Thursday, 6 March 2014

Florence and the Caterpiller machine

Now we actually know where the Crimea is, here are the facts that Sky and BBC News cant be bothered to tell us:-

1. The Crimean war was 1854 to 1856 by Britain, France, Austrua and Hungry against Russia.
2. We won! To date this is the only war France has won.
3. Florence Nightingale was not a qualified nurse, but very popular due to her large bosom (yes this is true). Early 21st century commentators have asserted Nightingale's achievements in the Crimean War had been exaggerated by the media at the time, to satisfy the public's need for a hero...
Florie off to work the night shift

and if you look at the map it seems like a good place to buy, like a small version of Spain, loads of coastline. Sebastopol, try the Grass Cafe at Istorichesky Boulevard, 3, Sevastopol, Ukraine, number one on Tripadvisor and probably at Lonely Planet as well... All other travel guides seem to have been swallowed..

Procession caterpillars.. 

As a kid, we drove to Italy and often picked up thick hairy caterpillars and kept them in matchboxes with no harm. Now, listen, we see them in nests in trees and marching across the ground in lines, then what?
 The life cycle of the pine processionary is normally annual but may extend over 2 years at high altitude or in northern latitudes for part or the whole of the population. The life cycle has two phases, the adult, egg and caterpillar being aerial and the pupa hypogeal.Moths lay their eggs high on pine trees. After hatching, the larvae go through five instars, eating pine needles. They build white silken nests are built to maintain ideal living conditions. Around the end of March the caterpillars are ready to leave their nests and move down the tree in a characteristic procession. They dig underground and pupate, emerging at the end of the summer. High numbers of adults are produced in years with a warm spring.

Hoppoes will eat the emerging caterpillars but little else. Strong insecticide is virtually the only way to kill them.. Avoid and dont put in a matchbox...

And on the farm..

New lockable door on the Owl House. New stronger lights in all the rooms as well as more bedside lights... funny how travel to other hostels broadens the mind!   

The communal kitchen is now all glassed in for the colder nights and a new breakfast bar and new lighting to make a much easier place to cook and socialise

Picasso gets a raised deck and shade area, this is quite a nice space now with air con, and a TV, DVD and Portuguese channel lounge

Work ongoing, New walls roof and kitchen at the Owl House, making a much nicer outside area.

So lots of work to upgrade all the rooms. When we were on holiday we noticed
the following:-

1. Poor lighting
2. Not enough bedside tables
3. No waste bins

So plenty of work, and roll on summer!


Monday, 10 February 2014

Playing Away..Travels in a strange land

Please paint this country sea blue..

 I have to admit, I thought a holiday to Thailand would do the following for me:-

1. End in wild adventures in boozy smoky bars full of naughty women
2. Broaden my horizon with massages and enlightenment
3. Teach me humility and patience and understanding

Ah well I achieved none of the above. What a boring country. North to South was like staying in the tourist end of Albufeira. If you are 18 to 28, go there, party all night but dont walk past my cabin at 6am singing " We dont care, we dont care we dont care" because I do, and I will donate half a tin of cs gas directly into your offsprings eyes completely free of charge.. 
The Golden Temple, Bangkok. Nobody we met in Thailand could speak English fluently, in fact it was always point and press regardless how simple the menu. They could not even tell you the name of the hotel they worked at....

Average tourist expression when receiving a bill... accomodation was up to six times higher than the prices quoted in Lonely Planet. It seems between these guys and Tripadvisor they have the market stitched up. We found very efficient for quick bookings.

Leaving Thailand for a few days, we found Cambodia very intelligent, relaxing, cheaper, nicer, people better looking, food more interesting, more honest, happier...

These are some of the Angor What ruins that were used to film Tomb Raider. They are falling to pieces day by day and I guess wont be open much longer to the public. Despite massive tourism there is little attempt to restore it - these ruins have a team of six people to restore it... Sad beacause they are superb. Siam Reap is one of the best towns I have ever stayed in, cheap, vibrant, lovely!!

  More holiday tales soon, including an attempted drowning in Kao Tao, the worlds noisiest beach, and where not to shop, meanwhile must do some work, busy fixing wind damage and a new dog!!