Archive for August 5, 2012

Sunday Travel Tales

See, I made a little button for STTs

I’m going to go off on a tangent today.

People who regularly read this blog will understand that I often go off on a tangent, although a bicycle is infinitely more comfortable because it has a seat.

Travel is not just going to Machu Picchu and going ‘ooh’ and ‘aah’ at appropriate moments like most tourists blazing their way through an often tight itinerary so that they miss the travel experience. This is not the fault of the tourist, rather the world they come from. The First World is full of pressure and stress. Tourists have a limited time available before they have to be back at the desk on a Monday two or three weeks hence, and as travel to places like South America is costly, they tend to jam as much in as possible.

By doing this they let so much pass them by without so much as an inkling that it was there to enjoy.

My theme today is a simple one.

Cashew nuts, great for parties

Cashew Juice.

Most people are aware of the famed cashew nut, that flavoursome rival to the peanut and fabulous for parties.

The cashew nut hangs from the bottom

But few people are aware of were the cashew nut comes from, it’s a strange fruit where the stone (seed) grows on the outside of the fruit. The fruit is the best part, making a Moorish tasting juice.

And, it is that juice that I am drinking now and that prompted this post.

I would guess, and correctly so, that tourists come to South America have suco de caju (cashew juice) and go home none the wiser.

It is these small things that, to me, make tourism. The idea of being led by the nose by some well-meaning local guide, be he/she knowledgeable or not, is not tourism.

For sometime I was a tour guide in Peru, later Bolivia and Brazil, and also in the Pantanal. I have also stood in as a tour boat guide in Peru visiting the famed Ballestas Islands. As a foreigner being a guide makes one infinitely more attentive to details that would be of interest to the tourist, about things they don’t have at home.

Any way, just a little treatise on minor aspects of travel, that is my tale today.

Brass knockers, not exactly as I visualised the search

I was searching Google for Brass Knockers. I was hopeful of find a hand that I used some years back for a welcome to my blog Tomus Arcanum, but it was to no avail. I was presented with this as an option, they are indeed brass knockers.

This week has not been kind to me. Two visits to the dentist; I have decided to get a partial plate made to fill in some gaps in my lower jaw and to stabilise a front tooth that has become wiggly. It should become unwiggly next Friday.

Thursday was a disaster. 5:30am I discovered my net connection was down. Okay, that happens, I waited (because nothing happens before 8am). Finally at 11:30 I rang my provider; Okay, we have a look. 3:30pm I rang them back; Okay, he’s working on it. Friday… I finally went round to the LAN house with a ‘WTF is going on?’ attitude. I mean, I was a tad more then miffed at 30+ hours and no net.  The guy gave me another link, I went home and the net was back on… until 5:30 and it went down again. Stormed (as much as one can storm on a walking stick, it was more of an irate hobble) back to the LAN house; ‘WTF is going on?’ Turns out it wasn’t their fault this time, their provider was off the air. The LAN house was full of noisy annoyed kids who couldn’t play their games, which verified his excuse.

The connection resumed later in the evening.

I got several posts done for Saturday, then I decided to go shopping. Regulars to this blog will understand that I like shopping, it’s therapy. Got a shock when I found out the price of a new element for my shower head, R$12, it was almost half the price of a new one. I got a new mouse to replace the new mouse that I got three weeks ago. Then, I went to Leader; I had to get some socks, a couple of T-shirts for work and a cover for my mattress. Now, on the surface, that seems simple enough. An hour browsing around the store and waiting in line to get served, only to discover that the shops system was down and I couldn’t pay by bankcard.

Isn’t technology a wonderful thing? <—— rhetorical question, it doesn’t need a reply.

So, I went to the competition and made my purchases there; their system was working.

Then to top it all off, I was having a delicious caldo verde (green soup) from the kiosque in front of the botequim last night and a sizable piece of tooth broke away……….. Aaaaarrrrrgggghhhh! More expense.

I am firmly of the opinion that last week should have been canceled.

I have plans later today to add a ‘button’ with link here, so that those of you with half a mind to do so, can grab the html and add my button to your blog. I try to add buttons when I find them on followers and commenter’s blogs, or at least add their link; so I would appreciate the effort.

I’m off to blog, today is Sunday Travel Tales day, so I will post that later. I have no idea what I will choose, so you’ll have to come back and see.


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