Koh Tao

So I am jumping back a little here, we have now been home for close to two months (and I have not even posted 1/4 of the posts of our travel that I should have by now) and yes I have been a little slack in the posting department but this is all due to good cause. We have built a vegetable garden (not just any vege garden, it’s a pretty neat one, it looks great thanks to Daves amazing building skills and my staining skills) and been getting our home to be just the way we like it. So that’s my excuse anyway 😉

Back to the story at hand, I am taking you back to Thailand, Kho Tao to be exact, where we had a really nice 8 days of unwinding, swimming, reading, eating, drinking and exploring. We stayed at a great little place called Samatha Bed and Breakfast which was newly built and a nice place to retreat to during the peak heat of the day and at the end of an evening out.

Lucky Seafood….

I really like this photo for some particular reason. We ate at this little place several times, their Thai Green Curry and Red Curry were to die for and the cheapest we found anywhere on the Island.

Help your self to a seat at the table!

Time for an afternoon caffeine fix!

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A day in Kandy, Sri Lanka

We were soon on our way to Kandy where we would spend our next night. On the way we stopped at one of the many Spice Gardens and had a very interesting tour learning of all the health benefits that the different herbs and spices have to offer.

In Sri Lanka I was again reluctant to get on a bus, the driving habits of the bus drivers in Sri Lanka seem to be fairly similar to that of their fellow bus driving friends in Vietnam…. CRAZY! As you can see, this bus thought it would be fine to pass on a corner… oh no wait there is a car coming maybe I wont!

We made a few stops along the way to have a look at some of the road side offerings.

Once we arrived in Kandy, our driver Chris took us to a place for lunch which served a great choice of curry and rice. What I love about the curry and rice in Sri Lanka is that you don’t just get one dish. Curry and rice on average consist of up to 8 to 10 different curries, sambal and assorted dishes. After we were completely stuffed full with these wonderful tasting dishes we took the time to explore Kandy a little further.

Of the countries we have been to I would have to say the Sri Lankans are the some of the warmest and kindest people we have met. And they just love to have their photo taken, which is great for someone like me who tends to be a little shy when it comes to asking people if I can take their photo. Most people would ask me if I could take their photos without me even needing to ask! Brilliant!

A shoe repair man on the side of the street… cheap rent.

Ice cream vendor and fresh fruit by the lake in kandy.

Electroplating Jewelry (Gold and Silver) an interesting process to watch.

After walking around the streets of Kandy we checked into our guesthouse and relaxed with an ice cold beer on the balcony overlooking the surrounding Mountains. Later on we went to a cultural show of local dances which was interesting enough then before heading back to the guesthouse, watched the sunset over the lake. Soon time for dinner, we decided to give the guesthouse a chance and have our dinner there. Food in general in Sri Lanka is never served in a hurry which you soon get used to and as long as when you plan to have your meal you are not already starving, the wait is not so bad. So three beers later and some time spent researching the next days events our dinner arrived from the unassuming restaurant, and I would have to say it was one of the best meals we had while in Sri Lanka. Dave had curried chicken which had a lovely rich and spicy gravy and I had deviled chicken which was a slightly drier dish but full of strong savory and spicy flavors and both of them were ‘Sri Lankan hot’ which was great! Finally we had been given a dish that made our mouths tingle and the beer seem that bit more refreshing.  The both of us have a great fondness for very spicy food, however while we have traveled through SE Asia we have found that even when we ask for ‘very spicy’ or ‘extra hot’ the person taking our order has a slight smile on their face and says OK. Then disappointment always would follow with the dish coming out ‘tourist hot’.

All in all it was a great day in Kandy followed by a great evening and authentic Sri Lankan meal. Next stop Ella.

Dominica… An Island Paradise…

Dominica (not to be confused with the Dominican Republic) is a small Island in the Windward Island chain in the Caribbean. A long time coming with this post… Before heading home to New Zealand for a month from Antigua, we decided to check out a little Island called Dominica for a couple of days. After a little bit of research we found the perfect place to stay for three nights, Pagua Bay House, Ocean Front Cabanas. On the way from the airport to the Cabanas we stopped at the restaurant Pagua Bay Bar and Grill, (which is also owned and run by our amazing hosts Rick and Alicia) by now it was pushing 9.30am and after being up since 4.00am for our early morning LIAT flight we decided that breakfast was definitely in order before dropping off our bags to then explore the island. The food was awesome, I started my day with the Breakfast Burrito and Dave began his with the Three Egg Omelet and no breakfast would be complete without a local Rhum Punch followed by one of their amazing Bloody Mary’s… Ok maybe 2 or 3. With full stomachs we were ready to go!

With bags unpacked we jumped into the Jr Pajero and hit the Carib Territory. The roads in Dominica take a few corners and ups and downs to get used to but we were soon navigating our way around the pot holes and the insanely deep gutters.

Once into the Carib Territory we past many a local who were happily smile and wave as we drove passed. Unlike many places one may find themselves as a tourist, here in Dominica the people really do seem genuinely happy to see you and seem of a kind nature. Thirsty? No problem, we found a friendly local selling fresh fruit and coconuts on the side of the road. No straws, just drink straight from the coconut itself that has had its top chopped off in a matter of seconds.

There were many a place on the side of the road serving refreshing cold beverages, nothing like a nice ice-cold Kubuli (the local beer that only tourists drink) while exploring the Island. On a Friday and on a Saturday throughout the island there is the smell of BBQ Jerk Chicken in the air and it is too good to resist.

Finger licken good chicken! With home-made salsa on top, washed down with a cold beer! The perfect afternoon snack, and just enough to hold us off before dinner at Rick and Alicia’s.

Local Houses in the Carib Territory

Some of the many brightly coloured buildings around Dominica.

Hand in hand walking to school.

A friendly little chap.

Who needs a play station when you can build your own raft and then slide it into the water on coconuts! Pure Bliss!

After our first day exploring the Carib Territory it was back to our Cabana for some R & R along with a nice glass of wine, before heading back up to Pagua Bay Bar and Grill for dinner. And let me tell you this, the food there is amazing, whether it’s Breakfast, Lunch or Dinner, but not only is the food good, Rick and Alicia are fantastic hosts and are great company too!

Signs of Antigua

We have had a couple of weeks here in Antigua and so far have been loving it!  After being in Europe of the last year (which I also love) it’s really nice to be in such a relaxed climate. Nobody is in a rush and it’s all about sitting back and enjoying the ride.

As well as the people, one thing that has character are the signs and advertising.

Here are a few signs that we liked while exploring the Island.

Fat Boy, Smart Boy… Love it!

Michael Jackson!

Supporting one of our local faves the Mad Mongoose, we drink the booze and not the water! Check out their web cam sometime you might even see us there having a refreshing beverage or two!

They put the lime in the coconut! They are a must stop shop for their Key Lime Pie!

Grace Before Meals… Baked or curried Chicken or Fish. The plates are piled high with food for only $15.00 EC per plate, that’s only $6.00 US!

Entrance to the gas station in Foulmouth Harbour. You can drive through and you can walk through but don’t you be cycling through!

Apparently it used to be the ‘Rasta Shack’ now it’s the ‘Improve(d) Rasta Shack’ !?

So here are just a few of the many signs of Antigua. I could spend days exploring the Island for photos of signs but to be fair time also has to be spent down at our favourite little beach (Pigeon beach) in the sun with Pina Coladas in hand…. Or their speciality Banana Colada… Or Rum Punch… Opps drunk now.