Page 6 of smatlanek Travel Blog Posts

North America » Canada » Ontario » Sudbury September 15th 2009

The Fall Fair at Anderson Farm was a great success. Because of amalgamation, (thank you Mr. Harris) this heritage site is now under the auspices of the Greater City of Sudbury ... as are all the other small museums in this northern area. Anderson Farm lies in the small town of Lively. This town used to belong to INCO ... it was a mining town and all the residents paid $30 mas o menos a month rent and worked for the nickel company. When the company was selling off the old houses some tenants did not have the $30,000, mas o menus, to buy their abode. A few years ago INCO was sold to VALE from Brazil .... the workers have been on strike for three months and widows bonuses are threatened. The Fall Fair was ... read more
Jams for Grannies

North America » Canada » Ontario » Toronto September 5th 2009

A week in Toronto ... a prelude to the BIG trip... testing the day pack, the mini notebook and the leg muscles. Have come to Toronto : to visit the dentist; to buy a headlamp and cover for my parachute material backpack to Mountain Co-op; to shop at Tilly's Endurables for $18 fast dry underwear; to check out the ROM; to bring freshly picked blueberries from up north; to get a haircut; to renew my library card; to put my diamonds into the safety deposit box; to visit because once I am in the sky on Oct 6 I will be on my way ... no stopping of for coffee; to attend the 12th birthday of my godson ... just recently he was a small tyke ready for any adventure without the benefit of IPOD, WII, ... read more
Farmers' Market
Weathered and Familiar
New Dinosaur Exhibit

North America » Canada » Ontario » Sudbury July 10th 2009

If the plants would grow as quickly as the weeds every known garden prize would be mine! The year away on the overlanding trip did not do favours for my flower and vegetable gardens. Having the overgrown veggie plot rotar-tilled was a VERY BAD idea. Each cut piece of weed root grew and grew and grew ... am now in Mickey Mouse mode as he was when he donned the wizards hat and split the broom in an effort to stop the flood! Not much grew last year and only a handful of beans and a few tomatoes and cukes were produced. The plan this year has included hand spading, manure, and regular weeding. Each overturned spade of earth yeilds one fifth roots, three fifths humus and one fifth clay if I drive down the spade ... read more
Life is a bouquet
Iris Twoo
Damn Bugs

North America » Canada » Ontario » Sudbury December 4th 2008

I live 30km west of the city of Sudbury, on a lake, in the forest with eleven neighbours along an unpaved road. Three ice fishers were already on the lake ice yesterday trying to catch something ...pickerel? pike? trout? I can only access dial-up internet ... have a dish to get TVO on my television ... heat the house with wood that I chop. It always helps if I remember to feed the fire. In winter when the temperature reaches -30C I get up in the night to put one more log on the hearth. I use electricity for most other things and I do have electric backup for eating ... do not like to use it though. Soon I will be snowshoeing on the lake but not before my good neighbour puts his ice hut ... read more
The Cottage
Bird Feeder

North America » Canada » Ontario » Sudbury October 2nd 2008

From around the world people come to admire the splendour of the red, orange and gold trees as they blaze thru October. The leaves no sooner turn a brilliant colour before they drift to the ground creating a magical carpet only the silks of India could duplicate. Living in the forest, I pass this splendour each time I drive out from my house to the local highway. The road leads left, off Blueberry Hill, bringing me past flaming Sumach, orange-red Sugar Maple and gold-disced Poplar. The whole of the Greater City of Sudbury is under the effect of this annual autumnal paintbrush. The stark white skins of the Birch gain vivid contrast against the burgundy undergrowth of the laurentian rock scape. Living amongst the drama does not lessen the effect of the grandeur. Every tree quivers ... read more
Seeing Red
Simon Lake

North America » Canada » Quebec » Montréal February 21st 2008

Montreal is an island and a city. The Metro is well situated and all 68 stations are beautifully presented with art work in them all. The Metro was completed in 1966 in time for Expo 67 and the centenary of Canadian Confederation. The Olympic site from 1976 is still as breathtaking as ever. The Velodrome has been turned into a Biosphere where you can see and smell penguins ... among other things. In the downtown area can be found a quarter sized replica of Notre Dame. I have only visited this once ...way back when I started to come to Montreal as a teenager. These days I come to Montreal on the same weekend every year to visit my friend. We drink martinis, buy a Christams tree, cook up a storm, read magazines, go to Ogilvey's ... read more
Oscar in the Pink
Velvet and Chiffon for Oscar Night
 Dressed for the Oscars

South America » Brazil » Amazonas » Manaus February 20th 2008

I am in an Ibis Hotel ... basic and clean ... not as fancy as an Ibis in Europe. The only draw back about this hotel is that it is some distance from the centre. I thought of taking the bus. By watching the roads and the bus service I came to a very quick solution that I would be much less frustrated by simply taking a cab. On the morning of my only full day in Manaus it finally stopped pouring rain after mid-day. I took a taxi to Teatro Amazonas. It was definitely worth the six day trip up the Amazon. In total since Rio with two flights and six days on the river (minus 6hrs), I have travelled 8566kms to get here. When the Opera House was originally built it stood in ... read more
Approaching the Front of the Theatre
Winged Staircase
1896 - Opera in the Jungle

South America » Brazil » Pará » Belém February 12th 2008

The Santarem, as the boat is called, leaves Port at Belem and proceeds up waterways that are not always called the Amazon. A myriad of channels and tributaries are encountered as the Captain and his crew steer the ship ‘up the Amazon’. The two story metal ferry boat can carry up to 400 passengers. The majority of these people would be sleeping in hammocks in the two decks below the two stories that house the bunk bed cabins and on top of those the ‘suites’ which have one big matrimonial bed. On this trip there are an estimated 250 passengers. It has been raining everyday. The non existence of oppressive heat has eliminated the possibility of overpowering stench from communal toilets and collected garbage. There is enough odour to be experienced while waiting for one’s ... read more
Boarding the Santarem in Belem
The Hammock Crowd

South America » Brazil » Pará » Belém February 8th 2008

Arriving late at night I saw very little of the Belem and definitely saw no mango trees. The mangoes in the market are huge but there are few trees to be seen even in daylight. The taxi woman who went thru all the red lights drove at break neck speed. I thought she was in a hurry to get back to the airport to meet another flight. Have since discovered everyone drives fast. The Hotel Itoaca is a quite a few wrungs below the one I had left behind in Brasilia. It is clean and the people are friendly. The towels and sheets are reasonable new. The elevator works and there is air conditioning in the room. A restaurant attached to the hotel and next door serves breakfast, lunch (buffet/kilo) and dinner a la carte. The ... read more
Market Turrets at Low Tide
Boat to the Islands
Cathedral Under Restoration

South America » Brazil » Distrito Federal » Brasília February 7th 2008

Now this is a town you only need to visit for one sleep especially if you have no car. And what a sleep it was … no sex ...yet the sleep was sublime. My perfect room had feather pillows … 500 thread Egyptian … real sheets; not the see thru kind … enough towels for a sauna party … a posterpedic mattress … the rainforest effect shower head … only thing missing was a friend to share the 12 hours I spent in the room. The room was so fine I sang an aria under the water fall! I did have to tell them that the fettuccini on the menu was not good. It turned worse when I saw the price.... R$32… I suggested they get a new recipe. THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION, IN QUOTATION MARKS, ... read more
The Most Beautiful Room
View from the Room
Art Dome

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