Meet the Team
Tipi Valley is a small operation run by people who are passionate about their environment and their work. Apart from maintaining our retreat and running our programs, we endeavour to look after you as our honoured guest and we love meeting new people, sharing ideas and making you feel at home, like an extended family member.
As we say in Portuguese: Bem vindo! Welcome!
Laurie Quirk – Founder
Laurie grew up surfing as a grommet in the mecca of Australian surfing locations, the Gold Coast. Burleigh Heads, Kirra and the Super Bank were all local breaks. At age 16 his wanderlust took him on the classic Australian pilgrimage to Indonesia. In fact he was one of the youngest surfers to surf G Land (Grajagan) back in ’85. Grajagan was the worlds first 'real' surf camp in its truest sense. Living in a tree house in the remote jungle of southern Sumatra, tiger prints in the sand, 8-10 ft. perfect barrelling lefts peeling mindlessly down the reef. Life couldn't be better. He was hooked!
Afterwards it was an endless, obsessive pursuit of surfing and world travel that would continue for another 20 years and lead him to Portugal.
When he finally returned to Australia, the hunger for exotic waves and world travel had not waned and he went on to live 2 years in California, 1 year on Hawaii's North Shore, 2 years in Japan and over 3 in South Africa and Zanzibar before venturing to Europe and settling in Portugal. His wanderlust has remained strong ever since and he continues whenever possible to travel and surf the globe. He now works professionally in the maritime industry as a captain at the Marina de Lagos. Now if he is not in the water, he is on the water! Laurie has practised Yoga on and off since he was a teenager keen to incorporate the benefits into his surfing lifestyle. He completed his intensive Yoga Teacher’s Training course in the Sivananda Ashram.
Cecilia Galvagni - General Manager
Born in Brazil, Cecilia comes from an artistic background with a professional dance education and carrier, and always possessed an avid curiosity about the world and a great love for travel. In addition she has always possessed a keen interest in meditative practices, self understanding and different sources of spiritual knowledge.
These interests took her to Eastern Europe and India, where she travelled and studied. Her travels and pursuits have given her an insightful understanding of human needs, as well as encouraged her to try and get experience in different working fields far from her original pursue in administrative positions. Cecilia is a high organized person who loves problem solving in addition to having a sincere friendly customer-oriented style, skills that were further polished most recently, while she worked for a fast-paced international law firm based here in southern Portugal.
GABRIEL RODRIGUEZ - Duty Manager
Gabriel loves to stay tuned to nature and its rhythms. Here he finds an inner peace which reflects on his personality and simple but "rich" lifestyle.
Originally from southern Spain, he followed his natural instinct and graduated in hospitality management. This adventure took him to work in a number of traditional style hotels in countries like the UK, Germany, Mexico and the US.
In 2010, the lack of identification with the corporate working environment and the stressful city life, led him to take a gap year to reorganise his ideas and redefine his career path. It turned out to be 3 years of extensive traveling in South America with a simple goal: to combine surfing with working and volunteering in sustainable tourism projects. He worked in Peru, Brazil and Chile where he found inspiration again and discovered that an alternative yet quality approach to the tourism industry is possible. While in Chile, he also took part in a Permaculture course and became an ISA surf instructor.
Gabriel enjoys making sure his guests feel happy and in harmony with their surroundings. He is confident that Tipi Valley has all that is necessary to help its visitors to emulate that balance between mind, body and soul.
Lauren Hill - Yoga INSTRUCTOR
Queen Bee of the Valley and our lovely Yogini, our English rose is Lauren.
With recent moonlit travels to Hawaii, California and around Europe, Lauren splits her time between snow flakes and salt water; In the French Alps, Portugal, Devon, and the US. Laurens yoga roots started in Barcelona – where she took her first class over 10 years ago.
Laurens teaching experience and studies are impressive to say the least. Certified 200hr Yoga Alliance yoga teacher.
Furthering her studies at Yoga Campus (The Life Centre) in London, she later studied in Ibiza - Vinyasa Flow Yoga which is still her passion. Lauren studied under the highly esteemed Guru of Vinyasa flow, Shiva Rea!
Adding to her already strong forte:
- YA qualified pregnancy yoga teacher, studied under Uma Dinsmore-Tuli
- YA qualified SUP (stand up paddle board) yoga instructor
- Lomi Lomi Massage Therapist, she studied this Hawaiian healing art on the magical island of Maui where she has travelled over the past winters.
Lauren's dynamic and conscientious approach to her work and classes will guarantee you are experiencing varied, fun and safe classes in a magically holistic environment .
Odeceixe Surf School
David, born and bred in Aljezur, and Cindy, his beautiful Dutch partner, who have a baby boy Lukas, are the family owners of Odeceixe Surf School.
Tipi Valley has been working with Odeceixe Surf School for many years. David and Cindy lead the team of fun and informative surfing instructors who will not only get you on the right equipment but will take you to the best surf beaches. They’re happiest when you as a new surfer are happy and progressing.
Rogerio (or Roger) is the head instructor. Also born and bred in Aljezur, he is a patient, good-natured and hands-on instructor. Often in the water alongside the students as they catch their first waves, Rogerio’s goal is for everyone to get to their feet and surf safely and with style! Roger was a lifeguard on the very beaches where he now teaches and knows the local conditions better than anyone.
Pedro (EM BOAS MÃOS) - Masseur
Pedro hails from Porto, north of Lisbon, but now lives locally in the village of Aljezur, chasing waves – and Reef (his dog) and leading surfer´s life. He is trained in Shiatsu, Swedish and remedial massage and is available for half-hour or one-hour massages at the retreat. He’s especially talented with alignment and lower back issues. Being a surfer himself he knows the muscles that get hit the hardest from a long session on the water and will always leave you in a state of deep bliss after working his magic. The only problem is you will not want him to stop! Massages are offered at camp in a private, comfortable setting.
Our extended family
Keeping us all smiling and amusing us with their simple and playful ways are our dogs, Shisa and Lucky. Often our biggest inspiration, they all love a bit of attention so if you see them when out and about, give ‘em a hug, a scratch or a “hang five” shaka. They are all just cruising and living in the moment, much as we all aspire to do.