Sun dried tomato and cashew nut pesto

Posted in: DF, N, S, SF, Uncategorized, V, WF

Delicious with just about anything, this is a grazing plate and BBQ’d burger’s best friend. But given our monsoon weather, maybe opt for the slathered over toasted sourdough, avocado and / or bacon option. The ‘clarted over courgetti’ (or pasta) variety makes a regular appearance on my instant healthy supper table. With jamón and cold meats; stirred through tomato dishes to give them, well… more. I’m sure my tips are superfluous, I doubt anyone’s a stranger to pesto. Add parmesan if you want but the flavour’s so good, it really isn’t necessary. This lasts for weeks, I make a big batch ensuring I’m never without.

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INGREDIENTS

200g sun dried tomatoes
2 tbsp cashew nuts
4 tbsp olive oil – I use the oil from the tomato jar.
1 tsp dried red chillies. Or 1 tsp Kema Kulo if you have it.
1 clove garlic – optional.
Pinch sea or Himalayan pink salt
1/2 tsp turmeric – untold health benefits

METHOD

Add all ingredients to a blender, Magimix or Vitamix and blitz until you a have rough paste. Basically as you would pesto.

IMG_3644

Store in the fridge in an airtight jar or container for as long as you would sun dried tomatoes. My guess would be you’ll eat it long before it goes off.

Yoga, food, surf & sangria

I love yoga. I also love food, Tarifa, understated luxury and a chilled vibe (with Spanish gin measures). So, I joined forces with my most inspirational (and fun) yoga teachers and planned a holiday.

Green-juices-&-morning-yoga

Located in Spain’s most southern tip (the mountains in the picture are Morocco), Tarifa life revolves around the cafes, chiringuitos (beach shacks), kite and wind-surfing. We’re yet to meet anyone in Tarifa who either, hasn’t been before, or isn’t planning their return. It really is very special.

WHAT’S INCLUDED?

Yoga & Meditation

Two daily 90 minute yoga classes led through vinyasa with a more energising sequence in the morning and a softer practice come sunset. Optional daily pranayama and mediation. All classes with The Dream Team: inspirational Jivamukti yogis Molly Harragin and Stewart Heffernan.

Tarifa-skylinetarifa-yoga

A palace (almost)

Our own 19th century luxe ‘palacete’ Riad Lolita, in the heart of Tarifa’s tiny, yet lively, white-washed old town. THE place to be, with cafes, shops and the beach on our doorstep.

Riad-Lolita,-upstairs-sitting-roomRiad-Lolita,-South-RoomRiad-Lolita,-family-suiteRiad-Lolita,-hallwayRiad-Lolita,-terracetarifa-streets,-spain

Wholesome Seduction

Wake-up green juices and energy bites, followed by post yoga brunch (lovingly prepared by yours truly). Plus a wholesomely seductive welcome supper around our kitchen table on the 22nd (ditto).

granolaIMG_7257Kale,-ricotta-&-chorizo-rosti

Food tours and fiestas

Because no-where loves eating out, and the night, quite like Andalucia, I’ll take you on a tour of the town following our first morning’s yoga, ensuring you’re armed with the best restaurants, beach bars, shops and must see spots. We’ll also sample sunset beach cervezas, flamenco and my pick of the town throughout your stay. Budget around £15 a head for a (big) meal with wine. Note: Cerveza’s often cheaper than water.

Tarifa-churrostarifachiringuitosTarifa-Mojitos

WHEN & HOW MUCH?

22nd – 26th October 2015. Yoga runs 23rd – 26th. Prices from £475 per person based on 2 sharing. Triple rooms and suites also available.

HOW DO I GET THERE?

Airports Gibraltar (40 mins away) and Malaga (11⁄2 hrs away) run countless daily flights. For all info on buses, taxis and car hire go to: The Essentials.

ANYTHING ELSE?

An (optional) Wholesome Seduction cooking class, so you can take your brunches home! Kite surf and windsurfing courses also available.

Wave-BanditsValdevaqueros-beach,-Candy-Kites

TO BOOK & FOR FURTHER INFO:

Drop me a mail: clare@rootlondon.com
Click here for more info on Tarifa, here for our ‘palacette’ Riad Lolita and here for Getting there, check-in and what to bring.

 

Yoga, food, surf & sangria: The Essentials

Posted in: Travel, Uncategorized

GETTING THERE

Getting-there

Airports Gibraltar (40 mins away) and Malaga (1.5 hrs away) run countless daily flights at very reasonable prices, particularly if booking in advance. I find Skyscanner the easiest for flight and car hire options.

You’ll need to cross the boarder to Spanish La Linea (5 min walk – follow the crowds or ask at the info desk) for all transport links and most car hire.

Taxi:

A taxi from Gibraltar takes 40 mins and costs around 50 euro each way. Cross to La Linea and the rank’s on the right as you exit security. Malaga’s 1.5 hrs away so probably prohibitively expensive in a taxi.

Car hire:

Hiring a car often works out cheaper (10-15 euro per day, half that from Malaga) and gives you the freedom to go to the nearby surf beaches. You don’t need a car for the (giant and beautiful) town beach so you’re in no way stranded if you taxi it.

There are ample car hire places in Malaga airport. Only Budget and Avis are actually inside Gibraltar airport. Although all companies quote ‘airport pickup’, they lie. The others are in La Linea, which is fine, provided you know in advance. Cross the border, passing through security and the taxi rank; the offices are lined along the pedestrianised road straight ahead.

Goldcar are pretty cheap and have someone in the office from 10am – 10pm, although don’t quote me, this is Spain. Europecar are more inclined to their siesta. Best to book in advance through Skyscanner. I don’t need to tell you to check the small print, they may be cheap but they still make their money.

See below for directions and maps.

Bus:

Buses are reasonable and fairly frequent, depending on the time of day, although you’ll need to change at Algeciras. Allow at least a couple of hours, all in. You’ll find the bus station in La Linea, as you exit security. For timetables, see the links below:

Buses La Linea (Gibraltar) – Algeciras
http://siu.ctmcg.es/es/horarios_lineas_tabla.php?from=1&linea=4

Buses Algeciras – Tarifa
http://www.click-gibraltar.com/bus-destinations/how-to-get-to-tarifa-from-gibraltar/

DIRECTIONS FROM GIBRALTAR (you pass Gib on the same road if travelling from Malaga):

From La Linea, follow signs for Cadiz all the way until you get to Tarifa. It really is that easy.

  1. Take CA 34. This will lead onto E 15, then N340, or just follow signs to Cadiz.
  2. Continue all the way to Tarifa – 30 mins.
  3. When you come over a hill and see Morocco a sangria spit away, you’re 5 mins from Tarifa – Paradise is at the bottom of the next hill… after Lidl.
  4. Take the first exit in to Tarifa town. It’s on the top of the hill and not particularly well signposted so don’t worry if you miss it; there’s another at the bottom and only two roads into Tarifa so you can’t really get lost.
  5. When you hit Tarifa’s only traffic lights, look for somewhere to park. The link below shows free parking but I’d suggest staying near the lights until you’ve dropped your bags as Riad Lolita’s a 1 min walk inside the roman gate / Puerta de Jerez.
  6. At Puerta de Jerez, the entrance to the old town, you’ll see Bossa bar on the left and Tarifa.com on the right.
  7. Take the right fork onto Calle Jerez, Riad Lolita is number 18 on the left. There’s an antique wooden bench and plant in the entrance hall.
Map links:

Directions, Gib-Tarifa: https://goo.gl/e94037
Tarifa parking: https://mapsengine.google.com/map/edit?mid=z9ccHFpQBFxk.kQiUGrEONbhs

TIMINGS

Tarifa-Yoga2nd

Check in: 2pm

We can arrange for someone to meet you if you need to drop bags before. We’re aiming for a welcome supper around 8pm, depending on all your ETAs.

Check out: 11am

The owners have allowed us to have brunch which runs past check-out, we just need to make sure all rooms are vacated by 11am so they can start cleaning.

WHAT TO PACK

  • Yoga mats, belt and blocks if you have them. Please let us know if you don’t have a mat so The Dream Team can try and squeeze into their cases.
  • Cosy shavasana clothes and / or jumper – the evenings can get chilly (really).
  • Shower gel, shampoo and sun block – we’re virtually in Africa, the sun’s very HOT.
  • Bikini / boardies and beach towel. Or, like everyone who comes here, you can buy super chic and practical Moroccan beach ‘sarongs’ / towels next to the house for 20 euro.
  • Earplugs. The joys of being in the town centre with noisy Spaniards.

WanderlustSamayama

WHAT YOU SAY ABOUT US

Dear Clare,

I haven’t thanked you enough for the amazing holidays in Tarifa so I would like to thank you once again for organizing this. It was all perfect and was one of the best trips I have ever done, I really enjoyed everything and fell in love with Tarifa- it really is a very special place! Thank you for sharing it with me!

The breakfasts you prepared will remain in my memory forever, thank you for everything. Please let me know if ever you decide to organize any other trips!
Emilie.

Hi Clare

A belated thanks for the yoga holiday – Tarifa was fantastic, the house was beautiful and the food delicious.

Thanks so much for all your efforts in bringing the vision together – hope that you enjoyed it also and fingers crossed see you at the Clapham studio in the future.

All best wishes,
Becki

Shout if I’ve missed anything. We can’t wait to meet / see you all!

Besos [kisses],
Clare, Molly and Stewart.

Travel Pick: Riad Lolita, Tarifa

Worthy of it’s own post, Riad Lolita is one of my favourite Tarifa guesthouses. And I’ve ticked off my fair share of accommodation across multiple visits to Spain’s most southern tip – the mountains in the picture are Africa. My obsession with Tarifa can hardly have gone unnoticed (see Travel Pick: Tarifa, Andalucia). I may even have renovated my own little white washed Tarifa holiday house: La Casita Melo. My penchant for understated luxury may have been hinted at once or twice. Moorish mansion, Riad Lolita is the cherry on the cake. Here’s why:

Tarifa-skyline

Built in 1893 for the town mayor, this shrine to nineteenth century luxury retains the granduar and original features of its past: Marble floors and staircases; Moorish courtyards and tiles that prompted me to scramble for my credit card; and light flooding in from every angle through the seemingly endless windows and patio doors.

Converted from a private home last year (the layout remained the same), Danish interior design goddess Pia sourced most of the furnishings from Morocco. Synonymous with chic Tarifa, Pia oversees the creative direction of Tarifa’s more stylish apartments. A celebration of her paired back Scandi style with the architecture of the casco antiguo (old town).

The really good news? Pia believes that to keep people happy, “you need to give them more than they expect.” So, Riad Lolita is incredibly reasonably priced. Incredibly.

Riad-Lolita,-upstairs-sitting-room

Riad-Lolita,-courtyard

Riad-Lolita,-hallway

The upstairs living room, hallway and Moorish courtyard.

Moroccan suite

Riad Lolita was full when I travelled but Pia very kindly moved things around so I could spend 5 nights in this little beauty. It didn’t disappoint.

Riad-Lolita,-Moroccan-suite

Moroccan-suite,-bedroom2

Riad-Lolita,-Moroccan-suite,-sitting

Moroccan suite 2 has two rooms: living area and a bedroom with further seating area and open plan bathroom. As with the rest of the house, large windows are in abundance; a godsend during hot summer months, though all rooms have AC. Both Moroccan suites have the advantage of their own entrances onto the street; ideal for nipping out for your morning cortado.

Pia sourced most of the furniture from Morocco; the headboard is covered in a rug and the carpet, a design The Rug Company would drool over. Needless to say, I’m now planning a Tangier van haul so I can replicate all of the above in my South West London basement bedroom. Minus the extensive windows, light and sunshine. Humph.

A double room

Riad-Lolita,-South-Room

North and South rooms have an interconnecting door, should you go with a group. The tiles (and 70 euro p/nt price tag) got me in a heartbeat.

The family suite

Riad-Lolita,-Family-room Riad-Lolita,-family-suite

The master bedroom and kids room in the family suite, which comprises of four rooms, to include a living room and bathroom. Rarely are triple rooms this stylish. Take note, long lost travel buddies with babies!

The Penthouse

Riad-Lolita,-Penthouse

The Penthouse kitchen and master bathroom.

With two bathrooms, two bedrooms (or a double bed and sitting room), a kitchen and terrace, this is incredibly good value at 130 euro per night. As with the entire house, design hasn’t been compromised; mosaic tiles, a mix of antique furniture and comfort are in abundance.

The terrace

Riad-Lolita,-terrace

Bang in the centre of el casco antiguo (old town) with views of Morocco. A sangria spit away.

Shared spaces

Riad-Lolita,-kitchen

Riad-Lolita,-shared-living

Riad-Lolita,-courtyard-sitting

With two sitting rooms, a large kitchen, terrace and even chill out hallways, Riad Lolita has ample living space outside of the bedrooms. This is actually quite unusual for Tarifa and  as such, it’s an ideal and very reasonable (500 euros per night for 9 bedrooms / 22 people) option for groups.

For prices and how to book, contact: Riad Lolita or Tarifa Beach House.

For why and when to go: Travel Pick: Tarifa, Andalucia

Reasons to visit Tarifa (other than for Riad Lolita):

Bar-El-Frances-tapas

Valdevaqueros-beach,-Candy-Kites Los-Lances-beach-sunset

I’m yet to meet anyone in Tarifa who either, hasn’t been before, or isn’t already planning their return. It really is a very special place.

Travel Pick: Tarifa, Andalucia

 

Travel pick: Tarifa, Spain.

Posted in: Featured, Travel

Last summer I fell in love; I was introduced to Tarifa. A tiny, whitewashed, Andalucian, beach town that miraculously ticks every box my demanding little heart could desire: Yves San Lauren blue skies; a wind to obliterate any sniff of sticky humidity; traditional yet bohemian Spain; and endless supplies of tuna so fresh it could have a pulse.

tarifa-kites

The real clincher though, is that with wind and sea, comes buff body water sports. Tarifa is awash with chilled, bikini and board-short clad, painfully beautiful, wind and kite surfers and groupies. Of all ages. Gulp.

I confess I’ve been an bit reticent to publicise; Spain’s most southern tip (see the African coast a sangria spit away above) is still relatively unknown to us Brits. Instead Tarifa is popular with Spanish families, Italians, French and of course, those (30 something) kite-surfers of all nationalities. Ever the altruist however, I caved and decided to let you see for yourselves.

A brief history

tarifa-streets,-spain

Tarifa’s roots can be traced back to 710 when a berber crossing from Morocco established the harbour. It remained Muslim until 1292 when Christian King Sancho IV seized the city and Muslim control has been miraculously resisted ever since. Given Tarifa’s proximity to Africa and the fact Muslims occupied Spain for 800 years (touchy subject, sshhh), it’s little wonder the town could almost be a shrine to the defending Catholic kings.

Isabela-la-catolica

Until 25 years ago, Tarifa was largely a fishing village but since the arrival of windsurfers, tourism has become the main source of income; the town’s 16,000 population effectively doubles July to August. Go in September or October!

Since my first trip with family this time last year, I’ve returned twice with friends. Only my brother is the wave and wind chaser, so Tarifa’s in no way exclusive to surf junkies. With history, beach and a culture drenched in food and wine, there’s something for everyone.

Beach life

Daytime Tarifa centres around the beaches and Chiringuitos [cheer-een-gee-tos] extending west of the port. In fact, said beach shacks don’t open before midday – sleepy Spanish towns are ideal for bagging a lounger. Bien Star (below) is at it’s busiest for lunch and from 4pm when Tarifeños flock in for post work sun downers and beach volleyball. Every. Single. Day.

Tarifa,-Beach

tarifachiringuitos

Tarifa-beach-volleyball

Tarifa-beach

Yoga

As you’d expect with any laid back surf beach, yoga is available. If battling with a gargantuan kite in what could effectively be termed a tornado isn’t your thing. Try: Tarifa Eco Centre or Hurricane Hotel.

Windsurfing & kitesurfing

Valdevaqueros beach is wind and kite surf central, and party HQ it seems. For lessons and / or kit hire, try Club Mistral. With buff body water sports and chiringuitos (beach bars) comes followers: Valdevaqeros is also ideal for sunbathing and, when the wind drops, stand up paddle boarding.

Wave-Bandits

There are a number of kitesurf schools along the out of town beaches. I’m told the following are good: Rebels Tarifa and Dragon Tarifa. I was the epitome of Tantrum Kitesurf when I tried. My tip for beginners: Take semi-private lessons, ideally with one friend and request two kites – one each. That way you won’t haemorrhage the morning on kite swaps (multiple line changes is a lengthy process. In a wetsuit. In 30 degree heat) and waiting for 4 other people to have their turn.

Eating & drinking

Spaniards are famed for their love of the night and no where more so than Andalucía; the restaurants are at their busiest around 10pm and the bars, well after midnight. Think of the sun loungers.

Tarifa-Mojitos

Head for Vaca Loca (Crazy Cow) for Argentinian steak and Rioja, and the heart of the bar scene. Taco (all class here) next door churns out endless supplies of expertly mixed mojitos.

El Almedina (next to Los Melli restaurant) is a lively, though less full on bar and has highly recommended live Flamenco every Thursday night.

Breakfast: Churros y chocolate

Perhaps the only activity to be found pre 11am is in the town’s churreria, which opens at 5am to supply post partiers with a Spanish doughnut (kind of) breakfast. Most of the town will flock in for take-away throughout the morning. My Andalúz Dad used to make churros for us as kids; this is Spain for me.

You can buy churros (the mini ones in the picture) or porras, a larger, though greasier version. For clarity: porras are not to be confused with porros, unless you’re in search of Señora Mari-Juana. And let’s face it, a churros shop probably isn’t her standard hang out. You’ll entertain the owner and his punters no end if you make this mistake, however. I have first hand experience.

Tarifa-churros

Chocolate-con-churros

For the record, churros are made solely of flour, water and salt and fried at such super hot temperatures (100C+) that less oil is absorbed. We have a fear of frying in the UK, I think; I’ve witnessed several friends self righteously sniff at my churros kick, then inhale the Easyjet triple (fake) cheese and ham panini on the late flight home.

Breakfast: Café Central

Pan-con-tomate,-Spanish-breakfast

Laid-back-Andalucia

Even the cake shop only opens 5pm to post midnight. As does the ice cream parlour. Take a slice of Orange & almond cake to have with a café con leche (strong latté) in Café Central – the best coffee in Tarifa, in my opinion. Note: the wind element is sometimes cause for a jumper at night, potentially thermals outside of summer. The above shot was taken early May.

Bar El Francés

Polpo,-Cafe-Frances,-Tarifa

Entirely Spanish, the not so aptly named Bar El Francés (French bar) is well worth the almost constant queue. It’s open most of the day so an ideal lunch or pre plane option. For the record, Bien Star chiringuito offers a decent menu you can eat in your bikini.

Star dishes: Octopus with saffron (above), Gambas and my favourite, Chipirones a la plancha (grilled squid). Meat’s on the menu but the fish is particularly good here.

Los Melli

LosMelli,-Tarifa

Los-Melli,-Tarifa

Another hugely popular restaurant where queues are inevitable 8pm onwards. Pork’s a must here in Los Melli. The tuna’s also a winner, although it’s pretty much a safe bet anywhere in Tarifa. Gin and spirit measures across Spain are as they should be. Count to 10 when pouring apparently.

Star dishes: Anything with chorizitos (mini chorizo sausages). Amazing. Especially with egg and chips. Don’t knock it!

Anca Curro

Anca-Curro

Possibly the best pork you’ll ever eat. Spaniards love their acorn chomping pigs. Even the jamon, Manchego and Rioja combo is on a level I’ve never known before. Queues are unavoidable from the moment this meat shrine opens it’s doors in the evening.

Food shopping

fishmarket,tarifa

The fish markets are open every week day morning and are worth a visit. Every restaurant offers tuna cooked to perfection though. La Pescaderia and Lola are a must. Make sure you have local speciality Atún Rojo de Almadraba (red tuna).

Tarifa-shopping,-Pete

Pepe’s cornucopia of Spanish eating is perfect for a beach picnic, or if you want something other than bread for breakfast before the town wakes up. Pepe will give you tasters of jamon and Manchego. He also stocks the increasingly unbiquitous London coffee shop staple, Ines Rosales Tortas de Aceite. Yes, that is his actual height. Tiny Spanish man.

ines-rosales

If you have a car, and a large suitcase, stock up on Spanish supplies in the local supermarket, Mercadona. Two tuna steaks tasting better than anything you get in Waitrose cost 1.35 Euro and a perfect jamon 45 Euro. On one trip I brought back 10 frozen steaks (again, better than Waitrose), 3kg of anchovies in vinegar and a leg of ham for Papa. Staff kindly sawed off the hoof to fit said carcass in my hold luggage.

jamon,-mercandona

Where to stay

Tarifa can effectively be split in two: whitewashed, winding streets of the Casco Antiguo (old town) and the beach, extending west of the harbour. I like staying in the town; that’s where the restaurants and bars are, the beach is only a 5 minute walk and you can easily drive to the surf beaches.

Given Spanish life is in the cafes and restaurants, most accommodation is comprised of rooms or apartments within houses (which you can also rent as a whole), as opposed to a hotel setup. Prices almost double July and August but quite honestly, it’s way too busy; the months either side are ideal.

Pick of the best

Try: Riad Lolita, such a favourite I’ve blogged it here: Travel Pick: Riad Lolita. Or my failsafe, Tarifa Beach House, lists Cat’s edit of Tarifa’s best properties, including Riad Lolita. Of course.

Other options

Apartamentos CaravaneCasa San Rosendo (room 5 or the entire house as a group), La Residencia or hotel, La Sacrista

If you’re after a pool (you’ll only get this with La Residencia in the town), there are one or two hotels out by the surf beaches and lots of minimalist, white washed villas. I haven’t tried the hotels but 5 star All Inc. they are not. But then, if that’s what you’re after, Tarifa’s possibly not for you.

How to get there

Gibraltar-airport

Gibraltar airport is 40 mins away in a car or taxi. Booking a hire car in advance is the easiest option in my opinion. Alternatively, four buses run each day, taking an hour. You’ll need to cross the boarder (2 minute walk) to La Linea for all transport links and car hire.

Malaga airport runs frequent flights and is a 1 1/2 hour drive on the same coastal road. Buses are available via La Linea. I often fly in through Gibraltar and out from Malaga due to  flight times, taking a car. Note: it’s best to book in

When to go

Now. Hence this post. Tarifa’s mobbed July to August, September’s my favourite time for temperature, crowd and fiestas – the month of Catholic festivals and end of summer parties in the chiringuitos.

End May and mid October would be my cut off. Beyond that the wind chill is up at night and weather slightly unpredictable. I’m told the wind drops in winter months and temperatures are still in the balmy 20’s… Bars are busy as you get surfers pretty much all year, but the atmosphere doesn’t compare to summer.

For a taste of Spain in London, try Morito, blogged when I was in search of a Spanish food hit post a Tarifa trip last year.

 

 

Travel pick: Holy cow

Posted in: Travel, Uncategorized

This month is a significant one for me; five years ago I popped my India cherry. And my holidays have never been the same since. Each year I try to break away from my spiritual addiction and fail. Since April 2008 I’ve back-packed (kind of), boutique hotel’d and eaten my way from sand and dust suffocated Rajasthan to tropical India’s most southern, sticky, coconut fringed tip.

Mumbai, India

I’ve stepped bare foot and cashmere wrapped onto the world’s most demonstrative declaration of love, the Taj Mahal; and breakfasted on Masala dosa with my benevolent, cattle class neighbour on India’s celebrated railway.

Indian train timetable

I’ve been served tea by our fawning butler, immersed in Munnar’s tea plantations and 1950’s rose gardens; and eaten Coorgi pork with Arabica coffee estate owners (and my hands).

Munnar tea plantations

Munnar's tea pickers

Coorg. Coffee drying.

Rehydrated on road side tender coconut surrounded by monkeys and wild elephants and contracted dysentery in Old Delhi. Served me right; even Hippy Mum was more discerning.

street food: Old Delhi & Coorg

Old Delhi

Cleaned (the dorm!) toilets, eaten off the floor, chanted and yoga’d away the controlled with military precision hours in an Ashram.

Ashram

I’ve ridden on elephants and fed them turmeric rice (gut goodness). I’m slightly partial to elephants. Apparently the females are the calm ones which I’m sure we’ll all agree is unusual.

Indian elephants

Gawped in wonder at Udaipur’s breath taking lake palaces, street murals and washing Ghats.

Udaipur Lake palace & washing ghats

Hobbled, dysentery fevered, around the blue city of Jodhpur, its Red Fort, Ganesha’s and innumerable scabby and bony Holy cows.

Jodhpur & Ganesha

And `shed a tear for the wives who threw themselves onto their Maharaja husband’s funeral pyre.

Funeral pyre wives

I’ve recuperated in the sand city of Jaisalmer and nearly thrown up again at the site of the refuse collecting pigs capacity to inhale ANYTHING.

I’ve papped the entire local population of 15th century Hampi (again with the cows), escaping the sweaty, lack of AC on the night train for Bangalore’s slick hotels, roof top bars and Victorian parks. Once more photographing the entire, camera spellbound population; laughing and being touched by the unaffected warmth of almost every one of them. Minus the cows.

Holy cow

Hampi children

I’ve bought yoga gear in Mysore, stretched it in Goa and scootered my way from Bollywood star hangout, to Goan sausage stall, to samosa beach hut.

Goa beach

Goa samosa breakfast

Yet no-where has drawn me back quite like Kerala and Fort Cochin, which somehow manages to tick every chic, cultural holiday box. So strong is the bond, in fact that I may have returned upwards of 14 times. Annihilating my never go back in favour of seeing the world decree. Find out why soon. To be continued…