Caribbean, Countries, Culture, Europe, Ireland, UK

Covid-day Snaps – get to the front of the Q

They’ll be the new social group, the Quaranteenies… those who are, like Tom Hanks in the Terminal, stuck in an airport but can’t move on.

Strange times. But what does it all mean to be in quarantine?

Well, my old Kiwi-Aussie friend Simon who moved to Norway knows.

He had to make his own way back to Oz via Asia and was locked down in Melbourne for a fortnight.

Entertainment: North Berwick style

Musico that he is he was OK in isolation, getting food into his hotel, though he did say the view did start to ware on him.

Turkish treats: Istanbul Airport

Better though than the man on the ladder decorating the outside of his house whom I see every morning.

It’s like watching paint dry.

If I have to be quarantined at any airport then I want to make it Istanbul Airport and Turkish Airlines Business lounge.

Straight down the airport: Turkish Airlines’ Business Lounge

They’ve got bedrooms, a cinema, a golf range, toy car track and enough food and drink to feed an army.

Just leave the key under the mat. See www.turkishairlines.com and Wham bam, thank you Hamam.

El Hierro of the hour

Just swimmingly: El Hierro

So what will we all be looking for when Travel returns… biodiversity is up there.

El Hierro, the second smallest of the Canary Islands after La Graciosa with only 11,000 inhabitants, is a UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve and Geopark.

The Meridian Island is aiming to be the first 100% sustainable island in the world in four to eight years.

El Hierro’s https://www.hellocanaryislands.com and https://elhierro.travel/en/ volcanic connections help, of course, and the eruptions of 2011 and 2012 have helped renew the seabed.

Our island: Only 11,000 inhabitants on El Hierro

For the dolphins, stingrays, barricudas, white sharks and my fave…

The turtles who I got to meet on the other side of the Atlantic www.visitbarbados.org Turtle recall.

I’m told that there’s a 16km water route trail which I’m hoping doesn’t involve getting my beardie wet.

And it’s all happening below: El Hierro

It’s more than a hop, skip and a jump to get there and you may want to combine El Hierro with another Canaries Island.

With the Canaries opening up again I’d suggest Tenerife https://www.visitingtenerife.com with CanariaWays https://canariaways.com and A walk through the ages… Tenerife.

Greece is the word

An old relic and the Acropolis

The Gods on Mt Olympus have calmed the unclean air where all our spray has been collecting.

And Athene has seen to it that her showpiece Acropolis and the other outdoor archaeological sites have been reopened.

Standing on the very stones where Socrates and his toga-clad pals scratched their beards and worked out the world was worth the circuitous route to get there… https://athensattica.com and My Greek odyssey.

At the Parthenon

With the UK exploring an air bridge to Greece on account of its low R rate we will all reconnect with the great civilisations of Hellas soon.

Check out your government’s health and travel guidelines.

MEET YOU ON THE ROAD

Adventure, Africa, Culture

This plant can save the world

Raggy Charters https://www.raggycharters.co.za isn’t your normal dolphin-watching boat company.

You see owner Lloyd Edwards and manager Jake Keeton are putting back what they are using in carbon emissions whey they are whizzing their boat around Algoa Bay, the bottlenose dolphin capital of the world.

Fins are looking up: Algoa Bay

I have come to Port Elizabeth on South Africa’s Eastern Cape to find out more.

And to meet the locals…Human, dolphin and pussycat https://www.visiteasterncape.co.za www.southafrica.net and What’s new pussycat?.

Lead the way

Raggy Charters’ Lloyd and Jake (and Sahara their Jack Russell) have a mini-jungle of plants around their jetty.

And they plant a new spekboom plant every time they take the boat out.. it acts as a succulent. And here’s where you can find out a lot more… https://www.samara.co.za/blog/five-things-didnt-know-spekboom/.

Cuttings to the chase

The spekboom project which originated in the Eastern Cape is the idea of Aidan Lawrence, of SATSA Eastern Cape, who handed out 600 spekboom cuttings to delegates.

Our boat comes in

This is SA’s response to the carbon emissions problem.

Flying shame

And the flygskam (flying shame) campaign championed by Greta Thumberg among others.

All of which salves my conscience a little as I am acutely aware of how many air miles I have been chalking up.spekboom-planting-agents-samara-conservation-karoo-south-africa-marnus-ochse-980x560You see the humble speksboom only stores solar energy to perform photosynthesis at night.

And it is ten times more effective per hectare than any tropical rainforest.And I’ve seen how valuable our rainforests are this year, in Tobago, www.visittobsgo.gov.tt and It’s Robinson Crusoe’s very own Tobago.

In the Tobago rainforest

While we doff our hats to what the South Africans are doing on the ground it is worth mentioning that global airlines and cruise liners continue to explore ways they can address carbon emissions.

 

Pppppick up a penguin

And British Airways www.ba.com are leading the way.

From the start of this year BA is now offsetting carbon emissions on all flights within the UK.And it is investing money in green projects around the world.

The challenge ahead

The challenge remains huge.

With a study from 1st Move International https://www.shipit.co.uk/blog/other-articles/cost-of-carbon highlighting the 20 top destinations for travellers from the UK.

Not to depress you but a return trip from London to Mallorca will cost the planet six trees.

Walking in Tenerife, the eco way to go

I feel a little less guilty because my flights to Tenerife www.hellocanaryislands.com and https://www.visitingtenerife.com.

And A walk through the ages… Tenerife Tenerife was five trees.

And I took me in some rainforest there too.

Plant those trees

The 15.62 average UK visitors to Spain would each owe 43,237,500 trees, about 3017 football pitches.

But who knew that Nature may just hold the answer in this little plant, the spekboom?

Uncategorized

Hungry and Thursday – Drink Canaria dry

It was a challenge, rescheduling our wine-tasting meeting in Tenerife from early evening to late morning.

But I’m always up for a challenge.

The problem was that we had a woman and a man down on our climb up to Aver the previous day.

And that meant postponing that night’s drinking.

But the Canarian wines dulled their senses and eased their pain (and mine).

Bentayga winery

I return to Canarian wine and that memorable CanariaWays.com http://www.canariaways.com trek https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/tenerife-walk/ and introduction to the magical multi-faceted North and West of Tenerife.

Because someone else has had the idea too… https://www.hellocanaryislands.com/ and they pinged me their latest news.

Ears to Tenerife

We’ve been drinking Canarian wine since the 15th Century while they’ve been drinking it since God put grapes in the ground.

And St Andrew stopped off on the island and got drunk, leaving a lasting legacy… https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/2019/09/02/tenerife-and-scotland-wave-the-same-flag/

There are 135 different varieties with the volcanic malvasía a particular favourite of William Shakespeare who references it in his plays.

El Grifo Winery

And which I tasted on that fact-finding mission.

You can find it in the off-sales Merchant of Vinos. OK, I made that last bit up.

There are many other native varieties such as the baboso, listán or vijariego, among others.

Vines at Camino La Faya

And needless to say I couldn’t pronounce any of them after drinking my fifth, sixth, seven, eighth… hic!

What distinguishes these wines is the salinity of the sea and volcanic minerals.  

And the islanders have been working hard to recover little-known native varieties that have gone on to prove very popular. 

Half a bottle to go… in Tenerife

The islands have 11 certificates of origin. Tenerife has five of these seals of quality:

Ycoden Daute Isora, Abona, Valle de Güímar, Tacoronte Acentejo and Valle de la Orotava. 

Islands’ vine lands

And the beauty is that each island is different:

Lanzarote is known for its volcanic malvasía and La Palma for the aromatic malvasía.

Is that all I’m getting?

There are also other peculiar wines such as wines from the whistling island La Gomera, made with the forastera variety.

The baboso reds hail from El Hierro, a variety recovered from the brink of extinction, as well as the more extended whites of Diego or Verijadiego.

It’s wine o’clock and guess what I have a bottle of malvasia in the rack and The Scary One’s off work tomorrow!