Life in Spain 1: Waiters, what can you do?

The Spanish do things differently. Here’s a few things I’ve noticed about the idiosyncrasies of Spanish life.

Street Names.

Almost all Spanish Street Names are named after people. Not things or places. There is no Spanish equivalent of Acacia Avenue or Thames Road. It’s all people. They start off with the great and the good. Kings are definitely top of the list. Continue reading “Life in Spain 1: Waiters, what can you do?”

Camino 3: Party Town

The original plan called for Castrojeriz as my next overnight destination. Yesterdays destination had been changed to Hotanas from Hornillos so I was out of sync already. No bad thing on the Camino. Looking back, no plan is the best plan. I stopped for breakfast at San Anton and was joined by a fellow peregrino, Nathan. He was a young guy and widely travelled and, although a scientist by profession, he told me that when he ran out of money Continue reading “Camino 3: Party Town”

Camino 2: Burgos, The Start

The Camino de Santiago has a few different routes. El Camino Frances (the French Way) is considered the classic route. It starts in St Jean Pied De Port on the French side of the Pyrenees. It takes 30 to 32 walking days and covers 780km to Santiago de Compostella. I had decided, due to time constraints to start at Burgos, a few days in, leaving me with 500km to cover over about 22 days.4799954401_6cf50e7e3c_b
I had obtained a Credencial on an earlier trip to Santiago. Continue reading “Camino 2: Burgos, The Start”

Down In The Treme

‘Down in the treme’ is a line from the opening music from a TV show about New Orleans, Specifically about the Treme district. It is set in that district just after hurricane Katrina and follows the struggle of the people who live there. Amongst the cast, and playing himself, is Kermit Ruffins a local virtuoso trumpeter often referred to as the new Louis Armstrong. Although very successful and made more famous by the show Kermit is very much a local and has never lost touch with his roots. He still plays gigs and Bullets Bar is one of his regulars.
So we had planned to go. Continue reading “Down In The Treme”

Vietnam: Mr Thang


My pre-booked motorcycle and rider arrived 30 minutes early. Ok, let’s go. I had a last fun fight with Saz, the bellboy. It’s how we do, y’know. I can see he’s impressed with my moves.
“Ah you have kung fu in UK”
“We do!” I replied “but in my part of the world we tend to favour the baseball bat.”
Sadly this is true. I asked the shop assistant in Sports Direct one time, if they sold many bats.
“A fair few” he said, ” It’s steady business”
“How about baseballs,” I asked
“No, none of those”.
So there you have it. Continue reading “Vietnam: Mr Thang”

The Road to Hue

Once again no transport problems. I had booked a taxi the day before and now turned up at the agency yards from the hotel. They shoved me in with another guy who had also booked the day before. So we had both paid for the same taxi. Hey ho. Sometimes you’re the dog, sometimes you’re the lamppost. Continue reading “The Road to Hue”

Hanoi 3: Last day in Hanoi

After my usual breakfast. Two eggs scrambled, and two mojitos, – don’t judge me, I’m on a low carb diet, so no beer, and the hotel coffee is only average – I sat in the hotel lobby going through the photos I had taken. Some good, some bad, some terrible, and none of them straight. I’ve just got a new camera and its very, very, light. The weight of the camera, plus my general tremor, brought on by my advancing years, and possibly by my choice of breakfast beverage, has resulted in a certain amount of camera shake. I’ll fix the pictures on photoshop. Continue reading “Hanoi 3: Last day in Hanoi”

Hanoi 2: Mai and the Blue Dress

Raining again. The locals tell me that it’s usually sunny this time of year. Oh well. At least it’s warm. The hotel gave me a umbrella I told the receptionist I would try not to lose it. But you know how it is with brollys.

I have sent all my tee shirts to the laundry. I had one clean one left last night, but chopsticks … Well… y’know. At least the laundry here uses machines. Unlike India where they knock hell out of your stuff on a rock. Continue reading “Hanoi 2: Mai and the Blue Dress”

Bangkok: The Kao San Road, Sven and the Other Dane.

KS Road is the backpacker area of Bangkok. It’s super friendly and super cheap. The under 25s, Europeans, Kiwis, Aussies, and Americans all stay around here. The dress code is double scruffy, dreadlocks optional. I’m not sure if Bob Geldorf has ever been here, but if he has then you can guarantee he would have been the best dressed guy around. This is where a group of 10 in a restaurant ask for a $15 check to be itemised and split. Everything is cheap and everything is available. Continue reading “Bangkok: The Kao San Road, Sven and the Other Dane.”

The Big Buddha

The population of Bangkok is 9 million. By a happy coincidence there are 9 million shops. One each. I went in search of mine. I needed tee-shirts and because I had seen two people at Zurich airport with eye injuries, I had decided to buy an eye patch. You never know.
Of the 9 million population, 8 million had decided, just coincidentally, to take the same route as me, at the same time, and on the same train. As there were 8 carriages the maths was simple. One million to a carriage. Continue reading “The Big Buddha”