“Let Me Entertain You” when away from San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize.

At our hotel in Cartagena, Hotel Casa Cochera Del Gobernador, we started every day with a breakfast. My favourite (favorite for non-UK readers ) was

Huevos estrallados con jamón y papas. Followed by a plate of fresh fruit. And all ‘washed down’ with ? What else. A mug of Colombian coffee. And again. And again.

With a full stomach we were ready to continue our exploration of Cartagena . And now, so are you !

Where to next ? How about a bit of torture! The Palacio de la Inquisición :

After a few hours in the museum we needed refreshing so we found ourselves a table

and who should come along to entertain us ? Miss Colombia, who else. She heard the shouts from the street rappers , gave a look towards us as if to say “Let me entertain you” and gave an impromptu performance.

And then it was time to continue with our walk-about. But first a little browsing.

And then for Rose. It had to be done.

Yes, that is a tree in the store.

A study of concentration.

A few hours later (this comment WILL cost me but …) we got back to the streets.

See the manacle on the ankle.

By now we were feeling peckish so it was time for something to eat.

Rose has just seen the menu.

And then a beer.

I can’t recall what this was called. I can ,though, recall how good it tasted.

Watch out for the next thrilling installment to find out how we bravely go beyond the wall. And how we end up in Russia !

The headline for this edition is based upon the single released in 1998 by Robbie Williams which reached number three on the UK Singles chart.

“Statues “ away from San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize.

The city of Cartagena is steeped in history and we found the best way to soak it up was to walk the streets. Well, at least within the walled part.

Spanish architecture abounds and it is patently obvious that a considerable amount of money has been spent to renovate many of the buildings and when we were there a lot more projects were underway.

There are also a lot of street statues :

Pope John Paul 11. Behind the Cathedral Saint Catherine of Alexandria.

A series of statues around Plaza de San Pedro Claver.

Oh, that’s me !

The Reclining Fat Woman in Plaza Santa Domingo.

I know it’s in bad taste but it just had to be done !

And then the ramparts of Castillo de San Felipe de Barajas.

With all this walking -and it was hot- there was only one thing to do.Find a Street cafe !

And after a few of those it was time to make some new friends.

Easy. And he was shorter than me.

Look out for the next edition in which there’ll be a bit of torture and some culinary delights.

The headline for today’s edition is based on track ten of the Foo Fighters’ Echoes, Silence, Patience and Grace which reached number three on the US Billboard 200 chart and number one on the UK Albums Chart.

“Streetwalkin’ away from San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize “.

When Rose and I moved to Ambergris Caye just over six and a half years ago we promised ourselves that once our house had been built we would use our Central America base to travel and experience the countries around us.

We’ve been to the USA four or five times – we’ve spent time in Texas , the Carolinas, Mérida (a few times), Panama , Cuba, Nicaragua, Chetumal and, not surprisingly, the UK and it was definitely time to try something different.

So one morning I made my usual mug of coffee – instant, black and unsweetened- and headed to the veranda, the western, lagoon facing one with the coffee and my trusty iPad .

“Where to go, where to go, where to go ?” (I’d obviously seen the Christopher Robin film trailer too many times) I muttered to Ziggy (he’s normally my early morning companion ). He opened his eyes, wagged his tail but offered no suggestions before he closed his eyes again and got back to ‘chill mode’.

So I had a sip of coffee and that’s when it hit me. Caffeine, why not chase the caffeine? How about a little trip to Colombia, I thought. Another sip and my fingers went to work on the keyboard of the iPad and before I’d finished my mug of coffee I’d got a trip mapped out. Seven nights in Cartagena .

A few weeks later we loaded our suitcases on the golf cart, dropped Ziggy off at his home away from home ( Pampered Paws ) and took the 15 minute flight to the ‘International airport . At ‘International we boarded the Copa Airlines flight to Tocumen International Airport where , after a nearly four hour stopover, we caught the flight to Cartagena.

Just over an hour and a half later we had cleared immigration and customs and went outside the airport where we saw a chap (guy for non-UK readers ) holding up an iPad with my name on the screen. It was the taxi I’d booked with the hotel we were going to. Casa Cocherada Del Gobernador.

In just over thirty minutes we reached the hotel, booked in and were in our room ready for a good sleep. The time by then was 23.15 hours. It had been a long day.

We awoke the following day suitably refreshed and after breakfast started our exploration of Cartagena with some streetwalkin’ and for day one we confined ourselves to within the wall.

But first a glimpse of the hotel I had chosen.

And then to the streets of Cartagena. Well, within the wall anyway.

Time to sample the local beer !

Pretty good too.

Back to the street tour.

In the next edition we venture further afield and sample some of the culinary delights that Cartagena has to offer. Can’t wait, can you !

The headline for today’s edition is based upon the single released by Shakatak which reached number thirty-eight on the UK Singles chart.

‘Baby, It’s Cold Outside’.

Unbelievable. Four editions produced in nine days. That’s what a good dosage of omega 3 can do for you! But I don’t know about you but I’m getting a bit bored with it now so I’ll wrap up our trip to New Orleans with this edition. Thank goodness, did I hear you say ? Shame on you. I’ve been away a long time so …

Amazingly we were up early after watching the Saints play the Falcons the previous night and after breakfast we headed off for, yes, you’ve guessed it, a bit more shopping. After all it was the

I’d done a little research at home and based on this we elected to go to the Lakeside Shopping Center. We loved traveling on the extremely economical streetcar/bus system but really didn’t fancy the multiple changes required for 8+ miles journey. So, using the AT & T tourist plan we bought on our first day I booked with Uber and we there in just over ten minutes.

Look at all those people.

After what seemed like days ( weeks more like it ) we’d finished our shopping. I bought some new polo shirts and shots – since packing up smoking in March I’ve gained a few pounds. Locally my friends used to call me flaco but just recently it’s become gordo ! Oh, Rose did a bit (read BIT ) of shopping too. I digress. With the shopping out of the way it was time to eat. What else ? I’ve now got an appetite.

So it was back to Bourbon Street and the


a choice of


for Rose and

for me.

On the Saturday we hopped on a streetcar, paid our US$ 3 each and took the twenty odd minute ride to the National World War ll Museum .

Names of serving military engraved in pavement bricked leading to museum entrance.

For an entrance fee of US$ 28 – US$ 35 if you include watching the Beyond All Boundaries film (narrated by Tom Hanks) and you should include it – you get a tremendously informative and enjoyable experience. Rose and I were in there over four and a half hours and could have stayed longer. So much to see.



And another one.

Just to show you that I really did go there.

The next day we took to the Mississippi River for a cruise on the Natchez , the last authentic Steamboat on the river.

It rained. It was cold. But we still had a great time.

And then we got the stair-rods .

And then just as we were about to moor up the weather changed. For the better. It was still cold but the rain had stopped. Time to find somewhere warm.

A bar with a real fire.

I looked at Rose as she warmed herself up and then glanced outside and saw people huddled together in the bitterly cold wind and couldn’t stop myself (you know what’s coming don’t you ) as I said (I really can’t believe I’m about to type this ) “Baby, it’s cold outside “.

Our time in New Orleans quickly came to an end and it was time to head back home to San Pedro. The bummer was though that our first flight – New Orleans to Houston – had a departure time of 05.29 hours.

The corny headline for this edition is based upon the single released in 1949 by Dinah Shore and Buddy Clark which reached number 4 on the Billboard Best Seller chart.

‘Rock the Boat’ in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize.

On our first day back from our trip to New Orleans Rose and I received a really lovely invitation to be part of an event that we have been watchers of since its inception. The San Pedro Holiday Lighted Boat Parade. Only one answer. ” Yes please”.

So yesterday evening Rose, our friend Frank and myself got to the dock at Ramon’s Village Resort by 16.50 hours to meet the crew and our fellow seafarers.

Rose is the one in the middle.

Rayo, our Captain, in the yellow shirt.

Last minute attention to the Nativity scene.

Our sister boat from Ramon’s.

Our hosts Celi and Rick. They’re obviously camera shy !

And then it was time to head north. Destination Wayo’s .

From our great vantage point we able to quite close to the rest of the boats

And the viewing stations.

We , along with all the other participating boats, moored up on the Sandbar dock, went to the bar and waited expectantly for the judges decisions. We weren’t disappointment (well not too much) . The boat we were on came 4th but our sister boat won first prize.

The overall winner.

With huge amplifiers and a sound system on our upper deck we blasted out Christmas musical favourites the entire trip. Ramon’s truly did rock the boat .

The headline for today’s edition is based upon the single released in 1974 by The Hues Corporation which reached number 6 on the UK Singles chart and number 1 on the US Billboard Hot 100.

“Tell It Like It Is “ when away from San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize.

Now where were we ? Oh yes, I left you all after Rose and I had enjoyed a shucking good day two in New Orleans.

Day three proved to be just as enjoyable. No, that’s not true. It was more enjoyable.

I’d already made arrangements for our Thanksgiving Day evening entertainment so we decided that during the daytime we’d have a leisurely walk around and take in the sights, sounds and smells.

Now I didn’t go in here

or here

Although they did ask me !

A sad side of New Orleans. Well, anywhere for that matter.

And then a walk down to the Mississippi River.

as we meandered to The Outlet Collection at Riverwalk .

After a spot of shopping during which I had the temerity to tell Rose that a particular blouse she liked didn’t suit her – I’m a great believer that you need to tell it like it is – we took time out for a bite at New Orleans Creole Cookery for, you guessed it, some oysters.

Just enough time for half a dozen chilled on the half shell and half a dozen chargrilled before we had to head back to our hotel to get ready for the night’s entertainment.

A quick shower and change of clothes followed by a twenty minute walk and we were there.

The Mercedes Benz Superdome to watch the New Orleans Saints play the Atlanta Falcons. When I saw the stadium I almost uttered “This is awesome. You didn’t really believe that did you ?

We took our seats and watch the spectacle unfold.

The game started and noise was unbelievable. I’ve been to some noisy football ( soccer for non- UK readers – now wash your mouth out John ) stadiums in England but none of them came close with constant chanting of “Who dat” echoing around the stadium. With support like that the Falcons never stood a chance. They lost 31-17.

And so ends another thrilling installment. Watch out for the next (probably the last ) in the series.

Look closely to see watch the marching band spelt.

The headline for today’s edition is based on the song (one of my all time favourites ) released by Aaron Neville in 1966 which reached number 2 on the US Billboard Hot 100.

‘The World is My Oyster’ away from San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize.

I know, I know. It’s been a while since I last produced an edition. A long while.

I’ve actually sat down to write something a few times. In fact each time we’ve been on holiday this year – London, Nashville and Cartagena- or family or friends have come to stay with us I’ve knocked a few paragraphs out but then lost the drive to finish what I started.

Well, Rose and I have just got back from a trip to New Orleans and I think the virtually exclusive diet of omega 3 ( more later) has had a substantial effect upon my energy levels. And appears – how long this may last I have no idea – to have instilled a degree of discipline into me again.

Anyway, back to our little trip away from San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize.

We narrowed it down that we would take our break in the United States. But where? Well, the place must have music and good food. How about New Orleans we thought, it had been twenty-five years since our last visit. Actually now I think about it , I thought of it and suggested it to Rose. She gave the ‘thumbs up’.

With the plan approved I set about making the arrangements. Flights booked with United Airlines- we are members of MileagePlus, it’s loyalty programme (program for non-UK readers) – and then I booked 7 nights at Homewood Suites by Hilton. A hotel conveniently located just 3 blocks away from Bourbon Street.

With our arrangements made I then booked Ziggy’s holiday. An 8 night stay (this made for a less busy outbound day for us) at his favourite (favorite for non- UK readers) hotel and spa on the island. Pampered Paws . Where else !

For the inquisitive amongst you (this presumes that someone has actually bothered to read this) we caught the 11.00 hours Tropic Air flight to the Philip S.W. Goldson International Airport where we connected with the United Airlines 13.14 hours flight to Houston where – after a bite to eat and something to drink – we caught the United Airlines 18.39 hours flight to the Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport.

Upon landing we collected our suitcases fairly quickly, caught a taxi and were in our hotel room at 20.30 hours. And just forty-five minutes later we were in a bar in Bourbon Street!

The next day after eating breakfast -nothing like the view I usually enjoy at – Estel’s Dine By the Sea – we took the bus (US$ 3 each for unlimited travel) to the nearest Walmart. It had to be done so my view was to get it out of the way early and then start enjoying ourselves !

It wasn’t too painful and we completed the mission within a couple of hours and amongst our purchases we got enough Dentastix to last Ziggy half a year.

A joyous Ziggy guarding his ‘stuff’ on our return.

With the horrible shopping out of the way it was time to ‘hit’ the French Quarter for a shucking good time!

“They need a good shucking”.

Meet Lorenzo and

just look

and see how he shucks!

And for only US$ 13.50 for a dozen. At that price the world is my oyster !

Today’s headline is based on the second track on side one of the album Welcome to the Pleasuredome released in 1984 by Frankie Goes to Hollywood which reached number 33 on the US Billboard 200 and number 1 on the UK Albums Chart .

For another shucking good read keep your InBox open.