This is the INDEX of posts for the travelblogue of my trip to Peru for a week-long cruise on the Amazon River. I signed up for the Amazon River Expedition travel program sponsored by the University of British Columbia Alumni Association.
From Lima we flew to Iquitos in Northern Peru, took a coach to Nauta and boarded our riverboat, La Turmalina. During this trip we traveled beyond the confluence of the Ucayali and Marañón rivers, visiting the Pacaya-Samiria National Reserve (the largest wetland reserve in the world), Pacama village and spending a night in the Kapok Camp.
A small skiff took us on several excursions. They are numbered 1 to 14 on the map which is the key to upcoming posts. Along the way we saw birds, monkeys, river dolphins and a fascinating variety of medicinal plants and trees
The Verandah Restaurant on deck 2 at the Grand Lobby of the Queen Elizabeth features French cuisine from Cunard's Culinary Ambassador, Jean-Marie Zimmerman. Dining is a la carte but the prices are reasonable for the quality of food and service provided. The ambience is sophisticated and elegant with quietly efficient service.
Once seated and your meal order taken, you are presented with an amuse bouche. When two people are dining, each receives a different amuse bouche.
On my second day in Athens I woke to another warm and sunny day. Highs were predicted to be around 24ºC. The first task on my mind was to find the local Post Office and buy stamps for the postcards that I planned to mail to my grand-children. I gave them a map of the places that the cruise will take us to and hopefully getting the picture postcards will mean something to my grand-daughter, who has studied the continents and the various countries and their capitals.Today is the day of the big transit strike so I was curious to see what difference this made in the traffic through these narrow streets.
As I exited the hotel ready to walk in the direction of the square where the Post Office was located, the first thing i noticed was about thirty policemen on the opposite side of the road. They were just milling around and it did not look as if anything serious was happening but I wondered.
We finished our Hop On Hop Off Red bus tour of Athens around 5:30 and although it was really early, we were both famished and ready for some good Greek food. The restaurant Kuzina had been recommended to us, and although we passed restaurant after restaurant as we walked along Adrianou Street, we persisted until we found it.
It was still quite warm although late in the afternoon so we chose to sit outside and enjoy watching the passing throngs. Being Friday and the end of the week, people were out in droves, walking and shopping and people watching was fun.
The service was prompt. We decided to start with the obligatory Greek salad. Interestingly this version had arugula and caper leaves with luscious red tomatoes, capers, cucumber, olives and feta cheese. The croutons were of crispy Greek bagel. And the dressing was olive oil.
Yonge Street Grill at the Courtyard Marriott
475 Yonge Street,
Ph: (416) 924-0611
After an intensive three days of farewell get-togethers and long walks in warm humid weather, I was ready for an early quiet and solitary supper during which I could enjoy reading the novel I had just begun on my Kindle.
So I took the elevator down from my room and moseyed on down to the hotel restaurant, The Young Street Grill. I was seated at a window table where I could observe the passing parade on Yonge Street.
Oliver & Bonacini Cafe Grill
33 Yonge Street & Front Street,
Ph: (647) 260-2070 or Reserve Online
It is ages since I enjoyed an incredible dinner at Canoe Restaurant and had wanted to try other restaurants in this group. On this visit I planned to meet a friend to discuss next year's upcoming high school reunion back in Cape Town and a quiet relaxed lunch at this downtown restaurant seemed just the place.
191 College Street,
Ph: (416) 916-6448
Three of us were meeting for a farewell brunch near the university. We dropped in at Pour Girl on College Street. A sister cafe to Pour Boy, it has an eclectic and really inexpensive menu, and the food is very good.
Having missed breakfast I opted for an omelette. The platter was quite substantial with generous helpings of salad, fries, toast and a hot and tasty ham and cheese omelette. All this for 5.75 - excellent value.
One guest ordered the penne with vegetables and shrimp served in a white wine and cream sauce.
Hair of the Dog
425 Church Street,
Ph: (416) 964-2708
It was girls' night out and another farewell event. So four of us crowded around a table at the lively Hair of the Dog for imbibing, ingesting and intellectual conversation. Well sort of intellectual. The conversation ranged from belly-dancing to feminist film theory with stops on many other topics in beween!
Three of us met for a celebratory and farewell dinner at Loire Restaurant. We were seated on the outdoor patio where a light breeze kept us comfortably cool despite the 20° temperature.
After some discussion we decided on a bottle of the 2010 Chinon Rosé from Domaine Bernard Baudry in the Chinon region of the Loire Valley. Derived from Cabernet Franc it was a light refreshing sipping wine and a good accompaniment to the variety of dishes we chose.
We all chose different starters. My pick was the Lobster Bisque. The other two guests chose an Arugula and Endive Salad served with feta and an Ice Wine dressing; and the Maple Cider Glazed Pork Belly on flat bread.
The Pork Belly was served on a crispy flat bread with caramelized apple, sweet onion puree and shaved parmesan. We each had a taste and it was deliciously rich and flavourful.
I liked the lobster flavour which came through strongly but to me a bisque should be richer and creamier than this soup was. The arugula and fennel salad was substantial and tasty.
After tasting Lebanese, Chinese, Indian, and various other Middle eastern foods in Dubai, it was time for a different range of culinary experiences in Abu Dhabi and I had only two days to try them out.
On my first morning we decided to take it easy and have a leisurely start to the day, so our first stop at the Emirates Palace Hotel was close to lunch time. We wandered through the luxurious interior of the hotel and then went out to wander through the grounds.
By lunch time we decided to sample some of the high tea items on the menu at Le Cafe, one of the coffee shops in the lobby of the hotel.
An early High Tea at the Le Cafe in the Emirates Palace Hotel