Maracas Bay, Trinidad, West Indies

IMG_4476Probably the most famous outing from Port of Spain is the beach at Maracas Bay. It’s about 35 minutes outside of the city along a windy hilly road.

IMG_4468The view from the viewpoint is not the only reason to stop. There are chow stalls where you can try the famous “pineapple chow.” Chow is a dish of fruit in a brine with shadon beni (culantro) and chili peppers. They also make chow with green plums, mango, and cucumber. The pineapple is the best with its contrast of juicy sweetness, salty brine, and slight spice. All the basic electrolytes in one bite!

IMG_4460Maracas Bay is a popular beach for the locals and it’s a good place to hang out. There are lifeguards on duty, a good thing considering how fierce the waves the day we went.

IMG_4484For a foodie, the reason to go to Maracas Bay is to eat “bake and shark” or a fried fish sandwich. This sandwich was made more famous by Anthony Bourdain. The most famous place is Richard’s with the many condiments including pineapple chow. Uncle Sam’s is on the beach side and overlooks the beach. You buy the fish sandwich and then put on the condiments of your choice from garlic sauce, tamarind sauce, pepper sauce (pureed scotch bonnet peppers), slaw, pineapple chow, mayonnaise, etc. The sandwich reminds me a bit of po’ boy sandwiches.

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Made in Nassau – Shop Local

TZIVOxdFjEUCTiAAfGqjCpMTH-ZxG1yQUTPjjsp23Sn3YMlZWRDdnp6JGsipfOK0_9wb8hDItJHrfX33WGaVsk4w37fFjDzyDj81N0GG5G6eknlY2beUbGoLsRZ94lYCBZbzRbfdy6PwQfY0ESpPc7Sn0FBZ6A9WdOLNI91S_SoTmDDFnUcUK_soZjThe Straw Market in downtown Nassau, The Bahamas, is famous. I found it to be too mass produced. If you want to support some of the independent artists and shop owners, then you will have to get in a car and go slightly (ten minutes) away from the main street. The reason for the spread out shops is that, apparently, the rent on the main strip is quite high. The list of independent shops is super short:

iIy6FQZK9ekEiE3_2y7bCJScEVwn-rfBP9tYQ4kHYk8ZK6uerojmMRBrw-MueRU6C1HhgxTQIF02b90ygK0HnoLUHF9uW9j7emiNbwrxFZ53yRLZSp6zs2PS6_2sUo8hddU88OUmoXLQrBPR8zl7CcHw_nFgBgg_IdLErsWImMUy1DwHb6hbKFu4h2Bahama Hand Prints, Ernest Street: Super expensive fabric products from clothes to bags to curtains. The best part is watching the printing of the actual cloth in their attached workshop. The website is a little slow to load, but the shop is quite nice. (also, a secret tip is that they have a bathroom, if you need one).

C3Sea0Hap4QU5zxDlvHYWOMnt0nUR_WjBqZJgSWS7ZkLnmoa6kzMbtNkPP1oR4KMR1GW5GzBCgDQg9WN8H5Kt8Rd4LOIIEXHxX1L3sxpW_lEjVrKQtcsMP1muYjrKLFD3OD0OsIYk2Vw9uAX0IIIIS_NhsPQLcbeA9TO0vefaMn1dxyUJd95n96bNPKim Smith The Place for Art, #20 Village Road: He offers classes, has a frame shop, and sells prints and original artwork.

7DdWEPe6d3ta_gSca7TJK_5KOnlv3pjM-5w7EsEHo1EgALgJH-IYpdgMgXh0dCp3-8qIGxVv_jZMgYy8NvUm5XtQekyZIzp4rr0fs2Nmd7gZTWz8xIsMiOXt5BIhlFDtGCyJYniW9M3nMdYIT5xNYyNlOr_DG4dVKRnwDYNvYQN4XZvvWR4FnVs5ezFarmers Market, on the porch of the building in the same complex as the Kim Smith gallery. Basically, it’s two vendors. One who sells some vegetables, a baked good, and lobster tail tacos. The other person makes the tacos.

16831852_10154979598289618_7168423776825072068_nBahama Art and Handicraft, East Shirley Street: Two sisters have this shop with lots of nick knacks. They don’t allow you to take photos of the things inside but you can find them on their Facebook page if you want to see what they have.

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That’s it. But, if you stop at the parking lot where the fresh conch is being shucked , you can make a fun day outing of shopping local.

Sloe Drink from a Slow Walk

The sloe berries are blue when ripe and they grow on tall bushes/low trees (clearly my grasp of botany is limited) in temperate climes like Denmark. They look like blueberries but are super sour and probably not delicious in their raw state (my friend tried one and I surmised this from the look on her face).

To make a sloe drink, you pick the berries, freeze them for a few days, and then put them in to the alcohol (vodka? gin?), let them marinate for a few days. Then drink.

flU5CY62z8JAtY9SMO7cxDGkMN6chmfBEIb6IIGGwnPCKbgQXlCMk0Dx3MU17LDRNPFh8h1HQXEqPzMam6RuYbw-RYrbKI8HnddFXCrEZ_1q3Uv7HGpIlYWfH4RjBgZ62t5djwK487-wWfWJJL1dtZbWdZ4PCRmn26ibJAcbb4mzBr2mUdrbsBm6ZpLast year, when on a bike ride through Amager Faelled in Copenhagen, I noticed this guy picking something from the bushes. After racing over to him like an excited puppy, I asked him what he was doing.

The berries matched his eyes, and he was accommodating enough to model the sloe berries for me.

Food in Lima – A Tribute

Food in Lima. I finally created a book with some of the foods I’ve tried on my many visits to Lima these past few years. Buy it here, on Lulu, if you wish. It’s just a little book, 7×9 inches, so it will fit in a bag easily (that way I can carry it around with me).

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In reality, since my first visit, when I first had the classic ceviche as seen in the photo, all of my visits to Lima have been “food tours.” Some day, I’ll even get to Mistura, the food festival. I will, I will!

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Earthquakes in Bogota

bXTUpjcjmg4PraCwcAasWt0-VRfTzWKkiwcncgWjHuodrSp1XEmOnJUXITxkR1NbcwMtmTLijwyPrIL9TZTdSa5-_uTUG8aifJVIZnx2GgpiLI78bWmvByhhRUVwCGLW2NPr9wF9DmGLECM4XywBgKNEh1opGNwYXgEsIjjIHCKrspv3h9grD2lIouAs I’ve recently been staying close to sea level, I thought I’d reflect on when I lived 8,500 feet above the sea. Something I had not thought about when I moved to Bogota was that there would be earthquakes. There are. Which shouldn’t be surprising since Bogota is part of the Sierra Nevada mountains which is part of the Pacific ring of fire. img_0909Fortunately, I only felt a few tremors in my time in Bogota. One of them was big enough to cause the crack in the photo.

The Spanish word for earthquake is “terremoto” which is appropriately terrifying sounding to me.