(Isa + Essentials)
Day 3 on Benguerra was our rest day. We started our morning off with a stroll along the island. The island is very quiet, you hardly see other people, just a few locals pulling out their fishing nets from the water. This was followed by the regular breakfast spread.
The rest of our morning was spent lounging on the swing bed and also some kayaking and swimming in the clear blue water.
Since we didn’t do a lot of activities on Day 3, I decided to compile a list of essentials that I’ve found have come very handy on the island. My food diary is at the end of this post.
For the sun
The weather on Benguerra Island is very constant. If I took a screenshot of the weather app, it would display 27, 27, 27, 27... 28, 28, 28... 27, 27, 27... throughout the whole day. With these high temperatures, it is important to be protected against the sun.
You definitely need a good pair of polarized sunglasses and a hat (preferably wide-brimmed).
Then you need sunscreen for your face (SPF 50+) and one for your body. This needs to be applied regularly, especially whilst in the water, as you burn a lot quicker than you think. I have two different face sunscreens, because as Coco Chanel says, “At fifty, you get the face you deserve.” And don’t forget to pack after-sun, just in case you burn.
As the weather is quite warm, and the sun can be a scorcher, I’d advise wearing any loose fitting clothing (possibly with long sleeves). I have my turquoise tunic which was my favorite item to wear here, because I didn’t get too hot and I was largely protected from the sun. For materials, think linen and pure cottons - as they are the most breathable. I also packed a light scarf to cover my face with whilst tanning.
For the mosquitoes
As a precaution, we are taking malaria tablets. Mosquitoes love me, so I am extra careful at all times when my skin is exposed. &Beyond does provide Peaceful Sleep in the rooms, but I brought along Tabard because Peaceful Sleep doesn’t work so well for me and I find that mosquitoes sometimes still eat me alive when I used anything other than Tabard. Whenever I leave our casinha, I spray Tabard everywhere I can see and reach skin. I leave a cloud of Tabard around me after I’ve finished spraying, and actually choke on it - that’s how much I put on, but it’s kept the mosquitoes at bay.
There are also mosquito nets above the beds, so you have some extra protection at night. To be further protected, I packed long jeans and jackets for the evenings (when those pesky mosquitoes are on the prowl). I haven’t had a single mosquito bite yet, so this method has been working.
For the beach
You will spend most of your time either swimming or snorkeling or tanning - basically in and around the water, so you’ll need a bathing suit. I packed 3 because that gives each costume time to dry before I wear it again. There’s nothing worse than a wet bathing suit sometimes. I also packed my trendy net bag for any essentials I’d be carrying around whilst snorkeling or lounging on the swing bed.
Since it is an island, island attire is welcome. So pack all your tunics, kaftans and sarongs, and any pretty dresses that make you feel like a tropical princess (for guys reading this - I don’t know what your equivalent to this is, but pack that!). You hardly ever need shoes, maybe just for walks on the beach when the sand is hot, or over some rough rocks and shells, so don’t forget a pair of flip flops. &Beyond also provides sarongs/wraps, so if you don’t have one - it’s not a problem. You don’t need to pack towels, because they are also provided by &Beyond.
There are so many activities on Benguerra, but maybe you need to rest after an eventful day of snorkeling, or to give your body a rest from some sunburn. The rooms are all equipped with WiFi, so you can always scroll through Instagram or update your blog (like I’m doing now).
I decided to pack in a book (A Moveable Feast by Ernest Hemingway) and suduko (I love suduko), and that’s kept me plenty busy, and helped to relax some more whilst laying on the swing bed. I also packed earphones so that I can listen to my tropical tanning playlist.
Lastly, and most importantly, across all spheres - agua! Always stay hydrated when you’re on the island. There’s a flowing supply of ice cold bottled water - tame (still) or wild (sparkling) as nicknamed by &Beyond. Being out in the sun, with such high humidity, it’s important to replenish any lost water. And the glass bottles with the popping caps are pretty fun to drink from. These are all the essentials I can think of and brought along. If you do forget anything, the Benguerra Island Shop has a little bit of everything (swim suits, flip flops, kaftans, hats).
Benguerra Island Food Diary Day 3
Breakfast was the wonderful &Beyond Breakfast spread. First fresh fruit, then Eggs Florentine as the special of the day.
Lunch was absolutely divine! To start off, we had the Benguerra Prawn Empanada with Homemade Piri-Piri Sauce. The empanadas were so light and fluffy and had so much juicy and creamy prawns inside - it was a real treat. For main course, we selected the Stuffed Benguerra Crab with Hand Cut French Fries & Tartare Sauce. This stuffed crab was presented so beautifully, I almost didn’t want to eat it! The stuffing was light and fluffy, making for the perfect island lunch.
Bar snacks for the evening were beef samosas, mushroom canapés, mixed nuts and intricate twirled calamari tubes. We enjoyed these whilst having a drink around the campfire to watch the sunset.
Now onto dinner. Anyone who knows me, knows that I love dessert more than anything. To me, if your main course was amazing, but the dessert was disappointing, I’ll only remember the dessert - because it’s how you choose to close your evening and the last impression you leave with your dining guests. So, I decided to ditch food and do dessert only. And I was not disappointed. Dessert number 1 was Garden Mint and Pear Sorbet. With the all-day high temperatures and high humidity, the cold and sweet sorbet is always welcome, and this combination was super refreshing and cleansing. Dessert number 2 was Molotov: Portuguese Flan served with Crème Anglaise. This is possibly one of the best desserts I have tasted in my entire life. I am in love! Molotov is a meringue pudding with a caramel sauce drizzled over it - this is the food of angels! I felt like I was drifting of a white fluffy cloud with angels playing harps on other clouds whilst eating this. What a heavenly way to end the day!