Pleasures of Provence, a 5 day itinerary in the south of France

Last month, I took a late vacation to go back to my tender France and spend a week re-discovering the beautiful area of Provence. I had been there several time as a kid and remember the villages, the smell of the lavender and the taste of the fresh fruits and tomatoes.
Jump in the car, and start exploring with me the little roads of Provence. I am sharing tops things to see and to do in Provence, along with tips and good addresses as well as a 5 days itinerary between nature, food and history.

Continue reading

Sao Paulo’s gourmets’ secrets

19 millions inhabitants, 13.000+ restaurants, 15.000 bars. The figures talk for themselves: Sao Paolo is a monster city that can easily intimidate travellers. But it’s an excellent destination that gourmets should not miss during their visit to Brazil.

Thanks to my dear brazilian friend Regina, I discovered a trendy, sophisticated and hipster Sao Paolo that delights even the pickiest gourmets. For those who aren’t lucky enough to have a brazilian friend -get one!-, I am sharing a few local secrets…

Continue reading

Enjoy 2015 like a gaucho

wpid-Photo-20150101195243899.jpg

New Year, new start. On this first day of the year, I was thinking what I could post about. Of course, I wish you the best for 2015, but what exactly? Maybe to spend a bit more time enjoying life like a gaucho. These South American cowboys are a huge part of the continents culture and a few weeks ago, we stayed in an Uruguayan estancia to know more about it. I came out of these 2 days, fresh, relaxed and inspired by the simplicity and the authenticity of this life. Here is why.

Continue reading

Meat, music and dancing: welcome to Argentina!

This was everything like the cliche of the Argentinian night we had in mind. After 11h of bus in stunning landscapes, with reach Salta, our first stop in Argentina. Exhausted and starving (the bus company only provided us with a small sandwich), we headed off for our first Argentinian dinner, craving for meat.

A night in a peña, in Salta

In Salta, all the places to go out are concentrated in the same area. We picked a busy restaurant and got sitted at a small table in front of the stage. We had just ordered than a man dressed in traditionnal costume went on stage and introduced a groupe of dancers. While zipping our Malbec (6 euros for a 1/2 bottle), we assisted astonished, to a serie of local and national dances based on a mix of quick steps similar to tap dance and movements of puffy skirts that remind me of flamenco. We were in one of the many peñas of Salta, where you enjoy a nice dinner while being entertained with folkloric dances and music.

Continue reading

Coroico: when it´s time to unplug

When you spent several days trekking, biking, kayaking or on other active explorations, comes a time to slow down and take a day off. Treating yourself with a couple of nights in a cozy hostel with pool and a great view. is just the perfect way to recover.

Exhausted after our conquest of Huayna Potosi (6088m), we found ourselves taking it easy in the touristic town of Coroico, just 3h of La Paz. The weather is warm and the views splendid, here it´s so simple to indulge yourself in being lazy and regain energy for your next adventures.

In Coroico, Little Big Explorations recommands:

We loved the hostel El Cafetel with its great pool over looking the valley and the Cordillera Real. Located 10min out of town, it´s an oasis of tranquility. The rooms are basic but clean and cozy and the on site resturant serves a delicious breakfast. (Double room with shared bathroom B$100).

Best of all: admiring Huayna Potosi at the sunset (summit on the left)

A taste of peruvian gastronomy at Mistura food festival, Lima

If you are in Lima this week (5-14 September 2014), you shouldn’t miss Mistura, the biggest food festival of South America! Mistura is the perfect place to try many local specialities -included the famous guinea pig!- on a budget.

Here is what we tried when we visited the fair (I must admit, everything was really tasty!).

Gastronomic peruvian menu:

Ceviche (fresh raw sea food marinated in lemon)

Ceviche

Continue reading

First timer: fishing piranhas in the Amazonas

Known for their voracity and their sharp teeth, piranhas are among the most popular species of the Amazonas.

You need a fishing line, a hook and some meat (the bloodiest the best!), not much differs from traditional fishing. But you will be surprised by their ability to torn little pieces of meat without getting stuck on the hook!

Fishing piranhas is one of the highlights of many Amazonas trips, and most likely your guide will offer to cook your catch in big leafs, over the fire. Mmmmm.

Piranha_fishing_limoncocha

Piranha fishing by night in bio reserve Limoncocha, Amazonas

Well, you have to catch some first… Adnan:2, Amandine:0.

I never liked fishing.

 

7 steps to your perfect Colombian coffee

image

One of the first thing that people think of when talking about Colombia is coffee. With more than 3500 coffee plantations, Colombia is the fourth exporter in the world, Brazil being number one. Colombian´s farms produce only the arabica bean, while other countries export a mix of both arabicas and robusta beans.
In this article you will learn how to prepare the perfect Colombian coffee.

Continue reading

A visit to las señoras del mercado central in Quito

We have now settled down for a few days in Quito, the capital of Ecuador. We are staying in the old town, the historical part of the city and making a daily visit to the mercado central (central market) for our food shopping.

After the third day in a row of shopping there, we start to have our habits and our favorite stands. This is fun! The colors, the smell are appealing and the products fresh. We are getting familiar with the señoras who now welcome us with big smiles. But señora Fabiola Menez, who sells the vegetables, is definitely my favorite of all!

How to celebrate your very own Swedish Midsummer

Each year, the Friday between 19 and 25 of June, Sweden stops for 24h. Streets are quiet and Stockholm only full of tourists. Swedes leave the cities to gather with friends and families to celebrate in tradition the longest day of the year.

Midsummer Eve is one of the most (if not the most) important tradition in Sweden and it’s a fantastic experience to discover the Swedish culture and gastronomy. If you have the opportunity to celebrate it with Swedes, just do it! It’s the time of the year where Swedes loosen up, and you will have lots of fun. Difficult to find a part to join? No worries, in this post I will give you some tips to plan your very own Swedish Midsummer.

Credit photo: thenigo.com

Continue reading