Karma Surf Retreat, Portugal

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If you’re looking for a surf and yoga retreat in Europe with a difference then look no further.

Ola Nina recently chatted with one of the co-owners of Karma Surf Retreat in Portugal – Jens Kielmann.

Set in the beautiful mountain village of Malveira da Serra, owners and friends Jens and Timo first met at elementary school in Germany. Timo arrived in Portugal about 10 years ago and took his first job after university in the Algarve selling solar heating projects. Jens followed about five years ago when he decided he needed a change.

Jens started his own business as an online marketing consultant. But it was three years ago that Timo and Jens decided to create a business together so they could combined their hobby – surfing.

With good business knowledge behind them, the duo thought of Algarve-Surfcreating a holiday for people wanting to relax and surf yet find decent, affordable accommodation away from the crazy party scenes.
Jens said he remembers looking at surf holidays for himself but not really finding any appealing offers.
“I felt “too old” and exhausted for sleeping in a six bed dorm or tent amongst 20 to 40 drinking, smoking and partying 16 to 23 year old youngsters,” Jens said.
“When we finally came across the location it felt like all the pieces came together and the Karma Surf Retreat was born.”
The result? a retreat that offers luxury villas with double room accommodation, a big paradisiac garden and pool with sea views, high quality yoga and surfing lessons and delicious, homemade food.

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“With everything we do, we are really detail-driven and always add our personal touch and individual service for our deserving guests,” Jens said.

“The villa is situated close to Lisbon in Malveira da Serra near Praia do Guincho – one of the most beautiful beaches of the area – right next to the natural reserve Serra de Sintra.

“Its right at the westernmost point of continental Europe Cabo da Roca. Being close to Sintra and Lisbon complements our sportive components perfectly as it offers many interesting venues for sightseeing, which is highly appreciated by our clients.”

A typical day at Karma Surf Retreat:
Wake up at 7.30am. Stay in bed until 7.55am. Do yoga from 8am until 9am, join other guests at breakfast until 10am, get picked up by the surf teachers and driven to the beach, have a surf lesson and some time to chill while having a vegetarian lunch package.
Get brought back to the villa or stay at the beach. Have an hour to relax or yoga in the afternoon. Relax. Go out for dinner or prepare a nice meal with the other guests back in the fully equipped spacious kitchen of the villa and enjoy it on the terrace watching the sky turn purple. Have some stimulating conversation, a good night wine and go to bed for a resting nap.
On Saturday (changeover day) the retreat offers a brazilian welcome barbecue for guests serving Picanha as well as vegetarian options. On Wednesdays the retreat offers a five course Portuguese seafood lunch and for relaxation – massages right after.

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The retreat is now offering new packages in combination with yoga, such as SUP (stand up paddle boarding), climbing, hiking and mountain biking.

The retreat is also offering special weeks such as a functional fitness or mindfulness (MBSR) week with special guests. Also special yoga teachers are visiting the retreat once in a while to share their knowledge, such as Brittany Trubridge, wife of the world record holder in freediving Wiliam.

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It’s truly is hard to find something comparable like Karma Surf Retreat in Europe. There is Yoga Retreats or Surf Camps where you can each book the other activity as an add-on. You can sleep in tents, low budget accommodation, but also expensive luxury resorts (hotels). Each one with its own disadvantages. It truly seems like these guys have put a lot of thought into this retreat and created great accommodation and packages to make the whole experience memorable.

“Although its much more work than we have expected, we are super happy with what we have created and love to see how we make people happy and relaxed. Our luxury and quality of life is determined by the fact that we are able to go for a sunrise/sundown-surf-session or whenever we want between our daily work. If we really need a break we pack our VW vans for a weekender and head to secret beaches north or south of us and do what we like the most: surf – eat – sleep – again!.” 

For more information visit their website: www.karmasurfretreat.com 

Wow what a life guys thanks for sharing your story with us! – Ola Nina

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Introducing..Alejandra Altuve

Read our latest profile piece on down to earth bodyboarding goddess 30-year-old Alejandra Altuve ‘Ale’ from Caracas, Venezuela.

by YourTrueLook

Years bodyboarding:12

How did you get into it? 
I ‘ve spent most of my childhood days at my grandpa’s beach house, fortunately just a few blocks from the sea. I could go to the beach barefoot or just ride the bike with my brother and our lil’ gang and we could stay for hours in the beach, swimming in the shorebreak, watching the surfers, having fun in the little “sandbar” of La Punta,Ocumare-Aragua (where everything started).
We’ve spent and enjoyed every single vacation,weekend and all my “free days” playing in the Ocean,surrounded by people who loved and respected the Ocean and teached me and inspired me to do the same thing,such as my grandpa, my beautiful mom and my uncle Angel,they took me to sooo many amazing little adventures when I was a kid,that maybe I started to be connected with nature since I was very young because of that, even before I have started Bodyboarding. It was something natural. I always wanted to practice bodyboarding or surfing, since I was a child, I knew that I wanted to be in the water all the time,but we lived in the city,so in the beggining it was kind of hard to get support for it.

Why do you love it?
Bodyboarding in Hawaii_Matt Catalano photo frame This is a tough one! Bodyboarding has given me so much,  I know that it could sound like a cliché but it’s true! I’ve been blessed with such an amazing lifestyle as an athlete and representing my country, traveling to exotic and challenging places all over the World, getting to know their culture and maners, their people and some friends that then have became my “family of the World”. It’s such a blessing to get to surf so many of the spots that I’ve dreamed about when everything started. I love the fact of being an “ocean – soul” that can inspire, support and help others to follow their dreams thru bodyboarding and the social work that I am involved with in different communities of my country or even when I travel around the world and I can get along with other people that will support the project.

Are you chasing the pro tour or? what is your situation with it?
Yes , I am! And it has been an amazing experience for growing up myself as an athlete and for representing Venezuela.
Last year I’ve got placed 23rd. on the I.B.A. Women’s World Tour, not the result that I am working for but definitely very motivated and focus to improve those numbers! 
This year I just started another tour, which is the ALAS Latin Tour, and where I got positioned on the 4th. Spot of the Latinamerican Ranking! Which is pretty motivating for a new year and a new tour.

What is it about the ocean that you love?
I  just love the way it makes me feel,  I become part of it. Oneness. Must be the freedom of flowing  with the water. Those kind of things that you just can feel , not describe or tell. I love the glow and the joy I feel after surfing. 
I love the way I challenge myself when I surf in a new spot,  or when the waves are firing, the adventure that comes with it and the fact that it’s unknown makes me feel more focus and into it.
Every wave is different,  every spot has it own enchantment and I love that. I never could get bored of it! Lots of challenges that has made me the woman that I am right now. 
I love the connection with the Ocean and all the possibilities that it represents to me, “we are in love with each other” haha!

Describe yourself.
This is a harder one!  haha! O.K. ! Of course I do love the ocean and the way that my life has been shaped and surrounded by it. I feel gratitude for all the blessings that comes into ” the package”, I truly love that.
I am a dreamer but I am a warrior of my own dreams and many times I go on battles by helping others on theirs, that melts my heart. I love to give.  Sometimes fooled (by fools) but many others BLESSED (by beautiful souls), it’s all good ’cause everything it’s part of my growth and strength. 
I am very creative and active. I love being an enterpreneur , an athlete.  I am a “day person”. ISunset time by YourTrueLook enjoy my family, my house,  real friends. I love the joy of simple things that bring huge power in my life.

What or who inspires you?
Everything during “the journey” inspires me,from the little things to the bigger ones: waking up every morning in front of the ocean, driving all the way from the beach to the city, by the ocean side gives me some “extra-energy” to carry on with me during the day
I have been inspired and influenced by many womens from family. Outstanding ladies that teached values and inspired me to believe in myself and to follow my dreams no matter what,  as long as you act honestly and with God in your heart in every step you take, that’s the best inspiration I could have for life.

Favourite places to surf?
Hawaii,  Puerto Rico,  Canary Islands,  Brasil, Nicaragua, Ecuador and of course home: Cuyagua  (fav break in Venezuela) and Los Roques.

Best place you’ve travelled so far?
Impossible to pick just one. Top 5 so far soooo good: Hawaii (O’ahu and Kaua’i) , Azores Islands, Canary Islands, Chile and Australia.

What do you like to do other than bodyboarding?
Mainly I love to create in many ways: writing, painting, cooking and designing. I like to create and develop concepts for events, campaigns, brands or projects.
Also I am about to launch KEi ♥ Swim | Surf & Sport WEar,  my line of swimsuits, surfwear and sportwear, which also will be promoted by a cool and smart movement of lifestyle that involves fitness, nutrition,sports, fashion, design and others.  We want to educate thru our work, we want to inspire thru our triumphs and we want to motivate and support through KEi!

in California by YourTrueLook

What global issues are you interested in?
wow there is a list that breaks my heart, but there’s another one that makes stand for something, so I am developing #sirenasproject,  a small project of high impact that looks to educate girls thru sports and motivational speaks so we can prevent women’s abuse and their lack of security and courage to prepare theirself for better opportunities. We care about the environment so every activitie gets involved along with ecological actions. 
I also stand AGAINST GMO & MONSANTO ! and all the damage that they’re causing not only in hawaiian lands but also in human beings bodies!  Manipulating food, fruits from the earth and its genetic! 
REMEMBER: We are what we eat! 
and don’t forget overall, to RESPECT what we come from: the land.

Thanks for chatting Ale.

Berry good kale smoothie

I know kale is one of the latest ‘trend’ foods around at the moment but to be honest I had only tried it once and  decided to grab a bunch of it at the fruit and veg shop recently.

Kale has a bitter taste similar to rocket but is actually quite delicious. It is also seriously good for you. In fact, it is one of the healthiest vegetables around at the moment.

Kale is high in beta carotene, vitamin K, vitamin C, and rich in calcium. So with all of that aside, I decided to whip together a few kale-inspired recipes. One I recently came up with is what I like to call the berry good kale smoothie.

This recipe will serve two people.

You will need:
1/2 cup of kale leaves (stems removed) wash the kale and pat dry
1/2 cup of fresh or frozen blueberries
1 frozen banana
2 heaped teaspoons of natural yogurt
1 cup of milk of your choice
1 teaspoon of honey
A dash of cinnamon
Note – you could also add a teaspoon of chia seeds or two tablespoons of LSA

Add all of the ingredients to a blender and blend until smooth. Make sure that the smoothie isn’t too chunky and the kale is pureed well.

YUM YUM enjoy!

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Think Positive – Learn to achieve your goals

I often speak to people who say “I can’t run to save my life”.

Well I’ve got news for you sweetheart, if you were being chased by a wilder-beast and running was actually going to save you, you’d be sprinting for the hills!

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Does negative thinking limit our ability to achieve new goals? Barbara Fredrickson certainly thinks so.

Fredrickson is a a positive psychology researcher at the University of North Carolina, who recently published a landmark paper on the impact of positive thinking on achieving your goals. She studies how positive thinking affects your work, your health, and your life and if her paper is anything to go by, thinking positive can make all the difference.

Thinking Negative is Limiting

Have you ever thought that maybe you are afraid to fail? Negative emotions and thoughts are based around fear. When you feel afraid of trying something new, it’s generally because you are scared about the outcome. Not knowing what can happen makes us uncertain and because of our fear of failing (and what that might mean long term), we limit our opportunities. When you say “I can’t do that” you cement the negative thinking in your mind.

Positive Thinking Gives You Opportunities

Happy thoughts don’t vanish as soon as you might think. Actively thinking positive opens you up to try more things. When you think positive you physically relax and you become less concerned about the outcome of a situation. In fact thinking positive is a great way to stay ‘in the now’. No one knows what the future will be bring, so instead of being afraid, focus on enjoying right now. Thinking positive about a new goal can give you confidence and help you relax.

See Your Glass Half Full

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How Can You Turn Negative Into Positive?

It can be hard to stop the negative thoughts and focus on the positive, especially if you’ve made a habit of negative thinking! The easiest way to turn your thoughts around is by doing the following things.

1) Be aware of your thoughts – it’s your brain, you get to decide how much energy you spend thinking positively or negatively. It might seem hard at first, but actively addressing negative thoughts and reshaping them into a more positive attitude can help change those bad habits. It takes time to get rid of a habit, but just like quitting smoking, you’ll be healthier in the long run!

2) Surround yourself with people who enjoy life – they say we are a sum of the 5 people we spend the most time with. Make sure those people inspire you to live a happier life and achieve the things that make you feel positive. Hanging around with negative Nancy’s all the time is draining and long term their negative thinking will hold you back.

3) Meditate – Fredrickson‘s research shows a clear correlation between people who meditate and positive thinking. Meditation also has the added bonus of relaxing you, decreasing stress and helping you be more mindful.

4) Play and Create –  Spend some time each week in an activity that brings you joy, whether it’s painting, drawing, running, surfing or playing on a swing set. Setting time apart to have fun will keep you feeling happier and keep those positive thoughts flowing.

5) Be kind to yourself – we are often our own worst enemy. It’s hard enough to deal with negativity from the outside world when we are filling our own minds with it every day. Remember, you are the first person to hear your thoughts, thoughts become words and words become actions. So think as you wish to be. 🙂

6) Embrace the bad days – everyone has bad days when it gets pretty tough to deal with negative thoughts. Give yourself the time you need to wallow, but remember, negative thinking is self indulgent thinking. Give yourself a time limit to get all your grumbling out and then wake up the next day ready to start afresh.

Whatever your goal, learning to run, draw or play the guitar, positive thinking will help you get there. Thanks to people like Fredrickson we now know that it does make a difference, so smile and give, whatever you’ve been afraid of, a go!

Keeping our oceans plastic free

BINNING a couple of pieces of rubbish every time you visit a waterway or are outside may seem like a minor act but to a group of ocean advocates it can help make a world of difference.

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Environmentalist and Take 3 co-founder Tim Silverwood and his friend, Adrian Midwood of Ocean Ambassadors took part in a mammoth east coast sailing journey of coastal communities from Brisbane to Sydney between January 7 to February 3 to raise awareness about the affects of plastic pollution.

The ocean-minded pair stopped into Forster NSW on Friday (January 24) along with Newcastle yachtsmen Ivan MacFadyen.

Mr MacFadyen’s story attracted international attention when he told The Newcastle Herald of his horrific discovery of a severe absence of marine life and large islands of floating rubbish out to sea during his yacht race between Melbourne and Osaka last year.

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After learning about the project, Mr McFadyen and his wife Kari joined Tim and Adrian on their vessel, the S.V Moana in Coffs Harbour on Friday January 17.

When I read Mr McFadyen’s story I personally couldn’t help but be affected by the words on the page. His haunting description of a desolate ocean with no marine life painted a grim reality of what is sadly mankind’s destructiveness.

When Adrian told me Ivan was on the journey with them I couldn’t believe I had the opportunity to speak with him. There were so many questions running through my head.

Despite his article attracting millions of page views, Ivan remains a humble person and is still evidently passionate about the state of the oceans.

There was a lot I wanted to pick his brain about but the real things I wanted to ask him was: so you’ve done this trip and witnessed this, but what now? what are you going to do?

Ivan simply said that if we remain idle about the situation it will only get worse. He plans to help two Australian organisations out who he believes are doing a great job.

“It’s (project) a great start. It might seem insignificant to some but we can only hope that it grows,” Mr Macfadyen said.

“I truly believe I’ve seen into the future and I’ll tell you, it’s bloody grim.

“I don’t want to be negative but I can foretell that if we don’t make change our whole planet will end up that way.

“Because of the article, I got contacted by every environmental organisation in the world who wanted me to get on board with them and the help.

“I couldn’t physically support all of them so I decided to join a few ocean groups because the ocean is a big part of my life.

“I believe what Take 3 are all about so i joined them as well as the NSW Conservation Council because they protect marine sanctuaries.”

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I also had the opportunity to speak with Ivan’s wife Kari who explained that she wasn’t always an environmentally engaged person but had become so inclined because of her husband’s influence and his recent trip.

“I was just every joe blow who would throw a ciggarette butt out but now I think ‘Oh my god I’m contributing to all of this’,” Kari explains of the rubbish she picked up during the stopover in Forster.

“I must admit I’ve become a lot more conscious now especially after Ivan’s trip. We helped out a lot with the guys when we stopped in Port Macquarie. I couldn’t believe the amount of rubbish there. It was disappointing.

“Now, when I see little bits of plastic around I am quick to pick them up because it’s the little bits that are obviously inviting for fish and birds.

“That’s where we really need to see the big picture.”

Mr Midwood said the tour was about making people aware of the negative effects of plastic pollution towards our oceans and wildlife and what can happen if we don’t reduce it.

“It is one of the largest problems around at the moment,” he said.

“Our focus is not to make people think the sky is falling were not trying to be negative about it but we can make a conscious choice to fix it.

“If people support products that work with organisations to clean our beaches up it can change the way things are.

“The labels on products a lot of the time are confusing but people need to realise what they are buying and should look to see what organisations are doing the hard work.”

Mr Silverwood believes that if the South Australia container deposit scheme was rolled out across the country it would dramatically change people’s actions.

“I’m very supportive of changes to legislation. We need to introduce a bottle and can refund system like South Australia, everywhere,” he said.

“We need to recognise that if we incentivize people to do the right thing it can work.”

A large group of locals and visitors took part in an hour long clean-up around Tuncurry beach on Friday January 24. People scoured around the rock wall, beach and dunes.DSC_0669

The clean-up resulted in the collection of more than 400 cigarette butts, 45 plastic bottles, more than 100 glass bottles, 50 aluminium cans and over 60 plastic bags.

Groups also collected several amounts of fishing line, bait bags and 45 pieces of disposable cutlery and plastic straws that were mainly found strewn across the rock wall and on the beach. Mr Silverwood said the rubbish collected weighed in at approximately 70kg.

As part of the tour, Mr Midwood also promoted an innovative Japanese technology which converts plastics into oil and was used to fuel their sailing vessel for the trip.

What you can do to help

Three things we shouldn’t be using in order to help the environment:

1. Single-use plastic bags – take reusable bags to the shops instead.

2. Single-use PET plastic bottles – stainless-steel and corn-plastic water bottles are available.

3. Products packaged with polystyrene and styrofoam – there is no viable way to deal with these plastics once they are thrown away.

If you have never read this it will quite possibly change the way you think about oceans and pollution: http://www.theherald.com.au/story/1848433/the-ocean-is-broken

The next time you’re at the beach why not take three pieces of rubbish with you. You may think it is a minor act but it all helps in the long run.

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It’s 2014 – watch this space…

Well..it’s been a while in between surfs and travel and as the first post for 2014 we would like to wish all our lovely Ola Nina followers a brilliant New Year IMG_1105

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We thought we would start off with some photos we’ve taken and some we’ve seen this year that we love. Expect bigger and better things from the Ola Nina team this year we are hoping to bring you more profile pieces, yummy recipes and of course travel stories and unique things to see and do.

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Stay tuned Ola Nina lovers..watch this space! and here’s to a top year full of waves, sunny days and good times..lots of love L&C xxx

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India Reinartz – Wellness Tips

Our resident Yogi, India Reinartz, has some awesome tips to help keep you healthy, happy and wise. IMG_1077fx-1024x682
India’s Top 5 Tips for Overall Wellness:

1) drink lots of water – drink as much as you can!

2) Keep your attitude positive – don’t let negative energy bring you down.

3) Live on the edge and get a little crazy – we all need to let our hair down and keeping your lifestyle balanced is key!

4) Eat a balanced diet, don’t skip meals. Learn to understand what your body needs to eat for nourishment.

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5) Take rest and use your creative energy in whatever way you can. Feed your mind with wonderful stimulation and your positivity will flow!

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We hope you’ve enjoyed these 5 fabulous tips by India! You can read more of India’s surfing and lifestyle tips by staying tuned to Ola and keeping an eye on India’s website: www.papayawellness.com

Teriyaki Tofu Salad

Teriyaki Tofu Salad –
This delicious recipe is a healthy dinner option and tastes amazing!

Photo from Taste.com

Photo from Taste.com

You Will Need:
1 tablespoon kecap manis

1 tablespoon soy sauce

2 (250g) medium carrots, peeled, cut into matchsticks

200g Japanese-style teriyaki tofu, thinly sliced

1 cup beansprouts, trimmed

3 green onions, thinly sliced

80g baby Asian salad greens

2 teaspoons sesame seeds, toasted

To Make:
Step 1 – Whisk the soy sauce and kecap manis together in a jug.


Step 2 – Combine carrot, tofu, beansprouts, onion and salad greens in a bowl. Drizzle with kecap manis mixture. Sprinkle with sesame seeds. Serve, eat and enjoy!

Surf Fitness Tips

Our resident surfer babe from Nicaragua (India Reinartz) shares some of her key tips to staying surf fit and healthy! 

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India’s 5 Tips for surf fitness:

1)   Cardio – interval cardio training will help with fast reaction time.

2)   Core strength – great moves are the plank pose, oblique and abs work outs and pilates!

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3)   Flexibility – overall, it’ll help with your movement in the water and will help you prevent injuries.

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4)   Continue swimming when you aren’t surfing to help with cross training to help maintain your paddle power.

5) Swim under water laps to maintain good lung control and help you keep calm under pressure.

You can read more about India and her amazing surf/wellness retreats in Nicaragua, in her interview!

Work Your Core – Yoga at home!

When it comes to surfing, core strength is key. Sadly (for me) it’s often the weakest point, leading to back pain, stiffness and other injuries. I will also admit not wanting a pot belly for the rest of my life.

Ol’ Peggy is back with some easy-as-pie core yoga moves. You can work your core from the comfort of your own room. Enjoy!