Shanghai

The first-time visitor to Shanghai can be overwhelmed by the sheer scale and energy of China’s largest city, also one of the world’s ten largest. With a population touching 14 million occupying an area roughly twice the size of greater Melbourne, the inner urban core is a network of highrise apartments, shopping malls and parks inter-connected by a labyrinth of…

Alfa Romeo Giulietta

Pinot on the Peninsula with Giulietta and the missus

Last October I attended a burgundy masterclass at the inaugural Pinot Palooza in Melbourne’s Ormond Hall. The Palooza was a celebration of all things pinot noir, showcasing around 140 expressions of pinot from about 50 Aussie and kiwi wineries, and was the brainchild of Ben Edwards and Dan Sims of Wine Guide fame. It must have been a raging success…

The Moki Dugway from halfway up, or down

The Moki Dugway

We cheerfully bailed out of the disappointing Monument Valley Hotel early in the morning, with a drive along Utah’s Scenic Byways to Bryce Canyon City planned for the day ahead. I’d planned the route originally on Google maps, intending to capture as much of the spectacular Colorado Plateau scenery as possible. As the cellular reception was virtually non-existent, and SatNav…

facade of the museum of pre columbian art in cuzco

Cuzco Museum of Pre-Columbian Art – Day 9

It’s a Cuzco Saturday morning; crisp, bright and sunny. The hotel breakfast made exceptionally palatable with the online news that Collingwood had given Geelong FC a thorough shellacking at the MCG on Friday night, Melbourne time. We’re an odd couple; I’m a ‘Pie’man and Mitch a ‘Cat’woman, so at least twice a year there’s a minor domestic shitfight at our…

Losing it

Last Saturday was the first anniversary of a very dramatic moment in my life. Probably not as earth-shattering as TAbbott ever saying something worthwhile, not to mention believable. Definitely not as staggering as Yoda losing his power to split infinitives. But on Saturday, July 30th 2011 at about 7pm, my smug world as I lived it came to a crashing…

Cuzco

We’re in Cuzco (Cusco) and it’s the eighth day of our ramble along Peru’s famous Gringo Trail. To recap, our journey commenced in Lima before flying, via Cuzco, to Puerto Maldonado and 2 nights in Reserva Amazonica in the headwaters of the Amazon River. We then flew back to Cuzco and, leaving our heavy baggage in storage, were immediately swept…

late autumn in high sierra

Mammoth problems in the high Sierra

Two trips to the Sierra Nevadas fifteen years apart prove that the core message expressed in Split Enz’s refrain “history never repeats” is a load of crap. The Sierra last millenium One January, in the fag-end years of the last century, then-partner Michelle, and long-time mate Ding and I left the fleshpots of Las Vegas and set a course for San Francisco.…

Beaujolais Cru Wines

A few weeks ago I posted a Beaujolais day trip, exploring the 12 appellations (wine producing regions) making up the overall Beaujolais “brand”. Following is a brief summary and tasting notes, in alphabetical order, of the ten Beaujolais Cru (grand) appellations that I suggest that all lovers of wine should investigate. Despite their basis on the “humble” Gamay grape, these…

Oeufs en Meurette

Oeufs en Meurette (poached eggs in red wine sauce) Serves 4 A perfect brunch on a chilly Burgundian sunday. 8 x eggs 2 x shallots 100g bacon 450g fresh button mushrooms 750 ml very tannic red wine (Burgundy red or Barossa shiraz) 25o ml chicken stock 125g butter 8 slices of baguette (toasted whole or cut into croutons) 4 tablespoons…

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