Filed under Travel Stories

SPLIT!!!! SCHNELL!! SCHNELL!!!

These were the words that, when exiting the frothing mouth of a rabid train conductor this morning, woke us from our slumber and ushered in the new day…

October 23rd 2003, Croatia

Background…

After a haphazard attempt to get into Eastern Europe as quickly as possible, which involved a detour through the budget travellers’ dream cities Paris, Lausanne and Venice, we finally made our sluggish way from Trieste in eastern Italy into Slovenia. With our passports freshly stamped and exuding that pleasant odour that only a newly acquired passport stamp can give, we breathed a sigh of relief…we had made it into Eastern Europe and the trip had finally (truly) begun.
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WARNING: COFFEE MAY BE HOT

22nd August 2003 – Marbella in Southern Spain

It appears to me that in the age of sophistication, the rise of advanced technology seems to be directly related to a decline in common sense. In a time when we are reaching unknown and vertiginous heights, must we be so stupid as to cover every legal position with phrases such as that in the title bar? Continue reading

A Wauchope in Every Country?

21/12/02

Background: Wauchope (WAW – hope), is one of the classic tourist destinations of the world. Undeniably the No.1 destination in Australia and favourably compared with the likes of London, NYC, Paris and Rome, Wauchope is a must see on EVERY globe trotters list. For those unfortunates unfamiliar with the grandeur of Wauchope, it boasts such timeless wonders as the BIG BULL and the widely acclaimed and ‘UNESCO heritage listed’ TIMBERTOWN

So how did I get to visit the Spanish equivalent of Wauchope? Continue reading

Morocco – Part 1

This is an excerpt of an email I sent during a trip to Morocco in 2003 with 3 good friends (Gustavo, Elisa and Bec)

21/02/2003

Gone are the days when “roughing it” meant no showers and no television. NOW it’s no showers and no internet. So… we have arrived in Erfoud, near the Moroccan Sahara in the south east of the country, but not without our fair share of hassles, and so let me digress on just a few. Continue reading

Pulpo Express

This is my first travel story – not because I like it most – but simply because it was the one I thought of most recently and it made me smile.

During my year exchange in Salamanca, Spain, I did what any person looking to improve their spanish would do. I got a spanish girlfriend. Maria was from Galicia, in the north of spain: a region that is known as the home of Santiago de Compostela, the ‘Prestige’ oil-spill disaster, rain and inclement weather, and, most importantly for this story, exquisite seafood (well pre-oil-spill anyways). Maria’s family, like all good Galician families I’m sure, loved to indulge in all things edible and coastal including necoras, pescado y pulpo (crabs, fish and octopus).

Maria, as a student at the local university in Salamanca, was entitled to one free package from her parents every month.

So one day I found myself tottling off to the post office to pick up one of Maria’s monthly mystery parcels. As Maria signed off, the lady handed us the package and politely noted that liquid was dripping from one of the (now slightly soggy) corners. Ever so gracious, Maria chuckled, thanked her and made for the door and her apartment.

During our mid-stroll discussion, it came to light that the package was nothing less than a huge OCTOPUS that her mother had bought the day before, packed in ice and then shipped off just before close of business!! I have to admit I was somewhat stupefied. In Australia, shipping quantities of fresh meat, let alone seafood, by regular post was not common practice. Maria laughed it off, assuring me that the Octopus in Salamanca was terrible and this, on the contrary, would be superb…

Unfortunately, I would never know how beautifully succulent that pulpo turned out to be. My afternoon siesta was somewhat prolonged and I arrived to find an empty kitchen with nothing but a semi-stale piece of head/brain left drowning in olive oil for me to enjoy…

Buen Provecho.