Monday, 28 May 2007

Marina Club Dinner

Just had a really nice evening with Shehzad and family at the Marina Club. We had a good dinner with grilled chicken and some fabulous curry. The evening was over before we realized. We arrived at 7.30pm and before we knew it 10.00pm arrived. Time for home. We chatted about Cricket and most other things. Shehzar and I realized as we talked that the Cricketers we knew and remembered were now old men and clearly unknown to his son Afnan. We did agree however to get some fishing done. Just need to get to the shop and buy a new rod. We told Afnan about the fly fishing we did in Seychelles and of course about the one that got away. We promised him and his sister we would try and give it a go here on Karachi creek.
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Sunday, 27 May 2007

Sunday sight seeing in Karachi

Had a day off. Sunday. Went with Wanna and Aldo for a day trip to do the some of the sights of Karachi. Where you ask? Well first the Shopping Mall for coffee and sandwiches followed by a trip to Mahata Palace. Beautiful place with well kept gardens. An Oasis in Karachi away from the dust and the hectic traffic and noise. Don't know if it really was a palace in its hay day or just a very well to do house, the sort that belonged to the British Raj before independence. Whatever, it was well restored and had an impressive display of ceramics. Some dating back to early BC and some more modern. Good stop off as you can see from the photo. Left to right is me, Wanna, Aldo and Qaisir. Qaiser is our driver so knows his way about.

Problem was he forgot to tell us everywhere is shut on Sundays! Turns out nearly everywhere including restaurants and coffee shops.... Bummer. Art Centre closed for the whole day and the National Museum only opens at 2.00pm. Even there the adjacent coffee shop was shut yes right! All day.... But because it is Sunday to get there you need to navigate not just drive through about 10 games of cricket all being played on the road. Yes on and in the middle of the road. All going on at once. How anyone knows on which side they are I could not work out. Maybe it doesn't matter.... But they are equiped with stand alone wickets made from timber and some from steel frames, cricket bats and fortunately soft 'cricket' balls.

We then did the visit to the burial place of 'Jinnah' who was the Father and first President of Pakistan. His body rests in a magnificent Mausoleum. Again a quick photo opportunity.

We decided that was enough sight seeing for one day so off to the famous 18th floor revolving restaurant for the reputed 'High Tea'. Found the place easily in spite of the fact Qaisar had never heard of it. We were escorted to the lift and arrived at the 18th floor. Fantastic panoramic view of the whole of Karachi. But you've guessed it. No High Tea. Shut on Sundays. Not completely true 'just come back later Sir'. We were not going to hang around for another 30 minutes just for a cup of tea. Well enough was enough of closed entertainment establishments for one Sunday. Back to Sheraton to drop off Aldo after a pot and tea and cakes in the lobby. They also advertised 'High Tea. But as you've guessed. We asked for three "high Teas"... "Sir we stopped the High Tea promotion about one month ago". We did not both nor did we have the energy to ask "Well why are you still advertising it in hte lobby?" We settled for plain afternoon tea and cakes was more than sufficient. (Probalby the same thing). Tomorrow's a new day.

Sunday, 20 May 2007

Back in Karachi

Arrived back at 11.00am after a very good flight from Dubai.

Only problem was the fly rod Owen had bought for us got stolen on the way. We had spend the last afternoon having lessons from Charlie and now we will have to buy a new one.


Anyway such is life I suppose. Work started again 08.00am tomorrow.

Last few days on Mahe

We all came back to Mahe and Wanna and I prepared to depart evening of 19th May. Had a final dinner in Kaz Creole. Joined by MP, Girls and Chrisoff. Unfortunately Alan in his usual way had a couple to many and unset Owen and Charlie. Being stupid again. Will have to grow up one day.

I had however been through the photos and come across a few additional ones showing Owen and Wanna on Prinos, Charlie and Lynnie enjoying an ice cream and a lovely one of Wanna with KK and a second one of her with some land tortoise.
16th May Owens Birthday. We and Crew were all still on La Digue. Owen went out for the day with Pam and we all pretended we had forgotten his birthday. Of course we hadn't. We had arranged a dinner for him at Bertine's place. Beautiful Red Snapper, Bat curry and sausages and lentils. Wine and of course presents. Well the presents were the La Digue Rasta Hat!!!! A couple of blue tablets...... (Viagra for those of you who are a bit slow). It was all good fun.


And then to crown it all a visit to the casino. We all won. Denise possibly did the best but it was a lucky night with us all coming out with something.



















Tuesday, 15 May 2007

Another lazy day on La Digue

14th May. Another lazy day. We went to bed late last night around 3.00am. We had just sat about talking and drinking a few gin and tonics. Up and out about this morning at 9.00am And this is supposed to be a holiday!!! Decided we would have a Creole Buffet lunch at Grande Anse. They do a very good buffet, grilled fish, curries and salads. Really hot and the sea was rough. We went by taxi making a stop at Rita’s shop for bits and pieces. Had a chat with the local policeman and asked him to tell Charlie to behave himself!!!

Wanna just took it all in her stride and relaxed. Typical.

Now off to see Denise and friends.

Looking after our house

Up early with Wanna preparing to make the offering to the Land Spirits for looking after our house. She had prepared the fish, chicken, pork, cake and fruit to be placed in front of the Spirit House. We needed some rum so I was assigned to go off in search for a shop that was open. No easy task on a Sunday Morning on La Digue. Needless to say I got strange looks when requesting two bottles of rum at 7.30 am!!!! But we succeeded. Returned and everything was ready. Then Wanna performed the small ceremony to the Spirits.

The rest of the morning was spent painting the windows. Charles did the green on the shutters and I did the frames. We did one side of the house. Bit more to go. But slowly slowly we’ll get it done.


So then we relaxed and had some lunch. Think I’ll go off fly fishing for a while.

Chilling in La Digue

Been a busy few days. Major problem for us was that from Friday lunchtime the pubs and shops all stopped selling alcohol through till Sunday morning due to the National Elections being held on Saturday. Seems the ban on selling alcohol stops arguments between opposing parties etc.

But it did not stop us having some fun. We went fly fishing and caught a few small ones. We all wore the new crocs shoes which are so comfortable it’s unbelievable. They float in the sea water as well so you cannot loose them. Clever stuff.

After all the fly fishing we needed to finish the day off with a good bar b q dinner. Of course it was Fish!! Lovely food and good company. We were joined by Pam who had come over from Mahe to join Owen for a few days and Colin our next door neighbour. Colin prepared the fish. Really good time had by all.

Saturday, 12 May 2007

The one that got away

11th May 2007. We all set sail for La Digue. Great trip Charles caught a King Fish, we estimated it to be about 20-40 pounds. Unfortunately it got away at the edge of the boat. It was big. Check the photo and you decide. I have not seen the rod bend as much as this one did. We did not have a gaff! Again on arrival the Harbour was empty. Great. Then home. Lynne and Wanna went cycling off to the shops. The men had a few beers… Then a few more. We had a Bar B Q then all off to bed.

Sarah's Birthday

10 May 2007. Went back to Mahe and joined up with Owen, Charles and Lynnie. It was also Sarah’s 20th Birthday. Great evening at La Pearle Noire Restaurant at Beau Vallon. Everyone really enjoyed.

The Crew arrived

Monday 7th May. The Crew arriving. Owen Charles and Lynnie arriving this morning. We got up early and watched the dawn break. Then at 7.00am saw Air Seychelles arriving. Quick shower and off to the airport. Wrong flight!!! They will be arriving at 10.00am. On worries back to town and check the internet etc. Decent coffee and we were ready to get back to the airport. They all arrived and were quickly out of the airport. First stop Graham’s house. Everyone had a cold beer on the way!!!! Then we went down to Prinos. Had a look round and made the decision that they would stay on Mahe for a few days and have a look round etc.

Dinner at Fairy Land. Pam joined us and we had a great evening. We all had fish and chops!!! The photo shows Charles telling a story. Can’t remember if he as showing the size for fish he caught or the size of live bait.

Next day Wanna and I set sail for La Digue and had a good if somewhat uneventful trip. No fish. Very few tourists about so we managed to have plenty of space to moor up Prinos. The house was fine. We unlocked it expecting to find some damage or signs of rats, mice etc. Nothing. Quick sweep of the floor and all was ready for use. Got the bicycles out and off to the shops. Every one was great, “Hello welcome back… How are you?” Lovely feeling.

Arrived Seychelles

Made it. 5th May 2007. Landed in Seychelles after a 4 hour flight. Lovely weather and met by Sarah and Christoff. Got through customs without any problems. Difficult to convince them we were tourists considering we were carrying 4 new tyres for my truck and a bunch of clutch spares etc. They did not seem to mind. Anyway through we went to be met by Sarah and Christoff. Straight to the boat. It has been moored up in The Wharf. Great spot. Has all facilities and Prinos was fully fueled and watered. Added to which Sarah had supplied bread, eggs etc so we were organized. Our home for the next few days. So we had time to relax and do nothing till the Crew arrived. That's Owen, Charles and Lynnie.

Saturday, 5 May 2007

In transit Dubai

Half way to Seychelles. Quick stop for the old duty frees. Might be duty free but not that cheap. Bottle of Famous Grouse is about 15US$, so bought 2!!! You never know when you might caught short!!! Its not a pleasent journey. Departing Karachi at 5.45 am. Means being at the airport about 3.30am. Luckily we had Company protocol to assist. We needed it carrying a set of four tyres and engine spares for my Suzuki truck. Plus of course various bits and pieces. Now we are off to Seychelles. Just hear the anouncement. Bye bye.
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Departing Karachi

Well we've had a hectic last few days. I had to decline an evening with my friend Shehzad as there was so much to do. He did email to tell me off for canceling. So Shehzad if you are reading this apologies again!!

However we did manage to fit in one last evening with another friend Khalid and his family before we left. Been so lucky with people wishing to spend time with us. (sure it has more to do with Wanna than me!!!!). In fact I'm sure Khalid has had enough of me as we are working together every day!! Our evening was at the rotating restaurant in down town Karachi. The restaurant is about 18 floors up and there is a fabulous view of Karachi. Karachi is basically flat so there is this amazing array of lights spreading out into the distance. Several noticeable spots including the Marble white Jinnah Mausoleum which really looks spectacular on the sky line. The food as to be expected was a typical full spread Buffet with Pakistani and European dishes. It was impossible to try everything there is just so much. We did however do our best and all had double helpings. Good fun. Will go back to try the other half of the buffet another day!
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Friday, 4 May 2007

Dinner in Karachi

Went to dinner last night to a place called Bar B Q Tonight. We invited my Landlady Nazia to join us. Had a fun evening with plenty to eat. As the name suggests bar b q food including a slab of lamb ribs. No way we could eat it all. Chat was lively and Nazia seemed to enjoy telling Wanna what a mess I'd left her apartment in....Good evening.
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The secret to "Success" ..... is never, never, give up trying.