Okanagan Wine Tours
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Spring is in the Air

For the past three years the Scenic Sipping Wineries in Lake Country have kicked off the Spring Wine Festival with a great event they call “A Taste of Lake Country” It is a full day event and each of the wineries provides scrumptious little bites that are paired with Wine – So six wineries and 6 different little appys to give you ideas for what you can pair with this summer to maximise your entertaining experience. It really is a great day.
MJO Tours – also provides a delightful picnic lunch – that we provide with a glass of wine – it is a busy day and we have found that people just need some time to sit back – relax and eat some real food before venturing out into the last 2 stops. So all in all it is a great day that we have had people tell us that they would do again and again – so think about joining us. http://www.mjotours.com/tours/showtour.php?TourID=113&V=Overview

A wonderful Spring Festival Day in Lake Country

A wonderful Spring Festival Day in Lake Country

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BC Ski Safari – with Heather Robilliard 2015

During the winter months of November – February the wine touring season is a little slow – and as a result we provide some transportation services for people who want to get to Silver Star Mountain from the airport, or who simply want to see more of our BC interior ski hills. This year Mojo Tours was very lucky to have been contracted by Heather Robilliard to provide transportation for her BC Ski Safari.

We left on Sunday Feb 8, 2015 and drove to Rossland and Red Mountain. The Town of Rossland is a delightful historical town, built on the hillside close to the mines that were its lifeblood for so many years – but now a great little resort town with wonderful outdoor activities to attract outdoor enthusiasts from around the world. Our clients were all from Australia and some had been before. They were back for the world class skiing and powder that the area offers. This year wasn’t a great snow year but everyone still enjoyed the experience of the mountain and I have to say that the food was fantastic.

Next we traveled to Nelson , taking a bit of a side trip to Ainsworth Hotsprings, which I have very fond memories of from my one year at the University of Notre Dame in Nelson in the 70’s. The caves are still there although the hot-springs are considerably nicer than they were back then. Snow continued to elude us but we did have great sunny skies and great food. Personally, I was very excited to eat at “Fresh Tracks” at Whitewater – I have all the cookbooks – love them and use them continually – they are a great source of inspiration.

Nelson itself doesn’t disappoint. They have done a marvelous job of preserving all their old buildings and homes – little unique businesses have thrived in tiny little out of the way alleys – because they have created a sense of a adventure or at least an expectation that you would be wise to walk the alleys and try to discover all that Nelson can offer -That is how I found the best little French Canadian bakery – where I got the very best cookies for the bus trip to Revelstroke – I could have spend more time in Nelson – just love the sense that I haven’t discovered it all.

So our final leg was to Revelstroke – simply a stunning drive down the Slocan Valley with the Arrowlakes framed by the Valhalla Mountain Range -it doesn’t get much more beautiful than that – it as an easy drive day and the Galena Ferry does give it a unique twist that is BC. Skiing here is Spring Skiing at its best – it does seem a little early for all this sun but it make the area – really pretty with the stunning Columbia Mountain Range framing the town and the ski area.

I am here all week so I am looking forward to reacquainting myself with this historic railroad town.
Ainsworth Hot Springs

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Central Kootenay D-20150212-00125 hot springs


Temples in Siem Reap, the wonders of Angor, December 5

This was our second trip to Angor Wat and the wonderful temples that surrounded Siem Reap. We are back on this trip primarily because I was so intrigued by the temples in the Jungle and the wonderful story of their rediscovery by a Frenchman in the 17th century.

The Royal Baths

One of the most ancient temples has a great example of the incredible stone workmanship that is exemplified throughout the temples

First Day at the Angor Wat Temples

Today we decided to go to the Temples alone with only our guide books. We rented a Tuk Tuk and were off. I do love this area – the large park like setting and these ancient temples standing testament to a thriving civilization long ago. What skill they had!!

getting gas from a “reused plastic pop bottle” perhaps great recycling but you have to wonder about the pollution emissions

Christmas Wine Tour

So we had a group yesterday , who had come from all over the province to experience our wonder winter wine tours. All the wineries are beautifully decorated putting people in the mood and we even played Christmas Carols in the bus. I had cheese and some of my homemade rainforest crisps(they were a hit) on the bus,I am thinking about producing them for all the wine tours next summer. The pace at this time of year is so great – people are casual and have lots of time to chat – it really is a completely different experience from the summer season that is just geared up to the max. The rumour yesterday was that Gray Monk, George and Trudy had completed the sale of their property. I know that they were looking to sell but I don’t know if it has gone firm or not. What a change that will be – they were really icons in the industry and have helped fight every inch of the way to get our laws changed and get the Okanagan Wine Industry recognized. I can’t blame them for wanting a little down time but it really will be new era without them. I wish them all the best though – they have been great to us and great for this region – MJIMG-20141204-00101




Winter Wine Tours are Fun

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While it may seem that winter is not an ideal time to go on a wine tour – it is actually a wonderful season for touring. The wineries are quiet and staff have alot more time to spend with you to explain the process and even the different wines and tastes that you may be experiencing – so don’t forget winter – it really it a special season at the wineries.

The Temples

So here we are back in Siem Reap and the wonderful Angor Wat. This is our second visit here and I still find it mystical and intriguing.

Water the source of life is honoured here

Nature always wins… but this is a wonderful illustration of that fact

the King and God’s face smiling at you from every angle

the ability to carve this detail in stone is astonishing to me

I can’t help but wonder at how marvelous it must have been

Floating Village

Travel is all about discovering other peoples and different ways of live. This floating village just outside of Siem Reap on the Tonle Sap lake was and is fascinating for me. Beautiful, delightful and really a hard life just the same

look at her beautiful clean school uniform

looks little tricky for me but the children seem oblivious

day is done

imagine trying to bathe like this everyday

A Travel Day – on to Cambodia

After much searching, we found the place where we pick up a van to go to the Thai border – we had to pay extra for our packs because they took up 2 seats and every seat was full!!!

Then, we were off- and the driver went hell- bent- for- leather to the border!! – weaving through the traffic. On my side of the Van, the window had been broken and a piece of plastic cardboard placed on top of the broken glass,  so I couldn’t see out the window, which I suppose was just as well- the little I did see was frightening!!!

The good part was that it really didn’t take him long to get to the border. Then on thru the Thai Border – they require an exit permit.Walk the bridge of “no man’s land” and then through the Cambodian border – it was so hot I thought I would die. At the Cambodia Border they even took our finger prints.

on the other side we found a car and driver and we were off again. I can’t tell you how happy I was to see our hotel and have a little dip in the pool -it really is  just a little piece of paradise.

this is a wild border crossing

We clearly did not have the biggest load

The Grand Palace In Bangkok

I love the think of the film ” the King and I” about the King of Siam when I visit the royal palace, the wealth  of the culture in that era is awe inspiring – this time when we visited there were more people than we were expecting I think December is just a busier month overall here in Asia

Entering the Grand Palace with all the opulence of that era

just a little gold leaf to make it shine

this Buddha made of Jade was fought over by Kings of both Thailand and Laos