Mexico
Cardonal

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    • Day43

      Short stay La Paz

      March 3 in Mexico ⋅ ⛅ 81 °F

      Shaun caught up with me today. We are staying in a very nice campsite with awesome showers and toilets with an ice cold swimming pool 👍. Went out for dinner in La Paz to my favorite steak house and it did not let me down. Off to Loreto tomorrow.Read more

    • Day18

      Last day in La Paz

      February 23, 2020 in Mexico ⋅ ⛅ 18 °C

      Susie's meatballs and leftover chilli quesadillas.

      After too many days of partying and the resultant hangover yesterday, today's food needed to be practical to allow us time to catch our tails on a bunch of tasks so that we can leave town tomorrow.

      We had a smidge of bean chilli and trimmings left over from our Balandra beach gatherings, so Susie put on some quesadillas for lunch with some pointers from Jen, who has mastered them over the last year or so. The tortillas we are using are a little higher in fat content than most which makes for quite a nice result regards how crispy they get, even if they're a little less healthy. The asadero cheese - think mozzarella but slightly drier- worked a treat, and the trimmings of creme fraiche and leftover beef Adobada, and red sauce topped it off nicely- we do love a free lunch.

      Susie offered to cook dinner. Given her results with the chicken avocado sandwich, which suggests she's got a great palate, I was looking forward to whatever she made. Meatballs with a tomato sauce, spaghetti and parmesan were knocked out in quick order. Really decent, too. I've always had problems getting meatballs to be quite as soft as when you order them (polpette) in Italy. These were much better than my previous attempts.

      Susie told me that she doesn't normally do meatballs, it's more common for her to make a pasta sauce with fresher tomatoes, spicy Italian sausage and seasoning. They've eaten that as a family since way back, so it's one of those staple dishes for them by the sounds of it. The same kind of thing was a firm favourite with me for years at home, less so Jen as she's not a huge fan of the fennel flavour in Italian sausage.

      Tomorrow we head for Todo Santos. I've not checked out what the food possibilities are down there yet, but Jen said we can buy fish from the fisherman on the beach, and that someone mentioned having red snapper, so that's got me in the mood for a BBQ on the beach if we can make it come together.

      The area we're heading to is much more expensive, so I doubt we'll be hitting any nice restaurants- taco stands, family run joints, and plenty of cooking in the van all be in order.
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    • Day13

      Whalesharks and Tacos

      February 18, 2020 in Mexico ⋅ ☀️ 26 °C

      18th February. Birthday Tacos in La Paz.

      After swimming with whale sharks for Jen's Birthday, which was truly spectacular, we went into town for some tacos. I went for one familiar item (Pastor) to ensure some satisfaction in case my other wildcard items didn't pay off. Pastor is, I believe,  of Persian descent- flavours and techniques (I.e. kebab on the grill) of the middle east, brought by the Spanish as they invaded. It's a spice blend, primarily of dried chillies and cumin, cooked in vinegar and then it marinades meat of any kind, usually pork as it's well suited. If done in the pan instead, it's known as Adobada.

      My other orders were things I forgot to note the name of, so I'll need to revisit. Basically, one was carne asada (grilled beef) topped with chorizo. The other, I have no idea. I deliberately didn't ask as I am trying to be more adventurous. I'll need to ask again next time. The carne asada/chorizo combo was pretty damn good. The other thing, which I think was maybe offal, didn't quite capture my heart.

      Jen was on Baja style fish tacos with the batter. Very nice indeed. Susie went for grilled fish crispy rolled tacos. Patrick was carne asada all the way. It's hard to know how many to order as they vary in size from place to place and price isn't always a gauge of quantity. At about $1.50 a pop in a more expensive place like this, when 3 fill you, you can't complain. Lunch for 3 of us  including cocktails, came in at around $25. 

      The other advantage is being able to have variety and a quantity to suit how hungry you are as you can just order as you go. It's a fantastic way to eat, and always leaves open the possibility of a nibble elsewhere...
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    • Day4

      Crispy Tacos

      February 9, 2020 in Mexico ⋅ ⛅ 20 °C

      9th Feb. San Ignacio. Crispy tacos with Mechaca (and goats cheese).

      After the whales, we returned to town and made the regular daily stop for some lunch tacos- it's quicker, cleaner and often just as cheap as making your own lunch, so it's super handy when we've got a long day's driving ahead, and it presents opportunities to eat in proper local places and enjoy some proper food and atmosphere.

      Our food was freshly fried crispy tacos with Machaca (shredded beef), fresh tomatoes, lettuce, cabbage, sour cream and a little sprinkling of goats cheese. On the side, refried beans, of course, and rice. $4 per plate which is a slightly high price, owing to it being a touristic area, but the quality and quantity was bang on. We could actually have shared a plate. Jen wasn't a fan of the goats cheese. I was ok with it, but I think the flavour would better reside with lamb. They don't use lamb here, but it's a worthwhile note should I wish to replicate this in a restaurant at a future time.
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    • Day223

      Feliz Navidad

      December 25, 2016 in Mexico ⋅ ☀️ 21 °C

      It's sad to admit but a trip to Walmart is a bit of a highlight to life at the moment ;) Although the food is gorgeous the little shops are a bit limited and it's nice to stock up on familiar goodies, particularly around Xmas. We bumped into the friends who had invited us to Xmas dinner, and also randomly got chatting to a Kiwi dude who just happened to be in the same campsite.

      We were just having a quick bite as a late lunch when Andrea said not to eat too much. Only then did the penny drop that the Germans, along with most of Europe, have their Xmas meal on Xmas Eve evening!

      We were treated to a full on traditional dinner, with a few unusual extras - the German dumplings were definitely a great addition! Jo's Banoffee Pie went down well, despite it being a bit sloppy as what was labelled as cream was actually sour cream, which doesn't whip, so we all had a good laugh about the "banoffee soup"...

      We had a great Xmas day in the sun, opening an abundance of little presents despite the fact we promised each other low key gifts! Even Walmart couldnt manage the traditional pork pie so we had to make do with pancakes for breakfast :)

      That evening we went round to the Kiwi's Hamish & Lisa's 5th wheel (large caravan) and drunk an inordinate amount of increasingly alcoholic smoothies! It was a fun night, particularly as we rarely meet kiwis or aussies out here.

      We even managed to find Star Wars in english at the local cinema. It was a fancy cinema, and had massive lazy boy recliner seats, yet still cost us only under 4 bucks each!

      Despite missing out on the family Christmas experience it was a great few days, and one festive period we will never forget (a bit like the one in Cambodia 10 years ago).
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      For some unknown reason today 1/16/17 is the first day you have been back in my email feed so I have caught up with you again- I thought you had not been blogging! So Happy Birthday Phil Merry Christmas both Happy New Year and Happy Birthday Jo! So sad to hear about your puppy though/ you were so sweet to try and save him. Looking forward to getting your next news! Clare

      1/16/17Reply
      Elvis Lives

      The fault is ours Clare. We got way behind on the blog and then struggled to find wifi to upload them. Should be back on track soon.

      1/16/17Reply
       
    • Day43

      La Paz 1

      May 2, 2019 in Mexico ⋅ ⛅ 28 °C

      Zwischen Ciudad Inurgentes und La Paz besteht als Radfahrer nur die Möglichkeit durchzufahren oder sein Zelt auszupacken. Ich habe mich entschieden mein Zelt für andere Gelegenheiten noch zu schonen. Ich hoffte alle haben sich geirrt, die ich gefragt habe, und sie haben eine Übernachtungsmöglichkeit übersehen. Haben sie leider nicht. Somit bin ich einen Tag früher in La Paz angekommen, als erwartet. Viel habe ich bisher nicht gesehen, denn mit den letzten Sonnenstrahlen im Rücken bin ich in die Stadt eingefahren. Im Dunkeln habe ich recht schnell ein Motel gefunden. Fürs Internet muss ich in den Innenhof ganz dicht zum Empfang gehen, um eine Verbindung zu erhalten.
      Morgen ist ein Ruhetag. Ich werde mich nach einem Sattel und nach Pedalen umsehen. Mein Hintern scheuert immer noch, und die Pedale machen Geräusche, als wäre das Kugellager hin. Pepe (siehe ein paar Berichte vorher) kann mir vielleicht helfen. Wahrscheinlich werde ich am Samstag Abend die Fähre ans Festland (Mazatlán) nehmen. Ansonsten würde die nächste erst am Dienstag wieder fahren. Heute wäre noch eine um 22.00 Uhr gefahren.
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      Traveler

      Hallo Henning, ich bin ganz begeistert von Deinen Berichten, wenn es nicht zu viel Arbeit macht, mach weiter so. Ich wünsche Dir weiterhin gute Fahrt und bleib gesund.

      5/3/19Reply
       
    • Day26

      ✒️/🚲 - 20: Las Pocitas/Chametla

      November 12, 2021 in Mexico ⋅ ☀️ 27 °C

      DISTANCE : 103,9 km
      GAIN D'ALTITUDE: 583 m
      DURÉE: 8h 28min

      Fin des 300km en 3j sous 30° , plus du virages et montées aujourd'hui.  
      J'arrive épuisée dans un hôtel juste avant La Paz, hôtel ressort avec piscine et confortable avec resto. Nachos plein de fromage, bien trop copieux!

      -- Loreto/La Paz --
      300 km en 3 grosses étapes avec 2000m de dénivelé (sur 1462km)

      Partir des plages fût tellement difficile que j'y suis restée 2 nuits de plus.

      Je savais que ce tronçon allait être compliqué, il le fût. Première raison, une belle montagne avec des pentes de 8% à 15%. Puis des lignes droites de plus de 50km et une de 100km sans rien et avec du vent contre. Au final, le plus dur, ce fût le soleil. Malgré les départs à 7h30, il faisait déjà 30° à 9h. Je n'ai pas pu éviter une belle insolation.

      J'aurais pu faire des étapes plus courtes mais s'arrêter et bivouaquer au milieu de rien, j'en avais peu envie. J'ai pu partager mes galères avec Nico, un équatorien qui faisait la même route en vélo. Les pauses et restos étaient bien plus sympas.

      Alors oui ce fut compliqué, mais je suis tellement fière d'y être arrivée et de savoir que je peux le faire. D'apprendre sur moi et sur mes capacités (100km sous 30° c'est trop 😅).

      Arrivée à La Paz, là où je devais m'arrêter initialement mais on m'attends à Cabo San Lucas pour de jolies aventures entre autre de l'apnée. Je décide d'y aller en car pour les 170 derniers km pour les raisons expliquées plus haut. 10 jours de plongée, d'apnée, et de farniente! Je ferais le retour en vélo avec plusieurs pauses plongées à Cabo Pulmo aussi.

      C'est ainsi la liberté de l'aventure et j'aime toutes ces journées qui ne ressemblent pas. Les difficultés en font partie et c'est très bien!
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    • Day52

      ✒️/📍 - La Paz

      December 8, 2021 in Mexico ⋅ ⛅ 26 °C

      Instant off à la Paz
      Rencontre de Suisses, Céline et Max, Marielle et Blanche qui voyagent en van

      -- Moisiversaire plongée --
      Retour en chiffres sur ce mois consacré à l'exploration des mers de la Baja California, que ce soit en apnée, snorkeling ou plongée :
      - 19 plongées bouteille
      - 6 jours d'apnée en mer
      - 2 plages en snorkeling
      - passage de ma 100ème plongée
      - 24m atteint en apnée en immersion libre et poids constant bi-palmes
      - 2 épaves explorées
      - 2 requins baleine contemplées
      - quelques baleines aperçues
      - des millions de carangues et autres espèces de poissons croisés
      - des dizaines de lions de mer apprivoisés
      - des milliers de photos prises
      - une capacité de tousser dans un détendeur avec la crève

      En fait, il n'y a pas eu que sous l'eau de belles rencontres. Des binômes d'apnée et des palanquées ont permis un beau mélange de rencontre. Et réussir à repartager des moments avec plusieurs personnes rencontrées le mois dernier. J'ai adoré tous ces repas autour d'un poisson, de tacos au poulet fait maison, ou de pâtes, tous signe de partage et de bonne humeur (et mon rire d'otarie était dans le thème).

      Commencer et finir cette exploration à La Paz avec les décos de Noël au retour. Ville très sympa avec un bord de mer sublime 'le malecon' possédant même une piste cyclable et des glaciers à tous les coins de rue. Profiter de ces 6 jours dans cette ville pour comparer le rangement français et suisse ... les suisses ont largement gagné!
      Colibri (mon vélo) en a profité pour se faire une beauté et avoir le plein d'amour chez le vélociste ... l'air marin, les chemins en terre et ma négligence lui ont donné quelques douleurs à la chaîne.

      Ainsi, j'avais écrit que je voulais voir des baleines, tortues, requins baleine et raies mobulas dans la description de mon voyage. À part les raies, j'ai tout vu. Beau d'en avoir envie, encore plus beau de le vivre. Et de s'émerveiller des nombreuses autres merveilles sous-marines. Il y a des orques et raies mantas qui traînent parfois dans la région, alors sûre que je reviendrai. Que ce soit terrestre ou aquatique, cette région est sublime.
      Suite sur le continent avec la reprise du vélo!
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    • Day17

      Getting Curious

      February 22, 2020 in Mexico ⋅ ⛅ 19 °C

      22nd February. Dirty pizza; the birthday(s) ends.

      After so many days of indulgence, it all had to end some point. Today was a sluggish one, accumulated hangovers finally grinding us to a hault with all the associated guilt of calories consumed and pounds gained. The only question that really matters is was it worth it? And yes, it was. That's the best birthday celebration I think I've ever been a part of. 4 days of brilliant people with food playing the wonderful role it does in bringing people from all over the world together with a common language of deliciousness. I am delighted that I had the opportunity to contribute, and humbled by how well it all landed.

      Today's helping of dirty pizza from Little Caesar's was the only thing any of us wanted. Satisfying and depressing at the same time. Exactly as required for a hangover. Healthy eating starts tomorrow.

      So that's me sat and plugged in all my historic notes into this app so I'm now up to speed. Through the process of making the updates, I started to notice a specific gap in how I'm approaching the topic. I said I would talk more to people about all things food, and I also referenced that's hard for me in some situations. But what I hadn't realised is that I'm missing quite an easy opportunity to talk to the other travellers I meet. It got me to thinking about how I can start better conversations, likely with quite an explicit interview style, so I spent a little time writing down the kind of questions I think I can start asking to get people to open up and, hopefully, I'll learn lots of information and make stronger connections as a result.

      Here's the kind of stuff I'm thinking about. Learning some of them in Spanish will be interesting; not as hard as trying to decipher the answers I get, mind you.

      What are your fondest memories of eating?

      What was the one dish everyone in your family loved?

      Describe your relationship with food

      Describe mealtimes with your family. How has that changed through your life?

      What matters to you when it comes to eating?

      Describe a particular meal/occasion that stands out in your memory

      Desert Island scenario. What's that meal or set of ingredients you'd take? 

      Who would you most like to dine with? What would the over-the-table conversation be about?

      Describe the role that food plays in your family home, with your friends, in your country and culture. What value does that relationship carry?

      What's your attitude towards current hot topics, such as sustainability, environmental impact and animal welfare?

      How would you rate your cooking skills? Would you like that to be different/what stands in the way?

      What is your favourite dish to cook or have cooked for you?

      What's your earliest memories of being in the kitchen?

      What does the future of food look like for you?

      So I suppose I should try answer them for myself to see how well they work. Not bad, I think is my conclusion. We'll see what actually happens when I start asking people such things out of the blue.

      What are your fondest memories of eating?

      Any time with friends and good times. Particularly ones where I've managed to really deliver some food that blew someone away. Definitely the annual event my parents held to celebrate a poet. It was my opportunity to push myself to please a wider audience with large numbers. It was always stressful, and it would end up with my mum having to do so much help to keep things clean and moving, but the only bit that sticks is how people responded, and those clean plates.

      What was the one dish everyone in your family loved?

      Sausage pie. My mum's way of getting onions into me- I was a fussy wee bugger. Richmond recipe Irish sausages, chopped into chunks and fried with onions, tomato puree, and a tin of Heinz baked beans. Fired into an oven dish and topped with fluffy mash, maybe cheese as a treat on top, then into the oven to crisp the top. It remains a favourite, and it's an example of how, despite being able to knock out some pretty high end food these days, trying to replicate my mother's dish, no matter how elementary it may seem, is a task beyond me. I'm less able to perfectly burn onions for a start.

      Describe your relationship with food

      I'm fairly obsessed. It can be unhealthy for me, psychologically at times. If planning a big meal, I'll often start work on the menu design months in advance, and even in those early stages, be waking up with ideas in the middle of the night. My mind is at its worst when it's at its best, creatively. My desire to do everything from scratch means I get good results, but I spend more time than most would going to lengths that aren't always necessary. But I love it. Food and cooking is capable of making me cry with pleasure, so I know that it is truly my 'thing'. I'm a bit more balanced with things right now, because I can't have it dominating a trip that is as much about all the other thrills of travel as it is about being a food nut.

      I love to challenge myself with cookery, and the buzz of pushing to execute something exceptional. I put myself through torture sometimes by doing things like cooking in restaurant kitchens- it makes me seriously anxious- but the feeling I get when I finish a shift, working with people I look yo as heroes, is worth all the nerves. I've made friends for life through food. It has changed my life.

      Describe mealtimes with your family. How has that changed through your life?

      In earlier years we always ate together. That started to change as I got older and, maybe, as society changes in that regard. I always wanted to be with my friends. Sunday dinner was still generally done. It's one thing I miss from being at home. If and when we return, I'll make mote of an effort to be around for that.

      What matters to you when it comes to eating?

      That whoever made the food cared about what they did. It's everything. Sometimes people close to me don't want to cook for me because they see how critical I am of my own food, but they miss an important point- I just love someone taking their time and being kind enough to serve me a plate of food, because they'll have done it with the care it deserves. I'm happy with scrambled eggs and toast. It's just so nice to sit down and be served something. It's relaxing.

      Describe a particular meal/occasion that stands out in your memory

      The first time we walked into The Gannet in Glasgow. We were only in for drinks- it had not long opened to the public, and we had other plans for dinner. I saw a plate going past and knew immediately that it was high quality- the colour preserved in the cooking of the spinach, the translucence of the sauce, and how everything sat up on the plate. That moment changed everything, possibly my life, forever. We went in a few days later and it blew my mind. We were in all the time and got super friendly with the staff, particularly Rory, the guy running bar. It turned out he was the brother of the owner, Peter. Eventually I plucked up the balls to ask him if he would ask his brother if I could come into the kitchen to learn.

      My first shift, I thought I'd just be picking lettuce and watching, but it was very much hands in and I was given plenty of tasks. My second shift, I expected similar, but I was put on my own station on their second busiest night ever. I didn't have a single dish sent back from being sent to the 'pass'. Since then, I've become extremely close with Peter, and his friends and family; I've stood side by side with him as my food hero, cooking in front of the public at food festivals. I've cooked with him for local charitable causes. He values my opinion on his dishes, perhaps the greatest honour. My food has improved exponentially, and I now dream of a future that involves food in some way.

      I've had a several profound meals in my life, not least at Central, in Lima, Peru, which is one of the leading restaurants in the world with particularly inspirational work on sustainability of culture, environment and indigenous people and practice. That made me cry. I couldn't even talk when I got introduced to the kitchen team.

      Desert Island scenario. What's that meal or set of ingredients you'd take? 

      I can't answer it. My mind changes every day. If I had to take ingredients, likely a handful of core veggies that I can use to make a variety of Mediterranean dishes. I love Italian food.

      Who would you most like to dine with? What would the over-the-table conversation be about?

      Tough one. Maybe Anthony Bourdain. I'd like to talk to him about some of the crazy stories, but mainly about how to be a great travel and food writer like he was.

      Describe the role that food plays in your family home, with your friends, in your country and culture. What value does that relationship carry?

      It's still very important in my family home. Everything is home cooked. My mum is a great cook and she's trying many new things all the time, whilst keeping a sense of routine with old favourites which keeps my dad happy. My close friends are pretty much all into food and cooking, so it's integral to our social scene. I love it. As for the country, we've lost connection in many ways to our history with food. That's not all a bad thing as we've a fantastic, vibrant food scene, but there's also a lot of crap, like anywhere, and it was be nice to keep connected. I'm not sure how much families are together around food, these days, so it would be good not to drift any further, but I suspect that's just the way things are going. People are busy and have different priorities.

      What's your attitude towards current hot topics, such as sustainability, environmental impact and animal welfare?

      It would be tempting, given that I believe it's too late for humans to save themselves, to be apathetic, but these are extremely important topics. I'd love to have a restaurant that had a net positive impact on the world and it's animals. I struggle greatly with the fact I'm eating meat. It used to be that so long as it was reared well l, then I'd be cool with it, but the death of a creature is a serious thing and I don't believe it's my decision to make, yet I am, at the moment, eating meat. I'm not sure what my future will be with it, especially if I ever open a restaurant.

      How would you rate your cooking skills? Would you like that to be different/what stands in the way?

      I'm good at what I do, sometimes exceptional, given I've no formal training. But I need a much broader knowledge of more of the structural stuff that would give me way more flexibility to produce more varied and interesting food.

      What is your favourite dish to cook or have cooked for you?

      I love to cook a full tasting menu, and the highlight for me is always trying to nail the meat dish which would ideally be home-based, with a refined sauce and some smartly though-out garnishes. But I'm also just as happy making an epic lasagne.

      What's your earliest memories of being in the kitchen?

      Licking sponge mix off the mixer blade when my mum was baking, then gradually getting into helping.

      What does the future of food look like for you?

      Fuck knows. I'd be surprised if I don't do something career-wise with it, but I'm open to whatever at the moment. I know I need to cook for people more often than I do, and that I need to learn more food from more places to make people happy.
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