Food, Beautiful Food


Where to begin?  For all who have been on a cruise, you know about the beautiful feasting!  Holland America amazes us, and of course I’ll share a few photos from the ship.  But mostly, I want to share something we truly, truly love about traveling… and that’s the fabulous food markets.

To get to South America, we headed through the Panama Canal.  Naturally, we were served Panama Buns that morning.  Beautiful and delicious… and the canal was fascinating!


In this beautiful open air market, the man was determined to give us a mango which he peeled and sliced for us.   It was the same variety as the amazing tree in our front yard on Guam… carabao mangos.  Oh, marvelous!  Hadn’t savored that flavor in years.  He wouldn’t let us pay, so Gary forced a tip upon him.  (Manta, Ecuador.)


And just down the road, right beside the massive boat building “factory” right on the beach, a beautiful fish market.


These beautiful roadside stands were everywhere!  Finally I told our driver that I wanted a photo, so he whipped a U-turn and took us to this one.  We asked if we could take photos, and the woman was so kind.  We purchased a bowlful and stood there eating with our new friend Alex.

We’re in a town called Jaramillo, right by Manta.  It’s a fishing town with a good economy.  This day was a favorite.  Alex had us figured out, and took us to see so many unique and wonderful things.


Meanwhile, back on the ship.  We call cruising “superficial travel”.  You get a little of the culture, then you step back into a fantasy world.  I suppose that’s called the best of both worlds.


If you step into a fruit and vegetable market while you’re out on the streets, you’re instantly transported.  There is no pressure to buy anything, and the scent is divine.


I’m always fascinated with the packaging.  These markets take up whole blocks, and we can meander in them for hours.  Always friendly vendors happy to see our enthusiasm for their wares.


Is this the most beautiful cheese!  This is Mollendo, Peru.  Perhaps my favorite market of all.  No… no way to choose a favorite.


When we’re taking photos, we sometimes wonder if the vendors wonder why we’re so fascinated.  Do they have any idea what our sanitized stores look like with everything wrapped up in perfect little foam trays?


Still in the same market.  The hustle and bustle is so much fun.  We try not to get in the way, but always have fun chatting in our limited Spanish with the vendors who want to talk with us.


When we bought our drinks, the woman was very curious about us.  She was so surprised we were from the United States and asked, “And you’re on vacation HERE?”  Keep in mind, I’m having the conversation in Spanish, and I speak it like a three year old.  I tell her we are on the crucero.  She gets a very vague look on her face.  Our ship was docked far away, and we’d come to this small town in a bus.   Cruise ships don’t typically dock in Matarani and bus people over to Mollendo!  So I tell her we are on the barco grande. Again, she smiles at me as if she has no idea how and why we are at her fruit stand buying something to drink.  These are the moments I treasure!



Shall I make your head spin?  Because that’s just what it’s like!  You step out of one world and back into another.  These are the two young men from Indonesia who served our elegant dinner every night.  Here they are serving afternoon tea.  Meanwhile, the beautiful music of a stringed quartet is playing 10 feet from me.  Every afternoon at 3:00 should you choose.  And these are the moments I treasure!


Even in the most humble corridor of food stands, the food is always so beautifully displayed.  Makes me want to withdraw from fast food… although I know it’s sometimes a necessity in the busyness of life.  There’s the rub… being busy.


We’re in the fish market in Antofagasta, Chile.  Everything about Antofagasta enchanted us!  And this market was incredible entertainment!  Packed with people on this Saturday, vendors calling out in sing-song voices to sell their ceviche and empanadas.  The ever present music.  Outside a man was cleaning fish and tossing the scraps to huge pelicans and sea lions in the water below.


Same market in Antofagasta.  Another day that goes down in our own little history books as a favorite.


In keeping with the seafood theme… this is one of the last days on the ship.  The voyage was continuing on through Brazil and the Amazon, all the way back to Florida.  A handful of us were getting off in Buenos Aires.  We were on a cruise with mostly retired people, and we think we were the only ones getting off to go back to work!  Anyway, those of us having to say goodbye to the journey were treated to very special luncheons and parties on the final week.  Gary loves his seafood, so this was a favorite for him… in the lovely dining room with a spectacular window seat.


And I close with this one… having a warm-up coffee break in Antarctica.  We’d stay outside until we were freezing, then back inside to warm up, then repeat.  Antarctica was the “goal” of this vacation, and we were amazed the whole time we were there.  To actually be there… it still seems unfathomable to me!  To be sure… I’ll be adding a post dedicated to those three out-of-this-world days.


10 Responses to “Food, Beautiful Food”

  1. Carlee says:

    This is probably my favorite blog of yours ever! I felt like i was there….and now I am determined to visit some of these places one day! Love it!

  2. Sandy says:

    Thanks Carlee! I know how you love to make food special and beautiful. Yes! You’d love these places too!

  3. KIm Mann says:

    What gorgeous photographs! I can almost taste the food!

  4. Marcea Clive says:

    Too much to take in…….Fabulous.
    No comment……LOL

  5. Betty Williamson says:

    Wonderful post! I completely agree about food markets. If you want to learn about a country, that is a great place to start. Terrific pictures, and great contrast between shore life and ship life. Thanks for sharing.

  6. Sharon says:

    My very favorite thing about traveling another country, fresh food venders and I love grocery stores, I have dozens of photos of shelves of interesting objects.! Thanks for sharing

  7. Lawanda Calton says:

    Very Beautiful!! Thanks for sharing this grand trip!

  8. KIm Mann says:

    These may be my favorite photo’s.. I keep coming back here to look at them again!!!

  9. Sandy says:

    Thanks everyone! Yes… I look at them over and over again too. The cheese! And those beautiful jars filled with the pickled fruit. They were everywhere in that little village and I was so happy to stop for a little while to savor everything about that place!! But then… who could resist steak and lobster as well??

    We also had a fabulous time looking at all the British baking powder and flour in the Falkland Islands!

  10. Evelyn Altinger says:

    Hello Sandy,
    Thanks for your wonderful food blog….I loved it. I felt like I did the cruise with y’all enjoying all the local foods. It really looks so much more interesting than a sterile food market. I would love to go on such a cruise especially down in South America where I have never traveled before. It looks like cruising is the way to do it. Thanks!

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