machu picchu

and the Carneval will have to wait until 2011. blame it on trying to book too late and too many plans for the coming year (read: booking quite late meant we’re left with only high-priced and many-transfers-long-stopovers flights). on the bright side, the mardi gras is in March by 2011 which means it’s almost dry season in Peru.

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Merry Christmas!!

it’s the usual setup for us at Christmas. just me and al. was at the Borough market at 9am on the 24th to beat the crowds, disappointed to not find any of our favourite Christmas cake. Came home with these

loot from the Borough market (hand sliced Spanish jabugo ham, scallops, pork belly, mulled wine, live lobster, herbs-chives, rosemary, chillies, lemon grass)
Christmas pet

on the phone to the family while lunching. baking cookies in the afternoon. wholemeal bread, cheese, jabugo and chai tea for snacks/late lunch for al. tossed the rice in herbed oil, garlic, onions, tomatoes, shrimps and chicken broth before putting in the rice cooker. boiled the lobster for dinner. poor lobster was stretching his claws so he doesn’t fit into the pan. but he was already weak after spending some time in the freezer (to numb him) so in the pot he goes after some struggle.

leftover seafood rice, roast pork (skin did not turn out crackling hmmp), beans and carrots, and mulled wine for Christmas day lunch.

Iceland: Day 5

Reykjavik City Hall

late breakfast. no plans really for today. temperature will remain below 0 as it has been the previous days. at least we’re remaining in the city today and the high winds should not be that bad.

we went out looking at outdoor shops to see if we can find good gloves and ski masks as there are not a lot of choices in London. most shops open between 10 and 11am on a Sunday so we had to wait a bit.

got our gloves and a scarf/mask thing and went back to the hotel to check out.

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Iceland: Day 4

Seljalandfoss

another tour day. usually, i hate going on tours. i would only like to be limited by the train and bus schedules and not by other people. i want to stay in a place for as long as i want.   the problem with iceland is that there are no trains. local buses only go as far as Keflavik airport and back. there are some buses that go farther out, but they only operate in the summer. During these times, tours are the only way to get around. That and taxis, and car hires which can cost an arm and a leg. maybe literally too if you can’t handle rugged terrains, icy roads, limited visibility due to fog or dust storms, and high winds.      

and so we were picked up again at the hotel by GTI and headed on for the South Coast tour.  

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Iceland: Day 3

The Blue Lagoon

we had late breakfast and were picked up at 10:30 to transfer to buses headed for the blue lagoon. the blue lagoon buses leaves several times a day from the BSI bus terminal run by reykjavik excursions. get the blue lagoon tour which includes entrance fee and bus fares.

saw a really bad multi-car accident in the highways.

The blue lagoon is half way through keflavik airport and many would do stopovers here before heading to the airport.

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Iceland: Day 2

icy, empty Iceland roads

breakfast at 7:30 at the hotel. continental breakfast – meat platters, cheese, fruits, cereals, juice, instant coffee, bread, boiled eggs and pickled herring (icelandic addition). not a lot of choices, but ok to keep you filled up for a while.   

we were picked up for the Golden Circle Tour after 8:30. We booked with Go Travel iceland. you get picked up at the hotel, if you’re staying in the centre. it’s an informal tour. guide was very friendly and informative. we travelled in a van, some 10+ people in a group. larger travel companies like the reykjavik excursions use a bus on popular tours.

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