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jinky

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jinky last won the day on October 25

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About jinky

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  1. jinky

    lest we forget

    Unacceptable!
  2. jinky

    Renewing a Passport.

    For renewal there is nothing the Post Office does that you cannot do. Waste of time paying their fee.
  3. jinky

    Renewing a Passport.

    Online renewal is so quick and easy now. Couldn`t believe the speed of turnaround.
  4. jinky

    Discount codes./ coupons

    I always check for discount codes before I buy + I use Topcashback and Quidco for money back on purchases - having checked I`m not paying over the odds to start with. Amazing what you save.
  5. I`d say have at least 3 nights in Havana. Pick up on the night scene and street music. You can go into one of the smallest cafe bars and have a quiet drink. Suddenly a small musical group will come in and there`ll be a couple of old locals jumping up for a dance soon joined by loads of others. We picked up on a free concert in the Plaza Vieja. I happened to say I`d love to know what the are singing about and a young Cuban girl next to us began telling us the ideas behind and some of the key lyrics of the next few songs until we left to eat elsewhere. I met one chance one Sunday morning. I`d got up at around 7 - no internet working in the lounge (as per usual ) so wandered off into the back streets armed only with my camera and a small amount of money. met a guy with a crazy car who I knew was on the make but had a great chat about his car, his life as part time baseball coach and, after he`d offered me a source of cigars, women for my room ( !!! I told him my wife might not like it) he said the bar near us offered the best mojitos in town. Unwisely I said why not as the custom for Cubans was to have one before work! Sure enough the bar was busy with locals having their liquid breakfast before starting work. 2 hours later I`d had 2 mojitos, a local fire water,a discussion on Castro and how things were changing which would have been impossible due to spies just months earlier before Fidel had stood down and a demonstration of dance and Cuban music styles courtesy pof my host and the bar owners wife. OK he didn`t treat me as he initially said he would (yeah some chance) but me treating him to his drinks as well as my own cost about £5 and it was money well spent. Quite the highlight of my trip. Yes my wife told me I`d been stupid on my return, half cut for breakfast but not once did I feel unsafe. Lovely people.
  6. I went on one some years ago but not with the bigger lines. Ours was a Louis Crystal cruise company which had hired in a Greek Islands ship and used imported Canadian food on board as Cuban food at that time was not good nor sources dependable. At the time we`d been warned against self drive and we soon saw why. At times poor roads and a lack of signposting meant a mystery trip was on the agenda! Cruising around the ports taking in Trinidad, Cienfuego and others I forget was magical. Cuba is fantsastic and we were lucky to see it before things started to change quite so much and before the crowds got there. Our worst stop was Montego Bay to take on Americans getting around the USA blocks at the time. Stick to Cuba and you`ll have a great time. We were just frustrated not to get more than a day visit at some stops as some of these places really need an overnight to take i the magic. best tip if you are starting fro Havana reject all attempts to put you out at Varadero or in town in the more touristy hotels near the embassies. get a real downtown one and just take what comes. We stayed downtown and it was magical sitting on the terrace watching the cars and wandering the streets feeling totally safe. Lovely people ad place - do it£
  7. jinky

    HAL Alaskan Cruise

    Had been on my list some years and so glad I made it there. Thanks for your kind comments. I ordered a 140 page photobook before I left the UK for the trip on a Groupon deal. Whilst there I wondered if I would get enough photos to fill it. I reckoned I needed around 250-275 decent ones for a book. Shouldn`t have worried . I ended up with over 2000 pictures and after culling and editing still had more than enough to get them in. Should be here in the next week or so so hope they haven`t made a mess of the printing. Photobooks and videos are great ways of keeping the holiday alive as when the pictures sit on your hard drive they are rarely seen. I look forward to boring friends with the book 😉
  8. jinky

    HAL Alaskan Cruise

    If anyone wants to see more images you can see my Alaskan cruise blog here: https://photographybypauldishman.blogspot.com/2018/10/way-up-north-to-alaska.html Or the Vancouver element here https://photographybypauldishman.blogspot.com/2018/10/vibrant-vancouver.html Every time I go on a trip I think I`ve found my favourite memory. Glacier bay was it for this one but I still wonder if it was as good as my trips to Cuba and India.What would we do without travel?
  9. jinky

    HAL Alaskan Cruise

    Thank for the comment and likes 😉
  10. jinky

    HAL Alaskan Cruise

    Got back from this cruise and a stay in Vancouver recently. Fantastic time. Holland America Line have to be my favourite line ion terms of service and food. Was only bettered by a luxurious river cruise with Uniworld in our experience of sailing with P&O, Royal Caribbean and HAL once before. As for the venues themselves it was stunning and the memory of floating quietly in Glacier Bay watching the ice calve will stay with me for many years.
  11. jinky

    alwood

    This is not correct - 2 Chinese girls on one of our land trips crossing the Fraser border crossing by bus on a one day return trip to Skagway know all too different. You need an ETA
  12. jinky

    alwood

    We just did a Vancouver and Alaska cruise trip and needed an ESTA for the US which lasts 2 years and an ETA for Canada which lasts for 5 years - or until your passport expires for each. Do not be like the 2 Chineses girls on one of our independent trips from Skagway USA into the Canadian Yukon territory! They had boarded at Seattle on a celebrity cruise stating they had all relevant visas. They did not have an ETA and were turned back by Canadian border guards at the Fraser Crossing. They were taken off our bus with luggage in the middle of nowhere and I understand had to wait 2 hours for Celebrity staff to come and get them at their own expense. You need both whether landing in Canada by air, land or sea. If in doubt call your travel company - don`t listen to a public forum.
  13. jinky

    Buffet or MDR

    I rarely use the buffets except when on HAL cruises. I prefer the MDR service which helps curtail temptation to take just a little piece more of.... On HAL cruises their buffet is much cleaner and safer given that you don`t help yourself to that much but most is kept behind clean class to be requested with some foods finished off to heat / cook as you wait almost fresh. hence no double dipping /trailing sleeves from other passengers i n your food. The only time I use the buffet is when trips / late returns give me no option.
  14. jinky

    Fake reviews ?

    I write honest ones too. Not enough write to praise I feel focusing on complaints rather than on good service. I was rewarded once , without asking, when we had an excellent afternoon tea that my daughter had given us as a gift in Guildford House of Fraser shot. It`s a way over the top pink and blue girlie experience in there with excellent fayre. I did a tongue in cheek review with photos which I sent direct to them for a competition they were running on the experience that praised staff and food whilst stating it all brought me in touch with my feminine side. They replied that it had made them laugh and if I was kind enough to post it on Trip Advisor, which i`d intended to do next anyway, that they would reward me with another afternoon tea for my trouble. I promptly did so. I could not believe the previous 3/4 reviews on their which were so at variance with our own experience as to be deeply suspicious which is no doubt why they asked. It was funny to see one reviewer was there the same day as us and seemingly had such a different experience.
  15. jinky

    Fake reviews ?

    I write reviews - good and bad when I have the time and inclination and use Trip Advisor (especially local forum groups) for advice on restaurants etc whilst on trips. I go with the majority feeling and discount the ones at odds with the norm and look especially at the most recent ones over the last 6 months. You can often tell the vindictive ones , those that expect too much and those that just had a bad experience - amazing how often I discount the American views on European reviews especially. Rarely lets me down and I have had some great food experiences on the back of local reviews. recently whilst in Vancouver I was able to eat at the 101 Bistro - a restaurant within a culinary training school that I`d never have found without picking it up on a local forum. It was fine dining at half the rate charged for such food elsewhere. The same trip - tired of really expensive restaurants - I steered us to a pasta restaurant where it looked like a cafe / takeaway but the food was superb and cost less than it did at home for superior fare. Again 2 blocks from our hotel and would have been left unfound without that same forum.
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