Sunday, 30 January 2011

Winter Wonderland

It's hard to motivate yourself to go outdoors in this weather but with cabin fever setting in, I eventually dragged my sorry Irish arse off the sofa and headed out to stretch my legs.  There have been record snow storms in the North East this year and the fact that I've not had to deal with a really cold climate for five years makes it a little tougher. (I may have gotten a bit soft!) The thought that the worst of the weather may yet be to come is scarier still. It does make good photo material however. Check the slideshow below. How's the weather where you are?


Tags: ..Winter Wonderland..
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Sunday, 23 January 2011

Angel Falls, Venezuela

In 1998, while we were living in New York, my GF and future missus got offered an au pair (nanny) gig in France for the summer looking after a French diplomats kids and once that was done (trivia fact: France won the World Cup that year), she headed direct to Buenos Aires to visit her family. I decided to head down to Argentina to meet the potential new in-laws but I made a few pit stops along the way (it's the backpackers equivalent of stopping off for a wee dram for some Dutch courage).  This was not one of your standard luxury all inclusive holidays.

I flew from New York to Caracas (not my fav city) and then after eventually finding the bus terminal (thanks for nothing Lonely Planet!), I took a non air-con local bus along the North coast of Venezuela where despite the stifling sweat bucket conditions, I think it was the breath taking scenery and interaction with locals bemused by why a gringo (the only gringo on the bus) would take the slow uncomfortable bus complete with chickens in cages, still ranks high on my all time most memorable travel experiences. 

After arriving in a hot and humid Puerto La Cruz, late at night and securing a very basic windowless room with just a  fan and 3,000 mosquitoes who proceeded to feast on my pasty Irish flesh, I continued by bus the next itchy morning to Ciudad Bolivar where I caught a propeller plane to Canaima which is the jumping off point for the infamous Angel Falls (tallest waterfalls in the world).

It took a day and a half by canoe to get to the base of the falls with our guides 'Tarzan and Jane' a French expat couple, who wore only loin cloth (no joke).  We slept in hammocks in the open air at night with another 3,000,000 mosquitoes who turned my belly in a mogul slalom course.  If only they ate the blubber and not the blood?!!

Despite the near death malaria experience, food poisoning, heat stroke and some weird parasite worm in my stomach / stool samples - discovered 12 months later, I highly recommend this trip to everyone.  You know what they say.., What doesn't kill ya .... doesn't kill ya! 

Alas - I didn't have a still camera back in the day and this is all that remains of my tardy recording of the trip :-(( 

Angel Falls, Venezuela - 1998 from Paddy Quickroute on Vimeo.

Tags: ..Angel Falls, Venezuela..
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Saturday, 15 January 2011

Downtown Manhattan, NY with a big ass cruise ship as a bonus

One of the best sky-scapes in the world - second only to Hong Kong in my humble opinion...check out Statue of Liberty at 1:02....

Update: The one above is from my iPhone - I found this one below a few days later

NYC - Mindrelic Timelapse from Mindrelic on Vimeo.

Tags: ..Downtown Manhattan..
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Saturday, 8 January 2011

Growing Old

Here's a few snaps from the Xmas / New Years holidays along with a few of home base during the same period. It's back to reality with a 'brrrrrr' now and the snow is still piled high on the footpath (sorry that's sidewalk in Yankee speak) outside.  The warmth of Florida seems like a distant memory and more snow is on its way.  I'm beginning to understand why the 'blue-rinse' crew fly south for the Winter. Could it be true that old people aren't daft after all? ...or am I just getting old myself?

 Meanwhile down South.......

Click on Slideshow Below for more pics....

Tags: ..Holiday Travels..
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