Chocolate Secrets of the Caribbean

After four long years I’m finally heading out to the Grenada Chocolate Festival, on the Caribbean island of Grenada (not the southern Spanish town of Granada – spelled and pronounced differently). My plane stops in Barbados for a few hours (it’s the Virgin Atlantic one and about £150 cheaper than the direct route or the one that stops in St Lucia to refuel), giving me just enough time to make a beeline for Oustins – a touristy foodie strip en route to Bridgetown frequented by burnt English people and pissed Aussies. As it turns out I’ve arrived for Friday Night Fish Fry, so it only seems right I settle for a grilled Mahimahi with rice n beans and fresh plantain, dressed with extra hot pepper and cocoa nib sauce and a rum punch to wash it down.

Mahi mahi rice n peas.jpg
Some of the best grilled mahi mahi I’ve had!

A little prop plane awaited my return to the airport, a drastic transformation from the jumbo I came over on, and in less than one hours I touched down in Grenada.

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A Little Bit of Culture

Whilst my trip to Nicaragua was predominantly based around cacao research, I did take some time to explore my surroundings, absorbing the beauty and culture this amazing country had to offer at every opportunity. Morning tortillas made by the roadside, hummingbirds in the city parks, and some really stunning churches!

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City Sights by Day and Night

After a chocolate-fueled adventurous morning it was now time to explore what Reykjavik had to offer. But first a quick pit stop in Bajarni Fel sports bar to warm up wit ha glass of Viking beer while I waited for the rest of the crew.

Viking Beer
Viking Beer

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Morning Yoga and The Danish Chocolate Farm

MORNING YOGA:

Yet another early start, up at 5.30am heading back to Christiania, nothing beats practicing yoga in a cozy wooden loft, jam-packed with enough Aloe Vera plants to keep Holland and Barratt supplied for a year, above a fragrant apothecary, overlooking one of Europe’s most successful independent, self-governing Freetowns – strictly NOT part of the EU.

Christiania Sign - Denmark
The Christianites have a great sense of humour

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Settlers of The Far North

HOUHORA TAVERN

Now for a little history of Northland. The nearest harbour to Ngataki – Houhora Harbour was home to whalers and Dalmatian Gum Diggers (no, not the dogs, but people from the balkan area now known as Croatia, but this is also where dalmatian dogs are from). The old Post Office and Dance Hall next to Houhora Tavern date back to these pioneering days when the Dalmatian Gum Diggers were digging their fortunes of kauri gum burried below the surface of surrounding areas such as Waiharara, where the Gum Diggers Park sits now.

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Hell Hole of the Pacific

URUPUKAPUKA ISLAND

Next morning, after a much-needed lie-in, we were off on a (very bumpy) ferry ride to Urupukapuka Island. We were warned when we arrived on the island and before we left Russell that due to there being no natural predators or pests on the island could we please help keep the island pest-free by checking our bags for rats, mice, stoats and seeds before disembarking along the litchen covered weather worn pontoon to the shore.

looking over the pontoon
looking over the pontoon

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Trekking Around Trogir

Using Split as our base camp it was now time to test out the Croatian public transport system, with a self-planned trip out to Trogir (formerly known as Trau, short for Traugurion as it was coined in 3rd BC by early Greek settlers) – one of Croatia’s most famous medieval walled towns, and a UNESCO World Heritage Site to boot.

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Sunny Splitska Adventures

Often when you have family spread across the globe it can be hard (and costly) to get everyone together in one place. With a Kiwi boyfriend who’s parents are in New Zealand and sister and family are in Holland, the logical solution for a summer holiday was Eastern Europe…in our case, Croatia.

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Koln Karneval

It’s cold, very cold, and I’m on the 5am train to Heathrow airport heading for Cologne Bonn, Germany. This all sounds perfectly normal for a Friday morning, aside from the fact I’m in a traditional German dirndl, dressed as a pirate with a fake parrot strapped to my shoulder. I’m going to Koln Karneval, to celebrate yet another traditional German festival, like a true native. Continue reading “Koln Karneval”

An Island off an Island

Having explored much of Malta over the last two days we couldn’t leave without hopping across on the ferry, past Comino, to Gozo – Malta’s even smaller cousin island. Although markedly similar to Malta in terms of style and appearance, Gozo is in fact noticeably different, one of the first differences you will notice is it is much much quieter…well, ok, it’s basically deserted at this time of year!

Coming into thethe port of Mgarr
Coming into thethe port of Mgarr

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