Archive for the 'Gastronomy' Category
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TotalAdventure had hoped to come from Georgetown Guyana via land and ferry across the Corentyne River. However the ferry , only recently running again after COVID shutdown had broken down and would not be repaired for weeks. The only way to go was to fly.
Be Sure To Watch The Video Above – To Experience Suriname !
To enter Suriname, I needed my passport, E-Visa, Yellow Fever book, Covid Vaccination, Antigen test ( taken that day) Port Declaration of Health, Proof of Health Insurance and a landing card, with name and phone number of hotel. Never has TotalAdventure had to show so many documents, not even Russia or Turkmenistan.
Finally I received the stamp and it was off to Paramaribo.
Across from my hotel on Keizerstraat. The city is mostly made up of colonial era buildings 100 to 200 years old, but have never been maintained. Built to Dutch specifications, the Equatorial heat and humidity are corrosive to the wooden structures.
The Dutch bought in colonists and settlers from their worldwide territories Indonesian, southern African, Caribbean islanders and West African slaves all added to the mix. 13 different languages and dialects are spoken in Paramaribo, many more in the jungles.
There is a true diversity of food everywhere. Dutch/French/Caribbean combo here.
Indian chicken roti with West African style vegetables.
All Wooden Interior of Church.
An early morning ride from Paramaribo got me to the border town of Albina by 9AM. Jungle and small villages all the way. Suriname is the most forested country in the world. Many less documents were required for exit.
The ferry from Suriname to France takes about 20 minutes and costs 3.40 Euro. There is no direct flight from Cayenne to the US – one can go to Paris and fly from there , or island hop through French islands to Miami. Consequently I will return to Suriname after Cayenne.
On the morning of January 22, 2022 , TotalAdventure left US territory for the first time in almost 2 years on a 3.5 hour flight from Miami to Medellín .
After a great weekend – it’s time to head south to Cali and the Colombian Pacific.
Columbia’s shoreline in the Pacific Ocean runs hundreds of miles from Panama to Ecuador, yet is only accessible by two roads. The coastline consists of sheer cliffs overgrown with dense jungle. It’s hardly a place for vacationers – the third rainiest place on Earth with over 300 inches per year.
An overnight in the desolate and rainy port of Buenaventura, in the District of Choco, in order to catch a ferry to a coastal ecolodge the next morning.
Narco Armies ,smuggling cocaine to American drug consumers, operate heavily in the region. Therefore it is heavily militarized. Here, a soldier standing guard at a fishing village checks his phone,
Low tide from my room. Tides are about 8 to 12 feet in the zone.
A local guide and driver accompanied us to Laos’ Far North to the Luang Namtha district
The Akha and Hmong tribes occupy much of the region. Unfortunately for outsiders, few wear tribal costumes anymore.
A Reclining Buddha.
Bulls graze by the roadside.
The cuisine is delicious.
And unusual. Here we have some fresh Bat.
And cooked Rat.
Monks and Novices cross the rice paddies.
Just before we left Hanoi on Saturday, we dined on King Cobra at the Hung Snake Restaurant.
As we can see in the video above, the snake is killed and the heart removed. The beating heart is offered to those who would like to partake. The snake is prepared in many different ways.
Red blood and green bile are infused into cheap vodka for a “snake wine” meant to improve virility.
Accompanies by excellent ice cold Hanoi Beer.
While Hue remains a warlike image in the minds of many Americans, due to the 1968 Tet offensive, it is a city at peace .
Sampans glide the river.
Evil spirits are kept at bay.
Street Food is incredible !
Making honey at the Pagoda.
Dinner by the Pearl River.
On Sunday, June 10th, 12 hours ahead of US East coast time TotalAdventure explored the streets of Saigon. Above, is my langoustine lunch fighting, before being grilled.
US Army bulldozers, War Crimes Museum.
Utilized Often By France.
At Jade Emperor Temple.
Peaceful and Holy.
Mother and Baby.
TotalAdventure Returned to Vietnam for the first time since 1993, The younger member of our team was not born till 8 years later. Needless to say, Vietnam has transformed from a poor, war-torn agrarian country to a leading Asian Tiger.
Our First Meal – Bahn Mi and 333 Beer !
We started out our first full day, Saturday,June 9, visiting the Reunification palace, where NVA tanks smashed thought the gates on April 30,1975, ending the American puppet South Vietnamese regime.
Elaborate meeting lounges paid for and built by American taxpayers.
The more phones, the more important the official.
Benevolent Uncle Ho Oversees All.
In The Cao Dai Temple.
After settling into our Hotel in Riga, we were famished from our overnight journey across the Baltic. One of the reasons we visited Latvia was for dining on wild game, readily available from the primeval forests of the lightly populated Baltic Republics. A quick perusal on the web led us to Meža Garša – ” Taste Of The Forest “.
The first course was a wild soup – with venison ,rabbit and local forest mushrooms and totally organic vegetables.
Next was an assortment of moose, bear and deer.
An excellent dark, cold ale to accompany.
And Finally The Main Course – Roast Bear. According to the owner – Ivo , the best bear comes from Estonia because they live on a diet of berries – creating a sweet flavor. In many areas bears live near rivers and eat a lot of fish – creating a fishy flavor. All of Meža Garša ‘s game is fresh hunted or farmed and locally sourced in the Baltic Republics.
A lunch at Taste of The Forest Was Truly One of The Meals of a Lifetime For TotalAdventure – And We Beat Anthony Bourdain To It. !
On the morning of July 3rd TotalAdventure arrived in Paris. While Paris does not conjure adventures other than those of gastronomy ,art and retail , it is home to adventure companies that lead trips into former French West African colonies – the safer ones being Cameroon,Gabon,Mauritania and Burkina Faso. Niger,Chad and parts od Algeria are inadvisable at this time due to murderous incursions by Boko Harem.
It’s about 10 hours from Miami to Paris. It would be great if Air France would have WiFi on their flight. They don’t.
The Tour de Eiffel on a Glorious Summer Evening. In Early July It Stays Light Past Ten.
The Tower From Underneath.
In 4 Hours It Is Possible To See About Ten Percent Of The Louvre.
Always Real Escargot, Not Canned Like In The States.