2019 - 2020
Meet Sonia - Yoga
Sonia is The Salty Pelican’s full time in-house yoga instructor. As a wellness professional and ambassador, she has dedicated over 8 years of her life studying emotional wellbeing in the field of yoga. She is a licensed yoga teacher and has developed an innovative program for our guests incorporating meditation with both Yin & Yang yoga styles and pranayama breathing exercises. Sonia's strengths include aligning the asanas safely and assisting each guest in a gentle way.
“ Learning how to breathe properly is really important. It will calm you down when you're stressed, relax your body, and tighten your focus. These are all things you want to be doing when you're surfing. Breathing is the first thing we do in this life… When done properly, breathing can really contribute positively to your overall health ”
As a surfer, Sonia knows the physical benefits of adding yoga to your surfing routine, in building balance, flexibility, and strength. She self practices yoga daily, including her own personal spiritual practice, eats plant based foods and makes the appropriate rest times…. but Sonia loves to also get out on the water and just surf the waves all day long with friends ”
“ My values in life are based on helping others… I want to guide others to find their way back to their energy centres in the midst of a busy work life, relationships and stress. I teach tools to understand one’s energy and help find happiness through practising yoga ”
Meet Monika - Co-founder & Head Masseuse
Role at The Salty Pelican... Im one of the co-founders of The Salty Pelican and I'am also the retreats "mum", always happy no matter how bad the day may seem.... I will always find a way to make you smile and cheer you up. Not only that but I'am a qualified masseuse with over 10yrs experience and available everyday to help you relax with a beautiful Ayurveda massage.
Background experience... I grew up in The Alps, Austria, in a tiny little village called St Johann in Tirol. Im an avid snowboarder, nature lover, qualified masseuse and now I have fell in love with surfing. I have spent a good part of my life travelling away from home and conquering the world one country at a time for the last 13 years. A few years ago we began planning our dream retreat, like many we had found along our journey... and now here you have it ... The Salty Pelican and I hope you love it as much as we do. I am also the head in-house masseuse and I will pamper your body with a relaxing deep tissue Ayurveda massage during your stay with us. Highly trained and a practitioner all over the globe, my vast experience over 15 years will allow you to fully appreciate my relaxing massages in a long lasting way.
Secret super powers... Don't know, just ask Gareth, he will tell you that I make dirty laundry and mess disappear hehehe I have been told my massages are simply heaven... I guess it's not a secret anymore ;-)
“ Praia da Ursa, in Portugal for me is the most magical of places to breathe and find yourself.... My other favourite place in the world has to be Wanaka on the south island of New Zealand.... What a Beauty ”
Craziest experience... OOOhhhh theres too many, probably spending 15 years of my life with GARETH is crazy enough heheheh. No but really having spent the last 15 years travelling the globe together, from hiking the Himalayas.. to being marooned on a deserted island in the Philippines... my life has been a little crazy here and there.
Meet Gareth - Co-founder
Role at The Salty Pelican... One of the co-founders at The Salty Pelican.... Im surrounded by the most amazing team that do their absolute best to keep the Salty Pelican that super cool place that everyone knows us for. Im that guy you will probably chat to through emails before arriving... I also manage all of The Salty Pelicans social media, advertising, web design and graphic design. Have been known to cook up a storm on the BBQ a few times a week with delicious grilled sea bass to die for.
Background experience... I left school in Australia a looonnggg time ago and I finished my studies in graphic design. Quickly I realised life was running away from me, so I bought a ticket to Europe.... I had no plan or much money for that fact..... Skip 15yrs later, 45 countries later and a whole lot of fun, good times, great people, great experiences..... Now we present you The Salty Pelican in both Sri Lanka and Portugal... a place filled with love & so many inspirations we found along our worldly travels. I have over 20yrs experience in the hospitality industry... so we are going to take real good care of you and your needs.
Secret super powers... I'm also really good at organised chaos... just ask Monika.
“ I love hiking and summiting mountains all over the world from the Himalayas, The Alps, Corsica, New Zealand, Japan to Norway.., up there I feel my mind is the clearest and lightest. I'm also a lover of escaping to some wild deserted beaches in the Philippines.... a beach with not a soul but myself... I would classify as paradise ”
Craziest experience... Probably leaving alone for Europe all those years ago without a plan and being pretty much broke... somehow I turned that into the most craziest 15yr adventure of a lifetime that I truly will never forget.
Meet Tiago - Co-founder
Role at The Salty Pelican... Hey! I'm Tiago, 26 year old and Proudly Portuguese! Im one of the co-founders of this legendary great place, The Salty Pelican. I'm the guy everyone comes for help, advice and fun!
Background experience... I grew up near the now famous big wave surf mecca of Nazaré, Portugal. I've studied IT Management in college, I have a degree in Multimedia Development, and at the moment I'm finishing my Bachelors degree in Hotel & Hospitality Management... I'm here to show you the best possible time and offer you all the advice and planning you will need for your stay with us.
Secret super powers... My secrets super powers are always knowing the number of beans in a jar, having a great haircut, and knowing the best combination of ingredients for a pizza. I'm also a great hugger. I'm going to make you smile and laugh during your stay... That would be my official super power ;-)
“ I'm still kind of young at heart when it comes to world experiences... But my favourite places in the world are, of course, The Salty Pelican in both Portugal & Sri Lanka, my hometown Nazaré, and any dinner table with friends, family and sangria ”
Craziest experience... Skydiving and bungee jumping.... maybe that one time I realised you shouldn't go for a pee after slicing some chillies...owwiiiee
Zanda - Operations Manager & Social Host
Role at The Salty Pelican... I Am Zanda from Latvia originally! I work extremely hard everyday to make sure The Salty Pelican guests are always having a great time in the and out of the water, organising all your activities and attending to any requests .... I love my job and that brings me the greatest pleasure I can share with everyone around me ;-) I Am looking forward to welcoming you to The Salty Pelican soon.
“ I started off working for The Salty Pelican in Portugal 2yrs ago and have gradually become a key member of the team and I'm currently based setting up the foundations for our new surf & yoga retreats in both Portugal and Sri Lanka. I have been travelling all over the world and have the best advice and positive attitude to offer all our Salty Pelican clients. I will help you spend your days here stress free whilst you practice yoga, mediation and learn how to surf with the best instructors ”
Secret super powers... My secret super power is my smile regardless of how bad your day has been, I will find a way to share my positive energy with you ;-)
Favourite place in the world ... I love Hiriketiya in Sri Lanka but of course my sweetest love is for Portugal! The waves, the nature, the food, the culture and the people !! Either way, I spend my time between two of my favourite places in the world regularly.
Craziest experience... Probably moving from Latvia down to Portugal full time last year, to pursue building my role further at The Salty Pelican. It's now taken me to the other side of the world on this crazy adventure ;-) I can say I Am really happy about that.