João Saraiva goes to the Alps looking for what doesn't appear on the postcards

Which leads someone to leave the mild climate of the Algarve and his daily work as a scientific researcher for […]

Alps_João SaraivaWhat makes someone leave the Algarve's mild climate and his daily work as a scientific researcher to embark on a journey that will take him along the paths of the Alps, during the coldest season of the year? For João Saraiva, it is his passion for nature and the mountains, but also for sport, that leads him to hit the road alone, to spend three months in the Tirol region, in Austria, at the beginning of 2016.

«This is an exploration campaign that will cover, on foot, by car or by transport as possible, the Tyrol region, which is one of the most famous in the world. This region is part of the imagination of winter sports practitioners and mountain lovers, and I want to explore it», summarized João Saraiva, researcher at the Center for Marine Sciences (CCMar) in the Algarve, in an interview with Sul Informação and to Rádio Universitária do Algarve, the media partners of this project, which was officially unveiled this friday.

João SaravivaThis 38-year-old biologist is also passionate about extreme sports, namely surfing and snowboard, and for music, being a DJ and collaborator of RUA FM (102.7 FM).

João Saraiva's intention is not to take a trip that takes him to the obvious places. "The proposal is not to go to the best known places, but to find those pearls, the areas that normally only locals know, and make them known to the public," he revealed.

This disclosure will be made through a blog, which the candidate explorer already promotes, and the Sul Informação, with whom João Saraiva will collaborate during the months he spends in the Alps, reporting on the progress of his adventure.

This is a personal project, "a dream", which has substantial costs, which led the promoter of The Perfect Winter to launch a crowdfunding campaign, where he hopes to gather support to make this record, a survey that he hopes will be useful to other adventurers in the future.

“I want to reveal these special places to the public, but treat them with the respect they deserve. It's not about revealing the secret spots, but to bring to the public knowledge the existence of some places, always with due respect», he stressed.

During his stay in the Alps, the Portuguese explorer also hopes to dedicate himself to the snowboarding, one of the sports he practices, like surfing. This is a sport that is not so accessible to a Portuguese, much less someone who lives in the Algarve, due to the climate, but which has not prevented the number of practitioners from growing in Portugal.

“It is natural that there are more and more practitioners of winter sports, because they have been democratizing. Going to the snow is no longer a luxury. In some cases, it can be cheaper to spend a week in the snow than a week in the Algarve, for those who are not from here. There are already quite economical trips and a circuit set up to take people to the snow in a comfortable way», he assured.

João Saraiva will also make his van an occasional homeAnother option is to use your own means, as the Algarve researcher has been doing, who uses his van not only as a means of transport, but often his makeshift home. The back of your vehicle, the same one that you will use to travel between Portugal and Austria and to travel around Tyrol, is equipped with a bed, so you only need to park and stay overnight, if necessary.

Another objective of this trip is to get in touch with adventurers who, like him, “threw themselves into the mountain, and stayed there”, to interview them and spread the word about their experience. “The lifestyle, living with snow and difficulties, are things that I would also like to document”, added João Saraiva.

Who wants contributing to The Perfect Winter crowdfunding campaign can do it online. The adventurer who will depart from the Algarve already has some sponsorships, namely from the brands Freshlines Boards, Pipeline Surf & Snow Shop, One Love EcoSurf products, MG Snowtrip, Bukideias and Malacca Wines.