28 December 2006

My impressively wrapped Xmas present from Deb, Matty and Bethan:

Swedish Xmas Dinner:

We went to Bracknell to see Stevie in "Cinderella" - best were the Fairy Godmother and the Skinny Ugly Sister - except of course for Stevie herself (seated on the table)

22 December 2006




We went to Wagamama - this year we graduated up to 'chopsticks', the sauce was 'lovely' and all the green bits were eaten:

07 December 2006

Bournville in Winter

The factory all lit up at night

And the Bournville Xmas Tree

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23 November 2006

Montevideo - Can't escape work even in...

Parliament House - Montevideo

"20 types of marble and 15 of granite, we built this during the 4 years when Uruguay had money!". And below "Changing of the guard - the morning team take their ball home and flounce off stage right"

ABOVE: The view from the, conveniently located, Balmoral Hotel, Montevideo - convenient for for the local police station that is...
BELOW: The streets of (old) Montevideo are lined with plane trees - very nice

Of course the beard had to go before returning to work

22 November 2006

Estancia Santa Clara, Paraguay - Nice Doggie, Nice BIG Doggie. This Fila Brasileiro adopted me and made sure I was taken all the interesting places around the farm - like the duck pond, the buffalos, the parrot tree, the very long grass where there were hidden some big game birds, the owl burrow and so on.

And these two took to sleeping outside my door... bit of a trip hazard coming back in the dark from dinner...

Estancia Santa Clara, Paraguay: Hotel Cat - Mark 2

Very friendly and very large - this puma was rescued as a kitten and has lived at the estancia ever since. Not sure if it is licking me because it likes me or whether it is considering having me for lunch

Enjoys playing with the dogs and being tickled behind the ears

Sadly as still really a wild animal not practical to take for a walkies

15 November 2006

TAM Mercosur: The Best Airline in South America

Never any queues - excellent staff and lots of them

"We always remember that you have a choice" - strangely it turns out that there is no choice - on most routes they are the only carrier!

Every flight left early, every flight arrived early

And they even provide entertainment in the lounge:

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I didn't mean to go to: Lima Airport, Peru

Took this to remind me so I can get some on my (proper) visit to Peru

We were pretty much the last flight out - it is a nice airport and when I arrived very, very busy
LAN Peru - very nice people
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After several hours waiting {Not} Leaving Quito

Let down by LAN Ecuador
Cotopaxi (apparently - couldn't see much)

Mad bikers travelling with "The Biking Dutchman" - a 2000m descent - starting in a blizzard and then 25km of dirt roads in freezing cold wind and rain - probably looked ok in the brochure

My driver - 9 times all Ecuador Rally Champion - even in a two tonne pickup it was exciting!

Me after my short climb up into the clouds - It turns out I was ten days late for good weather
On the Equator in Equador.

At least I did on the Pan-American and not at the tourist trap some kilometers west.
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Hotel Las Palmeras, Otovalo, Ecuador

Angel, bearing Guinea Pig*, in the dining room,

*Was not on the menu but could be had from the local cafe - Sundays only.

Very very nice lunch (quiche and tree-tomato juice)

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29 October 2006

Dartmouth - happy childhood memories - will I be disapointed by 2006 reality*? *Like to buy a one car garage costs in excess of ?75,000

27 October 2006

Blackpool Sands - Devon - ritual visit to the sea - I live in Birmingham and the sea is a long way away. As the beach is mostly fine pebbles/grit the owners provide a "sand-enclosure"

14 October 2006

Midweek Night Score League Champion 2005-2006 Posted by Picasa

The sign says "careful maintenance and sensitive husbandry" - what you get is Doug and Dave with loppers... still it was fun: "for you Mr Laurel the party's over..." (Prunus laurocerasus)