Items to buy in England: Curiosity Cola and Tea

I am not an alcohol drinker but from what I heard from most alcohol drinkers is that they are not big fans of British Ale or room temperature alcoholic beverages that they are more used to drinking cold. I already asked a few friends if they wanted any British Ale and they quickly turned it down for being too disgusting or too warm. So from that information alone, I already knew that I wasn’t going to buy any booze from the UK at all. But there was one drink, a soda, that I really liked after drinking it and it is Curiosity Cola! Supposedly, this cola is made with no artificial ingredients and it does have a cleaner taste compared to regular sodas but I do like it! It’s something to look forward to in the UK, if it’s being sold there.

british natural cola

They have a clean taste to these colas that I like. Best with meats like hamburgers, steaks, or ribs.

Everyone knows that tea is huge in the UK. It doesn’t matter if it’s in England, Scotland, or Ireland – they have their particular blend of tea, especially in the black tea (breakfast tea) department. But in the UK, tea is almost a necessity to the local populace especially during breakfast and break times (hence, where the term tea time came from). “Hey, we’re in a war… tea time!” “Everyone shut down! Hey, we’re in a jam trying to meet deadlines… tea time!” “Everyone shut down!” Something like that but you know what? It’s all about quality, not quantity and the UK has one of the stronger economies out there so they must be doing something right with tea. With the exception of what happened in Boston and the Tea Party that they had there. Just note that there are different brands of tea so I can’t figure out what’s the best one.

UK british tea black breakfast tea time famous

Each region has its own tea that they like and of course, everyone has their own favorite brand out of the hundreds or thousands out there. But there are plenty to choose from, to brew, and drink.

Tip: You can buy these Curiosity Colas and British Tea in the stores at Heathrow Airport, particularly if you are on the way traveling out of the country. The smaller airports such as Stansted and London City don’t have them so pick your flights wisely!

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Back in England, Fishing day #2: Trying for even bigger fish in a different spot

The trout were sure a bit more active in the biting department during this time period which was a nice boost to the fisherman ego. It was a turnaround from what it was two months ago when it was just cast after cast after cast and just getting a few bites and 2 lands. Due to the cold weather spells in England and in general for all of Europe (mostly), the fishing targeting had to be aimed at other locations in order to get more willing biters. That’s the great thing about fishing due to the constraints fishermen are given – if the fish are not biting then different tactics should be utilized in order to get fish to respond. It almost reminded me of the time that I went piranha fishing in Peru – had to use a different rod, line, and method of fishing to hook those fish up. Once I was able to get the fishing motion down, I started catching those red-belly piranhas over and over again with no problems. Just needed to get over the learning curve hump.

Compared to the previous day’s fishing success (and over the past year), I had the thirst for some massive big trout since I’ve caught quite a bit of them in the 1-3 pound category mostly. I’ve caught a few big ‘uns here and there in the past with double-digit fish such as the Lingcod in California, Yellowfin Tuna and Dorado (and probably Pargo) in Mexico but gosh, I need to break some weight scales somewhere for the trout. And I wanted to do in somewhere in Europe if possible. Well, I got my wish as the fishing gods listened to my pleas but I better be damn ready for it because the gods weren’t going to give me a second chance, period.

fishing with fly line rod hook la pesca con la mosca en Inglaterra

Another day, another chance for a big fish.

So instead of going to the usual places that I know there are fish (but likely to be smaller), a new destination was required. By going to this unknown area, there’s always that fascination and new expectations, kind of like getting a brand new toy that’s never been seen or played with. At first, it was the “ahhs” and “oohs” and then they quickly turn into, “What the hell is going on? I cast that perfectly!” I admit that I was going through the same emotions and after about 15-20 casts, I got a big hookup! It was a rainbow trout and it was a brute. Compared to the smaller trout that I’ve caught taking me at most a minute or two, this was a monster, a double-digit trout, requiring several minutes of going back and forth – I would see the fish up-close and then it would take off. I see it up-close and it was gone again.

After getting tired out, I was finally able to land the fat slobber of a rainbow trout which after weighing it, showed its true colors of being a 12 pounder (almost 5.5 kg)! This was my first 10+ pound trout in a long time so it was quite unreal to get such a big fish. I think the last time was either the Steelhead or the Brown Trout, both caught via fly fishing in New York. The closest trout to that weight range had to be a brown trout around 6 pounds that I caught a few months earlier in England.

12 pound 5.5 kg trout trucha arco iris uk england reservoir trout hatchery fishery

Finally! A trout in excess of 10 pounds! It took awhile so it felt great to finally land one after several years of not getting one. Just look at how big that fish is in my hands compared to the smaller ones that I’ve had in recent past!

pellet pig eating trout cast and catch fish trout fatty gordo pez

You can easily see that it’s a big fish just by looking at its gut. It has a beer belly for crying out loud! Or more like eating too much fast food and not enough swimming around.

The fishing gods listened to me! Unfortunately, that was the only time that the gods listened. But that’s okay. Beggars cannot be choosers and they listened to me once so I cannot waste the good opportunity or relishing such a biggun’ fish!

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Back in England, Fishing day #1: It’s open season on hungry rainbow trout

After having a great first start by fishing New Year’s Day for rainbow trout and then later fishing out in the Baltic Sea via Rostock, Germany, I’ve come for more fishing in England! Despite the limited success in Germany fishing for sea-run brown trout, it was time to go after something more freshwater since I think the ocean fishing can be hit or miss during the winter time. I really think that the season for trout was going to be a good one considering that in England, some of the bodies of water have a closed season on some of the fish species out there.

cloudy windy day for fishing rainbow trout england fly fishing

There’s me casting off the bank into a large pond filled with fish and more water. I was hoping that a big fish would take my fly/hook.

So when the fishing seasons are usually back open in February, a lot of the fish have probably not been eating that much during the winter when there is a lack of bugs and the fingerling fish becoming smarter in escaping all those the predator fish from being fed on. In addition to those factors, some bodies of water also begin to stock more fish which further decreases the dwindling food supply for all the fish and increase the overall competition. Combine that with a closed fishing season where people are not taking fish out (to decrease the demand) and the fish have not seen a fly or hooked bait in awhile, the fishing becomes easier than just a catching a few rainbow trout like I did on New Year’s Day will make almost anyone feel like being a fishing god. Well, maybe. Being there at the right time, right place is always important because having the perfect cast but no fish around doesn’t really help at all.

hoping fisherman gloomy cloudy day UK

Fly-fishing on the bank… and hoping for a bite.

In this case, I was able to get bites and overall landed 7 rainbow trout. Not bad as the weather was a bit cold and slightly windy, but nothing super cold and extremely wet. What started off not so promising, I ended up with a far better day in the end.

netted rainbow trout fish stocked pond

It took several hours and a broken fly rod but I finally landed one! A decent 1-2 pound rainbow trout as my first fish landed for the day.

holding a rainbow trout fish fisherman on a pond lake english waters

My first rainbow trout of the day and I could finally put my name on the scoreboard.

reeling in rainbow trout with fly rod

I think this was my sixth fish out of seven for the day! Not bad for an afternoon after going 0 for 1 in the morning.

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What to buy in Malta: Maltan Beer and Wine

It’s not everyday where you can find beer or wine from Malta, a country of 350,000+ people who all live in the middle of the Mediterranean. Most people don’t even know where this island nation is at so to bring any kind of products from Malta, would be a sure-fire way to gain some new friends.

Unfortunately, I didn’t look carefully for Maltan coffee so I’m pretty sure that it does exists. On its drinking flavor, I can’t say that it would be any good since generally people told me that the coffee grown in areas where volcanic ash used to be dispersed are the best flavored coffees. Malta is not really in a volcanic area unless you count Mount Vesuvius but even then, that’s far away and quite a boat trip too. And even then, last eruption by Vesuvius likely didn’t push all that volcanic ash, rock, and debris that far south to Malta.

vino wein bottle vin malta maltese

Want some cheese with that whine? Oh wait, never mind. Just wine it up.

beer cerveza biere bier malta islands

The beer that I saw the most was this: Cisk Beer. Not sure if it’s any good or not but I’m sure beer aficionados would love this regardless of its quality. It’s just different.

 

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Malta scuba diving day 2 – Diving in Malta using a DPV!

This was an awesome day of diving as I got to ride the Harley-Davidson of the scuba diving world – using a DPV also known as a Diver Propulsion Vehicle. Instead of kicking my legs to propel myself in the water, I had an underwater motorcycle! Well, something like that. So I had this great motor that could do all the work and glide me through the water like a screaming samurai sword in the wind. I was also able to spend more time in the water because I wasn’t using much air or energy going to the bottom. Instead, the DPV was able to get to the lower depths quicker as soon as I was able to equalize my ears.

DPV pose with full gear Malta

This is my DPV… there are many like it, but this one if MINE!

underwater motorcycle scuba diving

Ready to ride the wave! Er, uhm, underwater wave that is produced by this DPV!

The view from using a DPV

The view from using a DPV.

The one bad thing about the DPV is that using them in the cold water can make you colder. Rather than using pure human motion power through the legs to warm me up, I’m pretty much staying in a rigid, upright position as I go deeper and deeper. Not to mention the rushing water can be cold as well! Still, the ability to cover more ground and water is more of a positive than negative as I cut through the water easily – left, right, up, down.

DPV to the wreck

In what would have taken 40 minutes to swim there, took a mere few minutes to the wreck. I wished I had this DPV everywhere I go diving!

empty beer bottles crate on ship wreck

I spotted this interesting thing – there was an empty crate of beer on the wreck.

DPV divers in Malta

Following the crowd of DPV divers. I like this DPV a lot!

One bad thing about the DPV is that I wished that I had this for the other places that I’ve gone scuba diving! I sure could have used it in places like Baja California, Panama, Colombia, Brazil, Egypt, Greece, etc. It sure would have saved me a lot of time, energy, and oxygen! Jeez, where was this thing when I needed it?!

The other bad thing cruising around on the DPV is that you tend to spook the wildlife and/or you miss them because you’re going too fast to actually focus your eyes on something to figure out if it’s nothing or something. It definitely helps to be more cautious, slow, and deliberate when diving. It’s a positives/negatives trade-off that divers have to weigh prior to going out with a DPV. There are places where a DPV would not be that helpful such as in Cozumel where the drifts will easily take you where you need to go without any leg power help.

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