Suggested Viewing – Central Station

Central Station 2A French/Brazilian production, winner of Best Picture and Best Actress at the Berlin Film Festival 1998, with a 94% positive rating on Rotten Tomatoes, Central Station (Central do Brazil) is the story of a former school teacher and a young boy whose mother has just died. Both meet at “Central Station” in Rio de Janeiro and begin a journey to find the boy’s father – a man he has never met. The young boy who plays “Josue” in the film, was a shoeshine boy on the streets of Rio, and beat out over 1500 other boys to land the part. Critically acclaimed, it’s a different take on relationships, and shows us that “family” aren’t always people that we’re related to.

 

Travel Ideas to Brazil:

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Animal Spotlight: The Coatimundi

Don Forster is the Latin America Product and Marketing Manager at Goway Travel. He’s Australian, but worked for years in Latin America as a Adventure tour bus driver and leader before moving to Canada, where he eventually joined our company. Despite being a Rugby playing father of 3 hockey playing sons, he seriously likes small animals!

Latin America Coati 2_66345298As an Australian, moving to North America exposed me to inner city wildlife I was totally unused too, especially the raccoon. Having worked extensively in Latin America, my immediate thought when seeing my first raccoon was that this animal reminded me of the coati (or coatimundi) of Latin America.

Coati's, up to no good.

Coati’s, up to no good.

Larger than their North American distant cousins (coatis and raccoons are part of the same family), coati’s are as curious, clever, and insatiable in their search for food as raccoons are.

If you leave a bag unattended with coati’s nearby, they will be in it, searching for food – beware! From going after your fruit refreshment’s during a surf-lesson in Costa Rica to inspecting your bag for snacks while you look the other direction in Brazil’s Amazon, they are frequent visitors at almost all of the major sites in Latin America. In national parks, local guides and rangers spend as much time chasing these inquisitive pests away as they do answering travelers questions. I’ll admit, they do seem to be rather photogenic. Often travelling in family groups, they are often revealed by their tails sticking straight up in the air. When surprised with a camera, they’ll pause, and peer back at you through some foliage with their distinctive shy look on their long faces, but hold their gaze long enough for a good photo. As annoying as they can be, they seem to make up for it in looks and photo-cooperation!

Latin America Coati 1_52293505Here are some cool facts about Coati’s:

  • Pronounced more or less as “Koh-ah-tees”
  • All coatis share a slender head shape, with an elongated, flexible, slightly upturned nose, small ears, dark feet, and a long, non-prehensile tail used for balance and signaling.
  • The name coatimundi is derived from two Amerindian words meaning ‘belt’ and ‘nose’, and refers to the way coatis tuck their nose into their belly while sleeping.
  • Adult male South American coatis live solitary lives, while females and immature males travel in groups of up to 30 individuals.

Goway travelers to Iguassu Falls , and to Costa Rica often report seeing coatis on their trips.

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Road Tripping in Australia – An Aussie Account

Alexander Lookout in Cape Tribulation - 114

Anthony Saba is one of many Australians at Goway Travel’s office, where he is a senior sales manager, lover of sports, father of two daughters and an avid road-tripper! Here’s what he had to say about the lifestyle of travelling Australia at the wheel of your own vehicle.

Road tripping in Australia is a unique and rewarding experience often overlooked by time poor international travelers. Australia is a big country, with lots to see and vast distances to be covered. Many visitors just don’t have the time required to take to the road.

Still, the Aussie road trip will in many ways show you an Australia that many don’t get to see. One of my favorite areas, and the easiest to explore, is Australia’s South East corner – the states of Victoria, New South Wales and South Australia. This is the most densely populated part of the country, with small towns and colonial history every 50 miles or so. No 5 hour drives between stops here!

22This corner of Australia was settled in the century following British colonization. Farms were established, communities and businesses were built, gold was discovered and a rush ensued, and outlaws rose to complete what one might have called Australia’s “wild west”.

What I like so much about this part of Australia is that most key aspects of the Australian lifestyle can be found here. Sure, I’m not in the Outback or snorkeling the reef, but where I’m traveling, I have beaches, coastline, wildlife, wineries, and history, all less than an hour away from the next lunch stop, the next little village, the next pub for a refreshing ale, or the next hotel where you can bed down for the night. The driving is easy, and I never feel that I have spent all day “on the road”. What makes these towns, pubs and wineries so appealing?  Locals!  Local history and local people… as curious about you as you are about them and this wonderful country.

Pg 96 - driving along the beach on Fraser IslandIn this corner of Australia you can drive the Great Ocean Road, winding its way around some of Australia’s most exciting coastline. The wild conditions of the Southern Ocean have forced many a shipwreck here, creating a rich local maritime history. Go see the Little Penguins on Phillip Island at your own speed, taking time to see the Koalas nearby and have dinner or perhaps stay the night.  There are several significant wine areas in Victoria and more across the border in South Australia. Visit a winery or two for a tasting or lunch. Many of the local towns once played a part in Gold rush history, but their pubs will gladly serve you a modern pub lunch or dinner, with a pint (or as they say in Australia, a ‘schooner‘) of course.

Some long-haul road trippers choose to rent an RV, and for the more adventurous, there are plenty of campgrounds throughout the region. Some are even located on the beach.

An Australian road trip is not about seeing the whole country. That’s just not practical. Instead, focus on an area and immerse yourself in the experience. The next stop is often ‘just up the road’ as we Aussies say.

More information and travel ideas:

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10 Tips for travel in busy season

 

 

Airport sun shine113575684

The following travel tips were written by Carolyn Weppler, Sales Manager at Goway Travel, a serious Globetrotter who’s constantly travelling. She’s just returned from Uganda and Ethiopia with this story in her hand! As a traveller and a travel professional, she has great advice. Here’s some of her tips.

While everyone knows travelling in the busy season will lead to delays, long lineups, crowds and stress, there’s usually a reason we’re travelling in the first place. So keep your head up and if you can, follow as many of these tips as you can!

  1. Leave ample time for travel to the airport, especially important if you live in a part of North America that gets snow in the winter! (Chicago is one airport hub city which constantly has delays all winter!)
  2. Arrive at the airport extra early and be prepared for lines, often it is the lack of time that stresses us out in a line, if you know you have to wait it makes it that much easier. You know the feeling, as you’re anxiously waiting in the security line, constantly checking the time. Be early, and actually enjoy travelling!
  3. Budget for a meal before your flight, or a leisurely coffee – most airports have a decent restaurant or two, eating always helps pass the time, and I always find myself finally able to relax and get excited for my journey.
  4. Airport charging a device_136570553Have fresh reading material in hand to keep yourself occupied – I typically travel with a novel themed on my travel destination (on my kindle), magazines and my sudoku book!
  5. Make sure your tablet/mobile/MP3 player is loaded with upbeat songs as well as soothing fall-asleep (to a baby crying) songs, and that they’re all fully charged. Ideally travel with more than 1 charging cable, so if you get the chance you can recharge more than one at once.
  6. Download a couple of new games on you tablet or mobile
  7. Try to avoid tight connections at big airports like LAX/JFK/Chicago/Toronto
  8. Read your travel documentation when you receive it and ensure it is all correct long before departure date. Most especially, check the spelling of your name and that it’s identical to your passport (newly weds often make the mistake of booking flights under their new surname, not realizing their passports reflect their maiden names).
  9. Check your flight is on time before heading out. All airline websites allow you to do this.
  10. Bring a sense of humour!

More information:

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Alternative Asia: In the Air or On the Water

29th March 2014 (1)

We Have introduced Two New experiences that are perfect additions to an Asian itinerary.

Travellers can enjoy a new perspective on Asia with two new experiences from Goway Travel. Whether air ballooning over Rajasthan, or cruising along the Mekong to majestic Angkor, there’s more than one way to see the world’s most diverse continent.

One of India’s most compelling regions, Rajasthan is a desert state known for intricately decorated forts and temples. Many people’s first taste of the area will be Jaipur, known as the Pink City thanks to its red and pink sandstone architecture. Both the capital and symbolic heart of Rajasthan, Jaipur is a much loved corner of India’s classic Golden Triangle route(which is Jaipur-Delhi-Agra).

Even without time to see more of Rajasthan, visitors can get a taste of it from above on a hot air balloon safari. Goway’s 8-day Private Golden Triangle is one of its most popular India tours, particularly for first-timers. Right now, travellers who book it will receive a free hot air balloon safari, putting the perfect cap on an unforgettable journey. This exclusive offer is limited to the first five travellers who book.

Cambodia Angkor Wat Siem Riep 161257400Every passenger on the Private Golden Triangle will enjoy 7 nights accommodation, game drives in Ranthambore (home to tigers, leopards, hyenas and many more) and private sightseeing. Naturally, the trip includes the Taj Mahal, which some might call Asia’s most impressive sight. But another splendid icon lays serious claim to the title.

Special Note: A balloon ride is another special way to enjoy the famous Pushkar Camel Fair in November.

The ruins of Angkor Wat attract around two million visitors a year and with good reason. This was once the centre of an empire that spanned Southeast Asia, including Cambodia, Laos, and much of modern Thailand. It’s impossible to walk through the stone gates of Angkor Thom, or approach fabled Angkor Wat without feeling the weight of that legacy. Typical itineraries might take travellers overland from Ho Chi Minh City or Bangkok. Goway however is offering a special glimpse of life along the Mekong River.

Over 7 nights aboard the Mekong Pandaw, passengers enjoy a private ensuite cabin with all meals, drinks and shore excursions included. They’ll explore the Mekong and Tonle Sap, the great lake at Cambodia’s centre. The cruise includes lesser known stops such as Kampong Cham and Cai Be, allowing passengers to enjoy many sights not typically seen by visitors to Cambodia. A day in Phnom Penh is also included, with the option of a somber, but deeply moving visit to the Killing Fields or the former ‘S21’ detention centre.

Vietnam MEKONG _113452033Although the cruise can be done seperately, it is also part of an immersive 14 day journey which can be taken in either direction between Ho Chi Minh City and Siem Reap (gateway to the Angkor temples). It includes two nights in both cities, allowing passengers to experience both the grandeur of ancient Indochina, and the energy of one of its bustling modern hubs. Prices start at US$3799 (ex Los Angeles) or CA$4159 (ex Vancouver) including round-trip international airfare with Korean Air.

Since 1970, Goway has been providing unforgettable travel experiences to Africa, Asia, Australia and New Zealand, idyllic island destinations and Latin America. Today Goway is recognized as one of North America’s leading travel companies for individuals, families and groups to select exotic destinations around the globe. Goway has offices in Los Angeles, Vancouver, Toronto, and Sydney (Australia).

For reservations and information, visit www.goway.com, or call your Travel Professional on 1-800-387-8850.

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The Migration in Kenya – “The Greatest Show on Earth”

 

The greatest show on earth - the Great Migration

The greatest show on earth – the Great Migration

The annual Wildebeest Migration is a natural phenomenon and if you are fortunate to be there, it’s an incredible, indelible experience. It’s a natural cycle that replenishes and renews the grasslands of East Africa. Each June, around 1.3 million Wildebeest gather in the Serengeti. They slowly mass into a huge single herd, until the dry season withers their supply of fresh grass. The scent of rain to the North begins to draw the herd throughout July, and soon the planet’s greatest animal migration is underway.

Kenya has many remarkable attractions, but the migration ensures that the Masai Mara is Kenya’s most popular. What’s key to note though is that the Mara still has abundant game even when there is no migration. Moira Smith, General Manager of Goway Travel’s AFRICAExperts summed up the appeal of the Masai Mara as follows: “This is the total sensory experience holiday. Your senses are constantly stimulated by the sights, smells and sounds of the Mara and its many inhabitants. The thrill of leaving camp at dawn, in search of big cats is an experience that is difficult to repeat.” Great Migration Tanzania Kenya Masai Mara Serengeti East Africa zebra herd 37942108There is no better time to visit the Mara than during the Great Migration. The sound of the approaching herd is a deep, primal rumbling of thundering hooves and low grunts. The sight of the wildebeest is staggering- a continuous charging mass that stretches from one horizon to the other and is mottled with black and white as zebras join the throng. Over the course of the migration, visitors to Kenya have the opportunity to follow the progress of the herds and experience the full grassland cycle firsthand. Africa’s largest concentrations of predators are drawn to this perfect opportunity for easy hunting. Lions are frequently seen attacking the herds – especially at night- dragging down straggling individuals. At the same time, packs of Hyena freely weave throughout the herds, singling out and separating the young and the weak. Predators are not the only obstacles that the wildebeest face. Kenya’s heavy rainfall in the highland Mau escarpment has turns the Mara River into a raging torrent. As happens each year, the herds gather at the banks in preparation for the most perilous stretch of their journey. As sheer pressure builds, the herds are finally forced to surge into the river, often hurling themselves off high banks. In the struggle across the Mara River, many are drowned or swept away by strong currents. The crossing attracts massive crocodiles who each year awaits this season of bounty.

The dreaded crocodile's future is also tied to the migration

The dreaded crocodile’s future is also tied to the migration

By September the herds will begin reaching their goal, and spreading out to graze across the expanse of the Mara. For this beautiful game reserve, it is a time of renewal, as the dung from the visiting herds fertilizes the plains. October will see the herds turn southward and repeat the same journey back to the Serengeti, where the renewed grasslands await. The Migration is the planet’s last great epic of life and death. Of all the calves born in the Serengeti, two out of three will never return from their first and most demanding migration.

The great migration in the Masai Mara

The great migration in the Masai Mara

It is this inextricable binding of renewal and sustenance, feast and famine, life and death that makes this event one of nature’s greatest wonders.

The migration can be experienced on early morning game drives in customized vehicles, walking safaris with Masai Warrior guides, horseback safaris in areas surrounding the Mara, or even from hot air Balloon safaris over the herds. Our experts will guide you as to the best accommodations and location as related to your client’s preference and budget.

Kenya logoFor other trips to Kenya see the following:

Africa Sunset Kenya_136205552

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New Australian Rail Journey Takes the Scenic Route to Sydney

Spirit of Queensland EXTERN-90dpi

Two highlights of any Australia vacation come together in Goway’s new and unique Island Tracks trip. Passengers climb aboard the all new Spirit of Queensland rail service in Cairns for their journey to Fraser Island. Weaving through coastal hinterland, the trip includes a stop at the Whitsunday Islands, southern gateway to the Great Barrier Reef. A short flight later, three nights in cosmopolitan Sydney completes the adventure.

The Spirit of Queensland first launched in October of 2013, supplementing the existing Tilt Train service. The refurbished trains run at speeds of up to 160km/hr. The service runs twice a week in each direction between Queensland’s capital city, Brisbane, and tropical Cairns as mentioned above. Many of the state’s best sights are within reach along the way, including Fraser Island, Atherton Tableland and the Whitsunday Islands.

Included in this new Goway trip are three days on luxurious Hamilton Island, one of Queensland’s favourite getaways, where guests can enjoy azure waters, brilliant white beaches, and fascinating wildlife. A wide range of Great Barrier Reef tours are also at their fingertips.

Passengers continue on to Fraser Island, known to the Aboriginal people as K’Gari, meaning paradise. A guided safari takes them to see the shipwrecks, fauna-rich forest areas and coloured sands that have made Fraser Island famous.

Spirit of Queensland INTER bed converted

Queensland Rails brand new Railbeds

On board the train, passengers can enjoy either premium economy seating or one of Queensland Rail’s new Railbeds. Premium economy features personal entertainment, a 30 degree seat recline and generous baggage allowance. A Railbed seat takes the journey to the next level with in-seat service of all main meals, plus bed linen and a personal amenity pack.

Passengers disembark in Harvey Bay for their flight to Sydney, Australia’s most iconic city. An included ferry ticket gives them the best views of the Sydney Harbour Bridge and Sydney Opera House, while a guided tour of The Rocks offers a glimpse of Australia’s colonial past. An afternoon Sydney tour takes in the city’s more modern sights, including the Botanical Gardens and famous Bondi Beach.

Island Tracks departs each Wednesday from Cairns. It includes 9 nights accommodation, travel aboard the Spirit of Queensland, 4WD guided safari on Fraser Island, Sydney Rocks Walking Tour, Sydney City Tour, Sydney Harbour Cruise and Taronga Zoo entry, transfers and some meals. Prices start at US$2203/CA$2250 per person.

Since 1970, Goway has been providing unforgettable travel experiences to Africa, Asia, Australia and New Zealand, idyllic island destinations and Latin America. Today Goway is recognized as one of North America’s leading travel companies for individuals, families and groups to select exotic destinations around the globe. Goway has offices in Los Angeles, Vancouver, Toronto, and Sydney (Australia).

For reservations and information, visit www.goway.com, or call your Travel Professional on 1-800-387-8850.

Useful Links:

General Information on Australia

Posted in Australia & the South Pacific | Leave a comment

The Islands of Tahiti are Happy! Pharrel Williams ‘Happy’ song is catching on in French Polynesia

A Tahitian sunset

A Tahitian sunset

Just for a bit of fun, Tahiti Tourism recently posted a great video of their own version of Pharrell Williams’ hit “Happy” to showcase the Islands of Tahiti’s beauty and people.  Williams’ hit song has gone viral with different countries adapting it to showcase what makes their country so “happy”!

As in the original clip filmed in Los Angeles, the videos use a lip dub concept. A lip dub is a type of video that combines lip synching and audio dubbing to create a music video. It involves filming individuals or a group of people lip synching while listening to a song or any recorded audio then dubbing over it in post editing with the original audio of the song.

From Paris, Tokyo and Sao Paulo, the concept has become a worldwide phenomenon and GIE Tahiti Tourism embraced the “happy” concept to show what makes the islands and people of Tahiti so special.

Behind the camera were two local producers, who used the beautiful islands of Tahiti, Moorea and Taha’a in GIE Tahiti Tourism’s version of “Happy.”

Watch the video here:   

MORE INFORMATION:  

Tahitian Travel Ideas

Posted in Idyllic Islands | 1 Comment

Recipe: Fijian Fish Lolo

Fiji Fish RecipeFijian cuisine relies heavily on seafood, pork and chicken and root vegetables often cooked in “lolo” (coconut milk).  We hope you enjoy this recipe for Fijian style fish cooked in a delicious coconut cream sauce.   Our recipe below mentions serving with Cassava or Taro (root vegetables very common in Fiji) but is equally delicious served over steamed rice.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 lb halibut or 1/2 lb cod
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil or 1 tablespoon
  • Olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 fresh serrano chili, chopped (optional)
  • 1 (400 ml) can coconut milk
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon fresh basil, coriander
  • Cassava taro root (dalo) or rice

Directions:

For cassava:

Peel the skin and cut into 1 inch thick slices.  Boil in salted water until you can pierce with a fork, it should not be firm, but careful to not turn it into mush. Drain water and steam on low heat for 5 to 7 minutes. Meanwhile, start cooking your rice.

For main dish:

  • Heat oil in a large fry pan, adding chopped onion, garlic and chili. Sautee until onions are translucent, do not brown.
  • Season fish with salt and pepper, add fish to pan, stir for a few minutes.
  • Add coconut milk, bring to boil then turn the heat low and simmer for 10 minutes.
  • Add salt and pepper to taste, top with your choice of herb (basil, coriander etc.).
  • Serve with Cassava, taro root or over rice

This recipe serves 4 hungry Fijians.

You may also be interested in:

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Find your Southern Beach Escape

It’s easy to take a beach vacation for granted, particularly if it becomes an annual winter escape. You may even live somewhere like California, with great local beaches at your fingertips year round.

So when we go globetrotting in search of sun and sand to escape winter, it’s worth adding a little extra luxury to make the trip truly unforgettable. Let’s be honest – nobody comes to Tahiti, Fiji or Bali for a couple weeks to skimp on luxury!

With that in mind, we’ve created three outstanding getaways to Idyllic Island beach destinations. Each boasts its own unique culture, appeal, and plenty to do in between sunning yourself on gorgeous white sands.

Islands Tahiti Moorea Snorkel_95926132FOR ROMANTICS – Tahiti, Moorea and Bora Bora

Unabashedly the glamour girl of the South Pacific, Tahiti’s name has become shorthand for paradise. Still, it’s just one of the islands that make up French Polynesia – and it isn’t even the most beautiful (though it’s still pretty great!).

The remnant of an extinct volcano surrounded by a jaw-dropping blue lagoon, Bora Bora is undeniably the resident postcard model. The water temperature here never strays far from the mid 80’s, so snorkeling, swimming and diving on the coral reef protecting the atoll are all potential highlights of your stay. Many visitors however swear by Moorea, which offers perhaps the most authentic Polynesian experience and is a popular honeymoon spot. Tahiti meanwhile is the best place to catch a glimpse of not just modern day French Polynesia, but its rich history, from European settlement to World War Two, to the island’s pivotal role in the infamous Bounty mutiny.

This 12 day air-inclusive escape in French Polynesia lets you sample each of the three islands and make up your own mind. No matter which is your favourite, you’ll come away understanding why this is the Pacific’s most romantic getaway.

Islands Fiji Hibiscus Flower Beach_130827332FOR ADVENTURERS – Fiji Luxury Heli Combo

The Fijians lay solid claim to being the friendliest people on earth. Between the main island of Vitu Levu and the more luxurious Mamanuca Islands, Fiji is also the adventurer’s choice when visiting the South Pacific.

The Coral Coast is Vitu Levu’s most rewarding region for visitors, protected by a coral reef that offers stunning diving and snorkeling. A river safari up to a local village is an unforgettable excursion from Sigatoka. You’ll enjoy a great introduction to local culture before an adrenaline pumping speedboat ride takes you back to town.

The Mamanuca Islands move at a different pace, where crystal blue waters offer snorkeling unmatched anywhere else on the islands. It’s a very different experience and culture to Tahiti, but Castaway Island will still put a luxurious and romantic cap on your Fiji stay.

Goway’s Fiji Luxury Heli Combo combines both the Coral Coast and Castaway Island over 9 days, starting at Outrigger on the Lagoon, a spectacular resort on the Coral Coast. Guests are then transferred to Castaway Island via helicopter – just one of the unforgettable adventures to be had in Fiji.

Asia Beach Bali_52056106FOR LUXURY ON A DIME – Bali Beach Escape

There’s nowhere like Southeast Asia to enjoy complete sensory indulgence and nowhere quite like Bali to do it in luxury at an affordable price.

Bali is a uniquely Buddhist island within mostly Islamic Indonesia. A devotion to spirituality and serenity permeates every aspect of local life. That approach is very evident in Nusa Dua, a peaceful, upscale alternative to backpacker-filled Kuta. The resorts here will immerse you in luxury (a 70 minute massage is included in Goway’s Bali Beach Escape) and are ideal for a round of golf (for which the area is famous).

You’ll have plenty of opportunity to experience local culture however! Besides your massage, the Bali Beach Escape includes 3 day tours to take you beyond the tourist trail. We recommend a visit to Geger Beach as well, though any of the beaches in Nusa Dua will quickly put your cares a world away. One attraction many tourists miss (that they shouldn’t!) is the Pasifika Museum, devoted to Southeast Asian and South Pacific art. See how Bali’s beauty has inspired countless artists, then get out there and let it do the same for you.

Useful Links:

 

 

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