Monday, August 27, 2012

Capture the Colour

Katie at Katie not in Prague nominated me to take part in's Capture the Colour contest. I'm currently on the road, without access to my hard drive, so I've decided to choose photos from my blog that best capture the five colours best: blue, green, yellow, white, and red.

The blue in the sky and the blue of the water at Lake Titicaca, was nothing like the blue that we felt on a cold day in December 2010.

My DH thinks that there's a colour missing - Black, so that I could put a picture of his favourite sports team up here (the All Blacks), but instead we have the field at Eden Park during the 2011 RWC instead. If you've never been to a All Blacks game (especially one in which they play the Wallabies), you're missing out on an atmosphere that I've never experienced anywhere else, the floor feels like it's vibrating in anticipation.

This was taken towards the end of our trip in Croatia at the town of Rovinj in 2009. The yellow on the boat reminds me of sunshine for some reason and I often think of this shot.

Arequipa in Peru is known as the White City, and this shot was taken on the only clear morning we experienced there (and that didn't last for long).

I wish I had a picture of the Australia outback on me for this one, but instead I've had to "settle" for this shot in Sedona. This was a quick stop on our 2005 West side US trip, it was in May and I can still remember feeling the heat raising through the ground.

As for the nominating of others, I would love to see photos from these bloggers:

Maryland Girl

The Piggly-Wiggly Travels

Amanda at  Click the Good News

Emily at Emily in Chile

Friday, August 24, 2012

Travel by food

When I get back from a trip, I often talk about the location based on the food I've eaten and if you've been following this blog, you will have noticed I often include photos of meals. So this post is about some of the places I've been and the food I enjoyed most or remember fondly from my visit.

The sterotype would be fresh rice paper rolls and pho, and while yes, you can't have been to Ho Chi Minh City and not had pho from a street stall, it's the iced coffee in the plastic bags I remember most and crave for. In fact I think this is what really got me started in the world of coffee.

I first had peaking duck pancakes in Bejing in 2002, but it's also where I fell in love with the spicy eggplant, often with pork mince.

Yes, the serves are huge and there's HFCS in everything but the Mexican is hard to beat (in particular the Tex Mex in Phoenix and Texas), the seafood chowder in Maine and San Fransisco is devine and the steak, such as the one below we had in Vegas one trip.

Cook Islands
Ika Mata, the fish dish (often Tuna) that I order as much as possible when in the country. Good thing DH has a great recipe at home.

While, yes the lamb is good, we can get that in Australia as well, so it's the Venision I look forward to eating while in the South Island of NZ. Like this dish DH had at The Reef in Wanaka.

I love pastries, and the cherry ones found in the Grand Market were divine.

Chilli crab, I have nothing more to say.

While there isn't really a national dish (although Kangaroo cooked medium rare is very nice, really try it), seafood in Australia is plentiful and very fresh. The oysters are great straight out of the shell, or whole barramundi and don't forget fresh king prawns. But eating a seafood platter at Doyles at Watsons Bay or the platter we had below at the Sydney Cove Oyster Bar down near the Opera House.

I had never tried Alpaca until we visited Peru. It was a fantastic meat, especially the dish I had in Zig Zag, on a andean cheese mash.

I ate squid on 10 of the 12 nights we were in Croatia (it helped that we spent most of the time on the coast). It was fantastic.

So what's your favourite dish and from what country?

Friday, August 17, 2012

Travel by sunset

It wasn't until someone asked in a recent trip what was the best sunset we had seen that I thought about it a bit more. These are some of my favourite sunset spots:

Mauke, Cook Islands

Wilson Island, Australia

Pilbera, Australia

Dubrovnik, Croatia

Paracas, Peru

Galapagos, Ecuador

Rarotonga, Cook Islands

Where's you favourite sunset from?

Friday, August 10, 2012

Eating in Rarotonga, Cook Islands, 2012

We seemed to spend a lot of time this trip eating our way around the Island, and I took way too many photos to include in my other Rarotonga post, so here's the some of the meals we enjoyed on the Island this trip.

Located on Muri beach, we started with the Ika Mata (of course), I had the Trio of game fish for main and DH enjoyed the Strike fish on mash potatoes.

Trader Jacks
A perfect spot in town on the water. Another spot for the Ika Mata, for mains it was perch fillet and DH had the smoked marlin fish cakes.

Tamarind House
A love to have dinner here, but we tried lunch with the family this time and it was nice to be able to enjoy the stunning view. I had the Wahoo on a smoked salmon mash with Bearnaise, while DH had the fried parrot fish sandwich.

Flying Boat Fish & Chips
Great spot for fish and chips.

The Mooring
No pictures of the food here, but take my word for it the Spicy Tuna sandwich and the Mahi Mahi with lime mayo sandwich were great.

This spot is very popular, make sure you book in advance (they have a board up if your driving past and want to make a booking). We started with the Ika Mata (surprised?), I had the seafood curry (which the only disappointment was that it contained beef, I was expecting fish) and DH enjoyed his Mahi Mahi with paw paw salsa.

The Ika Mata here was pretty good, with a bit of chili thrown in for a twist. We also shared the trio of game fish.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Cross Island Track, Rarotonga, Cook Islands

Each time we've been to Rarotonga I've wanted to do the Cross Island track, but it's been hot and humid, or I haven't been fit enough so we've never done it. This time the weather was perfect (winter and a lovely 26C) and after the Inca Trail, I could no longer say I wasn't fit enough!

The Cross Island track is 7 km in total, from the harbour to the old Sheraton site. It's about a 40 minute, 2.25 km easy walk from the bus stop at the harbour to the car park where most people seem to start.

It's then a steep walk through the forest to the Needle. It took us about 75 minutes for 1.5 km, mainly due to the path being slippery and having to keep an eye out for tree roots and rocks.

The next stage for me was the most difficult, I am not the most sure footed person and it's a steep, but the view about 100 m is is pretty spectacular. It's a slow decent, with many steam crossings. It evens out at the end just before you get to Wigmore falls. This took us about 1 hr 45 min for 1.7 km, but we were going slow.

The final section is along the road from the falls, leading back to the main road. It was an easy 30 minutes for 1.3 km and comes out at the old Sheraton site. You can catch the bus from this point, but we took the easy 3 km walk back to the hotel (Sanctuary).

All said and done, it's a nice way to spend half a day. You spend a lot of your time eating, sleeping and swimming on Rarotonga (or we do!) so it's good to get out and do something else. Make sure you take some insect spray, water and let someone know where your going before you head out.