Archive | February, 2012

New Brew Tuesday: Spaten Optimator

Type: BeerDoppel Bock
Name: SpatenOptimator
Price: $1.49
Made: Munich, Germany
Alc/Vol: 7.6%

Now I know I’m not a doppel bock fan but I have to try them out as they come my way – you never know if I could find the one doppel bock that tickles my tail. (more…)


Purchase One Way Tickets – Check

We did it, we finally did it. After 2+ years of blogging and some last minute interruptions we finally took a stand and said, “Yes I’ll have the one way ticket to South America please and thank you. No, our multiple destination flight stops after Rio de Janeiro, there is no return flight“. Oh that feels good, so good.

We are leaving December 4th through Detroit, MI to my wife’s hometown of Lima, Peru. We will spend xmas there as well as celebrate her 10 year high school reunion. On December 27th we fly to Rio de Janeiro for New Years where I plan on meeting up with friends I made while student teaching in 2008.

That is about it as far as solid plans, we figured we would visit Sao Paulo where my wife has family then to Iguazu Falls (Foz do Iguaçu), Brazil. After that Argentina, most likely Buenos Aires and possibly Patagonia. Then we considered Santiago, Chile and possibly the coast like Valparaíso. We discussed WOOFING in Chile or Argentina, especially since these are two of the more expensive countries in South America. After Chile and Argentina possible begin to work our way north towards Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia (the salt flats). Once we make our way back to Peru, visit locations such as Arequipa and Cuzco before heading back to Lima.

To be honest we don’t know the time frame we are looking for to travel or if we will have enough money saved up to last us throughout our journey but as a best guess we figure 3 months and $25,000. I can’t tell you where I came up with those figures but it is a starting ground and well the time is flexible at least. Part of my rational is that other travels have shared what their total budget was such as Adam’s Budget from Europe, Chris’ Budget from Europe,  I know this is Europe and there are some for South America but I haven’t had the opportunity to really check around yet. As for while we are here in the US we’ve are living modestly and try and put away as much as possible into our savings before we ever see it – which at times can be hard since combined my wife and I make probably about as much as some individuals make. Also living with my in-laws helped as we could split the bills.

We will rely on friends and family in Brazil to make our experience less costly and the WOOFING in Argentina/Chile to help us spread out our finances there. Additionally, I will continue to blog and have a few ideas for trying to make money while traveling.

Once we get back to Lima I will look for a job and work there for a couple months before our next adventure – which I hope is landing a teaching job in Asia. Then ultimately possibly working on my PhD in Ireland. Everything is very fluid at this point except for our first two stops and after years of reading travel blogs I hope I can live simple enough to stretch out this experience from a vacation into a lifetime honeymoon.

I would love to hear your feedback on places to visit, share your tips or links to past posts below. Especially for Paraguay and Uruguay since I know very little about those two countries. Will you be in South America traveling about? Look for a blogging monkey, it may just be me. If he is sitting at the bar or at the beach with a beer in hand it probably is me.



Don’t forget to fling this post to others if you like what you see!


Where to find the best fish and chips in London

fresh fish n chips by f10n4 via Flick and Creative Commons

Minus the sea breeze in your hair, London knows how dish up a decent portion of fish and chips. There are a number of upmarket options should you prefer to sit in but if you enjoy mobbing up your chips in newspaper, a couple of take-aways really stand out from the shoal.


Sutton & Son’s

White tiled walls and chunky wooden tables give the place a refined canteen-style affair with daily specials chalked up on the blackboard. Fish is locally sourced – from their very own fishmongers across the road! They also offer a free delivery service (no deliveries on Fridays) on orders over £15. Traditionalists can enjoy a battered Mars bar or Snickers for pud.

Cod and chips: £6.90

Interesting alternative: Kennedy’s Pies

Alcohol served? Yes

Address: 90 Stoke Newington High Street N16

Tel: 020 7249 6444

Fish Central

A golden oldie that opened in 1968, the area is now primarily residential and a firm favourite with locals. There is real thought going in to this place with chargrilled swordfish paella for the more adventurous and deserts of fruit salad with banana leaf and mango sorbet to really cleanse your palette.

Cod and chips: £9.55

Interesting alternative: West Mersea rock oysters

Alcohol served? Yes

Address: 149-155 Central Street, EC1V

Tel: 0207 2534 970


Large portions are made more manageable with the Jewish-style matzo meal instead of standard batter. This makes your fish and chips deliciously light. The interior is not going to win any style awards – it has been owned by the same Greek family for over 50 years – but you are here for the great quality food and enthusiastic service.

Cod and chips: £7.50

Interesting alternative: A battered sausage is always going to be interesting

Alcohol served? No

Address: 27-29 Fortune Green Road, NW6

Tel: 020 74352532


Fish and chips de panais by balise42 on Flicr via Creative Commons


Buying direct from Grimsby and Cornwall, they sell nothing but fish. It is often bustling inside and I suggest you indulge in a few fishy starters to make the most of the variety on offer including half pints of prawns, cockles and sweet herrings. I doubt you will get this far but the puds are homemade.

Cod and chips: £7.50

Interesting alternative: Cockles

Alcohol served? Yes

Address: 513 Old York Road, SW18

Tel: 020 8877 9599


With chips priced at £3.45, you know you are in for a fancier affair at Geales. It was proudly established in 1939 and touches like a scoop of blood orange sorbet with your desert, set this Notting Hill venue apart. All from sustainable resources, you can tuck in with a clean conscience too.

Cod and chips: £15.20

Interesting alternative: Geales fish pie or sweet corn and coconut

Alcohol served? Yes

Address: 2 Farmer Street, W8

Tel: 020 7727 7528

Sea Fish

Previously the Trawlerman, this is a great option if you are struggling to find a budget place to eat on Islington’s pricey Upper Street. It is nice and bright inside with bare brick walls and a chandelier for the full delusions of grandeur effect. They have a great lunch time deal of fish and chips for a fiver.

Cod and chips: £7.95

Interesting alternative: Spicy seafood soup

Alcohol served: No

Address: 205 Upper Street, N1

Tel: 020 7354 0276


HostelBookers is a budget accommodation specialist with some great cheap hotels in London  accompanied by customer reviews and ratings.


Meet the Author: Madeleine Wilson
Madeleine is a travel writer and currently the editor of the HostelBookers blog. Her articles have been featured on Lonely Planet and The Huffington Post.


Don’t forget to fling this post to others if you like what you see!


The Poo Storm Part 2: Revenge of the Poo


Well boys and girls it seems to have happened again, I killed another car. I don’t even know how I am doing this it is like some wonderfully awful gift that I never wanted. After a late night of volunteer tutoring I was driving home in the middle of farm country, which is beautiful during the day but scary when your car is broken down at night, in the rain. As I traveled along the winding dark road my car made a funny noise, lights started flashing, is it a UFO? Nope it’s my car signalling an SOS.  (more…)


New Brew Tuesday: Goats Do Roam – Red 2010

Type: WineRed
Name: Goats Do RoamRed 2010
Price: $8.99
Made: South Africa
Alc/Vol: 14%

Image property of

I first heard of this wine from watching one of my favorite shows, Three Sheets, starring Pleepleus and some other guy. The episode was Capetown, South Africa and the drink was a winery called Goats Do Roam. Why the funny name, well according the Three Sheets, Côtes du Rhône is a region in France and an official wine appellation meaning you can’t call your wine a Côtes du Rhône unless it comes from that region. This is similar to why there is sparkling wine and champagne – which the latter must come from the Champagne region of France. (more…)