Posts tagged: lamb

New Zealand North: Dramatic Whitecliffs of Taranaki

By , January 30, 2011 1:12 am
Whitecliffs

Whitecliffs

I head back to suburbia with our arrival in New Plymouth. In the middle of the city is Pukekura Park. I wish every city had something like this. We spend over three hours enjoying everything about this marvelous park. The botanical garden includes a collection of Japanese plants. I find a new beautiful flower, which I still don’t know the name of. The ponds are filled with ducks waiting for thoughtful visitors to bring bread. There is even an amphitheater where we spot a wild Takahē bird speeding by us. At the free zoo, I watch the cutest monkey entertain himself. I later find the funkiest white bird.

Pukekura Park in New Plymouth

Pukekura Park in New Plymouth

Interesting White Flowers

Interesting White Flowers

Boris Sitting In The Amphitheatre

Boris Sitting In The Amphitheatre

Funky White Baby Bird

Funky White Baby Bird

Cute Monkey

Cute Monkey

Cotton-Top Tamarin

Cotton-Top Tamarin

Takahē Bird

Takahē Bird

In the morning we hike in Egmont National Park through an interesting young rainforest. With all the fog, we don’t see much of Mt Taranaki. Later in the afternoon, Boris is able to finally get a decent shot of the mountain for afar.

Hiking To Taranaki

Hiking To Taranaki

Leaves In The Sunlight

Leaves In The Sunlight

Young Forest

Young Forest

Can't See The Top!

Can't See The Top!

Mount Taranaki

Mount Taranaki

A short drive later brings us to the whitecliffs of Taranaki. Here we do a hike along the farmlands. Unfortunately because of the high tides, we are not able to do the shortcut along the beach. Alone with the dramatic views, it is a great spot to just chill out.

Whitecliffs Walkway

Whitecliffs Walkway

Whitecliffs Beach

Whitecliffs Beach

MuiMui

MuiMui

Enjoying The Afternoon Views

Enjoying The Afternoon Views

Along our road trip, a French custom I am acquainted to right away with is the mandatory coffee break every 2-4 hours, regardless how we travel, by foot or car.

Enjoying A Good Ol' Cup Of Joe

Enjoying A Good Ol' Cup Of Joe

I do not regret any pounds I gained here in NZ. My favorite meats here are lamb and fish. It is so fresh and with every bite, I can taste how natural it is (without all that chemical they have in US meat). Snapper and Trevally are really good too. Some local recommendations that I did not get to try are Tarakihi and Red Gurnard. A great fishery to try all this would be at Thames Wholesale Fisheries.

Lamb With Blue Cheese And Goat Cheese Salad

Lamb With Blue Cheese And Goat Cheese Salad

As for wine, I usually drink red but here in NZ, I stick to the whites. Some of our favorite NZ Sauvignon Blancs are: Babich, Villa Maria, Tohu (on the floral side), Cloudy Bay, and Oyster Bay.

2009 Tohu Sauvignon Blanc Reserve

2009 Tohu Sauvignon Blanc Reserve

Read about beautiful Auckland in our next post.

Ice Cream Shop In The Middle Of Pukekura Park

Ice Cream Shop In The Middle Of Pukekura Park

Parrot Face

Parrot Face

Lemur

Lemur

Pretty Flower

Pretty Flower

Shaved Lamas

Shaved Lamas

Little Pig

Little Pig

Farm Door

Farm Door

Flickr Photoset | Slideshow

Argentina: The Hip City of Buenos Aires

By , January 10, 2011 11:35 pm
Diego Maradona, Their National Icon

Diego Maradona, Their National Icon

Buenos Aires at first sight reminded us of Paris with its large avenues and European architecture, so it’s no wonder it is known as the most European city in South America.

Interesting Roof

Interesting Roof

Walking Tour

Walking Tour

Moulin Building

Moulin Building

From the airport, a cheap 2-hour ride into the city allowed us to see the different neighborhoods. It was only exploring the locations by foot that got us to see the vast differences from one neighborhood to the next. In San Telmo, we got some tango with our cup of afternoon coffee in Plaza Dorrego. In Palermo, shopping and eating were the only things on our agenda. In Boca, graffiti was the highlight. Finally, our walking tour through the center of the city left us breathless for its beauty and for how much walking we did.

Free Tango At Plaza Dorrego

Free Tango At Plaza Dorrego

Boca Neighborhood

Boca Neighborhood

Colorful Buildings

Colorful Buildings

Graffiti Art

Graffiti Art

Without a doubt, the Recoleta Cemetery is an awkward attraction where it feels like you are house hunting, but for a mausoleum.

Cemetery Right In The City

Cemetery Right In The City

Very Exclusive

Very Exclusive

House Or Mausoleum?

House Or Mausoleum?

During our 5 days in Buenos Aires, we probably had beef or lamb every single day. Most of the time, you can get an excellent piece of meat for less than $10. For our rare or medium-rare eaters readers, you need to explicitly say that you like blood since they tend to overcook the meat. We also fancied the pizzas (and the ridiculous amount of cheese they put on them) and ice cream!

Dining With Amy

Dining With Amy

Which Cut Looks Good

Which Cut Looks Good

Must Try Ice Cream In BA

Must Try Ice Cream In BA

There was so much in this one city to explore that we could use another trip back.

Thank you to our pretty awesome friend, Amy, for joining us in Bariloche and Buenos Aires!

Amy & Boris Exploring The City

Amy & Boris Exploring The City

Modern Building

Modern Building

Teatro Colon

Teatro Colon

We Got Standing Seats For Camerata Bariloche

We Got Standing Seats For Camerata Bariloche

Wicked Trees In The Park

Wicked Trees In The Park

Mercado de San Telmo

Mercado de San Telmo

Antique Market

Antique Market

Group Dinner With New Friends

Group Dinner With New Friends

Ceiling Decor Inside Restaurant

Ceiling Decor Inside Restaurant

Savoy Hotel: Albert Einstein Stayed Here & We Did Too

Savoy Hotel: Albert Einstein Stayed Here & We Did Too

America Del Sur Hostel

America Del Sur Hostel

Beets Risotto

Beets Risotto

Fish Special Of The Day

Fish Special Of The Day

Ribs

Ribs

Pizza

Pizza

MuiMui At The Evita Museum

MuiMui At The Evita Museum

Underground Milongas At La Catedral

Underground Milongas At La Catedral

What We Paid: Argentine
Pesos
USD Euro
– Visa fee for US passport holders 140/pp 35.25 27.25
– Local Bus From Airport To Center [2-hours] 2/pp 0.50 0.40
– Taxi From Center To Airport 110 27.70 21.40
– Subway Or Bus 1.10/pp 0.30 0.25
– America del Sur Hostel [4-beds per room, super clean & trendy, great location, free wifi, free breakfast, great staff, highly recommend] 55/pp 13.85 10.70
– Entrance to La Catedral For Underground Tango 15/pp 3.80 2.90
– Average Meal 30/pp 7.50 6
– Dinner Splurge 150/pp 37.75 29.20

Flickr Photoset | Slideshow

Argentina: San Carlos de Bariloche

By , January 6, 2011 6:04 am
View Of Llao Llao

View Of Llao Llao

We have been very fortunate to have friends and family join us along the way. It does take a little more planning and coordination, but it’s always wonderful to see familiar faces.

Getting to San Carlos de Bariloche, Argentina was a bit of a pain as two of our flights got cancelled. While the airline did hook us up with 5-star accommodations, all expenses paid, we were just eager to get to Bariloche because our friend, Amy, from San Francisco was meeting us there. Two days later than planned, we finally arrived.

Cooking Together With Old Pal, Amy & New Buddy, Hannes

Cooking Together With Old Pal, Amy & New Buddy, Hannes

Our first reaction to Bariloche was not so positive. It is a very popular holiday spot among the fortunate Argentineans. The city has all the first world amenities and English is well understood so we felt right back at home. Because we have been accustomed to travelling in 3rd world countries, we were taken back a bit by the high prices and how easy everything was.

View From Our Bedroom At 1004 Penthouse Hostel

View From Our Bedroom At 1004 Penthouse Hostel

Boris & Hannes Enjoying A Beer And The View

Boris & Hannes Enjoying A Beer And The View

One of the great perks of traveling with holiday-goers is because of their limited time, everything is well researched before arriving. With Amy, we just took the backseat to planning. She found a great hostel, 1004 Penthouse. It was on the top floor of the tallest building in Bariloche so that meant amazing views. The vibe and the people of the hostel were awesome so we highly recommend this place.

Every night, we either cooked at the hostel or dined out. If you like meat, Bariloche is your city and parillas are a great way to try wonderful meats like bife de lomo or chorizo; we especially liked the lamb.

Dinner With New Friends

Dinner With New Friends

Lamb, Our Favorite

Lamb, Our Favorite

At the end of the night, we always did a supermarket run for wine. Wine was inexpensive and it was nice to chill out with new friends while sipping on a new kind of wine. We were most impressed with the Chilean wines and overall, Malbec was good.

To explore the popular El Circuito Chico (the Short Circuit), we rented bicycles for the day. It was just refreshing to be in the outdoors and be wowed by the picturesque landscape around Lake Nahuel Huapi. It took us about 5 hours to bike the loop. I admit it was pretty tough for me. I got so tired of pedaling that whenever we went up hill, I walked it up. Boris, however, was a super trooper and pedaled the entire way. If you have time, make a tea stop at the super luxurious hotel, Llao Llao, and say hello to Paola for us.

Me & Frenchie

Me & Frenchie

Lookout Point

Lookout Point

Mountain Ranges All Around Us

Mountain Ranges All Around Us

Along with the folks we met at the hostel, we hiked Cerro Catedral, but didn’t make it all the way to the Frey refugee because it started to snow. It was still a very nice easy hike. Thanks to Hannes for redirecting us on the way back as Boris and I started to take the difficult path into the bushes.

Hikking @ Cerro Catedral

Hikking @ Cerro Catedral

Panoramic View

Panoramic View

Cerro Catedral

Cerro Catedral

Bariloche ended up being a very relaxing spot for us. It was a great stop before heading out to the active city of Buenos Aires. Also, don’t forget to try the chocolates.

A Carancho

A Carancho

Lake View From El Circuito Chico

Lake View From El Circuito Chico

Alpine Church

Alpine Church

Lunch At Lago Perito Moreno

Lunch At Lago Perito Moreno

Beautiful Views Everywhere

Beautiful Views Everywhere

What We Paid: Argentine
Pesos
USD Euro
– Triple @ 1004 Penthouse Hostel
[shared room, shared facilities, great views, great vibe, friendly staff, highly recommend]
47/pp 11.85 9
– Public Bus
[bus 20 To Campanero For El Circuito Chico, bus 26 To Cerro Catedral, bus 72 for airport]
6/pp 1.50 1.15
– Parilla At El Boliche de Alberto [highly recommend] 51/pp 12.85 9.80
– Splurge For Dinner At Tarquino 133/pp 33.50 25.55

Flickr Photoset | Slideshow

Beijing: Food and Other Pictures

By , September 5, 2010 11:34 am
Breakfast Noodles

Breakfast Noodles

Here are some more memorable pictures we took in Beijing.

Continue reading “Beijing: Food and Other Pictures” »

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