Rob Hoskin


Rob Hoskin

Asia » Singapore » Little India September 17th 2023

Had the Little India walking tour today, well in the morning. Again there is a forecast for rain but again only a few spots eventuated. Consequently it was very humid and very sticky but we saw the sights and had some delights. The meeting place was only 800 m from our hotel so we walked rather than take the MRT for just one station. Fascinating district as we sort of knew and sort of assumed. Absolutely ablaze with colour. The buildings, the saris, the flowers, the fruit and vegetables all pop. Couple of interesting facts and figures but not the greatest presentation we’ve had. Happened to be the Indian ‘god’ Gnash (spelling?) and the Singaporean quasi god Lee Quon Yew (spelling) birthday today. Lee Quon Yew would have been 100 today if he were still alive. ... read more
Singapore’s famous tik-tok house. (So I’m told!).
The smashing of a coconut, richly symbolic for Hindus entering the temple.
Inside the temple.

Asia » Singapore » Chinatown September 16th 2023

Singapore was originally 500 square km but now it occupies a land area of 720 square km. Someone is real estate said buy now they are not making any more land, well in Singapore they do! And they have been doing it for years. Chinatown was once a swampy slum and now it’s a kilometre or so from the sea front (Marina Bay Sands stands between Chinatown and the sea) and it’s now longer a slum as you can’t live there. It’s now restaurants and office space only. Some say the ‘spirit’ has also gone but there’s still a lot of atmosphere in the precinct. That’s information gleaned from our walking tour with a little extrapolation from me. I won’t regurgitate facts and figures about pavement width, building frontage, temple gods etc as it’s a bit ... read more
Two very good passion fruit and orange drinks.
The history of the Chinese in Singapore. First panel.
The history of the Chinese in Singapore.

Asia » Singapore » Little India September 16th 2023

Grande Singapore! I’m by the hotel pool listening to the formula one cars doing their thing around the circuit here. I can’t help but listen despite the fact there are several high rise buildings between the Marina Bay district and our hotel. There’s Grande Prix merchandise in the stores and according to the hotel reception there will be people everywhere so we will just have to put up with some disruptions. We wanted to go to the gardens and we will but I’m certain we will be sharing the experience with heaps of others. We are in the Little India district and not by any stretch of the imagination near the F1 action so I can only just contemplate what the noise and hubbub must be elsewhere. This afternoon we will do a Little China walking ... read more
Fruit drinks, not spicy but pretty good.
Hotel pool.
Inside a shopping mall.

Europe » Greece » Crete » Sfakiá September 13th 2023

That’s all folks, the fat lady has sung, there are no more, mind your p’s and q’s, call it stumps, pack up your marbles and it’s time to go home. And that’s what we are doing tomorrow except home for a while will be Singapore. Last night was souvlaki time. Can you have too many souvlaki? We don’t think so. Here they are different to the wrap we get at home, here are souvlaki are gyros and souvlaki is skewered meat on a stick (our kebabs). It whatever the answer is probably no. They always represent good value, although not as good as gyros that we have paid as little as €3.20 for good ones. The souvlaki is usually about €8 which when compared to my shrimp dish the other evening at €18 works out pretty ... read more
OK Greek salad.
Loutro at night.

Europe » Greece » Crete » Sfakiá September 12th 2023

Same as lots of times before, we are not where Travelblog says we are but it’s close. We are about 5 hours walk away or just 20 minutes on the ferry at a little town called Loutro. It’s car free which gives it a certain charm straight away, and it means you either walk in (some) or you ferry in (many). Walkers or ferryers probably means you’re a tourist and the town certainly is geared up for tourists. The waterfront is sun lounges, restaurants, bars and kiosks that seem to specialise is cocktails, long drinks and good wine (their descriptions not mine!). The grills and rotisseries were going as we arrived and that was mid afternoon although it’s like that many tourists will head back to other accommodation venues in the evening. Chickens, lamb and beef ... read more
Up and out of Skafia.
What to buy some prime property?
But the coast in good. The rocks there are underwater. Well the wet rocks are underwater.

Europe » Greece » Crete » Sfakiá September 11th 2023

Yesterday was sort of cancelled because I’d had too many ‘metaxas’. With 17 km already walked we thought with only 3 km to go we deserved a quick lemonade and maybe an expresso (read Lipton’s tea for Julie). We got the lemonade, we missed the expresso and we had 6 shots of this metaxa. Fortunately the flavour is pretty good, it’s quite sweet but still scary to be having mid afternoon. The taverna was packed, it was Sunday afternoon, rowdy with banter and people just having a good time but as soon as we were identified as Australian it was on. To compound the situation I drunk one before the compulsory ‘salute/cheers/here’s lookin up your old address’ so I had to pour the next round for everyone. Very convivial and very friendly and absolutely refused to ... read more
And the obligatory raki, or two.
My new besties.
Everything looks good here!

Europe » Greece » Crete » Adelianos Kampos September 9th 2023

Don’t bet we are at the location mentioned above. The internet is slow and intermittent here so I dare not check. We are close to Askifou and obviously still on Crete which is all you probably need to know. Found gyros last night. Still surprised we don’t see it more frequently and still surprised how relatively cheap it is. We pay about half the price of any other ‘main course’, still get chips with it (everywhere we have had gyros with chips in it!) and we always enjoy them. Again made the trek to breakfast and yes I still think it’s a bit weird. It’s not like it’s an impressive breakfast either. There are some hard boiled eggs but nothing else is cooked, there’s no cereal of any description, no pastries and only a couple of ... read more
Ready despite the weather.
Little church among the gum trees.
At least it’s easy to follow!

Europe » Greece » Crete » Vamos September 8th 2023

We’re walking again. That’s good because less can go wrong when really your well being and comfort are in your own hands. The official start of the trail, and a use that term loosely, is a the village information center. The centre appears to be a front for a couple of hotels and enterprises in the village but that is sort of irrelevant to us. We went there then immediately started to follow the exhaustive set of directions I received from the walking company. There are turn by turn directions meaning in the villages there may be instructions each 10m or so! Over the 13 km today the directions proved very good. Bit frustrating continuously checking the iPad but still effective. The trail is not a circular track, like the Juliana Trail or even a continuous ... read more
Google to check path, terrain, features and touristy stuff.
One of several pages of directions for today.
In Vamos. I’m hoping it’s a kids cubby, it’s even got a bell tower.

Europe » Greece » Crete » Vamos September 7th 2023

So close to DISASTER. Mr Silly left his iPad at the restaurant of our hotel and was happily on the way to the airport when the driver received a call. Well we turned back, the hotel host drove towards us, we met in the middle and everything was fine (apart from losing 5 minutes). But the scary thought of how close this was to a disaster will haunt me for a while. As it was we were told the drive would be 2 hours to 2 hours 15 minutes but it took 3 hours and the only hold up was with iPad and really that was less than 10 tops. We stopped for photos at the Corinth Canal and for driver coffee and pastries so I don’t know if he was unaware of the time schedule ... read more
Corinth Canal.
Corinth Canal. (Opposite direction)

Europe » Greece » Pelopennese » Lagkadia September 6th 2023

It’s done and dusted, the fat lady has sung, it’s all over…the Menalon Trail has been walked. But that’s the end of the story not the beginning. Shared a meal with the Dutch couple we have been seeing lately. Stayed in the same accommodation, and will do so tonight and obviously walked the same route over the last 3 days. So enough in common to share a table at a very nice taverna in Valtesiniko last night. Julie and I opted for more traditional meals (I had the lamb in lemon again as it’s a proven winner) but the Dutchies had T-bone steak and grilled port which both looked really good. Such options aren’t cheap but they did look good. Good beer and good food in a lovely setting and topped with interesting conversation made for ... read more
Greek burger. With chips, we are no longer surprised.
Greek lamb cooked in lemon. With chips, we are no longer surprised.
Maxos beer.

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