America, Asia, Caribbean, Countries, Culture, Europe

Happy World Friendship Day Pt 1

Happy World Friendship Day and this post is dedicated to the friends we make around the world on our travels.

And whom we’re all missing so much.

Winnie the Pooh is the patron of World Friendship Day.

And who better than the silly willy-nilly old bear all stuffed with fluff.

I’m forever indebted to Mississippian Zach who looked after me (and the rest of the group but mostly me).

On the second leg of my American Odyssey in the Deep South.

Marking the 50th anniversary of the assassination of Martin Luther King and honouring the two other Kings, Elvis and BB King.

Hit the road Zach

If it had been left to me it would have been more Tragical than Magical Mystery Tour.

With me leaving my mobile phone back in Cleveland, 124 miles from state capital Jackson.

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Zach keeping an eye on me

Where we were assembling for the opening of the Two Mississippi Museums, the Museum of Mississippi and the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum.

Zach only organised for a friend who he said was travelling up to the opening himself, but who may very well have been enlisted to help this dopey Scotsman, to take the mobile with him.

The story doesn’t end there though.

And when I put my phone down in the huge hall in the convention centre in Denver Zach appeared to warn me:

’We’re not getting someone to travel 100 miles if you forget your mobile phone this time!’

Geraldine, my Soca friend

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We binge-watched American sitcoms when the children were younger (whaddya mean? we still do).

And that meant following the misfortunes of old divil Arthur who had to be walked by his daughter Carrie’s friend Holly.

I’m obviously too young for any of that only I’m not.

And Geraldine walked me and my new Virginian friend Patsy when I went in search of Rihanna at Club Barbados in Barbados

As well as being a reason for getting up early Geraldine went the extra mile for me.

When I showed an interest in Soca music by singing King Bubba tunes.

And on the last day of my trip a CD of her favourite Soca music was waiting for me at reception.

Ich bin ein Dresdener

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If only I’d had Ingrid as my teacher when I was young.

Ingrid took us on a walk through Dresden and Saxon history at the German Travel Mart.

Her grandmother had talked to her about the Red Heaven firestorm that set alight their city at the end of the Second World War.

And told us of life under Communist rule. So good I went back for the same tour after my booze cruise on the River Elbe.

I wear the wrist band pass for the tour to this day.

And also others from my Travels which includes Denver, Los Angeles, the Czech Republic and Portugal.

Jose, the real Special One

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Life’s a beach

I can’t take her anywhere.

Jose Madomis  is taking us around Portugal Centro , wining and dining and us.

And explaining at any given opportunity why his home town of Coimbra is the centre of the Portuguese (and wider) world.

When El Scary One pipes up about how she doesn’t like Cristiano Ronaldo and Jose Mourinho.

Suck-up that I am I mentioned how inspiring they both were and got my wine glasses filled up and beers bought for me.

What Amann, what a man, what a mighty good man

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Do I pass as Jordanian? With Zuhair

It’s Zuhair, as in zoo hair, our Jordan guide told our G Adventures party.

It’s never easy being a guide and even tougher when you can’t eat and drink while the rest of your party are stuffing their faces and lubricating.

But Zuhair cheerfully took us all around Petra, the Dead and Red Seas and the baptism sites of Jesus, Mt Nebo.

Where Moses looked out onto the Promised Land and Wadi Rum.

And waited for the end of the evening Call to Arms before putting fork to food.

We were an interntational party and it’s well seen that Jordanians are the peacebrokers in the Middle East if Zuhair is anything to go by.

Friends all and friends for life…

And now I’ve begun I’ll bring you more of the guides who have made my trips and the friends from the parties I have been on.

MEET YOU ON THE ROAD

 

 

 

 

Africa, America, Asia, Caribbean, Countries

Where social distancing does not apply

They are the birds, bees and animals for whom social distancing does not apply.

The pppppppenguins I met in Sea World in Busch Gardens https://seaworld.com/orlando/ huddled together.

For warmth obviously.

And none of their handlers will need P—–PE.

So the tables have turned and now the animals run free and we’re cooped up.

So randomly here’s a celebration of all’s God’s creatures who have a place in my choir around the world.

Pppp-priceless

Hello pppp-al

Penguins in Orlando: And a tale of the handler who takes his penguin home with him.

And shared the story with us of the double take from the gas attendant when he saw the penguin in the passenger sear.

Pussycat, pussycat

Tiger queen: As every second person watches Tiger King a peak into these big cats in their natural environment.

In the Eastern Cape of South Africa… https://www.visiteasterncape.co.za.

Where Iain and his rangers at Camdeboo National Park https://www.sanparks.org/parks/camdeboo/ led us on a game drive.

And we got to see new mum Thandie with her cubs nestling under a tree… from a safe distance.

To thrill a mockingbird

Mockingbirds in Tobago: It’s feeding time at Ean Mackay’s bird sanctuary in Tobago in the Caribbean https://adventure-ecovillas.com/inthepress.htm.

While these chirpy fellas are also the perfect breakfast guests. See https://www.visittobago.gov.tt and Ready, steady GOAT… racing in Tobago.

Cheeky monkeys

What must they think of us?

Bajan green monkeys: Another breakfast guest, and these guys will climb from tree to tree around your Club Barbados billet https://www.theclubbarbados.com.

Steer away, of course, from the unscrupulous hucksters who try to push you into getting a photo with one… they mistreat them.

Stick with the Barbados Tourism Board who will keep you right with ethical itineraries https://www.visitbarbados.org. And also visit https://www.sandals.co.uk/sandals-barbados/ and https://www.eleganthotels.com/turtle-beach.

And Mother Turtle

Smile, you’re on camera

When you’ve got the expanse of the seas you’d imagine you have little problem getting social distancing.

Alas, the turtles’ greatest enemy is not each other.

But humans and the waste, the plastic we dispose of which fills up their living space.

Thankfully, we have Mother Turtle, Vanessa, a German inlander and her poster turtle Selma to showcase her beloved Kuramathi.

Vanessa and Bandanaman

In the Maldives where Island Marketing and Turkish Airlines will give you a holiday.

Which combines pleasure and respect for the natural world.

See https://island-marketing.business.site, www.turkishairlines.com and https://www.kuramathi.com.

And a word from a doctor

Now before we all locked down the film Dolittle, starring Robert Downey Jnr, reprises the story of how a doctor talked to the animals.

If only the animals could tell him how to lick this virus and how us humans could live more safely and with them.

Culture, Food, Food & Wine

Hungry and Thursday – cook around the world

A sallow 17-year-old, I was sent away with a recipe book, and not a clue how to cook – that’s an Irish Mammy for you!

Of course, I was never afraid to seek guidance, knocking on my flatmate’s door to ask how to make an omelette.

When he had his girlfriend around!

Well, you can’t make an omelette without cracking eggs.

I’m still checking out how the experts do it: when the Scary One allows me into her kitchen.

Here are my cookery demos from around the world:IMG_0964

It’s got arms and legs

Pulpo; The driver transporting me from Santiago de Compostella on my Camino would repeat two words on our 100km drive.

Albergo (hostel) and pulpo (octopus) .

Eating pulpo with Galician tomato sauce (not the stuff out of the bottle) sitting on a high stool with a vase of Rioja…

Bueno!

My friends at the Spanish Tourist Board in Dublin took us to Cookery School to show us how it’s done.

It looks like just boiling: something I could master.

Visit CaminoWays www.caminoways.com and read A pilgrim’s prayer

And obvs salty pulpo was the first dish I ordered in Tenerife with CanariaWays www.CanariaWays.com.

Where they taught us how to make mojo rojo, a fancy tomato sauce! A walk through the ages… Tenerife.

Ruby’s a gem:

Barbados Okra: Cooking in the Caribbean is a shared experience.

Which is why Ruby enlisted me as her assistant at Club Barbados http://www.thelubbarbados.com

To make Barbados Okra.

This is how to do it… heat the butter in a saucepan and sauté onion and garlic until soft and nicely smelly.

Add okra, salt and remaining water. Cook for ten to 15 minutes on low heat or until okra is cooked. 

 

Of course Ruby had something to say.

Also see www.visitbarbados.org and www.tropicalsky.ie.

And here’s my misadventures in Barbados Let’s rumba in Barbados and My kiss with Rihanna.

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Pasta masters

Pasta: Catherine Fulvio is Ireland’s pasta master.

And she’s now got me, of course, too whenever she needs some advice at her www.ballyknocken.ie.

Catherine and her kitchen were good enough to teach me how to make my own pasta and more.

When Top Flight, the Italian specialists, brought us along to showcase their new brochure www.topflight.ie.

Italy is a culinary dream and everyone returns with tales of their favourite restaurant and dish.

Mine’s is a risotto ai piselli in Padua… Frescoes

Cooking with Auntie

Curry favour: Or more accurately Uncle…

The uncle in this case being Uncle Kenneth at the Blue Crab restaurant in Scarborough, Tobago http://www.tobagobluecrab.comand http://www.visittobago.gov.tt

Uncle Kenneth let me help him cook the chicken curry… there’s a big Indian culinary influence on the island.

Auntie Alison was the real entertainer (hilarious) though telling the womenfolk how to keep their men interested.

Auntie Alison was the real entertainment (hilarious) though telling the womenfolk how to keep their men interested.

Here’s a peek, and some of my ramblings on the island made famous by Robinson Crusoe and, er, Ainsley Harriott… ainsley.

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How to boil an egg

Egg fried rice: The obvious one. But in the hands of a professional cook, and entertainer, it’s pure comedy.

And on Royal Caribbean’s Independence of the Seas they’ll do just that with their open kitchen.

What these guys can do with an egg… we’ll actually hatch a chicken in their chef’s hats.

While starting a singalong.

Visit www.royalcaribbean.com. And here’s a Royal party for you A Royal Party.

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Moanday Morning – Self-service

And we’ve been had. I don’t know when and I don’t know where but it turns out that Modern Man has to serve ourselves.

But isn’t the whole point of serving that somebody else does it for you?

And that brings me to the other great con of our age, Do It Yourself.

You do it yourself, I want you to do it for me, that’s what I’m paying you for.

Photo by Naim Benjelloun on Pexels.com

I have absolutely no interest either in spending my free time following a diagram only a nuclear scientist can work out.

To inevitably find that there is a piece missing and that we have to shoot across town for a replacement.

It starts when you book your holiday…. on the net which inevitably has its own challenges.

You’re at your screen and the family is bending your ear all around you, so there’s the danger that you might book the wrong time or pay too much.

Photo by mentatdgt on Pexels.com

And then when you get to the airport and you have to go to one of those baggage scanning machines.

I don’t know about you but I just end up asking for help (from a human).

I mean, I’m always happier when I see somebody else puts hands on my luggage and sends it on its merry way.

You get to the ticket scanner and you’ve got to remember which way to place your ticket.

I would have heart palpitations if I trusted in the barcode on my phone particularly as the memory on my phone would be down to 1%.

Travel colleague Issy Conway, George Washington and his Vice-President

And there would be no plug sockets in the airport.

After all that you want to refuel and go to the shop where there is another scanner…

And you just end up asking an assistant who is too busy taking to her pal to help,

Now when it comes to service Americans do it better than anywhere… http://www.visitusa.ie.

Although it comes with a premium… and tipping. The Lord gives and the Lord takes away!

But while I’m in an American mood having got together with American Holidays last week http://www.americanholidays.com I’ll give you a few of my Stateside jaunts.

Minnie-break

A charming reception at Kimpton Hotels in Dupont Circle http://kimptonwashington.guestreservations.com/27185/booking?gclid=CjwKCAiAqqTuBRBAEiwA7B66hXNBLV3iZn4bCp-HGxyKpRmWYVppUlmlZbkva-XdL-bGPk5rEZMtgRoCeIgQAvD_BwE and my review http://Easy DC.

Through the Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World in Florida… https://www.fourseasons.com.

They even bring Mickey, Minnie and Goofy out to join you for breakfast although The Donald is harder to get hold of… https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/disney-why-i-love-the-donald/

My pal: The Donald

Now I think of it, it’s the service and help that I’ve had while I’ve been away which have stayed with me long after I’ve returned.

And looking forward to returning to the Caribbean, this time Tobabo, how can I forget the hospitality at the Club Barbados Resort & Spa https://www.theclubbarbados.com?

With Tropical Sky http://www.tropicalsky.ie… and check out their deals there and across the world. Their discounts will knock your sandals off.

Uncategorized

Barbados: Friends in need, friends indeed

‘It’s all right for you going off to Barbados again,’ SHE opined from across the sofa.

I didn’t have the heart, or courage, to tell her that I had invited her a month or so previously but that she had declined.

And I would never have won that one even if I’d had it in triplicate.

I’m feeling lonely, honest! At Club Barbados

As it was I ended up going to the couples hotel Club Barbados http://www.theclubbarbados.com next to Sandy Lane but a lot more relaxed, on my own.

The first night I was there the courting couples were all up on the dance floor.

By Day 3 the word had got out and random couples were inviting me to dine with them.

And then just as I felt that I was part of a group came the stinger.

But I have some company

Out snorkelling I saw Mother and Father Turtle getting it on.

So, be warned.

And besides I really do want to introduce Herself to the island and the friends I have there and met then and the previous year at Crop Over.

And some keeping their eye on me!

Thankfully Tropical Sky tropicalsky.ie / 01 664 9999 will sort you out with a really affordable seven-night holiday for travel completed by December 20, if booked by August 31.

The offer means that this holiday now costs from €1,729pp.

That’s SOME company: With Rihanna

What’s on offer

And you’ll get a:

* $20 Spa voucher per guest

* All-inclusive beachfront resort near Bridgetown – within reach of the Mount Gay Rum Factory, George Washington House and the Barbados Museum.

* Highlights for couples include adult-only restaurant, Beach Bar & Grill for cocktails and relaxing Karma spa, as well as jacuzzi and swim-up bar.

Based on two sharing on all-inclusive basis and including flights from Dublin and transfers.

To get you in the mood… for a holiday!!! https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/my-kiss-with-rihanna/ And a Jocktail Cocktail https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/2019/08/15/jocktails-bajan-monkey/.

For more on Barbados check out http://www.visitbarbados.org.

And another view from another Barbados lover.. That’s someone who loves Barbados not a dirty secret I’m keeping. http://beautifulbarbadosblog

Caribbean, Countries, Culture, Food & Wine

Jocktails: The Bajan Monkey

They’re not called cheeky for nothing… the Bajan Green Monkeys that is.

And the Bajan people, to be honest.

But you’ve heard me talk about them before and I will again.

The Bajan Green Monkey is indigenous to Barbados, brought over to the Caribbean as pets during the African slave trade.

Firstly, the colour.

Their fur is actually brownish grey but it’s their highlights of yellow and green which give them their green hue.

You’ll see the green monkeys crouching in the trees near your resort, checking you out.

And in glasses on the bar amid a plethora of fun and funky and well-dressed cocktails and equally fun and funky bartenders.

The green monkeys were http://www.theclubbarbados.com out in numbers at Club Barbados , the friendly couples hotel which neighbors the stuffier Sandy Lane on the Platinum Coast.

Don’t worry, though. They’re not in the least bit threatening unless you’re a piece of fruit.

And you’ll likely get a selfie with them.

But what you shouldn’t do is give money to those hucksters who have green monkeys on leads down at Oistin’s tourist trap.

Flag it up and they’ll get chased on.

And so now to a Monkey cocktail.

What’s your poison?

How to make it

The Bajan Monkey:

White rum.

Pineapple juice.

Falernum.

Pour over ice. And you’ll notice I’ve not given measures.

Remember the day between Wednesday and Friday is Hungry and Thursday, my food and drink column.

And this week I’m looking at Galician food and in particular something with arms and legs, the pulpo, or octopus.

Read more on Barbados

Visit https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/2019/08/14/hungry-and-thursday-spanish-pulpo/

If you want to know more about Barbados visit http://www.visitbarbados.org.

And here’s my Bajan adventures (note to self, there must be more to come soon). https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/rihanna-in-barbados/ and https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/my-kiss-with-rihanna/.

And because there are others out there who I’ve allowed in on the secret… read my fellow blogger http://beautifulbarbadosblog.

You want to see a deal? Thought you might… https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/2019/08/15/barbados-friends-in-need-friends-indeed/