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August 2010
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La Tomatina is a giant tomato fight that’s held every year in Buñol, Spain, on the last Wednesday of August. There’s celebrations all week, but most people go just to throw tomatoes at each other, and this year we joined in the fun. We had a great time, but as always we learned a fair bit about what we could have done better. What we did right Arrived early Although the fight starts at 11am, you can’t get there at 10am and hope to be part of the action. The smart people are in the main square at 8am – we didn’t make it that early but we were there by nine. Didn’t prepare too much but knew where we were going We travelled by train, and we knew that the train we wanted left from San Isidre station and not from Valencia Nord, the main station in the centre of town. The night before, we worked out how to get to that station (by metro) and we got there as soon as we could. We’d tried to find out about train times, but couldn’t – which didn’t matter anyway, since there was a crowd waiting at the station and everyone just had to wait until the next train, whenever it might be. In Buñol, we followed the crowd to the main square, but we knew we wanted to be in sight of the ham, so we squirmed through until we could see it. We had a great spot which ensured we were part of the action. Wore sensible (and disposable) clothing Despite the fact that one of the few rules of La Tomatina is “don’t rip t-shirts” a lot of people lost the shirts off their backs. We wore shirts that we wouldn’t mind losing – in fact Linda’s was one wear away from the bin in any case, so she threw it out afterwards. Linda wore shorts with a zip pocket for a credit card, train ticket and a bit of cash, and bought a pair of cheap sunglasses instead of wearing her hat. Craig wore swimming trunks with a deep pocket. We both wore sneakers instead of flip flops. This was definitley a good idea, we saw hundreds of flip flops floating on the tide of tomato, and many people were shoeless at the end of the event. Washing our shoes wasn’t fun, but it was better than losing them. Didn’t take too much We didn’t take a bag with us. There just isn’t room in a crowd like that, and it would likely have been stolen. We took a cheap camera which we tried to waterproof, and a video camera that now needs a bit of love. We also took a plastic bag with some croissants in it, but we bought water when we arrived. There was plenty of food available, but we enjoyed having our croissants on the train. Were in a good mood Being in a good frame of mind is essential to enjoy La Tomatina. Some people were angry about being pushed around or having wine poured on their heads, others panicked when the crowd were too dense. We tried to relax and enjoy ourselves (and practise deep breathing occasionally) and left with a positive view of things. For more information, and to find out what we did wrong, visit http://indietravelpodcast.com
Direct download: 16520-20La20Tomatina2C20world27s20biggest20tomato20fight.m4a
Category:Travel -- posted at: 4:54am EDT

Whether you call it a career break, gap year, or a sabatical, the movie Eat, Pray, Love has certainly created a lot of buzz around the idea of taking extended time off to travel the world. And, of course, that's something we approve of! One person fomenting the career break discussion is Sherry Ott from Briefcase to Backpack and one of the leading figures behind Meet, Plan, Go - a North American event with meetings around the US and Canada to help people find career break opportunities themselves. In this interview we talk with Sherry Ott about her own journey, about career break travel, and about Meet, Plan, Go. For more information and links, visit http://indietravelpodcast.com
Direct download: 16420-20Career20break20travel20and20Meet20Plan20Go.m4a
Category:Travel -- posted at: 7:52am EDT

Buenos Aires is located on the Rio de la Plata (the silver river). Most of the transport hubs are located on or near the river, and the city is laid out on a rough grid stretching away from the river. The city centre is centred around where Avenida 9 de Julio (which runs up from the river) crosses Avenida Corrientes, and that's where the Obelisk is located. The other principal street, Avenida 25 de Mayo, runs parallel with Av. Corrientes. Buenos Aires is divided into 48 barrios (neighbourhoods) but docsmost are residential - posh Recoleta is in the north near the bus station, and edgy La Boca is in the south near the river. In the city grid, the blocks are numbered by the hundreds, so each street you cross will take the numbers up 100, even though there aren't that many buildings in each block. This makes finding an address really easy! You aren't going to go hungry in Buenos Aires. There's everything from budget options like hot dogs on the street, to the lushest meal in a five-star restaurant. Don't miss out on an asado (barbecue) - if you can get yourself invited to a local's home you'll have the most authentic experience, but if not restaurants are tripping over themseves to feed you tasty Argentinian meat. Empanadas are a must - they're pastry circles folded over and stuffed with meat, egg and olives, There are different fillings but the beef ones are the most popular. You can find them in bakeries and some corner stores - make sure you ask for them heated or you might get cold ones. Alfajores are a typical Argentininan snack - two soft biscuits stuck together with dulce de leche and maybe coated in chocolate. If you take a long bus trip, they might just give you one, but the fresh ones from a bakery are much better. Medialunas (half-moons) are a great option for breakfast or a mid-morning snack. Mate is also worth a try, but it's difficult to buy just one cup. Mate is the bitter tea you'll see Argentinians drinking all day out of small cups, with a straw. You might have some problems if you're a vegetarian though, although most restaurants have some sort of vegetarian option, it isn't universal. There are quite a few vegetarian and vegan restaurants around though, if you do your research! Attractions Buenos Aires is an attractive city to walk around, with a lot of parks and squares to explore. Many are central, but Palermo is a great place to start, as that is where the Botanical Gardens are located. There's also a rose garden in Parque Tres de Febrero, and BA has the largest Japanese Garden outside of Japan. Plaza de Mayo is a square in the central city, and is lined with impressive buildings that house the government offices, and might be familiar as the location of one of Eva Peron's speeches. You can also visit Evita's grave in the stunning Recoleta Cemetery - many other historical figures are buried there, but it's worth a visit even if you hate history, the tombs are amazing. For more, visit http://indietravelpodcast.com
Direct download: 16320-20Buenos20Aires20travel20guide.m4a
Category:Travel, Buenos Aires, Argentina -- posted at: 9:56am EDT

Berlin is a vibrant city full of art, history, and fantastic people doing interesting things. We speak with Paul Sullivan from Slow Travel Berlin and try to get to grips with the best clubs, best restaurants and most interesting things to do in the city. For more, visit http://indietravelpodcast.com/podcast/berlin-travel/

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