Caribbean, Countries, Culture, UK

Elsa heroes in Bim half-shell

Barbados is a blessed island not least because it escapes the hurricane season…  but today we bring you  Elsa Bim heroes in half-shell.

Bim, as it’s affectionately known, last had to brave a hurricane, Janet, in 1955.

Until now with Elsa deciding to swoop to the southern islands.

Irie Barbados: With Jevan and Donna

My old West Indian pal Jevan has posted images from Barbados of Elsa at her fiercest.

Thankfully though Elsa has not been too vengeful to Bim.

No, not that one

With Jevan reporting that his only loss is some banana trees and potted plants.

While best and most surprising of all was a new appearance when Jevan braved the storms to check on his tortoises.

And discovered that one Mother Tortoises of his had given birth in the Hurricane.

Shell Superstars

West Indians proudly value their heroes in a half-shell, both tortoises and turtles.

And I even had to return to Bim to find me the swimming turtles I had missed the year before.

Probably because they were taking shelter from my boozy rum breath.

And we don’t even need a sea

Tortoises and turtles are made for the Caribbean, moving at a slow, casual place. Irie!

And they have a natural homing instinct as you all know from me having flagged up Aruban nesting turtles.

While, of course all our favourite small islands look out for their visitors.

But I prefer land

And few more passionately than Mother Turtle in the Maldives.

What’s the difference?

Of course, the question that has been racking our brains as we replay Jevan’s video is…

What is the difference between a turtle and a tortoise?

You looking at me?

The Scary One won’t be convinced… a tortoise is more a landlubber while turtles prefer to give you the runaround in the sea.

Elsa Bim heroes in half-shell

I’m beginning to think this is her plan to get me to take her out to Bim.

Barbados and much of the Caribbean is on the UK green list so what’s keeping you.

And Tropical Sky will look after you.

So welcome to Jevan’s menagerie… here’s to Elsa Bim heroes in half-shell.

 

America, Caribbean, Countries, Culture, Europe, Flying

Rainy Days and Songdays – Travel toons

Our planes may be grounded, our ships docked, out trains in their stations but we’ve still got a song in our hearts.

And we’re keeping ourselves going with a playlist of Travel Songs.

Here are ten until we can travel again.

Life’s a Beach

Sloop John B, Beach Boys, California

Only I didn’t, and don’t, wanna go home.

There are few songs, or singers more synonymous with their home than the Beach Boys.

You get it about California when you see the Boys in Anaheim, as you do, and Mike Love touches your hand.

The Beach Boys Get Around all right by boat, plane, car or surf board. Wouldn’t that be nice?

Hail Mary

Proud Mary, Tina Turner, Mississippi

Home of the Delta Blues: The Mississippi

 

Watching those river boats, rollin’, rollin’, rollin’ down the river to Mississippi made me Mr Happy.

And reminded me of Proud Mary… and Proud Beverley.

Pumping her arms and rolling her body on stage at Rising Star Karaoke club on CiyWalk at Universal Orlando… 

Proud Beverley that is, a proud Scot who was supposed to be the warm-up act for my Lady Marmalade but who absolutely slayed it on our Orlando recce.

The Mississippi is, of course, America’s South to North artery and a playground or play waterway if you like.

And it’s how you really want to do The Deep South although that’s to take nothing away from our unforgettable road trip through Tennessee and Mississippi.

Hit the Road Jock

Jack, Ray Charles, Karlovy Vary, Czech Republic

With my Jazz partner and global travel pal Agnetha in Prague

You might not immediately associate Ray Charles and Jazz with the Czech Republic.

But then you can’t have been or you would have seen the saxophonists on Charles Bridge in Prague.

It was probably Hit the Road Jock when I dance with Swedish Agnetha in Karlovy Vary in the Czech Republic’s Spa Triangle back when.

Jazz has truly travelled the world and is in itself a music of travel with many a song of a vagrant worker eking out a living on the road.

Sounds all too familiar.

On the sunny Caribbean Sea

Dance away: Wukkin’ up in Barbados

Woah, I’m going to Barbados, Typically Tropical, Barbados

Now I’ve never been on Coconut Airways and I wasn’t off to see ma girlfriend Mary Jane…  at least that’s what I told the Scary One and I’m sticking to that story.

No, it was Virgin Airways, and I was the guest of Visit Barbados and then the second time with Tropical Sky.

Woah, I’m going to Barbados may not be the pure Soca they so love in Barbados and me too but they will sing along too.

As the house singer at Club Barbados who had a bow tie and dress shirt designed on to his T-shirt delivered without any degree of corniness.

I can’t wait to be…

On the Road Again, Willie Nelson, Pilgrimages in Spain and Italy

The Sun shines on the righteous on the Camino

And my go-to song when I’m out on the road is Willie Nelson’s standard… it’s my mission statement when I hit a pilgrimage, and my friend Aileeen Eglington’s Destination Anywhere radio show on Dublin South FM.

You’ll get plenty of time on your own when you’re on your Camino on your way to Santiago  or your Via Francigena into Rome.

And yes, of course, I can’t wait to be…

MEET YOU ON THE ROAD

 

America, Caribbean, Countries, Europe, Ireland, UK

Holidos and don’ts – Green List and Scottish isles

And is your country on the Irish Green List https://www.rte.ie/news/coronavirus/2020/0721/1154621-coronavirus-travel/where you’re now allowed to visit?

And some more guidance too on if and how we insure ourselves amid contradictory Government advice.

I’m indebted here to my good friend Dominic Burke, of Travel Centres https://www.travelcentres.ie/.

Where are the humans: The Gibraltar Barbary Apes

And the Irish Travel Agents Association https://itaa.ie/ in Ireland for flagging up some anomalies here.

That Gibraltar is on it, but that you can’t get there unless you go through Spain which isn’t.

Monaco, go, go, go

Monaco the same with France too left on the list.

While if you want to visit the eskimos of Greenland you’ll need to go through Denmark which you guessed right is off the list.

Greenland… and white is the colour

I notice too that Belgium where I first met the similarly coiffure-bearded Dominic is off the list.

And we were invited to present the wreath at the Menin Gate in Ieper www.visitflanders.com, https://gtitravel.ie/ and In Flanders fields.

We’ll share a Trappist beer there again yet, Dominic.

Let’s all Muck in

Me old Muckers

I might not be able to get over to Ireland, well at least the southern part.

So it’s just as well that we’ve a few glittering isles of our own in Scotland.

Muck in the Inner Hebrides, or Western Isles, is reopening its self-catering accommodation, although Eigg is not.

Not every Scottish island has a funny name but I do love Ewe.

Get it… they do with it being a popular island to propose.

See www.visitscotland.com and Sunday Sermon – God’s Own Country Scotland.

A cruise to bear in Ireland

Shipping jobs

Cruise & Maritime Voyages’ descent into administration will be felt on both sides of the Irish Sea.

Whom we know through JMG Cruises http://www.jmgcruise.com

Our Irish ports will be hit hard.

Belfast was set to homeport in 2021 as was Cobh, no stranger to cruiseheads.

They have started and finished their trips in the past and were ready to do so again next year.

Visit https://www.thecruiseroomireland.ie/.

Over there, over there

It was an uplifting American war-time song… ‘and it won’t be over till it’s over, over there.’

The Americans, lest we forget, joined our two major conflicts in the last century.

And also led (and are still leading) us through the Cold War.

And yet, nobody it seems wants them.

The haters have been smirking that the Mexicans have been turning away American tourists at the border.

But it is no laughing matter, not least for a British, European.

And especially Irish market which relies so heavily on the Yankee dollar.

With Bajan Geraldine and Virginian Patay

The good news is that a vaccine looks on the way and that there are countries who want to welcome the Americans back.

We all know how much Americans love the Caribbean.

And I was embraced by the Virginia Ski Club on their annual trip to Barbados www.theclubbarbados.com with www.tropicalsky.ie and www.tropicalsky.com.

And I’m glad to say that that feeling is mutual.

With much of the Caribbean reopening to Americans, subject to requirements.

And my sailing pal Patsy

I got out to see for myself how history is still being made in Virginia https://www.virginia.org.

And Sign up for the Civil War… it is Virginia www.visitusa.ie and www.visitusa.co.uk.

And I am hankering to get back.

Adventure, Caribbean, Countries, Food, Food & Wine

Hungry and Thursday – Caribbean Spice Gael

Five years it’s been sitting in the press and it’s followed me in a box across from Ireland to Scotland… my Bajan sauce.

And now as we muster all the supplies in the cupboards it‘s out.

And inspired by my old West Indian pal and Visit Barbados, www.visitbarbados.org Hungry and Thursday goes Bajan.

Now I’ve also got to give a shout-out to Ruby, my cooking teacher from Club Barbados https://www.theclubbarbados.com on my Tropical Sky holiday https://www.tropicalsky.co.uk.

I’d got a taste for Barbados as a guest of the Barbados Tourist Board the previous year Let’s rumba in Barbados and was back here with Ruby for seconds My kiss with Rihanna.

Yes, as you can see, Ruby sure showed me the ropes… and her paddle!

For the rest I’ll pass you onto my friends at Club Barbados for this culinary and rummery guide.

Gone fishing

Coucou and flying fish: And this is what Ruby had me cooking in front of the class.

And you can check it all out on your Visit Barbados YouTube channel with its cooking tutorials.

While here is your Visit Barbados recipe book.

Shaking it up

You’ll be washing it down with rum punch too.

And, of course, it’s as easy as pie to make, but like everything to do it well then leave it to the experts.

Visit Barbados are also pushing mocktails too (yes, quite) and their Barbadian Pineapple Mocktail.

Again you’ll see it on the Visit Barbados YouTube channel.

And a shout-out to Tobago

Now that I had a taste for it I was desperate for more education.

And I certainly got that from Uncle Kenneth and Auntie Alison at the Blue Crab Restaurant in Tobago… Ready, steady GOAT… racing in Tobago.

Visit http://www.tobagobluecrab.com and https://www.visittobago.gov.tt.

Irie… and Meet you on the Road.