Part 2…Le Cafe at Lantana Galu Beach…Price shocker at end of post…

The flowers that lined the walkway from the main building at Lantana Galu Beach to the outdoor path were absolutely breathtaking. What a perfect spot for a wedding!

The menu at Le Café at Lantana Galu Beach was a plethora of appetizers, meats, poultry, fish, shellfish, and side dishes suitable for the finicky of diners.

Vegetarian options were available as well as foods easily amenable to my low carb, gluten-free, starch-free, grain-free, sugar-free diet. There were more possible combinations than we’ve seen on any other menus thus far in Kenya. 

I never doubted for a moment that the chef would make an error in the preparation of my restricted meal.  The elegance and grace of the establishment bespoke a keen sensitivity to the needs of its customers.

The service, flawless. With neither of us starving, we didn’t partake in any appetizers or salad. Most certainly, next time we go to Le Café, we’ll surely experiment trying more dishes.

My dinner:  Seasoned Grilled Red Snapper with sautéed non-starchy vegetables

My plate, as shown above, was flavorful, albeit the lack of sauces and starchy side dishes. It may sound difficult, if not impossible, for a restricted diner such as myself to assess the quality of food without the usual sauces and side dishes.

In my perception, the true test of a great restaurant is in their ability to masterfully take the simplest of foods with the least amount of ingredients to ultimately turn out an epicurean delight. This was accomplished at Le Café with finesse. 

An otherwise bland snapper resulted in a flaky and flavorful entrée, enhanced with the subtle use of local spices, grilled at precisely the correct time and temperature, and presented with this perfect blend of al dente sautéed vegetables. 

Notice the lack of veggies on Tom’s plate?  He requested they be placed on a separate plate to be handed over to me.  I did the same with my potatoes, handing them over to him.

My only suggestion for my dinner was to have smaller carrot bites to avoid the necessity of cutting, as my knife couldn’t quite tackle the job. Secondly, the pea pods could have been strung more completely to avoid that awful green string, stuck in the back of one’s throat, and struggling to find a gracious manner of extracting it.

A simple tomato and cucumber garnish adds the finest little touch.  Tom gave me this also.  The only raw vegetables he’ll eat in carrots and celery.

For beverages, Tom had two local Tusker bottled beer approximately half-liter each (16.9 oz.) and I had my once a week treat of one Coke Light (sugar-free) with lots of ice and a straw, switching to water when done.  (The water at Le Café is purified as if often the case at the finer restaurants in Kenya. We suggest you ask, if unsure as to the purity of the water). 

After our walk back to the main building, once again, we were mesmerized by these gorgeous fresh flowers.

HERE’S THE SHOCKER, FOLKS!!! Our entire dinner including beverages was Kenya Shillings $2500 which translates to US $28.61 (including tax and service fee!).  We added a tip for our server for Kenya Shillings $1000, US $11.44 for a grand total of Kenya Shillings $3500, US $40.06!

The buds for the sweet-smelling flowers was intoxicating, as in a fine perfume.

With our cab fare and tip for Kenya Shillings $1500, US $17.16, our entire total for the evening at an extraordinary resort, a memorable dining experience, and service beyond all reproach, was US $57.22! 

An exterior window of one of the units was adorned with more of these flowers.

So far, of our four Diani Beach restaurant experiences over the past four weeks, Le Café at Lantana Galu Beach is vying for first place with Sails Restaurant on our list for ambiance, service, food choices, food quality, and much to our surprise, in price. We’ll be back!

Wouldn’t this make a lovely bridal bouquet?

 

Just as we began to exit the main door, this red plant caught Tom’s eye.

 

 

Part 1…Le Cafe at Lantana Galu Beach…We’ll be back…

Last night, our waiter at Le Café at Lantana Galu beach offered to take a photo of us. Gee, we’ve lost our tans.

With a solid recommendation from Hans plus numerous excellent reviews on TripAdviser.com, we decided to try Le Café at Lantana Galu Beach last night for our Saturday dinner date night.

Although only a very short distance, the drive to the property took nearly 10 minutes over the bumpiest road we’ve seen so far in Kenya; unpaved, laden with potholes, definitely not suitable for the queasy.  Heading south on the road outside our property for the first time, we were distracted by the various resorts we’d yet to visit, making the bouncy ride less annoying.

This is the entrance to the main building.  A long walk was required on a poorly lit path in order to reach the restaurant located on the beach. It proved to be well worth the walk.

The excitement of trying a new restaurant each Saturday night creates a refreshing sense of anticipation after a few days of quiet contemplation in our outdoor living room.

With us, there’s always a bit of trepidation of going out. We seldom dined out in our old life. But, this is our new life that includes making the effort to find something to wear and get ourselves out the door.

The waiting area in the lobby of the resort.  Apartments and condos are sold at this resort to later be rented and managed by the company, a similar concept we experienced at LaruBeya where we lived for over two months in Belize.

In every case, once we’re on our way, we smile at each other, thrilled that once again we’ve pushed ourselves to explore, try something new, step further outside the box. We now realize how complacent, we’d become in the past with the comfort of an established routine of staying home.  There’s no room for complacency in our lives now with so much world to see!

As we began the walk outdoors toward the beach, we turned around hoping to capture the main building behind us.
John at the front desk was friendly, welcoming us with much enthusiasm.

As the taxi driver, Chris pulled up to the resort, we were immediately struck by the massive wood security doors opening only after a security guard checked us out, confirmed our reservation and allowing us to enter.  


The long walk through the complex began through this elegant walkway lined with pillars and the most beautiful flowers.  The air was permeated with their intoxicating scent.

The awe-inspiring entrance immediately sets the tone for what we’d anticipated being a special evening. We weren’t disappointed. John, the concierge, pointed us down the flower-covered walkway directing us to follow the long path toward the ocean and the pool where we’d find the restaurant.
What’s with my outfit?  My skirt was wrinkled and misshapen. Do I really have to start ironing again?
Always smiling!  Wrinkled clothes don’t phase him, not his, not mine!
Having seen photos online, we knew if we could find the pool, we’d have reached our destination. After walking for several minutes, we’d begun to wonder if we’d gone the right way. We forged ahead to the sound of the surf which proved to be the perfect guide.
These are the apartment buildings where units are sold to owners for their own use and to rent to tourists, managed by the resort. As we continue on the walk, we passed many smaller buildings with individual condo units. Poorly lit we didn’t want to disturb occupants with our camera flash.
In the US and other countries, there are endless codes and ordinances requiring handrails, lighted walkways, and stable pathways with the intent of reducing injury and accommodating the elderly and/or disabled. 
Le Café is located by this outstanding swimming pool, creatively designed to capture the essence of the subtle Moroccan theme of tranquility and splendor.
In Kenya and many other parts of the world that we’ve visited thus far, no such codes exist or, if they do, they aren’t enforced.  Even the finest establishments are lax in providing ample lighting and stable walking areas when often a long walk is required from the road to the beach.
Notice how the server in this photo was waiting for us. Apparently, John at the front desk had called ahead alerting him to our pending arrival. 
Mindful of this situation, especially after our horrible fall when the steps collapsed beneath us in Belize, we take special precautions when walking on uneven and poorly lit grounds. 
Shortly after we arrived a small group gathered at the far right end of the bar, resulting in lively and animated banter pleasing to hear and see. But the conversation wasn’t lacking at our quiet table for two, with many staff members graciously stopping by to chat and welcome us, as we gushed over our memorable experience.
Both blind, Tom’s mother (sadly lost to us 5 years ago) and brother Jerome resulted in Tom learning to be the perfect guide over rough terrain. Also, after years of working the rough roads in train yards, he’s adept at managing the worst of conditions. Me, the “queen of trip and fall,” always in a hurry until now, paid little mind to what was under my feet.
It was easy to imagine a sunny day lounging in these chairs, dipping in the pool from time to time.
Last night, as we made our way in the dark, my champion at my side, I felt safe and secure that we’d arrive in one piece. Of course, we did, our mouths agape at what we encountered when we arrived at Le Café.
Looking at Tom, as we entered the restaurant, I said, “Even if the food is mediocre, I am happy to be here.” It was that breathtaking! The food was not mediocre!

 

This footbridge over a portion of the pool was clearly a photo op. I should toss this frumpy shapeless skirt having one less item to pack.
Seated at our table of choice closest to the pool and the beach, the guest’s comfort in this unique establishment was obviously of utmost concern. As we sunk into the exquisite padded chairs we couldn’t help but notice the soft bright white linen tablecloth and the matching napkins, appropriately placed on our laps, as a flurry of discrete activity skittered around us.
Our drink orders filled, the menus delivered at precisely the correct moment, we were greeted by name by the kindly General Manager Gillie, with whom I’d made the reservation online. What a nice touch! Chatting with her for several minutes, we felt welcomed and at home.
These were only two pages of a multiple page menu.
Our waiter, graciously served our needs, answered questions, didn’t bother us too much, somehow knew exactly how we preferred to be served. Later, the restaurant manager stopped by, offering his welcome, asking a few questions about our stay in Kenya, inviting us to return for more lavish care. We will. We absolutely will!
Tomorrow, we’ll post Part 2 (memory issues at this time restrict the number of photos posted at one time) with our menu selections (including the accommodation of my food restrictions) with photos and, the unbelievable pricing for an evening well spent along with the total cost for our evening including taxes, cab fare, and tips.

Writing comments…Please do…

 

To the right, is Hesborn’s quarters where he lives until Saturdays at noon, returning early on Monday mornings.He boards the local matatu, a rickety old van bus service in order to visit his family in Mombasa. The 2-hour drive and ferry ride to Mombasa is Kenya Shillings $400, US $4.58 round trip, often breaks down en route. Although Hesborn is gone, we continue to have security on-site around the clock, as is always the case, 7 days a week.  

When we began writing this blog in March 2012, our intent was to keep a diary of our travel experiences to share with our family members and friends.  At any time they could type in our web address: www.worldwidewaftage.com to see what we’re doing today.  Today’s post is #411. We’ve been gone for almost a year!

The locked and guarded gate to ours and Jeri and Hans’ house.

After a few weeks of posting about the process of a retired couple planning to travel the world for years to come and the endless preparations, we discovered much to our surprise, that readers were reading our posts from all over the world, now at almost 100,000 and growing rapidly.

As readership continued to grow worldwide, we added advertisers to offset the continuing costs of maintaining a website and registered Worldwide Waftage as a business, enabling us a few benefits from time to time.  Now, we’ve found we’re able to receive small discounts on occasion as “travel writers.” 

As you can see, we often write reviews for places we’ve stayed, visited, and restaurants.

It makes sense with the tremendous amount of vegetation around us, that mosquitoes are impossible. With intermittent rains, the mosquito population continually thrives.

Only a handful of readers has signed up to receive the automatic email as shown on the right side of the page. These are a few folks who’d prefer to get the most recent post in an email, rather than go to their bookmark each day. Many prefer not to receive an additional email which is entirely up to you. 

Since the most recent post doesn’t usually arrive by email until the day after posting, many prefer not to sign up to receive it. Creating a bookmark is easy, allowing the reader to look for it within a minute of my posting it. Tom and I have tested this and it’s almost instantaneous. Either way you prefer is fine with us.

These pods are fascinating.  They look like pea pods but no one seems to know if they’re edible.  To be safe, we won’t use them in a stir fry.

Never, at any time will we take away the personal nature of our postings. After all, it’s very personal to us, often sharing the most minute details of our daily lives, our thoughts, our difficulties, and our dreams for the future. 

Yesterday, our post held a special meaning for us. Two of our regular readers, both of whom have posted comments at the end of posts in the past, both posted comments yesterday. 

Each of their observations meant so much to us. If you’ll go back to the post from yesterday, September 27th, you can read their much-appreciated comments and our response at the end of the post: Click here please and scroll to the end of that post.

These were often seen in pots in the US.  Here they are almost the size of a tree.

We encourage you to comment.  If you agree or disagree with us, if you have suggestions for us, if you have warnings for us, or if you simply want to say “hi,” share a recipe, share a travel experience or for that matter, share any experience, we’d love to hear from you.

We publish and respond to every comment we receive except those of a pornographic nature, those that may offend others for any reason, or those that are promoting unrelated websites that serve no use to our readers.  This will never be a place where we’ll “hound” our readers to buy something. 

Away from our family and friends, which may prove to be for extended periods, we have few interactions each day except with one another, while living in many remote areas.  Our world is not only that which surrounds us each day, but is also, every one of YOU.

If you don’t travel or can’t think of anything to say, tell us about a new TV show or movie we should download, or the weather where you live, or if nothing else, tell us your mindless drivel as we tell you ours almost each and every day.

We’ll be back tomorrow with photos of our outing tonight.  See you soon!

Our power is out today…

If it comes back in time before we head out to dinner tonight, we’ll certainly post as planned. If not, we’ll be back tomorrow (hopefully).

This is the fifth time the power has gone out in the past few weeks, usually lasting three to five hours. We shall see what transpires today.

Hope to be back later today!

 

Part 2…The surf, the sand, walking the beach along of the Indian Ocean…Its all good…

This is where we’ll lounge in the chaises at Madafoo’s in a guarded area, overlooking the Indian Ocean each Wednesday going forward. If it rains, we’ll either wait until it stops or go the next day.

It’s Friday morning. The sun is shining. The temperature is currently 82F, 28C the humidity is about 75%. There’s a slight breeze. If we listen carefully, we can hear the singing of no less than 10 bird species, many with what have become familiar “tunes.” 

This appealing view enticed us to make Madafoo’s a regular spot to visit.

The goats in the yard are silent at the moment soon to begin their intermittent “baaing,” pleasing to our ears. A few days ago, the mom goat, jumped over the stone wall, running around the neighborhood. With the homes enclosed by the tall security gates and walls, she’d be found. Hesborn searched, finding her a few hours later. While she was gone, the baby goats cried constantly, loudly, persistently. We couldn’t help but laugh.

A nearby rooster crows throughout the day, not only in the morning. The doves don’t start their cooing until after 1:00 pm, continuing until dusk.

The swing that visitors are welcome to use.  Guards hovered in this area patrolling both the resort and the beach. 

The bottoms of our feet aren’t black anymore. The mosquitoes seldom bite me now with my scheduled application of the non-toxic lotion and BugsAway clothing at night. The giant black wasp continues to visit several times a day. But we don’t nervously move away, instead, keeping an eye on it until it flies away. It always does.

A birthday cake and the traditional song were presented by the staff at Madafoo’s to celebrate a patron’s birthday.

We’re managing our meals with limited ingredients, accepting that there will be repeats almost every week The ice cube bin is kept full by our frequent emptying and refilling of the tiny trays, one of which is ours, that freeze quickly in the miniature freezer. I’ve become used to drinking homemade ice tea and Tom has been drinking plain bottled water since the Crystal Light ran out weeks ago.

Leaving Madafoo’s for the long trek home, we took a photo of their sign where many visitors come to rent surfboards, arrange for para-sailing and other water activities.

With no TV, there’s no news running in the background keeping us aware of US and world events. With data limitations, we aren’t able to stream radio to stay informed. Instead, we read news articles online.  

Stepping onto the beach, we were ready to tackle the soft sand for the long trek back.

With Hesborn only doing laundry once a week, we manage our clothing by hand washing anything we may need. It takes two days to dry. We re-use our bath towels, hanging them to dry, finding them still damp the next day, only to use them one more time to reduce moldy wet laundry.

The cleanliness of the uncluttered beach made us feel as one would if taking the first human step onto an uninhabited island. 

 

The local fisherman, working in the sea to earn a living, catching fish they sell to the restaurants.

Next week, we’ll have been in Kenya for a full month. We’ve adapted. Finally. So we’ll carry on, enjoying each day as it comes, striving to live in the moment when not required to plan for the future. It’s all good. 

Once again we were walking on the long pathway from the sea.
This pod baffled us. Any ideas as to what this is?
Back to our entrance, we were grateful for our time away. But we were also glad to return to strip down to our bathing suits, drink more water, and relax after the long strenuous walk in the heat. Of course, I couldn’t wait to download the photos to see how they came out!

 

 

 

Part 1…The surf, the sand, walking the beach along of the Indian Ocean…

 

The sea, the clouds and the mystery of ominous clouds rolling in, left us in awe with our mouths agape.

Wherever we may travel, visiting the ocean has an appeal that leaves us breathless.  However, we’ve hesitated to take the mile long walk from our house to the ocean after we’d discovered upon arrival, that it’s much further than we’d anticipated.

As we approached the exit gate from our neighborhood, Nancy, the daytime guard greeted us both with a warm hug. At night the security is beefed up when more security risks are prevalent.

With numerous warnings about dangers for tourists walking the beaches in Kenya we’ve hesitated to explore these past three weeks.  Approximately, one third of a mile from the entrance gate to our community, is a beach access sign leading to a long rough walking path.  Off we went this morning.

Carrying only a camera, bottled water and a small amount of money, we began the long never-seeming-to-end walk toward the sea.

On the walk to the beach access, these two women were carrying what appeared to be heavy loads atop their heads, a common site in Kenya.

After no less than 15 minutes of carefully maneuvering over rocks, pots holes, tall grass and uneven ground, we suddenly felt a cooler breeze wash over us in the scorching heat while hearing the roaring sound of the sea.  It was 5 1/2 months ago that we walked the beach in Belize.

Reaching the beginning of the beach access, it was impossible to see how far we’d have to walk to reach the sea. This lonely stretch would be dangerous to travel at night, which of course, we won’t do, always taking a cab to dine at any of the restaurants along the coast.

My breath caught in my throat as my eyes beheld the beauty, pristine, uncluttered with debris, a vast landscape of pure beauty.  Thankfully, the tide was low. We’d forgotten to check online having heard that walking on the beach was impossible at high tide as the water rose to the walls protecting the various hotels, resorts and private properties.

In places, the path to the beach was filled with flowers.

Unfortunately, clouds rolled in minutes after our feet hit the sand. Neither of us concerned about being rained on, we trekked on, determined to take advantage of the time and effort it took to arrive.  We weren’t disappointed.

 Bougainvillea flourish with little water and no care.  They are everywhere including the narrow path to the beach.

Sensitive to the risks along the beach, we engaged in the friendly Swahili greeting, “jambo” with the local peddlers who approached us on several occasions. We politely declined their vigorous enticements to get us to purchase their locally crafted wares.  We have neither use nor inclination toward trinkets being added to our already heavy bags.

At points, the path felt like any walkway in any neighborhood in the US where flowers grow in abundance.

Most of the peddlers were members of the Maasi tribe, a friendly group of people, dressed in elaborate colorful garb that is appealing to the eye.  Of course, I’d have liked to take a photo of their tribal dress. But we knew that doing so would require payment, make us appear as more potential prey and give off a signal of “Hey, we’re tourists.”

The variations in color always catch our attention.

After walking on the beach for 15 minutes, we reached the area where the hotels and resorts are located with each of their own groups of guards, appropriately dressed in military-type uniforms, diligently guarding the beachfront access, protecting both inside and potential outside guests.

At long last, we reached the end of the path.  We were thrilled to have the sea in front of us once again.  We didn’t take time to take photos of each other.  Pouring sweat in the outrageous humidity and heat, neither of us were “photo ready.”

Recently, we’d read online about a restaurant and resort, Madafoo’s that has free wifi to anyone that makes a purchase at their outdoor restaurant and bar. Checking it out for future reference proved to be ideal. Welcomed heartily as we entered the guarded gates, we felt determined to make a weekly visit a part of our plans.

As we exited the path to the beach this was our first view to the right of us. Continuing on we chose to go to the left where we knew we’d find the numerous resorts and hotels.
Miles of sandy beach stretched in front of us.  The white sand was the softest sand we’d ever walked, our feet sinking in several inches with each step.  As a result, walking was laborious, especially in the heat and humidity.  This didn’t deter us.  We forged ahead.

We enthusiastically talked that starting next Wednesday and every Wednesday going forward, we could arrange for a taxi ride to Madafoo’s, carrying our laptops and plug ins in a bag in order to spend several hours dining for either breakfast or lunch, using the free Internet and partaking of their comfortable padded chaise lounges, positioned to face the sea. 

Numerous fisherman were attempting the “catch of the day” to later be sold to the resorts  and restaurants along the Diani Beach coastline.

 

It appeared that a few of the small boats were unattended with traps set.

 

Bigger than the largest dog’s footprint, we were baffled as to the origin of this massive print. Any ideas out there?

Upon inquiring, the staff explained that we are welcomed to use the chaise lounges, the plug ins and their free wifi should we dine in their restaurant at any time. For Kenya Shillings $3100, US $35.47, we can dine on any item on the menu, pay for cab fare both ways, including tax and tips. 

A young Maasi member walked in front of us on the beach, surely weighing  no more than 80-90 pounds left this huge indentations in the sand.

Increasing our outings away from our house adds greatly to the enjoyment of our remaining time in Kenya.  Thus, with dining out on Saturday nights experiencing a new restaurant each week, grocery shopping on Tuesdays mornings and now a trip to Madafoo’s each Wednesday (either morning or afternoon), we find ourselves with more planned activities to anticipate. This is good.

The first private residence we encountered on the walk along the beach.

With ample dollars factored into our budget for dining out, its unnecessary to make any changes to the overall budget. Plus, we’d budgeted US $1000 for cab rides during our three month stay which would translate into taking a cab six out of seven days a week, highly unnecessary and unlikely. 

The savings at three times a week more than pays for the cost of the food, tax and tips at Madafoo’s on all Wednesdays going forward.

As we sat at a comfortable table drinking a beverage, engaged in the pleasing views while perusing their various menus items, we were content that this place is ideal for us. Hopefully, while visiting Madafoo’s  in the future, we’ll be able to download a few of our data hogging shows, further reducing the cost of the scratch off SIM cards. 

This hut was located at The Sails Restaurant, part of the Almanara Resort where we dined almost four weeks ago, still #1 on our favorites list.

Walking back a few hours later, we stopped at the local produce stand purchasing four eggplants and a bag of carrots at a total cost of US $1.14. Sweaty but invigorated from our walk, we were both happy to return to remove our sand filled shoes, to make a fresh glass of something cold and to continue our daily power lounging in our outdoor living room.

The waves were generally this size but occasionally, we saw a surfing worthy wave.

Bathers tentatively wading out into the sea, appearing mindful of the undertow and possible jellyfish and stingrays, less common here than on the beaches of Belize.

That’s it for today folks. With more photos than we can post in one day, we’ll return tomorrow with Part 2.

Monkeying around….Taking photos….Living in abundance…

Φ

 

“Oh, please. I’m sick of tourists taking pictures of me!” He actually did look annoyed when we shot this.  To his left is another larger monkey lying on his back, stretched out.  Tom made a comment I won’t mention here. 

 A bunch of baby monkeys having fun.

Each day we’ve notice changes around us. After days of pelting rain, the trees, the flowers and the plants are thriving.  Of course, the rain brings out the creepy crawly things causing us to keep a watchful eye inside our shoes, in our stack of clothes in the closet shelves, on the floor in the hallway, in the bedrooms and the biggest target, the bathroom.
At night, we hear the enchanting bush babies rustling through the trees.  These ultra shy nocturnal creatures are seldom seen or photographed.  We borrowed this photo from this site that offers an excellent description of these beady-eyed little creatures of the night.
Yesterday morning, Tom was up before me.  Lying in bed I heard a tremendous amount of shuffling outside the bedroom door which we keep closed at all times. As it turned out, the moment he stepped outside the bedroom door, he spotted a huge black millipede, comparable to a photo we’d posted in our first week after arriving in Kenya. 
Although relatively harmless, they can leave an annoying itch if they come in contact with one’s skin. He trapped it under a small trashcan leaving it near the gate for Hesborn to collect.  Later, when Hesborn arrived, he giggled when he saw the familiar huge black “curly q” disposing of it for us.
I’d never taken a photo of the rain.  Check out the size of these raindrops!  Its no wonder that living things work their way inside to escape the rain.

My major fear of creatures in Diani Beach is that darned 46 legged poisonous centipede and the enormous  buzzing black hornet that visits us several times each day.
I’d read online (torturing myself) that the carnivorous attack of humans by this centipede causes a toxic reaction similar to a wasp, hornet or bee sting, especially so for the allergic. 
Safely under the roof of our outdoor living room, with only a slight wind, we had no trouble staying dry.  In fact, we enjoyed being outdoors during the two days of off and on rain.
As I’ve mentioned in prior posts, Tom and I are both allergic to bees. We keep our EpiPens handy for such a dreaded occasion.  Hans showed us a spot on his ribcage where he’d be bitten a few years ago, leaving an ugly permanent reddish bump, the size of a dime. He refused to go into graphic details of being attacked. However, he did reveal it happened in bed while he was sleeping. That, is our fear, rational and founded in facts, not based on an illogical state of mind. 
Actually, the only times we think about it, is upon getting in and out of bed onto the dark stone floors, during the night or in the morning. Tom never gets up during the night and now, I’ve stopped drinking liquids after 7:00 pm, no longer getting up either. That was tremendous motivation! 
Ah, but the beautiful things that surround us, the animals, the vegetation. We’ll never tire of the gifts of God and Mother Nature. In only 10 days we’ll be going on safari to finally experience the magnitude of these gifts on a much larger scale.

 

Apparently, most varieties of palm trees and plants flower and produce some type of pods within the center. Searching online I couldn’t find this specific type of palm plant in the gardens. This one is in the beginning stages of “flowering.”
This palm has “flowered” revealing its unbelievable interior.  A previously closed pod apparently, an animal tore this open to dine on its colorful interior.
These are the spikey point on the above flowering palm.  While attempting to get a good shot of the red interior, one of these points stuck my finger, leaving a droplet of blood. This tiny “sting” hurt for several hours, later to completely disappear.  Most likely, given Nature’s brilliant strategies, these  spikey points are intended to deter creatures from attempting to devour its luscious interior pod.  It appears that in this case, the spikes were not enough of a deterrent.
This papaya tree is tall, perhaps 12 feet off the ground. The tough exterior may be a deterrent for animal consumption, as is the case for the many coconut trees that surround us. Its hard enough for us humans to open a coconut, even using a machete.

Hans explained that he had several mango trees removed in order to keep the monkey population under control on the property surrounding our two houses. Often, we surmise that monkeys are partial to bananas. However, as shown below in the photo, bananas and papayas stay untouched in the yard.

Today will be a lazy day with little to tackle other than looking for a house for next year in England which has proven challenging thus far. Prices are outrageous when located close to water or a town, both of which we’d like.
Tom will spend an hour or so loading more gigabytes to the mobile hotspot. The company, Safaricom, provides a small portion of free data time from 10:00 pm until 10:00 am if used in the first two weeks of purchasing the scratch off SIM reloading cards. 
Last night we set up my laptop in the guest bedroom to download TV shows utilizing the free gigs. Its a slow process but left functioning overnight, its no big deal.
In most cases 3 one hour shows eats up 1 gig, preventing us from ever using XCOM Global’s MiFi which limits our usage to 150 megabytes a day, a puny amount for our substantial usage.
To our delight, we downloaded Season 4, Episode 1 of the UK version of Downton Abbey which won’t be available in the US until January.
Tonight, sitting on the bamboo sofa in our outdoor living room, wearing our BugsAway clothing, well coated with repellent, snacking on some of the finest nuts we’ve had so far, we’ll watch the show.  Who’s to complain?

Part 2…The journey continues…Itinerary additions…

Celebrity Solstice

Ship Rating:
The first ship to be a part of Celebrity’s Solstice class, the Celebrity Solstice features many of the personal amenities passengers have come to expect from Celebrity while carrying 2,850 passengers. Each of the ships in the Solstice class feature wireless Internet throughout, larger staterooms with flat screen televisions, spacious bathrooms, more storage space and plush European bedding. Balconies are available in 85% of the ship’s staterooms, and the Solstice-class ships include an exceptional range of guest-inspired services and amenities made possible due to the ships’ larger size. Spa-enthusiasts aboard the Celebrity Solstice can enjoy the 130 “AquaClass” veranda staterooms, with unlimited access to the Aqua Spa relaxation room and the Persian Garden, and exotic aromatherapy and steam room. AquaClass guests also receive exclusive complimentary dining in Blu, an intimate 130-seat specialty restaurant.
 Ship Statistics 
Year Built 2008
Tonnage 122,000 tons
Registry Malta
Length 1,033 feet
Beam 121 feet
Passenger Capacity 2,850
Crew Size 999
Total Inside Cabins 102
Total Outside Cabins 1,323
Cabins & Suites w/ verandas 1,177
Suites 56
Maximum Occupancy per room 5
Age Restrictions One person must be 21 or older
Dinner Seatings 2
Seating Assignments
in Main Dining Room
Assigned
Dining Hours 6:15 p.m. & 8:30 p.m.
Dining Room Dress Code Dining
Tipping Recommended? Yes
Tipping Guidelines Added to onboard account. $12.00 per person, per day in staterooms, $12.50 per person, per day for Concierge/Aqua class, $15.00 per person, per day for Suites. 15% tip included on beverage orders.
Onboard Currency US Dollar
Services & Amenities
Bars/Lounges 14
Beauty Salon/Barber Shop Yes
Casino Yes
Chapel No
Disco/Dancing Yes
Elevators Yes
Hot Tub 10
Cell Phone Service Yes
Internet Center Yes
Wireless Internet Access Yes
Note: Available in certain areas
Laundry/Dry Cleaning Yes
Library Yes
Movie Theatre Yes
Outdoor Movie Screen No
Onboard Weddings Yes
Self Serve Laundromats No
Shops Yes
Showroom Yes
Spa Yes
Video Arcade Yes
Fitness & Sports Facilities
Basketball Court Yes
Fitness Center Yes
Golf Driving Net No
Golf Simulator No
Ice Skating Rink No
Jogging Track Yes
Mini-Golf Course No
Rock Climbing Wall No
Swimming Pool 3
Tennis Court No
Water Sports Platform No
Cabin Features & Amenities
24-Hour Room Service Yes
Hair Dryer Yes
Safe Yes
Telephone Yes
Television Yes
Kids Facilities
Babysitting Yes
Children’s Playroom Yes
Kiddie Pool No
Supervised Youth Program Yes
Teen Center Yes
Special Needs & Requests
Adjoining Cabins
(private connecting doors)
Yes
Kosher Meals Yes
Single Occupancy Cabins No
Single Share Program No
Wheelchair-Accessible Cabins 30

See below the text for more details about this ship and our booked cruise on September 23, 2014, one year from now.

First, an update on the recent terrorist attacks in Kenya:

Many of our friends have contacted us inquiring as to our safety after the horrific attacks on a shopping in Nairobi. We are saddened by the loss of life and the injuries sustained by many Kenyan residents and visitors. 

We offer our heartfelt condolences to the family and friends of those lost in the devastation and extend our wishes for healing and recovery for those injured. 

As for us, rest assured, we are far from the attacks, a 7-hour car ride, a one hour flight. Although we have no TV and can’t stream news due to data restrictions, we were abreast of the situation only hours after it commenced.

When we registered our travel itinerary with the US State Department many months ago, we couldn’t help but notice numerous warnings for travelers to stay out of discos and shopping malls, often targets for these heinous attacks. We have taken these warnings seriously with no intentions of visiting either a mall or disco.

Today, when once again we went grocery shopping, the gates to the small strip mall were closed, attended by armed guards, checking bags, packages, and trunks along with opening the door and looking at the passengers in the vehicles.  Alfred, our driver, made the transition relatively seamless, speaking in Swahili to the guards as we were waved on after the inspection of the vehicle.

The Nakumatt Grocery Store had several guards at the entrance but this has been the case each time we’ve shopped. As I entered to shop, I was “wanded” to ensure I had no concealed weapons.

When Tom walked upstairs in the strip mall to the SafariCom phone store to buy more SIM card scratch cards (to add more data to Hans’ Hotspot we’re using), armed guards stood in attendance at the door, wanding, checking ID and inspecting passports.

Well aware of the risks in Kenya before we booked our plans, it’s comforting to know, now that we’re here, that the Kenyan government takes these risks seriously. But, as we see, many scenarios are difficult to fully protect based on the carnage that occurred at the upscale mall this past weekend.

Tom and I also consider our safety with the utmost of concern, avoiding unguarded restaurants and points of interest. Yes, we are across the street from the Indian Ocean and had hoped to spend time walking the beach during the day. 

However, the risks on the secluded beaches are many and we choose to stay away. We’re able to see the beach when dining in resorts located on the ocean, all of which are guarded, none of which we will walk at night. 

In the realm of the recent events, our lives of travel seem so small and insignificant. Although we all carry on in our own lives, in light of the devastation around us, the memories lingering in our hearts and minds.

Now, on to the second leg of our newly booked travels. 

Yesterday, we left at the point whereby we traveled to Boston, MA, USA by cruise ship from London on our eventual path toward Hawaii where our kids and grandchildren will visit us on our rental house in Kona for Christmas.

1. September 17, 2014 to September 23, 2014:  Fly from Boston MA, USA to Vancouver,
British Columbia Canada (one way, under $250 each!),  where we’ll
stay for 6 nights touring this enchanting city.

 

2. September 23, 2014 to October 5, 2014 – Cruise from Vancouver to Honolulu, Hawaii
3. October 5, 2014 to December 1, 2014 – Rent a condo on the beach in Honolulu where we’ll stay until December 1, 2014
4.  December 1, 2014 – Fly from Honolulu to the Big Island of Hawaii where we’ll live in our rented house with our kids and grandchildren visiting for Christmas until January 15, 2015
5. January 15, 2015 – Fly to the island of Kauai, Hawaii where will live in a lovely oceanfront condo until May 15, 2015. 
By next May, we’ll begin booking beyond the above ending date, a full year in advance.
For now, we need to find a house to rent in England for a month, hotels for both Boston and Vancouver and a condo for Hawaii.  Once completed, we’ll
be fully booked through May 15, 2015, looking forward to planning the next
leg of our world journey.  At this point, we haven’t decided where we’d like
to go as we continue to discuss the endless exciting options.
Here are the details of the 2nd cruise we booked over the weekend from
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada to Honolulu, Hawaii.  As usual, we
booked a balcony cabin on the starboard side to ensure the best views.

(Please excuse editing.  Each time we copy and paste cruse itineraries, they appear differently when pasted and are impossible to edit).

 

12 nights departing September 23, 2014 on
Celebrity’s Celebrity Solstice
Brochure Inside $2,799
Our Inside $1,324
You Save 53%
Brochure Oceanview $3,099
Our Oceanview $1,474
You Save 52%
Brochure Balcony $3,399
Our Balcony $1,699
You Save 50%
Brochure Suite $5,599
Our Suite $2,849
You Save 49%
$$$ Early booking bonus! Book now and receive a FREE US$100 per cabin onboard credit on select categories.
Promotions may not be combinable with all fares.
ITINERARY
DAY DATE PORT ARRIVE   DEPART
Tue Sep 23 Vancouver, BC, Canada 5:00pm
Wed Sep 24 At Sea
Thu Sep 25 At Sea
Fri Sep 26 At Sea
Sat Sep 27 At Sea
Sun Sep 28 At Sea
Mon Sep 29 Honolulu, Oahu, HI 1:00pm
Tue Sep 30 Honolulu, Oahu, HI 8:00pm
Wed Oct 1 Kilauea Volcano, HI (Cruising)
Wed Oct 1 Hilo, Hawaii, HI 11:00am 8:00pm
Thu Oct 2 Kona, Hawaii, HI 11:00am 8:00pm
Fri Oct 3 Lahaina, Maui, HI 8:00am
Sat Oct 4 Lahaina, Maui, HI 6:00pm
Sun Oct 5 Honolulu, Oahu, HI 7:00am

 

 

 


Charges







Cruise (includes port charges) 3,558.00
Government Taxes* 270.02
Pre-Paid Gratuities 288.00
 


 

Total Sale (US$) $ 4,116.02

 

*subject to change by the cruise line.


Payments








Paid To Type Amount
 


 

 


 

 


 

Celebrity CC 900.00
 


 

Total Payments (US$) $ 900.00
Balance Due (US$) $ 3,216.02


Final payment due July 1, 2014.

Additional expenses are incurred while cruising including Internet fees, alcoholic and other beverages (ice and hot tea and coffee are free of charge), purchases in the shops (a rare occurrence) and for the specialty restaurants which we may try from time to time.  In most cases, our bill, above and beyond the cost of the cruise itself, usually runs about $1200 for a two week cruise.  This additional expense is factored into our budget.As we book the house for a month in England and the almost two months in Honolulu, we’ll share the photos and details with you.  For now, the search continues.

Part 1, The journey continues…Itinerary additions…

Please see below for details of itinerary changes as we’ve filled in a four month gap in our planning.  Part 2 continues tomorrow.


Royal Caribbean’s Brilliance of the Seas


Ship Rating: 

This ship will satisfy vacationers with the most active of interests as well as those who just want to relax and take it easy. Sports-minded passengers will love the two uppermost decks, which feature a putting green, a rock-climbing wall, a multi-purpose sports court and the ShipShape fitness center. At the Indian-themed solarium, relax in the whirlpool or take a swim while three 16-foot stone elephants stand guard. After being pampered at the full-service spa, head to the Pacifica Theatre for a star-studded show. Enjoy a variety of meals on board the Brilliance, served in the Minstrel main dining room, Chops Grille and the open-air Windjammer Cafe. Pick up that book you’ve been meaning to read and grab a cup o’ joe at the ship’s coffeehouse and bookstore, Books, Books and Coffee. In the Colony Club, you’ll find four theme clubs in one: The Bombay Billiard Club, Jakarta Lounge, Singapore Sling’s and the Calcutta Card Club. Brilliance of the Seas
 Ship Statistics 
Year Built 2002
Last Refurbished 2008
Tonnage 90,090 tons
Registry Bahamas
Length 962 feet
Beam 106 feet
Passenger Capacity 2,501
Crew Size 859
Total Inside Cabins 237
Total Outside Cabins 813
Cabins & Suites w/ verandas 577
Suites 64
Maximum Occupancy per room 8
Age Restrictions One person must be 21 or older
Dinner Seatings 2
Seating Assignments 
in Main Dining Room
Assigned
Dining Hours 6:00 p.m. & 8:30 p.m.
Dining Room Dress Code Dining
Tipping Recommended? Yes
Tipping Guidelines Royal Caribbean will automatically add a $12.00 USD gratuity ($14.25 USD for Suite guests) to each guest’s onboard SeaPass® account on a daily basis. 15% tip included on beverage orders.
Onboard Currency US Dollar
   
Services & Amenities
Bars/Lounges 10
Beauty Salon/Barber Shop Yes
Casino Yes
Chapel Yes
Disco/Dancing Yes
Elevators Yes
Hot Tub 3
Cell Phone Service Yes
Internet Center Yes
Wireless Internet Access Yes
Note: Available in certain areas
Laundry/Dry Cleaning Yes
Library Yes
Movie Theatre Yes
Outdoor Movie Screen No
Onboard Weddings Yes
Self Serve Laundromats No
Shops Yes
Showroom Yes
Spa Yes
Video Arcade Yes
Fitness & Sports Facilities
Basketball Court Yes
Fitness Center Yes
Golf Driving Net No
Golf Simulator Yes
Ice Skating Rink No
Jogging Track Yes
Mini-Golf Course Yes
Rock Climbing Wall Yes
Swimming Pool 2
Note: 1 Heated
Tennis Court No
Water Sports Platform No
Cabin Features & Amenities
24-Hour Room Service Yes
Hair Dryer Yes
Safe Yes
Telephone Yes
Television Yes
Kids Facilities
Babysitting Yes
Children’s Playroom Yes
Kiddie Pool Yes
Supervised Youth Program Yes
Teen Center Yes
Special Needs & Requests
Adjoining Cabins
     (private connecting doors)
Yes
Kosher Meals Yes
Single Occupancy Cabins No
Single Share Program No
Wheelchair-Accessible Cabins 15

 

14 nights departing August 31, 2014 on Royal Caribbean’s Brilliance of the Seas. Older ships typically have a lower star rating when in fact we’ve often found them to be come of favorites with the old Hollywood décor and ambiance.

As you can see, the cost for cruises increases substantially when adding taxes and tips. Plus, we’ll have additional charges for Internet access, alcohol and non included beverages (of which we have few). Iced tea, coffee, and hot tea are free.

As always, we’ve booked the balcony cabin, receiving the Past-Guest Rate. Here are our actual costs including taxes and tips.


Charges

Cruise (includes port charges) 3,978.00
C&A Member Discount – 200.00
Government Taxes* 282.70
Pre-Paid Gratuities 336.00

Total Sale (US$) $ 4,396.70


*subject to change by the cruise line.

Payments

Paid To Type Amount



Royal Caribbean CC 900.00

Total Payments (US$) $ 900.00
Balance Due (US$) $ 3,496.70


Final payment due June 10, 2014.

Cheapest Inside $1,549
Past-Guest Rate $1,499

Cheapest Oceanview $1,739
Past-Guest Rate $1,639

Cheapest Balcony $1,989
Past-Guest Rate $1,889
Cheapest Suite $4,199


 ITINERARY

DAY DATE PORT ARRIVE   DEPART
Sun Aug 31 London (Harwich), England 5:00pm
Mon Sep 1 Paris (Le Havre), France 7:00am 9:00pm
Tue Sep 2 Portland, England 7:00am 4:00pm
Wed Sep 3 Cork (Cobh), Ireland 10:00am 4:30pm
Thu Sep 4 At Sea
Fri Sep 5 Klaksvik, Faroe Islands 9:00am 6:00pm
Sat Sep 6 At Sea
Sun Sep 7 Reykjavik, Iceland Noon
Mon Sep 8 Reykjavik, Iceland 5:00pm
Tue Sep 9 At Sea
Wed Sep 10 At Sea
Thu Sep 11 At Sea
Fri Sep 12 At Sea
Sat Sep 13 At Sea
Sun Sep 14 Boston, MA 6:00am

Filling in the gaps in our travels gives us an added sense of contentment and whole lot of peace of mind.  After all, isn’t that what all of us are striving to achieve in our lives whether we’re working or retired?

Some have said, “Wing it!” or “Wait until the last minute and see what deals you can get!”  Yea, try having no home, no car, no stuff other than what would fill a grocery cart and “WAIT UNTIL THE LAST MINUTE!!!” 

That might feel like being homeless with a bank account, thinking “Oh my, where am I going to stay tonight?”  For one of two nights that might work.  But, that’s not for us.

Besides, part of the fun in life is “anticipation,” the joy of plotting and planning, imagining the experience along with a sigh of relief when the event finally has begun to occur.  We love that part, too.  We love it all.

Shopping for “good deals” in advance becomes a vital element in the planning stages and later when the event is in process as we delight the good deals and time well spent.

As we’ve mentioned here in the past, we aren’t backpackers. Good for you brave souls out there who are! We don’t stay in hostels which usually works better for younger travelers.  We like creature comforts, many of which may be forfeited if waiting too long to book into the future. 

The gaps in our schedule:
Our time ending in Madeira, Portugal on August 1, 2014 to arrive in Hawaii on December 1, 2014, (where our kids will visit at Christmas), a gap of four full months.

Purposely, we’d left this time open, giving us the option to decide where we’d ultimately want to spend these four months while we’re still in Europe, hopefully ending in a transatlantic cruise as we’ll work our way back toward the US to Hawaii, a long haul.

How could we best expand our travel horizons while maneuvering our way toward Hawaii while seeing more of our amazing world in the process?  How could we make this leg of our journey meet our budgeting requirements?

We decided on one distinct fact:  We love to cruise as a means of transportation, giving us an opportunity to visit more ports of call.  Doing so, enables us to see more cities where eventually, we may chose to return for an extended visit. 

(I can’t get Mykonos, Greece or Dubrovnik, Croatia out of my mind after they were amazing ports of call.  For the reasons why, please type these city’s names, one at a time, into the “search” field on the right side of our main page and you’ll see our attraction to these cities when our posts and photos pop up).

After much discussion, along with Tom’s persistent online searches at Vacations to Go, with endless questions promptly answered by our loyal and knowledgeable rep, Joaquin, on Saturday we finally booked our 9th and 10th cruises since January 3, 2013.

As we’ll wind down our 2 1/2 month stay in the house overlooking the ocean on the island of Madeira from May 16, 2014 until August 1, 2014, here is a portion of our new plans:

  1. August 1, 2014:  Fly from Madeira Portugal to London, England (one way, under US $200 each!)
  2. August 1, 2014 to August 31, 2014: Stay in a vacation rental close to a train station away from the hustle and bustle of the city, preferably a house with character near the sea.  We’re searching for this now and will report back once we lock it in.
  3. August 31, 2014 to September 14, 2014:  Cruise on Royal Caribbean’s Brilliance of the Seas from London to Boston, MA, USA  (see cruise information at the top of this post: the route, pricing and cruise details)
  4. September 14, 2014:  Stay in a hotel in the Boston area for 3 nights close to where we have family members that we are anxious to visit, our beloved cousin Phyllis and almost 94 year old, Uncle Bernie.

Another aspect of this cruise from London to Boston is the opportunity to see Paris, although only for a day.  Most likely, we’ll participate in the ship’s planned excursion to Paris which is easier than planning this short period piece by piece.  Also, Iceland has a particular appeal for both of us. 

And of course, Cork, Ireland which has a particular appeal for my Irish guy, Tom, who prior to our meeting had traveled to Ireland on two separate occasions, once to take his beloved Mother in 1989, who passed in 2008, for an entire month to go to Rome to see the Pope and travel Ireland, prior to her going totally blind.  This fact alone was instrumental in my falling in love with him, over 22 years ago.  Any guy who’d take his Mother on a month’s vacation, was my kind of guy. Now, look at him dragging me all over the world, never to disappoint!

At the moment, the rain is pelting.  We’d hoped to walk to the vegetable stand today. As is typical here in Kenya, the rain will stop but the sun will return in a short time. Soon, we’ll be on our way.

Thanks for stopping by, once again.  Much more to follow.

Saturday night dinner party…we were the guests this time!

 

Hans built a roaring fire to which he later added a grate in order to cook a full beef tenderloin without  the use of charcoal or lighter fluid. Check out that moon smiling down on us!

The last time we were invited to dinner was for a freshly caught fish dinner while we were living in Belize last March. Our then new friends, Nancy and Roger, had been fishing the prior day, landing a giant grouper and they were excited to share it with us, sending us home with a few pounds of grouper to cook for ourselves at a later date. 

Only moments before we left for Hans’ and Jeri’s home, we were finally able to snap a photo of the female to the little yellow birds that are so shy and quick that we’ve had trouble getting a shot.  Apparently, their reticence is due to the frequent attacks by viscous black birds.  Only a few days ago, Hans showed us where a black bird had snatched baby birds out of a nest. 
We arrived at their home before the sunset to find Hans preparing the fire.

We couldn’t have had more fun that evening as was the case on many more evenings of great food, drink and conversation that we shared with them and their friend Bill during our almost three months in Belize. 

Prior to sunset these flowers in their yard caught my eye.  The combination of the pink and peach coloration is truly a gift from Mother Nature, whom we dearly appreciate.


These bright white bougainvillea are also irresistible.

Living in the remote, although lovely location of Boveglio, Tuscany, Italy gave us little opportunity to make new friends, the language barrier as an obstacle. 

The dinner table for 4 was set on the grass, well lit with candles, beyond their inviting veranda.

In the almost three weeks we’ve been living in Diani Beach, Kenya, we’ve had the opportunity to develop a great relationship with Hans and Jeri, our landlords, next door neighbors and now friends that surely will continue when we’re on our way once again. 

The table was set on the well manicured lawn.  With the balmy breeze and the fire roaring, the mosquitoes stayed away, although we were well armed wearing our BugsAway clothing.

Having had such an extraordinary time on Friday evening, dining in the moonlight at the Blue Marlin Restaurant, located on the Indian Ocean, we hardly felt deserving of another extraordinary night last night. 

Their yard was aglow not only from candles scattered about the lawn but also by landscape lighting focusing on the exquisite vegetation.

We had a perfect evening dining in Hans and Jeri’s yard which they had exquisitely staged for our arrival. The brilliant moonlight in plain view only added to the  charm of the evening. With graciously considered delicious food befitting my way of eating, Gucci and Jessie at our feet, the free flowing beverages, the roaring wood fire on which Hans cooked a full tenderloin over a custom made grate, we couldn’t have felt more appreciative.

Tom was content with his big bottles of beer while I drank my usual homemade ice tea, which I’d brought over.  Few sugar free drinks are available in Kenya prompting me to bring my own beverage.  Since leaving the US we’ve noticed that ice is seldom used in drinks and when dining out a request must be made to get ice in any drink.

Exhausted from a night of poor sleep the prior night, I easily forgot my lethargic state and got into the festivities. They couldn’t have been better hosts. We couldn’t have enjoyed ourselves more.  Thank you Hans and Jeri for a memorable evening.

We our safari clothing, BugsAway pants and shirts to keep the mosquitoes at away. Plus, I’d previously lathered up with repellent on my arms and ankles. Sure, I’d rather have worn a “cute” outfit (of which I have only a few) but preventing bites has become more important than fashion. 

Jeri was the perfect hostess, stress free, at ease with serving her guests. The smoke from the fire is wafting through the air.  The wind kept changing often pushing a huge puff of smoke our way.

We’ve yet to be inflicted with a single mosquito bite beneath our short sleeve shirts and long pants. Oh, I wish I’d known about this clothing while living in the mosquito capital of the planet, Minnesota. 

This morning I washed my shirt again by hand hanging in our outdoor living room to dry, hoping it will be ready by 5:00 pm, when we “dress” for the evening, literally every night.  With it raining all day today and the usual high humidity, it often takes days for a single item of clothing to dry.

Hans breezed through the cooking of the tenderloin mindful of ensuring the meat was cooked to the liking of his guests. Mine was perfect, rare with a warm center.  Tom’s was medium rare, as he likes it.

Spending from 8:00 am to 11:00 pm in our outdoor living room each day and evening, we’ve resigned ourselves to the necessity of wearing these same clothes night after night. During the day, we can wear other clothing provided I am covered with the non-toxic repellent. 

Tom rarely is bit during daylight hours.  Under the mosquito netting at night, we’re totally safe from the mosquitoes but not necessarily the crawling things.

 Each night, we check under the pillows and sheets for anything that may be lurking in wait of our succulent flesh. Each time we put on our shoes, we look inside, tipping them over and slapping them to ensure no creature lies in wait.

Our biggest annoyance here has been the same species of enormous black hornet (or wasps) that luckily warn us by their loud buzzing alerting us to take immediately take cover. We’d experienced what appeared to be the same “creature” in Italy and there too, both of us ran to hide when we’ve heard it coming. We’re both allergic to wasps, hornets and bees stings, carrying several Epipens with us. 

Twice today, we hid in the kitchen while the giant black buzzer tried swarming us. Finally, he flew out of range of our outdoor living room, surely to return as the day progresses.

Here I am, bleary eyed from not enough sleep wearing my every day powder blue BugsAway  shirt which is a definite lifesaver.  See my repellent on the table next to Tom’s beer? Its always at my side, just in case.

Oh, I get sidetracked with biting things. Non biting insects neither scare us or cause us concern.  But, in Kenya, with so many insects it’s best to stay as far away as possible if unsure as to whether it’s poisonous or not.

In any case, we had a memorable evening last night, adding to our repertoire of events that will remain with us year after year as we continue on our world travels.

The roof line in this photo is actually our house next door.

Tomorrow, we’ll be back with details of all new future bookings we’ve locked up in the past few days, sharing details, photos and pricing with our much appreciated readers.

See you then!