Monarch Explorer

One-night stand: naked brews

Any half-decent maker of alcohol with a naked man as its logo was always going to get a look in on TTB.

Coldstream Brewery boutique beer

Coldstream Brewery, nestled in the heart of the Yarra Valley, Victoria, Australia, is more than half decent. It’s the kind of establishment where you can to cozy up to that special someone, next to the fire, over at least 10 different types beers and ciders. Yep, you’ll be spoilt for choice on a night out at the Coldstream brewery, and not-so-spoilt with a cozy hangover the next day, thanks to a drinks menu that sports ciders, seasonal lagers, ales and pilsners.

What would a travel adventure be without a weird and wonderful delicacies made from someone or something’s body part?

France has frogs legs, Guatemala has lizards on a plate, Scotland has haggis and New Zealand had sheep placenta face cream.
Placenta creme


New Zealand, as much as I love you, I will not put sheep placenta on my face. No matter how good it makes my skin look and feel. Never.

And if you think this is something reserved for silly tourists, allow me to introduce you to this little celebrity news tidbit that I spotted today in street press, Mx….

It was a bit much and made me long for the relaxation of a hire car from like previous trips away.

Posh placenta

All I can say is, it’s clearly bat-shit crazy to put sheep placenta on your face, especially if Posh is doing it.

I found this placenta creme in Queenstown, New Zealand.What’s craziest thing you’ve come across while travelling and where?
Posted in Travel, Walk of shame | Tagged Guatemala, New Zealand, placenta, Posh, Queenstown, Scotland, travel, travelling, weird

Travel Tramp was enjoying the Italian tastes of the famous Lygon Street in Melbourne, Australia, earlier this evening and stumbled across the ultimate Tastegasm: The Big I. A climax of the icy kind. The best I’ve ever had. The best ice cream, that is.

Yes, that’s a HUGE call to make. But Helados Jauja Argentinian ice cream really is the best I’ve EVER tasted.

Something naughty to wrap your lips around…
Travel Tramp Mug Cake

The before shot

As I sit here writing this post, I must admit I’ve got some outside assistance. A sugar buzz. (shortly followed by, but not to be confused with the sugar coma).

In between sentences I’m tucking into the best thing since sliced bread. A Mug Cake.
Posted in Tastegasm | Tagged baking, cake, chocoholic, chocolate, cooking, food, Foodie, Mug Cake, Nutella, One-night stand, recipe, tastegasm, USA Travelgasm: containing Christchurch

Re:Start - big business getting small business back on its feet

Almost one year ago to the day, the city of Christchurch, New Zealand was rocked to its core, if you can pardon the pun. The city was devastated by a 6.3 magnitude earthquake, killing 185 and injuring scores more. The city remembered those it lost earlier this week in a memorial service.

But juxtaposed with this sadness and devastation are the signs of a city getting back on its feet. Christchurch is recovering and repairing, and local business are reviving their livlihoods in the most innovative way: pop-up shops made from shipping containers. The humble shipping container has been pimped, and the result is Re:Start - a mean metal example of Kiwi innovation and resilience.

Shipping container chic - Christchurch style

Travel [trav-uhl] Fever [fee-ver]
1. noun – an abnormal condition of the mind and body, characterised by undue rise in temperature, compulsion to journey from one place to another by car, train, plane, or ship; take a trip; journey: to travel for pleasure.
2. verb – intense nervous excitement causing one to travel compulsively for pleasure.

I’d be willing to bet good money that anyone who loves travel can remember the exact moment they caught the disease that would see them spending the rest of their life struggling to pay the mortgage/bills/rent while blowing all their spare cash on that next trip. If cash is in short supply then visiting for a good easy transport option is worth some of your time.

I was a young’en when I caught Travel Fever. The year was 1997 and I was almost 15 years old. The place was Pakistan. Yes. Pakistan.

Until recently, I hadn’t thought about when the year I caught the fever, but when my Pop passed away I found myself searching through piles of of birthday cards, Christmas cards and postcards my grandparents had hoarded during their lives.

While sorting through the hundreds (seriously, there were hundreds) of cards they’d been given, up popped a little beauty I’d sent my grandparents back in ’97.

Exhibit A – how patient was infected with the deadly Travel Fever (TF). TF is known to cause patient to behave irrationally, often taking off from their safe and warm home with only a small backpack, and no where near enough money to survive on.

I can be a jealous lover when it comes to my books…

Penelope Green's Girl By Sea

Sure, I lend them to my friends. I share the book nerd love but I collect them like that fictional serial killer Dexter collects his little blood samples. I secretly despise borrowing copies from libraries because I don’t get to keep the book on one of my three large bookshelves.

I can also get very jealous of the authors – particularly the ones who pen my favourite travel books. Most of the time I’m reading these when my life is mundane and routine i.e. when I’m not travelling and actually have to earn money, not spend it.

Penelope Green is one of my favourite non-fiction/travel authors. I like to think we have a bit in common; she’s an Aussie girl, a former journalist who found herself working in public relations, but always loved travelling.

I certainly don’t need a reason to have a night out, but I’ve now got a regular excuse to drink cocktails on a school night. For the past five months I’ve stamped the last Thursday of every month in my calendar RESERVED: Travel Massive.

Brisbane Travel Massive crew

Travel Massive started as travel networking drinks at a backpackers in Sydney, Australia and has now spread around the world. It’s grown from being just a few travel-lovers sharing beers to a global travel meet-up. Travel Massive is now connecting the travel industry with start-ups, bloggers and socially engaged travellers in cities like New York, London, Toronto, San Francisco, Melbourne and Singapore.

I watch far too much TV. The television set is the mortal enemy of any writer, mostly because the majority of writers are the world champion procrastinators, but to quote one of Hollywood’s doyennes of indulgence, Mae West, ‘too much of a good thing is sometimes wonderful’.

Yes, I’m going to say it. Sometimes too much TV leads to finding good TV. I’m pretty sure Ms West’s quote is not the mantra of the Travel news show Man vs Food, but it could be. The basic premise of this show is exactly what the simple title implies. It’s the host, Adam Richman, in his quest to defeat food.

Photo credit: Travel Channel

I can’t emphasize how much this bloke is the real deal so you’ll just have to see to believe…

Dressing down [dres-ing-doun]
noun – 1. A situation characterized by unnecessarily informal or lackluster clothing.
2. An informal chat where one takes advantage of one’s well-read, well-fed, well-travelled friends, using them for one’s own selfish purposes.

My friend Amy spent several months travelling Central America. She kindly offered to be the first sacrificial lamb for a dressing down…

TT: Why did you choose Central America?

AP: We chose Central America as we heard rave reviews from fellow travellers of how great it was. Prior to our trip we had been living in Canada for a year, so it was a chance to experience something culturally completely different and it was incredibly affordable! There was also a diving course on an island off Honduras that we were keen to do. We actually started our trip in Spain and spent three nights of indulgence at a resort in Playa del Carmen. We backpacked for another night or two in Mexico but pretty much headed straight down to Belize. If we had more time we would have liked to continue travelling down into South America – will just have to go back another day!

For some reason it reminded me of an Italian trip where we used a car hire Bergamo Airport website and saw quite a few similar sights but thats for another post.

Copan, Honduras

TT: What was the weirdest thing you ate?

AP: Well, I didn’t actually eat it but the weirdest thing I saw for sale was a plate of lizards at some markets in Granda!