New York Daily Sun - The Trusted New York Daily Broadsheet » Travel New York’s Daily Newspaper Reporting News, Sport, Politics, Finance, Fashion, Features and Scandal. Thu, 16 Oct 2014 08:39:38 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Bacaxa Bank Robbery Tue, 18 Jun 2013 13:58:14 +0000 admin The small town of Bacaxa, a suburb of the surfers paradise Saquarema, was in uproar Tuesday morning when it was discovered that the local ATM’s had been liberated of funds. In the early hours of Tuesday morning the local Banco de Brasil was robbed in a rather ingenious way. Posing as workmen the crooks simply put up a huge sheet that covered at least three ATM machines so they could work unobserved. These workman then ‘worked’ with a blowtorch to open and empty at least two ATM machines.

Written by Maggie Winter

According to eyewitnesses who arrived at the bank the following morning, three machines appeared to be damaged and were quickly covered by black bags and tape by bank staff and Military police after thorough investigation by the forensic officers. Local sources confirm that it seemed a professional and organised attack though no members of the public were involved or injured.

The bank, closed for most of the morning, was open and operating as normal by lunchtime Tuesday. As yet bank staff have no idea how much money was stolen as the ATM counters were too badly damaged for actual figures to be recorded, so has left rather a mess. The Police, as you can see from the above photo, are investigating and according to our source, are hopeful that the perpetrators will indeed be caught.

In fairness this is an extremely rare event in this neck of the woods and will be a talking point for quite a while I suspect.


On further research it appears Saquarema already has a claim to fame for in 2005 notorious murderer, Jesse James Hollywood, was arrested by interpol in a shopping mall in Saquarema with his then pregnant girlfriend Marcia Reis. On the run for over five years he had managed to evade arrest for the murder of Nicholas Markowitz, for which Jesse was convicted and  is currently serving a life sentence in the USA. The saga was given the Hollywood treatment in 2006 and was sited as the inspiration for the ‘A’ list movie “Alpha Dog”, starring Bruce Willis and Justin Timberlake.

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Cheesemaking At The Posada de Tigua Tue, 18 Jun 2013 13:38:00 +0000 admin Everyday at the Posada de Tigua Margarita and family set about transforming raw ingredients produced on the farm into delicious meals for her guests. She tells me that she only buys in oil, rice and sugar.

Written by Andrew Howe 

She kindly tolerated my presence in her kitchen while making queso fresco (fresh cheese) and yoghurt. Queso fresco, as the name implies, tastes fresh and is salty and slightly sour. It’s a bit like feta cheese I would say. The process is simple: milk is acidified and left to curdle, and then strained in cheesecloth and pressed. The cheese can be eaten immediately or aged for a few days. I love it served with broad beans and a squeeze of lemon juice. At the posada it’s served at breakfast alongside homemade croissants, fresh fruit salad, yogurt flavoured with coconut preserve and fried or scrambled eggs.

Margarita also uses queso fresco to make quite the best locro de papa (cheese and potato soup) I’ve ever had – served piping hot – a novelty in Ecuador where soups are frequently served luke warm. Her seco de borrego is magnificent too: lamb cooked slowly in naranjilla juice and flavoured with salt and pepper, panela (raw sugar), oregano and spices until meltingly tender and served with fragrant rice and vegetables. Incidentally I can’t get the hang of making perfect rice in Ecuador; mine always turns out gluey rather than tender and separated. Help someone!

The very talented Layla Pujol has a beautifully illustrated recipe for seco de borrego, and is currently working on a cookbook which I’m looking forward to.

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A Demanding Hike Around Lake Quilotoa Tue, 18 Jun 2013 13:32:12 +0000 admin I read somewhere that the hike around the rim of Lake Quilotoa was easy. Well let me tell you it is not!

Judy and I took a bus from the Posada de Tigua to the indigenous town of Zumbahua where we hired a driver to take us onward to the crater lake of Quilotoa. There the fun began.

Written by Andrew Howe 

The good news is that we took the anti-clockwise route around the crater rim, tackling the highest peaks first. The path starts out flat and easy, affording spectacular views of the emerald waters that the locals claim are bottomless. The trail then ascends rapidly.

Altitude was not a problem (even though the path ascends to 3,800 meters above sea level) but the trail is frequently narrow, occasionally very exposed – with sharp drop offs – and the soil sandy and friable. Gusting, shifting winds compounded our feeling of vulnerability – visions of being swept over the rim into the crater! We descended some of the steeper slopes on our bottoms, ripping the seat of my trousers in the process.

The hike took us six hours – not bad going considering I’m well into my sixth decade. We glimpsed farmers working in the valleys and encountered a few indigenous folk on the trail – one man had a mattress strapped to his back as he ambled along with his wife following behind! Along the way red, blue, yellow, purple and orange páramo flowers formed a colouful and showy mosaic.

Toward the end of the hike a young man on a horse, Agustín, paused to ask if we needed transport from Quilotoa. After a very welcome beer in a village store we piled into a camioneta with Agustín at the wheel, a friend at his side and a motley crew of villagers in the back.

After stalling the engine a couple of times and lurching down the road in fits and starts (much to the amusement of passing friends who nudged each other and pointed) it transpired that our driver was very much a learner which did not inspire confidence as we had some hairy twists and turns in the mountain road to negotiate. When we arrived at Zumbahua Agustín’s pal took over the driving duties and Judy and I made it back to the Posada de Tigua in one piece, and with 15 minutes to spare before a delicious dinner was served.

It was an unforgettable day but beware the plethora of confusing information about the hike around the rim of Quilotoa. It is not easy. Indeed a rusty sign posted at the end of the trail announces that the hike is difficult and should be undertaken with a guide and a minimum of four people. I shall do better research in the future.

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Dreamliner Flights Resumed Tue, 28 May 2013 12:23:45 +0000 admin Japan’s ‘All Nippon Airways’ has resumed its commercial flights of Boeing 787 Drealiners since having grounded its entire fleet of the model on the basis of safety concerns, after a battery related emergency on an ANA 787 flight.

Written by Chris White

Other air travel companies have also resumed 787 flights, but All Nippon Airways is Boeing’s largest 787 customer.

The technical fault was rectified when all ANA Dreamliners had their battery systems replaced with new ones.

All Nippon Airways Chief Executive Osamu Shinobe said in an official company statement last Friday that: “The safety of passengers is our number one priority. Modifications for all 787 have been implemented and ANA has undertaken its own additional testing.”

ANA operates more than one third of all 787 Dreamliners currently in service and has already ordered another 36 of the air craft.

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The Black Hole, The Ultimate Dive Fri, 10 May 2013 08:58:28 +0000 admin black holeWhilst not necessarily the deepest dive, the Ultimate dive for explorer, Artic Diver and BBC presenter, Paul Rose, is the Black Hole at Andros in the Bahamas.

Already known for Dean’s Blue Hole, on Long Island, which is the deepest Blue Hole in the world, the main island of Andros is home to the greatest concentration of blue holes in the world, at 178!

However, the Black Hole is inland, next to Twin Lakes in the centre of the island.

The subject of a BBC documentary for the series, Oceans, it was one of the weirdest dives the team undertook!  One Paul said he is not in a rush to repeat!

“Starting the dive, because it’s inland fresh water, the first section is the usual green water that we expect. Then, at about 18m at what looks like the bottom, there’s a layer of brown dense stuff that goes through to black. As you go through this layer, all of a sudden you can smell rotten eggs, which is weird, because you can’t smell underwater!!

It seems that the chemical makeup permeates your skin and fills your sinuses with the smell. Most uncomfortable!

Then, about 1m further down, there’s bright purple pink reflecting off your torch, which hangs in long tentacles and layers. And suddenly the water feels hot, about 36 or 37C; an uncomfortable hot and then you come out into black, clear, cool water underneath.

Tooni said she could feel her hair burning and when we got back to the surface, all my hair had turned bright gold!

The chemicals in the water included Hydrogen Sulphide which turned all the metal on our equipment black and I had to have it all serviced after that!”

See Paul’s interview, at;

To learn more about the formation of Black Holes, see Stephanie Schwabe’s article, at;

Here’s an excerpt:

‘Analysis of our purple samples revealed that we had discovered a novel species of bacteria. In October 2003 it was officially named Allocromatium palmeri after my late husband, Robert John Palmer. ‘

In this article, she found the bottom of the Black Hole to be 140ft (47m) with a further 3 feet of ‘sludge’ at the bottom.

See the first exploration video at;

Remember, in Blue or Black Holes, or in open water, BSAFU !


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The Enchanting Posada de Tigua Thu, 02 May 2013 11:05:21 +0000 admin La Posada de Tigua is a dairy farm situated about 15 kms from Lake Quilotoa, high up in the Andean páramo. So remiss me of not to have eulogised about it before; it’s one of the most enchanting places I’ve ever visited.

Marco and Margarita have converted the hacienda, which dates from the 1890s, into a guesthouse and it offers a wonderful rustic experience with more than a touch of the Wild West. Inside the front door chaps and striped ponchos hang from a coatrack and wood burning stoves provide warmth. Walls are a meter thick and accommodation is simple but comfortable, though it got chilly at night. Boyd, Susanne and I visited in January of 2012 and we spent the day watching the cows being milked by a local indigenous family, riding a llama, and simply enjoying the ambience.

Written By Andrew Howe

The water is supplied from a nearby spring, and can be drunk without the need for purification we were told (although I had a funny tummy the day after my stay). All of the dairy products used in the kitchen – milk, yogurt, cheese and dulce de leche (caramel sauce) – are produced on the farm, as well as the veggies. Lovely Margarita was the kindest host and her young looks belied her age; she has two grown up sons Felipe and Pablo.

La Posada de Tigua, dating from the 1890s

 Milking the cows.

Felipe drove us to Lake Quilotoa the next day, and was a great source of local knowledge. He explained how the local indigenous were adverse to personal hygiene and regarded bathing as a punishment. Fascinating to see indigenous women doing construction work attired in their traditional embroidered velvet skirts. I suspect the women work much harder than the men thereabouts.

We stopped off on the way to the lake at the village of Tigua, famous for its art which only dates back to the 1970s. Paintings on stretched sheep skin canvasses depict traditional rural life in these Northern highlands: indigenous farmers herding llamas and sheep, spinning yarn and cultivating their crops on a patchwork of exposed fields and valleys; celebrating their life with feasts & festivals against the omnipresent snow capped Volcan Cotopaxi looming in the background. Tigua paintings often represent Pachamama (mother earth) and Pachakamak (the masculine spirit of creation). Susanne bought a couple of beautiful examples.

The cost of staying at the Posada was $35 a night which included dinner and breakfast. To get there you can take a bus from Latacunga (a two hour journey I understand, though road improvements were taking place when we visited so the journey may now be faster) or take a taxi, the easier though more expensive option.

 Lake Quilotoa. With Felipe, our guide and friend.

 Indigenous labourers

Posada de Tigua

Author Bio

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A Phuket Paradise Wedding? Tue, 30 Apr 2013 14:33:26 +0000 admin Phuket is situated in the Andaman Sea, a small part of the eastern Indian Ocean stretching from the shores of Malaysia to Myanmar (Burma), making the island a melting pot of different cultures. This is also reflected in its varied landscape, from palm-fringed beaches to majestic mountains and tropical rainforests dotted with fragrant flowers. Watersports are a perennial favourite, from snorkelling to scuba-diving and jet-skiing, whilst those seeking a more laid-back holiday can indulge in Thai massages and tee off at one of the islands many golf courses. Those seeking to discover the local culture can find it on elephant treks and visits to the islands beautiful wats (temples) and mosques and gypsy village.

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Situated off the south coast of Thailand and populated by sandy beaches, glistening seas and lush rainforests, the island of Phuket makes for an intensely romantic setting for both weddings and honeymoons alike. Planning the perfect wedding is important but can be complicated. If you want to avoid those sleepless nights, just relax and let Phuket Wedding Planners organise the wedding you’ve always dreamed of. They take great care to ensure everything meets the highest standards and guarantee to make one of the most important days of your life utterly unforgettable.

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