Living the Dream

Adventures in Brazils Atlantic Rainforest

Wildlife at Serra Verde


One of the things I love about living at Serra Verde is that you never quite know what you’re going to meet as you wander through the garden.

We’ve not been here a year yet and have met monkeys, iguana’s, an ocelot, snakes, a huge array of butterflies, toucans, woodpeckers and numerous other birds of all shapes, colours and sizes!FB_IMG_1540403190949

The Atlantic Rainforest has incredible biodiversity and we feel blessed to be able to live here. Once Pousada Serra Verde opens in December we look forward to sharing this wonderful place with you!





Real Ale in the Rainforest!


ThePorto de Cima Brewing  Company is to be found in the shadow of the Marumbi mountains on the banks of the Rio Nhundiaquara.

In this tranquil setting Curt uses the flavours and aromas of the Floresta Atlantica to create some truly memorable beers.


With more than 17 labels there is a beer for all tastes – my new personal favourite being ‘Joao De Barro’, which is an English style bitter ale! The brewery terrace looks out over a stunning mountain vista and is a truly special place to enjoy a beer.

The brewery and beer garden are open Friday – Sundays, 2pm -6pm and are well worth a visit.


The 3 F’s – Fossa’s, Frustration & Flowers!


It’s been a hard couple of months at Serra Verde. Of all the problems we expected to have; I never dreamt that a hole that you put what the locals call ‘coco’ into would cause us so much headache! We need 3 and by all accounts have suffered from doing things correctly and so have been at the mercy of the local council, architects, engineers and not to mention the elements! We have even found an underground river flowing through one of our regulation 2 metre deep holes!


The beaurocracy surrounding the septic tanks has also rather frustratingly meant we’ve had to build something the size of a nuclear bunker in concrete rather than the car tyre and banana tree eco option we had planned.

We’ve finally got one signed off, connected and working and hope the others will now be not far behind!

We’ve been told that we could drink the water at the end of the process – I’m all for recycling, but that’s a step too far!!! I’ll leave that for the orchids which are now starting to bloom.


Headless Horseman at Serra Verde!

Headless Horseman

Sometimes you start to forget that you’re living in the rainforest as the routines of daily life start to take over and that’s when you get a reminder…

Every morning at around 5am we hear something run past the house – we thought iguana or something similar…

Speaking to a local about this we were told not to turn the lights on and under no circumstances were we to disturb it; because it was an evil spirit passing through Serra Verde!!!

It appears that the headless horseman it seems is dead and well in Morretes!!!

Serra Verde

Our New Water Tower!

Work is Underway!

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It’s been a busy couple of months since we arrived at Serra Verde. We’ve worked hard to get the house watertight, which involved removing, cleaning and relaying thousands of roof tiles (we also got caught in a storm with no roof which meant the house and everyhing in it got soaked!). We’ve also had to replace a whole wall of the house that had been eaten by cupim (a small ant like insect that loves to feast on wood) and build a new water tower as the old one was unsafe!


Despite these set backs and lots of hard work life is good. We’re finding that a simpler more basic existence is rewarding – limited internet, no branded retail/fast food chains within 50km and having to adjust your day to fit round natures timetable all help us to feel healthier an happier!

Work is now underway on turning Serra Verde into a Pousada….

Brasilian Epic!

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I’ve just had my first Brasilian Epic! I offered to help Valdir, (who was doing some electrical work at Serra Verde) to get an old fridge and a cooker to his house. I duly borrowed a dodgy trailer and roped on the appliances – after all as Valdir said it was only 20 minutes away.

An hour later we were still heading deeper into the jungle and up a mountain on ever smaller and ever worse tracks…then the torrential rains came.

I found my car being dragged back down the hillside by the weight of the trailer, with a large drop on one side. I had to jacknife the trailer to stop, then unhitch and unload the trailer before rolling it back down the hill. I could then reverse my car down a track that now resembled a river.

My 20 minute favour returned me home 4 hours later soaked to the skin!!!


Hello Serra Verde!


It was somewhat of a relief to finally arrive in Brasil after so much getting ready for the move – for an eon it seemed that all we did was say goodbye, try and pack our lives into 2 suitcases each or do something for the last time!

Grey and cold Heathrow gave way to blue skies and a very hot Curitiba and our adventures had truly begun!

After endless Brasilian central beaurocracy we finally escaped to Morretes and Serra Verde. We were last here in June 2016, which didn’t seem too long ago but in that time the forest had taken a heavy toll. The fences were rotten, cupim (ferocious wood eating insects) had taken hold in the house, trees were pushing walls in and the roof was leaking in multiple places to name but a few of the headaches we encountered.


We are currently well underway carrying out repairs and hope to be able to start on the main project by January!

Chulimani and it’s Dark Past

Death Road Bolivia

At first glance Chulimani is just another beautiful mountain town in the sub-tropical Yungas, however its past marks it out as something different. In 1943 the Germans sent a group of scientists here to establish cocaine production for the military hospitals in Europe. The cocaine from Chulimani was moved to Paraguay where it was picked up by U-boats and shipped to Europe.

Klaus Barbie , known as the ‘Butcher of Lyon’ was the SS officer in charge and his house in Chulumani was the site of the ‘Hotel Hamburg’ – a facade for this secret operation. After the war he and several other top nazi’s stayed in Chulimani to avoid the Nuremburg trials. Klaus Barbie, the Butcher of Lyon, changed his name to Klaus Altmann and made himself helpful to drug lords and dictators alike. He even had his own team of assassins called the Grooms of Death. American intelligence officials actually helped Barbie to become established in Bolivia as part of their crusade against communism. During his time in Bolivia he was made a Colonel in the Bolivian Army, helped to set up Pablo Escobar’s drug cartel and was involved in the tracking down of Che Guevara.

Klaus Barbie Identity

When Bolivia finally returned to democracy in 1982 Barbie’s luck ran out and he was extradited to France where he died in prison in 1991.

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