During the time we were living in Portugal last fall, we planned for a little weekend get-a-way. We were looking for a place that would leave us feeling refreshed, inspired and most importantly, a place that had a low carbon footprint. So we packed our bags, surfboards, and bamboo toothbrushes and headed to Bukubaki in Peniche for a weekend of Glamping!
We tried glamping for the first time, a glamorous form of camping (amazing beds inside a tent), together with enjoying surfing, good food, spa and sauna facilities, and exploring what Peniche had to offer. Bukubaki arranged a skate jam Saturday night, which attracted loads of local skaters to come and hang out (not too bad;)). We were amazed by the facilities and the closeness to nature, while at the same time being able to cozy up in a tent filled with lights.
WHAT’S GLAMPING? A concept where nature meets modern luxury, and it’s a way to live as close as possible to nature without having to sacrifice comforts. A glamorous camping!
WHAT’S ECO-FRIENDLY TOURISM? Enhances the positive economic and social aspects of tourism, while at the same time reducing the negative effects on nature or cultural and social heritage.
Bukubaki came to life already six years ago, when Marco wanted to create a space that respected nature. Living in Italy at the time with his wife, two children and one on the way they decided to follow their dream of buying a piece of land in Peniche, a small town in Portugal famous for surfing. Marco with his skate background fell in love with the surf lifestyle and friendliness of the Portuguese people. Long story short, together with another Italian couple they founded Bukubaki and created Peniche’s first eco surf resort.
What is an eco-resort?
What makes Bukubaki special is that is it planned to exist around nature, and not to replace it. Bukubaki was built using natural materials and renewable energy sources, resulting in a wonderful combination of comfort offered by tree houses and Canadian tents and a cool, earthy vibe.
As we are all time eco-nerds we wanted to dig even deeper and find out exactly how an eco-resort works and what all the different systems mean and how many details they have thought about.
Eco-Q&A with Marco from Bukubaki
Who are the founders?
The idea started almost 12 years ago in the mind of Marco Muraro and Eva Gramola, visionaries, dreamers, travelers, father and mother, surfers and skaters…after years of working on our dream, we had the opportunity to meet Monica Gasparotto and her husband Danilo Costa that believe in our idea and decided to jump on board for this new and exciting project. By joining our forces we were able to bring to life this amazing project named Bukubaki!
Marco, the founder & surf instructor
Can you tell us a bit about your organic garden?
We are setting up an organic garden all over the Bukubaki area. We choose to plant aromatic herbs and some fruit trees that we and the hosts use in the kitchen. Our plan is to set up a bigger garden and grow our own vegetables and be able to share them with our guests, but at this stage, we were only able to set a little personal garden for our own use. We strongly believe that it would be a great experience for our guests who live in the city to see how an organic garden works!
Can you tell us about the separate waste collection system?
Like all over the area of Peniche the waste is separated between glass and metal, paper, and “normal waste” but here in Bukubaki we are separating (as much as we can) also the organic waste that we put in a compost which we then use to fertilize the garden.
In what ways are the eco principles incorporated into the food?
We are trying to use just local products and we are giving particular attention to how those products are made. Our little organic garden serves the kitchen with some fruits, herbs and a few vegetables, the rest is bought at the local market. We use only eggs from the chicken that live outside and we don’t want to use any product made by industrial methods. Also, the meat we buy is from animals that we know lived in good conditions (our butcher has his own animal farm nearby). The fish? Here in Peniche fishing is the most popular activity and we are so lucky to receive fresh fish every day directly from the fishermen! Ah, also the coffee is bio!
Approximately how much of the electricity is created through the solar (photovoltaic) system?
Our photovoltaic system is producing 15kwa of electric energy if the weather conditions are good. The photovoltaic system works properly if the sun is shining and there is no shadow on the panels, there are moments during the day that our panels are in shadow so the production is reduced in those moments. Anyway, it’s a big help for us because it produces almost 1/3 of our needs!
You have stated that “poo is black gold”. Can you explain?
Sometimes we like to say strong things! Hehehe… The reason for this affirmation is because our septic tank is collecting all the human waste produced in the resort and, after a natural treatment of fermentation and filtration, it is drained to the terrain giving nutrition to the soil.
In what ways are the eco principles incorporated into the choices of furniture, decoration etc?
The production of our furniture was handmade by me (Marco) and a team of carpenters using just “solid wood” treated with natural oils. We gave our best to produce less waste and, tried to reuse as much as we were able to, the material that was supposed to be waste.
What do you expect from your guests? Do you expect something different from other resorts?
From the beginning, our mission in building Bukubaki was to give our guests the opportunity to learn and see with their eyes that it’s possible to do something to make this world a better place for us and our children, by raising awareness and promoting respect for mother earth and nature. We expect that our guests understand this message and be conscious of the responsibility that each one of us has in protecting this beautiful planet we all live on.
“From the beginning, our mission in building Bukubaki was to give our guests the opportunity to learn and see with their eyes that it’s possible to do something to make this world a better place for us and our children, by raising awareness and promoting respect for mother earth and nature.”