Pete M has made a request for photos of food and wine, I have grabbed some that have stories.
Christmas 2014, Old Port
One of the oldest bottles of wine I have ever drunk, it was not the best port I have drunk, it was light red with a yellow tinge and had many complex flavours some nice and some not so nice. I rescued this bottle from my fathers cellar while he was on his death bed, up on hearing I was drinking all his special wine he made sudden and miraculous recovery and is still kicking on.
July 2015, Lunch in the high country.
The Pyrenees near Cauterets while fishing. We had hiked in for an hour to a river in a high country meadow and fished there for three, them my guide produced this out of his backpack, it may not look the best food in the world but it was perfect for the day, thank you Mariano (we had finished the pate by the time I got round to taking a photo).
Lunch For One, Cervinia, Italy Christmas 15.
I had my arm in a sling, note to self; a tubby traveler should not be attempting to learn to snowboard with his 9 YO son!!!!
While the family was skiing to Zermatt for lunch I hiked up the trail out of the Village towards the Matterhorn and came across this restaurant at lunch time, Special for one, bread, salami, pasta and 1/2 liter of wine, spot on!!!
As soon as I started to research fishing in Kamchatka I realized that I would need to go on a fully guided trip, this would be something new for me, generally I get a guide for a couple of days then strike out on my own. From my research I found that broadly there were two types of vendors available on the internet, the first were the outfitters/guiding companies, whose staff either do the guiding or work directly with the Russian outfitters, the second are purely resellers who do the coordination and negotiation with the actual guiding service.
Web based research is very useful but is always a pain, it tells you who has a good website not who has a good guiding service!! To help me sort out who I should choose as my outfitter I set down some criteria,
- I wanted an outfitter who was directly involved with the organization of the trips. This criteria meant that any outfitter I dealt with would have first hand experience in the trips offered, and I wouldn’t be paying markup on markup. This Criteria excluded several organizations that seemed very professional (most notably yellow dog and fly fishing heaven), their prices were generally higher than those directly involved. However, where fishing is well established and there is competition between the outfitters, say for trips to Patagonia and bone fishing in the Caribbean I think that they may come into their own.
- A good website with a comprehensive offering, this goes to organizational and communication abilities. I did not want to use an outfitter who knew all about fishing but forgot to tell me to bring a sleeping bag!!!!
- Been doing it for a while, this goes to how well they do their job, and stability. If they have not being doing a good job they would no longer be in business and there would be a lot of bad reviews on the web and I do not want to spend a lot of money to find out that they have gone broke and I have lost my money.
- Finally, specialized in fishing. I want a guide who lives and breathes fishing not someone who takes a group hiking up a volcano one week, bird watching the next (not that there is anything wrong with bird watching) and fishing the week after.
After a marathon net surfing and screening session I came up with a short list of three, Ouzel, The Fly Shop and The Best of Kamchatka.
Next: Which fishing adventure in Kamchatka?
I am no fly fishing expert, with a fly rod in hand I am far more of a danger to fishing companions and nearby inanimate objects than I am to any fish. I have visions of doing an impromptu ear piercing to a companion or maybe even myself with a royal wolf or a hairy mary or maybe it will be a nose piercing with a wooly bugger. It may not happen this trip to Kamchatka but it will happen.
This said I love fishing and have fished all my life, but generally I have only managed go a few times a year. I have lived and therefore fished on four continents, I am still missing Africa, South America and Antarctica, somehow I don’t think I will live, work and fish in Antarctica, but who knows!!!! I have tended to fish by the chosen local method this means that I am not an expert in any particular method but have a broad understanding of fishing generally.
BECAUSE!!! Because its there, because it is remote, because there are lots of big fish, because I live in Seoul and will never be closer, because of Vodka (which I don’t particularly like), because if I am going to do something silly it has to be really silly, because Oh did I mention Vodka.
There has been plenty written about Kamchatka some good resources are Travel Kamchatka Explore Kamchatka as well as the usual suspects such as Wikipedia, Lonely planet and trip advisor. Reading about Kamchatka fired my imagination and I have been wanting to do a wilderness trip and catch big fish.
This is my first foray into blogging,
This blog is inspired by my plans for a two week fishing odyssey to the north of the Kamchatka Peninsular in the far east of Russia. The trip is planned for the summer of 2016. I hope that this Blog will focus on the fishing, will be informative and occasionally amusing. Since my mind is rather mad and random I expect regular outtakes to other topics most notably travel and food, and anything else that tickles my fancy.
On the Subject of food, I like it, that is why I am slightly (or a lot) rotund or tubby, I have no excuse, I under exercise and over eat, I like my food. I also like exploring, new activities and cuisines.
I have referred to my planned trip as an odyssey not because a two and a bit week trip is an odyssey but because I have been contemplating doing this trip for more than 5 years and decided to go on over a year ago. So the planning and organization in its self is an odyssey.
In this Blog I shall explore the reasoning’s for my choices and try to be factual about what has influenced me. I shall look at why I selected Kamchatka, the choice of Outfitter and particular fishing trip. From there I will look at the selection of gear, and the trip particulars. I am hoping that the booking of the flights and visa process is painless however I shall try to report on any issues that I have.
During the trip I shall try to record as much as possible on Camera and Video. During the trip its self I do not expect that I will have more than minimal updates to the blog. Two things will contribute to this, lack of good access to the internet and I will be fishing, eating, drinking and generally taking in the local ambiance. I hope to be having far too much fun to be able to send time on a computer.
As a closing to my first post I have to mention another motivation for starting this Blog has been the Blog of VanKayak, it has provided me great escapism over the years, I have often thought of fishing the Rivers of British Columbia Canada while doing something dreadfully boring at work.