Victoria, BC – Breakfast & Breweries

Moon under water tasting flightArriving in Victoria on a Friday evening, with friends Richard & Karen, for 4-days of R&R, we sat down after dinner and prioritised our objectives for the weekend. After their recent visit, our kids highly recommended the craft breweries, so Saturday’s schedule comprised breakfast followed by visiting the downtown craft breweries.

What do you think of  our priorities?

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Day 2 – At Sea – Saturday 23rd May 2015

Sydney to Melbourne

Our first of many sea days, on this 104-day voyage of a lifetime. It is 11 years since we have sailed on Dawn Princess, a sister to the Sea Princess, so today is an excellent opportunity to re-learn this class of ship and establish a routine for the many sea days ahead. Read on for a narrative of our daily activities and the initial photographs.

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Cape Town to Koh Samui, Thailand

Cape Town AirportShortly after our final breakfast at the magnificent Victoria & Alfred Hotel, it was down to the lobby for our 08:30 pick-up and transit to Cape Town International Airport, about a 1/2 hr drive on this Monday long weekend. We had hoped they could check our suitcases directly to Koh Samui, but alas, twas not possible. Bangkok Airways is not a member of the One World Alliance, so our round the world flights take a sabbatical in Bangkok and thereafter we are a domestic connection to/from Koh Samui. Oh well, just means lots of walking in Bangkok and fortunately, we have plenty of time for the connection.

This is the worst of the flight segments on the entire adventure, with 3 flights and a middle of the night layover, over a full 24hr period; however, the first two are on Qatar, the world’s best or 2nd best airline. They tend to switch annually with Cathay Pacific for the # 1 or # 2 spot. Continue reading

Real Ale and Lunch Excursion To Sheffield

Pouring real aleDuring the UK portion of our travels we drove down to Glossop, just outside Manchester for about 4 days. In addition to spending a few days with our son’s mother-in-law to be, finalising the details of the Thailand wedding, we also took the train over to Sheffield for the day to meet one of my old ship mates. Two retired “Jolly Jacks” on a pub crawl in Sheffield, with wives, now that might be worth a read.

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Scottish Craft Beer

beer_barrelThe topic for this post originated from a recent trip to my dad’s neighbour for an afternoon refreshment. For beer, the choice was Old Speckled Hen or a 80/- ale from Williams Brewery in Alloa. Now this really piqued my interest, as for a few hundred years, Alloa was the brewing capital of Scotland and our host’s grandfather owned the biggest brewery – Youngers. We can get Old Speckled Hen at home, which made the decision much easier, 80/- Ale please.

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A Typical Saturday Afternoon In Scotland

Scotland imageJudi and I had great plans for today, which centered around a trip into Glasgow to watch Andy’s beloved football team, the all mighty Rangers F.C. Rather than driving along the motorways we planned a circuitous route bypassing Glasgow and taking in some of the highlands – Loch Earn and Loch Lomond. Alas, we awoke to a bitterly cold morning with gale force winds and torrential rain, which dictated a change of plans.

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Short International Voyage

To maintain our medical coverage we must spend at least 5 months every year in British Columbia. With our recent RV’ing excursion, cruises and visits to Dubai and UK we aren’t even close this year, and next year will be just as bad. Therefore, we availed ourselves of the extended absence option, which permits a 2-year absence once every 5 years. Only problem, is returns to BC are limited to 30-days. Therefore, every 30 days we must leave BC, and with the U.S border a mere 20 miles away, it is a great option. We tried to get the entire weekend at our Birch Bay timeshare, but it was only available for the Sunday, so 1 night it was. We left about 10:00, expecting a healthy border queue, but were pleasantly surprised to find only 3 cars ahead of us. Yet again, a very pleasant chap in the booth, and within minutes we were heading down to Bellingham on a rather chilly, but sunny day. Stopped off at Costco to pick up a couple of steaks, bag of salad, wine and of course a couple of Boundary Bay beers, a local Bellingham micro-brewery. After a short drive back up to Birch Bay, we checked in and spent a quiet and relaxing night with an excellent steak and a couple of refreshments. Just what doctor ordered after the hectic schedule of construction, painting and moving in to our new apartment over the past few weeks. We are home now until we depart for our Round the World adventure at the end of March 2015.

Hopewell Rocks Provincial Park – Bay of Fundy

Park mapAfter Cape Enrage Lighthouse, our Bay of Fundy scenic drive continued to Hopewell Rocks Provincial Park, which is located about mid-way between Fundy National Park and Moncton. But first, before we go hiking down to the beach we need lunch, as everywhere enroute was already closed, probably for the season.

Well we did find some lunch, and it was definitely the low point of the day, but the hike down to the beach and watching the tide come in was simply spectacular.

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