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Every day’s a Tropical Sky schoolday

Now as I’ve still so much to learn I rely on the dream-makers, our holiday providers, to teach me… and I know that every day’s a Tropical Sky schoolday.

Because Tropical Sky it was who schooled me in snorkelling after earlier false starts in Barbados.

I’ve picked up a number of other attributes on the way.

Keeeeep dancin’: With Judy Murray in Portugal

Learning to play tennis like a grand slam champion from Judy Murray in Quinta da Lago on the Algarve.

Ride like Roy Rogers in the Wild West and cling onto a tub on the rapids in Colorado.

Paint like Picasso in Tobago though I kept reaching for the mixing pot to drink out of habit thinking it was rum.

Or cook like Craddock and bake like Berry anywhere between my old stomping ground of Co. Wicklow and the States.

All these skills and a few more, tobogganing, scootering, paddel (a hybrid between squash and tennis) and paddle boarding I’ve also picked up along the way.

Although I was for once tongue-tied when asked to blow my own trumpet (still to do that one) by the inimitable Marsha in Tobago.

Picture perfect: With SLM & Marsha in Tobago

When she asked our party what we were good at.

And while my colleague (and her favourite) Vic wowed her with his acumen in building his own house.

My claims of being a poet from my time at the Edinburgh Fringe didn’t impress her and she pipes up: ‘Jim, you got no skills.’

Of course I showed off me skills while seeing off Vic at the goat racing with Marsha watching. No kiddin’!

All of which came to mind while browsing through the list of activity holidays Tropical Sky have to offer in their latest mail drop.

Antigua, set and match

Holding court: Curtain Bluff Hotel

Curtain Bluff hotel, Antigua: Anyone for learning tennis, and the five-star Curtain Bluff Hotel, in verdant Antigua.

Look out for Antigua Tennis Week each Spring and Tennis Challenge Week in November.

A seven-night AI stay at Curtain Bluff Hotel, with flights from London Gatwick, arriving 20 May, is from £3,679 pps.

Curry favours in Sri Lanka

What a curry-on: Jimmy in the kitchen

Anantara Kalutara Resort, Sri Lanka: Now I’ve another of my go-to holiday providers, G Adventures, to thank for teaching me the secrets of curry making.

Not all of them mind, I could still do with Spices Cooking School at Anantara Kalutara Resort to fill in the rest.

Recipe for dis master: The Dhal

Their interactive classes see you explore the spice markets with the chef and pick out the ingredients before tucking into your meal with Prosecco.

A seven-nighter, arriving 12 June is from £1,629 pps half-board with return flights from London Heathrow.

Cookery classes can be booked for an additional cost of £124 pp.

Wild West Hero

Cowboys and eejits: Colorado

Tanque Verde Ranch, Arizona: Now forgive me if I retell the story of how I ran into a cowboy ex-Aberdeen University classmate in the baking sun on the Great Plains.

And I asked him as he taught me how to ride a horse if he missed the sub-zero temperatures of the north-east of Scotland.

Now Tropical tell us that nestled amidst the desert and mountains of Tucson is the Tanque Verde Ranch.

A six-nighter at Tanque Verde Ranch, arriving 12 June from £2,649 pps, sharing a Road Runner Sala on full board basis.

With return flights from London Heathrow with Tropical sister company

Painter Lucia

Picture perfect: The artist

Anse Chastenet: In St Lucia is a long way from Joe Reilly’s art class painting apples that looked like men’s parts.

As it happens it took my Tobagonian pals to make an artist of me and show that I could paint… in this case a mill.

The Anse Chastenet is nestled within a 600-acre estate with beaches, coral reefs and views of the Pitons.

Let artist Naja Misaki Simeon take you on a group class on Tuesdays and Wednesdays or opt for private sessions for a fee.

A seven-nighter AI at Anse Chastanet, arriving 12 June, is from £2,449 pps with return flights from London Gatwick.

Atoll order

Let atoll commence: Kuramathi

Fushifaru Maldives: Now what to do when you’re caught between a coral and a hard place.

As I was in Kuramathi when swallowing water I tried to stop on the Indian Ocean floor.

Only to be scolded for killing the coral while it was cutting my feet!!

Snorkelling was my limit but if you want to extend yourself to scuba diving Best Dives at Fushifaru Maldives will show you how.

A seven-nighter AI at Fushifaru Maldives, arriving 20 May is from £3,299pps with return flights from London Heathrow.

And for my Tobagonian pal Marsha’s information.


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