit, but being an hour and a half's drive off-road from where we were staying, we have always eventually shelved the idea in favour of extra beach time in Arraial. However, this time we took the plunge, and it was truly beautiful, and worth every bump in the dirt track it took to get there. The water was that incredible turquoise colour you only ever seem to see on postcards, the sand white against a backdrop of tall coconut trees, swaying in the breeze.
Upon first inspection, the beach looks quite untouched, but a walk a little bit further along the reveals tasteful bars and restaurants with real beds to relax on, and beautifully decorated woven furniture to kick back on and enjoy a traditional Brazilian Caiprinha cocktail.
Other activities we indulged in during the holiday included kayaking, zip-lining and visiting a waterpark (which didn't go down too well with the hubby, given that heights aren't really his, er, thing).
We were also lucky enough to get a really good view of a family of wild monkeys, but as I haven't been able to upload the photos yet I will pop some up in a separate post.
It was a wonderfully relaxing week, and just thinking about it now is making my mind scream silently to be taken back there immediately. It was a veritable treat for the senses, and yet another memory not to be forgotten.