Our 9-year travel anniversary!!! Our new itinerary!!!…

Selfie of us in India in February 2020, before lockdown, excited to be on our way to the palace and Lake Pichola in Udaipur, India.

Here it is, October 31, 2021, a date celebrating Halloween in some countries but not here in South Africa. There won’t be any trick or treaters at our door tonight. Instead, we’ll celebrate. Differently, the ninth anniversary of the day we began our journey.

Last night, we had guests for sundowners, Carrie and Jim, who are much younger than us, in their 40s, who’ve been living a lifestyle almost exactly like ours. Their journey began in 2019. They arrived at 4:00 pm, 1600 hrs, and didn’t leave until 10:30, 2230 hrs, undoubtedly indicative of the similar stories we had to share.

We’ve met a lot of world travelers over the years, but Carrie and Jim’s story was oddly most similar. We’d been to a number of the same places, experienced the same challenges, and like us, they’ve come away, hungry for more. The tremendous benefit they have is youth. With their resiliency and determination, they may continue for decades. One never knows, which we all agreed, how long we’ll choose to continue on this path or if our health in some manner prevents it.

The two of us, nine years ago, at Tom’s retirement party, about one week before we began our travels.

Last night, we were shocked when it rained in buckets, eventually turning into hail. We’d never seen hail in Marloth Park. Such an oddity for the bush. We were relieved our rental car was parked under the carport roof, free of any potential damage. The hail lasted about five minutes, but the pounding rain continued for about an hour.

At one point, we had to go inside the house when the wind was blowing, and we were all getting wet. The delightful conversation continued as we shared story after story of our travels and similarities. Surely, we’ll see them again before they leave Marloth Park on December 1st.

But, now today, as we celebrate our ninth anniversary with dinner guests coming again at 4:00 pm, we’re excited to share this special day/evening with friends Alan, Fiona, Nick, and Joan.

Today, I spent the entire morning in the kitchen, and now at almost noon, I have only a few items to fuss over once they arrive. The starters, the salad, the entree, and the vegetables are prepared except for last-minute cooking, leaving me free to spend time with our guests on the veranda while sipping our wine and drinks and enjoying the wildlife.

Without a doubt, we anticipate another enriching day in the bush. As I write here now, two Big Daddies came to call. The larger of the two ate an entire half of a massive head of cabbage before our eyes. His adeptness at breaking up the huge chunk into bite-sized pieces was a delight to see.

So, folks, here it is, our new itinerary, as promised, posted on our anniversary. Yes, there are several holes we have to fill in time, most of which will be dictated by how Covid-19 rolls out over the next few years. However, if the situation improves, even a little, we’ll be excited to fill in the gaps with fantastic adventures and visits to some new (to us) and different countries we’ve yet to explore.

The future looks bright for all of us world travelers, as long as we stay the course, maintain a positive attitude, manage our health and well-being and continue to strive to see those unique places on this planet that calls to us.

Marloth Park, South Africa Holiday rental 85 10/31/2021 1/23/2022
Flight – Nelspruit, South Africa to Tampa, Florida Travel Day 1 1/23/2022 1/24/2022
Florida -visiting friends, traveling thru state Travel 74 1/24/2022 4/8/2022
Cruise – Fort Lauderdale to South Hampton – Trans Atlantic Celebrity Silhouette 13 4/8/22 4/21/22
 UK – TBD Holiday rentals 68 4/21/22 6/28/22
Flight – UK to Istanbul, Turkey Hotel 1 6/28/22 6/29/22
Cruise – Istanbul to Istanbul – Black Sea Azamara Onward 11 6/29/22 7/10/22
Cruise – Istanbul to Athens – Greek Islands Azamara Onward 10 7/10/22 7/20/22
Europe – Non-Schengen countries Holiday rentals 111 7/20/22 11/7/22
Flight to Athens Hotel 1 11/7/22 11/8/22
Cruise – Athen to Athens – Middle East, Israel, Egypt Azamara Journey 11 11/8/2022 11/19/2022
Cruise – Athens to Lisbon – Mediterranean Azamara Journey 10 11/19/22 11/29/22
Cruise – Lisbon to Cape Town – West coast of Africa Azamara Journey 21 11/29/22 12/20/22
Flight – Cape Town to Nelspruit, South Africa Travel Day 1 12/20/22 12/20/22
Marloth Park, South Africa Holiday rentals 90 12/20/22 3/19/23
Africa travel – TBD Holiday rentals 132 3/19/23 7/29/23
Flight – Africa to Edinburough/Leith, UK Travel Day + Hotel 3 7/29/23 8/31/23
Cruise – Leith to Amsterdam – Norway, west coast Azamara Journey 17 8/1/23 8/18/23
Total Days 660

Yes, 660 possible days into the future, some planned, some not planned. But, only time will tell and guide us into the following number of years, God willing.

Be well. Be happy. Step outside the box!

Photo from one year ago today, October 31, 2020:

This photo was posted one year ago while in lockdown in a hotel in Mumbai, India, on day #222. With no photos of us on our travel anniversary in the past few years, we posted this photo from October 31, 2017, our fifth anniversary of traveling the world, taken on the veranda at the villa in Atenas, Costa Rica. For more photos from one year ago, please click here.

Human visitors tonight and tomorrow night…New Itinerary tomorrow!!!..

Once the rains come, the bush will be greener, providing more food for the wildlife. In the interim, many of us are feeding them.

Note: Tomorrow, on our ninth travel anniversary, we will be posting our new itinerary!!! Please check back!!!

Last night’s dinner at Jabula was enjoyable as always. Kathy and Don joined us for our usual Friday night dinner of fabulous food and service at Jabula Lodge and Restaurant. The conversation flowed with ease as we each shared the stories of our adventures over the past few weeks. They had spent time in Kruger at a few remote lodges and us, our time in Zambia, and eventual return without issues from immigration.

We have been so blessed to have such good friends in Marloth Park, and as time goes by, we continue to make more and more friends. Today, as mentioned in a prior post, at 4:00 pm, 1600 hrs, our long-time readers, Carrie and Jim, will be joining us for the first time for sundowners. They found us and also Marloth Park due to our posts and are also world travelers. It will be fun to visit with them.

Since our return on Tuesday, this is the first male kudu who stopped by, whom we call “Medium Daddy” instead of “Big Daddy” with much larger horns.

For today’s appetizers during sundowners, we’re making sliced bacon-wrapped pork tenderloin, served chilled with a cucumber dip, with roasted vegetable slices, and our usual and popular apricot almond brie puffed pastry with crackers, olives, and nuts on the side.

At the moment, I am cooking the chicken for tomorrow’s dinner, a low-carb chicken and sausage cassoulet baked in a single large pan, which we’ll serve with chunky roasted vegetables, coleslaw salad, with a variety of light starters served during the cocktail hour.

We now have three young “Spikeys” who hang around most of the day. This morning we finished off the first of the three heads of cabbage.

Today, I am doing as much prep for both evenings. We don’t usually plan two social events in a row. But tonight’s food will be comparable to making an easy dinner for us, which we would have done anyway, even if we didn’t have guests coming. As of this moment, I have a good handle on both nights’ prep.

It’s hot today, so I thought I’d get as much prep as possible out of the way before the temps rise to over 90F, 32C. It will be cooling off for tomorrow with a high of 79F, 26C, making the final prep for tomorrow’s anniversary dinner easier on a cool day.

Impalas, who seldom care to be near humans, have been stopping by lately. They are hungry too.

Yep, tomorrow, October 31, 2020, is our ninth anniversary of traveling the world. With six of us, Alan, Fiona, Nick, and Joan,  for dinner on the veranda for whom we’re delightfully reciprocating for hosting us recently and me busy prepping the meal, we won’t be posting a recap of our prior year. However, we will post photos of our evening celebration.

After posting so many historical photos during our ten-month lockdown in Mumbai, India, we’ve already posted an endless stream of old photos. Next year, we’ll prepare a special tenth-anniversary post, providing our health is good, and we can continue for another year. At this point, it seems it’s entirely possible.

First, two males stopped by, who were later joined by a female.

A few moments ago, Louise sent us a message stating she’s renting a property to an American couple who will be here until December, asking us if we were interested in meeting them. Of course, we said “yes” and will contact them later today to set up a get-together in Marloth Park.

Next week, on Friday, Tom has his first appointment with Dr. Singh’s wife. Also, a dental surgeon, to have his two implants started from the teeth he had extracted over three months ago, leaving a gaping hole in his mouth; obvious when he smiles. We have no idea how uncomfortable he’ll be after the appointment, so we’ll play it by ear for any possible social events next weekend. But, for now, we’re thrilled to have plans for tonight, tomorrow, and Monday.

This morning we had 12 antelopes in the garden, sharing pellets.

This weekend, there’s no load shedding since Monday is a national holiday in South Africa, voting day! It’s nice we’ll have a reprieve when we’re cooking for guests, and it will be great to have the outdoor lights at dinnertime.

Have a fantastic day!

Photo from one year ago today, October 30, 2020:

This photo was posted one year ago while in lockdown in a hotel in Mumbai, India, on day #221. A sunny view from our veranda at the Kenyan resort where we stayed on our first travel anniversary. For more photos, please click here.

Part 2…We’re back to booking future travels!!!…Building a new itinerary…

Azamara Onward, with a capacity of 692 passengers. In yesterday’s post, we wrote about building a new itinerary, as shown at this link. After a long travel hiatus due to Covid-19, we are excited for the future as more and more cruises and countries open up. Also, we have now been vaccinated with the two-week window of increasing protection from the virus; our spirits and enthusiasm are growing exponentially.

It’s been a long time since we were busy logging information into our  Excel spreadsheet with all the information relevant to each cruise. Yesterday, it was fun for us to work together compiling pertinent data on these two cruises to plug into the fields on the “cruise sheet” in our travel data workbook.

We have three cruises in and around Japan, beginning on February 27, 2022, the first leg departing from Singapore, before these newly booked Azamara cruises. The Japan cruises are all on Celebrity Solstice, one of our favorite cruise ships we’ve sailed many times. It would be fun to experience that ship once again. However, we’re anticipating those cruises will be canceled.

Why are we surmising the Japan cruises will be canceled? With the Olympics starting on July 23, ending on August 8, 2021, it will be interesting to see if there’s been a spike in Covid-19, although spectators aren’t allowed. If there is a massive increase in cases in Japan, we expect these cruises will be canceled. Once again, we’ll be watching the stats on cases from Worldometer at this link.

Japan is currently in the #34 position worldwide, with the USA in the #1 for most cases and deaths. South Africa has moved up the list from the #20 position a few months ago to the #17 position. To see the stats for the numbers of vaccinations given worldwide, check this link.

Staying informed about the Covid-19 stats is very important to us now. It allows us to see where, most likely, we’ll be able to travel in the future. Then again, we’re heading back to South Africa with abysmal stats, with only 2.5% of the population vaccinated thus far.

Fortunately, Marloth Park is less populated and currently has a program in place to vaccinate residents. The question here is: How many residents will agree to get vaccinated when many have negative opinions of the safety and efficacy of the vaccine? That remains to be seen in months to come.

As mentioned in yesterday’s post, here is the pricing information for June and July’s two new cruise bookings.  Also, see that post here for the many perks we got from booking with Costco:

CRUISE PRICING

Istanbul to Istanbul on June 29, 2022

Price Summary for 2 Travelers

Cruise Package $6,749.00 $2,699.00: Total $9,448.00

Taxes and Fees $345.06 $345.06 Total $690.12

Total Package Price $7,094.06 $3,044.06 Total $10,138.12

Payment Details

Total Package Price $10,138.12

Payment(s) Applied ($1,100.00)

Balance $9,038.12

Final Payment Due Date 02/15/2022

The second leg of our back-to-back cruise from July 10 to July 20, 2022 itinerary is as follows:  (See yesterday’s post for the itinerary for the June 29, 2022 cruise from Istanbul to Istanbul):

Date Port of Call Arrival Departure
07/10/2022 Istanbul 06:00 PM
07/11/2022 Cruising
07/12/2022 Kavala 06:30 AM 08:00 PM
07/13/2022 Thessaloniki 08:00 AM 08:00 PM
07/14/2022 Volos 07:30 AM 06:00 PM
07/15/2022 Mykonos 08:00 AM 06:00 PM
07/16/2022 Rhodes 08:00 AM 10:00 PM
07/17/2022 Thira/Santorini 08:00 AM 10:00 PM
07/18/2022 Heraklion 08:00 AM 08:00 PM
07/19/2022 Nafplion 09:00 AM 06:00 PM
07/20/2022 Athens/Piraeus 05:00 AM

Istanbul to Athens on July 10, 2022

Price Summary for 2 Travelers

Cruise Package  $5,199.00  $2,079.00  $7,278.00

Taxes and Fees  $201.57  $201.57 $403.14

Total Package Price  $5,400.57  $2,280.57  $2,280.57

Payment(s) Applied ($1,100.00)

Balance $6,581.14

Final Payment Due 02/26/2022

Yesterday morning we visited dear friend Sue and had a fantastic time!.  Later Tom went to his sister Mary’s home for their usual Thursday evening barbecue while I went with Greg and the three grandchildren to dinner at Champs, followed by a movie, “Black Widow.” We all had a lot of fun. When Greg dropped me back at the hotel, Tom returned to the hotel and came outside to say goodbye.

The time in Minnesota has come to an end. Without a doubt, this was one of the best visits we’ve had to the US over the past almost nine years. Everything fell into place, and we had continuing opportunities to spend with family members. Now, as I wrap up this post to upload in a few minutes, we’re heading out the door to drive to Milwaukee to see Sister Beth.

On Sunday night, we’ll return to Minneapolis to take our flight to Las Vegas, Nevada. We decided to return here to save on the cost of the car rental fee by returning it to the same location and better flights and times for Las Vegas.

The next time we write will be tomorrow morning from Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Stay safe. Stay healthy. Be content.

Photo from one year ago today, July 16, 2020:

Please note: all of our year-ago photos are reposts we utilized while in lockdown in India for ten months. At this point of this post, we’d been in lockdown for 115 days—a view of the cemetery in Boveglio, Italy, in 2013, from the iron railing. For more photos, please click here.

Part 1…We’re back to booking future travels!!!…Building a new itinerary…

Yesterday, we not only booked the cruise on the Black Sea but also booked the “back-to-back” (the next cruise, on the day of arrival), which we’ll share in tomorrow’s post. Tomorrow is a travel day for us as we make our way to Milwaukee, Wisconsin, to see Tom’s sister, Sister Beth, where we’ll spend two days in a hotel.

I will undoubtedly use the workout facility.

As for the itinerary for this ship, see below:

Azamara

11 Nights – Azamara (Istanbul – Round Trip)

Cruise Line: Azamara

Ship Name: Azamara Onward Not Yet Rated

Cruise Length: 11 Nights

Departure Date: 06/29/2022

Embarkation Port: Istanbul, Turkey

Return Date: 07/10/2022

Disembarkation Port: Istanbul, Turkey

Sailing Itinerary

Date Port of Call Arrival Departure

06/29/2022 Istanbul 06:00 PM

06/30/2022 Varna/Bulgaria 08:00 AM 08:00 PM

07/01/2022 Burgas 08:00 AM 08:00 PM

07/02/2022 Constanta 07:00 AM 08:00 PM

07/03/2022 Odesa/Ukraine 09:30 AM

07/04/2022 Odesa/Ukraine 08:00 PM

07/05/2022 Cruising

07/06/2022 Sochi 08:00 AM 09:00 PM

07/07/2022 Batumi 08:00 AM 05:00 PM

07/08/2022 Cruising

07/09/2022 Istanbul 08:00 AM

07/10/2022 Istanbul

Once we arrive back in Istanbul, Turkey, we’ll move to another cabin on the same deck but on the opposite side of the ship for better viewing for the upcoming itinerary on this ship’s next leg for another ten days, July 10 to July 20, 2022, ending in Athens, Greece. We’ll include our costs for the balcony cabins for both cruises and the second leg’s itinerary in tomorrow’s post.

The theatre for nightly shows.

As for today, our last family day in Minnesota, Tom will be joining his family for the Thursday barbecue at his sister Mary’s home, while tonight, I’m going to a movie with Greg’s family. At 11:00 am this morning, we’re heading to visit our dear friend Sue, former neighbor and widow of our beloved, since deceased friend Chip, who passed away five months before we left in 2012. We hadn’t seen Sue since we were here in 2017 since she spent the winters in Florida. It will be wonderful to see her again.

This morning, Tom took our vaccination certificates to Office Max and had them make copies to be laminated and kept the originals to be amended for boosters in the future if required. Oddly, Office Max didn’t charge to do this. Go figure.

That’s it for today, folks. We’ll be back with more tomorrow, perhaps later in the day, completed after arriving at our hotel in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Be well.

Photo from one year ago today, July 15, 2020:

Some flowers continue to bloom through the summer season, as is the case in this Alstroemeria. For more photos, please click here.

The booking process has changed over the years…The itinerary for our US visit in 3 weeks…

Who’s in the garden this morning?

  • 13 warthogs – inc. Little, Tiny, Lonely Girl, Fred and Ethel, The Imposter, Peter, Paul and Mary, and others
  • 6 bushbucks – inc. Thick Neck, Bad Leg, Spikey, and others
  • 10 kudus – inc. Little Daddy, Bossy, Baby Daddy, Medium Daddy
  • 2 wildebeest – inc Broken Horn, Old Face,
  • 2 Frank and The Misses

Note: Included above is our video mentioned in yesterday’s post. As it turned out, only a few minutes after making this video, two more bushbucks appeared for a total of 10. What a fantastic start to a chilly morning in the bush!

On our way to the river, we encountered a dazzle of zebras.

At the beginning of our world travels in 2012, when we first started booking holiday homes, flights, and rental cars, the process was very different than it is now. At times, it was slow and cumbersome with inconsistent methods, including sketchy confirmations when we were done booking.

It’s a whole new world now. Websites are working more efficiently, and the booking process is easier than ever in the past. That’s not to say we don’t encounter problems. We do. But they are minimal and often quickly resolved,

Great message on this sign on the fence at Two Trees Crocodile River viewing location.

Over the past three days, we’ve been busy planning and booking the following for our trip to the US, leaving in a mere three weeks from today.

  • June 29, 2021 – Flight from Nelspruit/Mpumalanga/Kruger to Johannesburg, South Africa
  • June 29, 2021 – Hotel in Johannesburg (awaiting next day’s flight)
  • June 30, 2021 – Flight from Johannesburg to Minneapolis, Minnesota, US
  • July 1, 2021 – Rental car upon arrival in Minnesota
  • July 1, 2021 – Hotel in Eden Prairie, Minnesota
  • July 16, 2021 –  Drive to Milwaukee, Wisconsin – Hotel yet to be booked
  • July 18, 2021 – Return Drive from Milwaukee to Minneapolis, Minnesota, for an upcoming flight
  • July 18, 2021 – Flight to Las Vegas, McCarran Airport
  • July 18, 2021 – Hotel at Green Valley Ranch, Henderson, Nevada
  • July 24, 2021 – Flight from Las Vegas to Johannesburg, South Africa
  • July 26, 2021 – Flight from Johannesburg to Nelspruit/Mpumalanga/Kruger
  • July 26, 2021 – Return Drive to Marloth Park, arriving late afternoon

    More elephant photos from our visit to the Crocodile River.

As mentioned above, we’ve found that booking all of these flights, cars and venues are considerably easier than they were in the past. In some cases, the payment process may require a few steps to verify the use of a credit card which we don’t mind. Our credit card numbers have been stolen on several occasions, demanding that we find a way to receive a new card, which is tricky in some locations.

For most of our travels, we’ve used either of two credit cards, one of Tom’s and one of mine, that both accumulate tons of points for travel, which we often use to pay down a new balance, rather than specify it for a particular event. So for us, it’s the best way to take advantage of accrued points.

The majestic elephant never disappoints.

After our extended stay in the hotel in India, using Hotels.com on our site, we accumulated many credits we’re using for the hotels in the US. Every ten nights that we stayed in that hotel which we booked through Hotels.com, we earned one free night, which is limited to the average dollar amount spent for previous hotel rooms. Because the hotel in Mumbai averaged around US $100, ZAR 1359 per night, our credits are limited based on the high cost of hotels in the US.

After totaling all of our expenses, including still paying rent for this house in Marloth Park, we’ll easily spend US $10,000, ZAR 135942, for the 28 days, averaging US $357, ZAR 4853, per day. Of course, we will be keeping track of all of our expenses and include them here at the end of our stay.

No doubt, birds are used to being fed while humans watch the action on the river.

Meals will be a considerable expense during the trip. Fortunately, our hotel in Minnesota has a kitchen. That’s not to say I will be cooking all of our meals. Breakfast is included in the hotel. But, I can easily see us heading to Costco to purchase a few dinners from time to time.

In Las Vegas/Henderson, we’ll be staying at the fabulous Green Valley Ranch Hotel, Spa, and Casino, where breakfast is not included. With numerous restaurants within walking distance, we will indeed have trouble finding a good spot for breakfast. Most likely, we’ll be dining out most nights with Richard and friends. It will all work out.

More entertaining us in hopes of being fed. Next time, we’ll bring birdseed.

As for today, we’re staying put. There is an endless stream of wildlife to entertain us. We’re making a big pot of slow-cooked short ribs for dinner. And, after the past few days, busy booking for the trip, I need to spend some serious time getting caught up doing post corrections. Unfortunately, I doubt I will have time to do edits while we’re in the US, so I’d like to double up until we depart or the next three weeks.

We hope you have a fantastic day!

P.S. I have been inside trying to stay warm for the past hour, with the door closed. In the bedroom, I opened the bedroom door to check out the garden’s action and found Frank wandering around inside the house. LMAO!!! Frank, what a guy!

Photo from one year ago today, June 8, 2020:

While on a walk in the neighborhood in Sumbersari, Bali, in 2016, we spotted this friendly neighbor (she spoke no English) making bowls as shown that are used for offerings at the Hindu temples. For more photos, please click here.

Itinerary one year ago…Itinerary today…

We stumbled upon the Preston Fresh Seafood Wholesaler on our drive to Yorkeys Knob, a quick five-minute drive from our then-home in Trinity Beach. We returned many times during our months in Queensland.

Note: To all of our readers visiting our site via a smartphone, please click the “View web version” tab under the word “Home” at the bottom of the page to access the web version enabling you to access all of our archives on the right side of the page. We’ll be updating our site shortly, making these extra steps unnecessary. Thank you. 

Today’s photos are from July 1, 2015, while in Trinity Beach, Queensland, Australia. See the link here for more details.

While searching for the “Photo from one year ago today,” it was interesting to see the upcoming itinerary we’d posted on July 1, 2019. Doing so prompted me to post this prior itinerary revealing how much has changed at the tail end to the present, in light of COVID-19. (See below).

Their colorful signs in the somewhat remote location made it easier to spot from the highway.

This is the first time in our almost eight years of world travel that we don’t have a specific itinerary, nor do we have holiday/vacation home bookings anywhere in the world, at any time in the future.

We have some cruises booked going forward but, based on how COVID-19 is progressing. We expect they’ll be canceled or changed at some point, leaving little reason to post an itinerary including such cruises.

When we arrived at the wholesale fish market, we were intrigued by what could be “cooked bugs.”  Could this possibly be some sea “insect?” Check out the photo below of “cooked bugs.”

After all these years of world travel, it’s a weird perception to be in “limbo” with virtually no definitive plan for the future, other than to leave India when it becomes possible, which could be months from now.

Our itinerary has been a vital aspect of the joys of traveling the world. Having the opportunity to review and revise it as needed has been an essential part of our planning. Now, everything has changed.

Gee…we’ve never seen scallops in the shell. We can imagine a plate of six of these covered in almond flour and Parmesan-crusted buttery topping. Tom likes scallops, so this will be a no-brainer.

There are several couples with whom we’ve stayed in touch, mainly from North America, who have been traveling the world as well, mainly from one to three years. 

We stay in touch with those couples on Facebook or via email and text messages and are up to date on their travels during the lengthy lockdown. Some have been able to travel within their own country, US or Canada, and have been able to fly in and out of several locations to maintain a degree of continuing their world travels.
These are “large cooked bugs” similar to crab, but according to the salesperson, they taste identical to prawns. The next time we visited, we tried a few and loved them.

Had we been able to fly to islands in the Caribbean, the South Pacific, and the Indian Ocean, no doubt, we would have chosen another path during this long haul rather than staying stuck in Mumbai. 

As more time passes, more and more countries refuse to allow travelers with the US or Indian passports/visas to enter their borders. It seems this fact is escalating by the day when this morning on the news, a growing list of countries now forbidding entry into their walls where COVID-19 is on the rise, as is the case in the US and India.

If and when India’s international flights resume, we may have to stay in Mumbai when few countries welcome us with this double whammy (US and India) in our passports.

We selected a barramundi filet from this batch, caught that morning. Keep in mind, for those of you reading from countries not using the metric system…AUD $32.50 per kilo translates to 2.2 pounds which would be USD $14.77 per pound, not too bad for fresh (never frozen) wild-caught fish. We purchased about one pound, of which Tom had 9 ounces, and I had approximately 7 ounces.

The few countries, such as Tanzania, which we previously considered, accept anyone from anywhere, which may indicate their lack of interest and caution in providing safe entry into their country. But, according to this news story (and others), it may be foolhardy to travel to Tanzania based on their lack of statistics and precautions.

The reality isn’t as simple as, “When and where international airports will open to US citizens having spent many months in equally high-risk India.” It’s much more complex.

Again, some of our US readers write, “Come back home!” But, as we continue to reiterate, ad nauseam, there’s no point in us doing that when cases of the virus continue to escalate, we have no insurance in the US (only outside the US), and we have no home, no stuff to fill it.

At AUD 64, USD $49.26, all of these items, which includes a vast Barramundi filet, two pieces of made-without-sugar smoked fish, and two containers of crab meat which we’ll use to make low carb crab cakes this weekend (lasting for two meals) will result in four meals for the two of us.  As a result, the cost per entre results in a cost per day of AUD 16, USD $12.31, not bad for such delicious fish and seafood. We struggle to be motivated to go out to dine when we do so well at home and have just as good a time.

This fact doesn’t make us despondent. Still, we consider ourselves world travelers. We have no intention of changing that scenario one day sooner than is necessary, which most likely would be due to health considerations.

Sure, on numerous occasions, we’ve discussed the reality that travel will be different going forward to include; vaccination requirements; long queues at airports and cruise terminals; required quarantine in some countries; face masks being worn in public areas; social distancing, and more restrictions we’ve yet to discover.


We had to get about 18 vaccinations when we began traveling in 2012, which we updated in 2018 while in South Africa. Although we’d both prefer not to be vaccinated if a proven-to-be-safe COVID-19 vaccination becomes available, we will accept this requirement, when most likely, having such a certification may be required to enter most countries. 

There were a few types of fish that had been frozen, but it was marked. We prefer not to purchase defrosted fish, choosing to buy only fresh when available.

We didn’t flinch when we had to be inoculated for Yellow Fever and other diseases to visit certain parts of Africa and other countries. And, we won’t flinch again when this becomes a requirement to travel. We have no doubt this will become necessary in the future. Want to travel? Be vaccinated or stay home, which will be the standard travel motto in the future.

We appreciate and accept the risks of vaccination that have created a movement of sorts, opposed to vaccinations. We understand and accept there are certain risks. 

But, traveling the world may require a degree of putting aside some of our personal beliefs, preferences, customs, and normal modes of living to accept that of the country we’re about to visit.

There were a few types of fish that had been frozen, but it was marked. We don’t purchase defrosted fish, preferring to buy only fresh when available.

Here is our link from which we’ve taken this year-ago itinerary, as shown below.

Itinerary 2019 – 2020
Ireland – Connemara – house rented 89 5/12/2019 – 8/8/2019 
Hotel Dublin, Ireland 1 8/8/2019 – 8/9/2019
Hotel Amsterdam, The Netherlands 2  8/9/2019 – 8/11/2019 
Cruise – Baltic – Amsterdam to Amsterdam  12  8/11/2019 – 8/23/2019 
England – Falmouth, Cornwall, UK 14  8/23/2019 -9/6/2019 
England – St. Teath, Bodwin, Cornwall, UK 14 9/6/2019 – 9/20/2019
England – Witheridge, Devon, UK 21 9/20/2019 – 10/11/2019
Wales – Chepstow, Monmouthshire, UK 11 10/11/2019 – 10/22/2019
Hotel – Southampton, England 2 10/22/2019 – 10/24/2019
Cruise – Southampton to Fort Lauderdale  15  10/24/2019-11/8/2019 
Hotel – Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA 14 11/8/2019 – 11/22/2019 
Henderson, Nevada, USA 9 11/22/2019 – 12/1/2019
Holiday Rental – Apache Junction, Arizona USA 61 12/1/2019 – 1/30/2020
Flight Phoenix, Arizona to Mumbai, India* 2 1/30/2020 – 2/1/2020
Hotel – Mumbai, India 1 2/1/2020 – 2/2/2020
Train – Maharajas Express -Mumbai to Dehli 6 2/2/2020 – 2/8/2020
Safari – India (inc. in Private Tour) 5 2/8/2020 – 2/13/2020
India – Private Tour 51 2/13/2020 -4/3/2020*
Cruise – Mumbai to London 29     4/3/2020 – 5/2/2020
Total days planned 359 5/12/2020 – 5/2/2020
*The private tour ended on March 15, 2020, due to COVID-19

Life is filled with trade-offs. Only each of us as individuals, couples, or families can decide what works best for their desires and choices. We pray that each of our readers can choose what is best for their needs as opposed to being driven by the choices and opinions of others.

Photo from one year ago today, July 1, 2019:

A year ago, we posted more information on the then-upcoming tour on the Maharajas Express. One of the many excursions on the Maharajas Express train includes a visit to the Taj Mahal. (not our photo). For details, please click here.

The first day of our 55-day tour itinerary…Delhi and New Delhi…The burial site of Mahatma Gandhi’s ashes…

From this site: “Indian Statesman and Spiritual Leader. Mohandas Gandhi, who came to be popularly known as “Mahatma” (Great Soul), was born a colonial subject of the British Empire. He studied law at University College in London and was admitted to the bar in 1891. In 1893, Gandhi became a legal advisor for an Indian law firm in Durban, South Africa (then also a British colony). Appalled at the racism against South Asians there, Gandhi became an activist for equal rights. However, Gandhi disdained the violent tactics often employed by socialist and anarchist activists and advocated new forms of nonviolent resistance, collectively known as “Satyagraha” (truth and firmness). Influenced by traditional Hinduism and the works of Jesus, Leo Tolstoy, and Henry David Thoreau, Gandhi’s methods stressed change by noncooperation with the colonial authorities, including disruptive (though nonviolent) demonstrations and general strikes and boycotts.

Yesterday morning, our Delhi tour guide, Subi, appeared in the hotel lobby a half-hour earlier than anticipated. Since we were ready for the day, we joined him to begin the first day of the 55-day.

Crowds of tourists and local visitors filled the walkways.

The same driver from the previous day would be responsible for transporting us from place to place, and Subi would be our tour guide. The concept of not having other tourists with us proved to be a good decision.

“Raj Ghat is a memorial dedicated to Mahatma Gandhi in Delhi, India. Originally it was the name of a historic ghat of Old Delhi. Close to it, and east of Daryaganj was Raj Ghat Gate of the walled city, opening at Raj Ghat to the west bank of the Yamuna River. Later the memorial area was also called Raj ghat.”

At no point were we subject to the pace, shopping, dining, and restroom breaks. We could go at our own pace, which is mainly of importance to me when at times, I may walk a little slower than others.

The grounds of the burial site of Gandhi are meticulously manicured with exquisite flowers and gardens.

With this pressure non-existence for our 55-day private tour, we can decide exactly which venues appeal to us and which do not. For example, after visiting no less than six forts during the tours during the Maharajas Express train, we’re somewhat “forted out.

“Through his position on nonviolence was not absolute (he would later be a British Army recruiter during World War I), Gandhi would willingly take beatings from British police throughout his career and would require his supporters to do the same. In 1914, the newly autonomous South African government recognized Indian marriages and abolished the Indian poll tax, and Gandhi returned to India. After World War I, Gandhi became a major advocate for Indian home rule, again applying the methods of Satyagraha. In 1919, the British Army opened fire on demonstrators in Amritsar, killing nearly 400 people, including several children. In response, Gandhi stepped up his campaign of non-cooperation. Indian officeholders resigned, British courts and schools were boycotted, and demonstrators blocked streets all over the country. When this movement escalated to violent extremes, however, Gandhi called the demonstrations off. Gandhi also advocated the revival of the Indian cottage industry for economic independence from Britain, especially in textiles; he would wear only simple homespun clothes to illustrate this point. He was jailed from 1922 to 1924 but would return to his position in the Indian National Congress and call for a tax revolt in 1930.”

We informed our guide on what appealed to us and proceeded accordingly. Keeping in mind we’ve seen an endless array of churches, mosques, and historical buildings, at this point, after over seven years of world travel, we’re relatively picky about the installations we see as we continue.

The words of the great leader.

He seemed disappointed when we explained we weren’t interested in buying jewelry and other goods. Most certainly, he’d receive a commission from any purchases we made or expensive items. We weren’t about to make such purchases for that purpose. We tipped him well at the end of the tour.

Gandhi was revered for his depth and his great wisdom.

With a bit of research, we’re able to pin down what appeals to us most. How do we explain this to a tour guide? We did as follows:

1. No jewelry stores
2. No shopping for souvenirs or trinkets
3. No shopping in general, except for showing us spectacular open/local markets with local foods and handmade crafts, in essence, cultural markets.
4. No need to eat during the tours
5. No typical overly crowded tourist venues

Flowers are a big part of Indian culture.

Where does that leave us? The unique, the unusual, the quirky, the nuances of a culture far removed from our reality. The guide suggested we visit a local shopping mall with well-known designer stores. No thanks. That’s not for us.

“Several other samādhis or cremation spots of other famous leaders can be found in the vicinity of Raj Ghat.” Click here for more details.

As a result, although many venues during this 55-day tour are pre-set. At this point, we’ll always have the option to request changes in the itinerary. However, we will honor any venues whereby fees have been paid in advance for our attendance. We’re not foolhardy.

The flowers are breathtaking.

One of the reasons we generally don’t care for big cities is the repetitious nature of seeing similar buildings over and over again. In remote areas, we have a more ample opportunity to see what we’d like to see, the local culture, scenery and nature along with a smidgen of wildlife and farm animals here and there… Ultimately the more simple life appeals to us the most.

The symmetry of design is imperative in India’s structures.

India may not appear to be the ideal country for our normal vision, but we’ve decided to temper our motives and embrace as much of this country as possible.

Nothing was spared in the meticulous detail in the memorial.

In the interim, amid our preferences, we’re thoroughly enjoying what we’ve seen thus far and have no doubt these next many days and nights will be satisfying, educational, and fulfilling.

Street food in Delhi. 

You’ll be able to “travel along with us” if you choose this extensive journey through India. Tomorrow, beginning at 6:30 am, we’re starting a long travel day, which includes trips on two trains with only a 25-minute layover in between. We’ll have to arrange to move our luggage from the first to the second train during this short layover.

Jama Masjid Mosque in Delhi. “The Masjid e Jahan Numa, commonly known as the Jama Masjid of Delhi, is one of the largest mosques in India. It was built by the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan between 1650 and 1656 at one million rupees. It was inaugurated by Imam Syed Abdul Ghafoor Shah Bukhari from Bukhara, present-day Uzbekistan. The mosque was completed in 1656 AD with three great gates and two 40 meters high minarets constructed with strips of red sandstone and white marble. There are three domes on the terrace, which are surrounded by the two minarets. On the floor, a total of 899 black borders is marked for worshippers. The courtyard can accommodate more than 25,000 people. The architectural plan of Badshahi Masjid, built by Shah Jahan’s son Aurangzeb in Lahore, Pakistan, is similar to the Jama Masjid.”

Hopefully, we’ll be able to find a porter to assist us. The hotel is packing a breakfast for us since we won’t arrive at our next hotel in Shimla until around 6:00 pm tomorrow.

Us, with the Jama Masjid Mosque in Delhi in the background. It was horrible pollution that impeded a clear photo.

Most likely, I’ll be preparing tomorrow’s post while on the train and, hopefully, wrap up the visit to Delhi to continue posting in the sequence of our experiences.

Be well. Be happy.

Photo from one year ago today, February 10, 2019:
No photos were posted one year ago today as we were wrapping up our entries for a week or more as I prepared for open-heart surgery on February 12, 2019. For the second to last post before the surgery, please click here.

Here it is at long last!…Our newest itinerary!…

One of the many excursions on the Maharajas Express train includes a visit to the Taj Mahal. (Not our photo).

“Fascinating Fact of the Day About Ireland”
“Abortion is illegal in Ireland unless keeping the child would put the mother’s life at
risk.”

There’s no doubt we’re tentative about booking into the future, especially when there is no certainty about my health going forward. To date, we haven’t booked anything where we’d lose the entire cost of the venue, just deposits.

Even paying deposits is risky. After we’ve paid out so much in medical bills, our insurance company refuses to pay and to lose so much for prepaid travel events we couldn’t attend, flights we had to cancel, and bookings we had to forgo, it’s not surprising we’re cautious.

The unexpected cardiac bypass surgery could easily put a quick end to our travels, which neither of us wanted to stop. Instead, we strive to continue living life to the fullest.  

None of us knows how much time we have on this earth, and yes, my situation may mean I have less time than many. But, it’s no reason to stop living. What would we do if we lived in a condo in the US? Stay home and do nothing? 

The travels we have ahead will require some days at the airport, waiting in a long queue to board a ship and lots of walking. Would it be a lot less active if we lived in the US (or some other country)? Besides, being active is the number one prescription for improving one’s health after cardiac bypass surgery.

Walking? Yep. I’m on it every day, keeping track of my fitness watch to ensure I get in enough steps each day. It’s not easy to do, walking around the house all day.  Right now, I have a timer set to walk every 30-minutes.


I shake it up every few days.  Sometimes, it’s for long periods or several times a day, once every hour.  On some days, I do half or more of the walking at one time.  Why don’t I walk outside?  It’s cold, windy and it rains a lot.  Also, there are no sidewalks on the very narrow winding roads. The driveway to the road is rocky and uneven. It defeats the purpose to risk injury.

Itinerary 2019 – 2020
Ireland – Connemara – house rented 89 5/12/2019
– 8/8/2019 
Hotel Dublin, Ireland 1 8/8/2019
– 8/9/2019
Hotel Amsterdam, The Netherlands 2  8/9/2019 – 8/11/2019 
Cruise
– Baltic – Amsterdam to Amsterdam 
12  8/11/2019 –
8/23/2019 
England
– Falmouth, Cornwall, UK
14  8/23/2019 -9/6/2019 
England
– St. Teath, Bodwin, Cornwall, UK
14 9/6/2019 – 9/20/2019
England
– Witheridge, Devon, UK
21 9/20/2019 – 10/11/2019
Wales –
Chepstow, Monmouthshire, UK
11 10/11/2019 – 10/22/2019
Hotel – Southampton, England 2 10/22/2019 – 10/24/2019
Cruise
– Southampton to Fort Lauderdale 
15  10/24/2019-11/8/2019 
Hotel – Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA 14  11/8/2019 –
11/22/2019 
Henderson,
Nevada, USA
9 11/22/2019 – 12/1/2019
Holiday
Rental – Apache Junction, Arizona USA
61 12/1/2019 – 1/30/2020
Flight
Phoenix, Arizona to Mumbai, India*
2 1/30/2020 – 2/1/2020
Hotel –
Mumbai, India
1 2/1/2020 – 2/2/2020
Train –
Maharajas Express -Mumbai to Dehli
6 2/2/2020 – 2/8/2020
Safari
– India
5 2/8/2020 – 2/13/2020
Hotels
Udaipur, India 
30 2/13/2020 – 3/13/2020
India –
to be booked
21 3/13/2020 – 4/3/2020
Cruise
– Mumbai to London
29 4/3/2020 – 5/2/2020
Total days planned 359 5/12/2020 – 5/2/2020
It does not include cruises beyond this date in the event we make some changes. * All distant locations include flights – the only flight more than a day is from Phoenix
to Mumbai.

Walking around the house at a good clip is not that bad.  I have a route I vary every few minutes rather than stick to one path. Boredom is the biggest problem.  My cheap South African-purchased smartphone doesn’t have enough memory to add a podcast app which would help tremendously.  

At one point, I added an SD card, but it couldn’t store any data. It’s the phone.  Nothing I can do about that until we purchase new phones in the US when we arrive in November, a mere four months from now.  

We’ve already selected the phones we’d like but won’t order them until closer to the time of our arrival in the US. In four months, newer models could hit the market, and prices may change.

In preparing the itinerary we’ve included today, we didn’t include the cruise we’ve booked to Cape Town, South Africa, long before my illness, based on hearing from immigration as to our “undesirable” status after overstaying for three months my recovery. As mentioned a few days ago, we’ve applied, re-applied, and called several times, requesting a response. None yet. We’ll continue trying.

Also, as mentioned, we have a few more cruises we’ve booked and may not take. These are not shown in the itinerary.  We’re able to move the deposits at any time with no losses. Having chosen a few costly cruises, considering our budget, we won’t be cruising as often as we had in the early part of our travels.

Cruises are highlighted in the itinerary in turquoise. We’ll be taking the cruises listed on the itinerary. Everything we do in life is subject to good health. For some oddball reason, I wrongfully thought that saying “health providing” in dozens, if not hundreds of other posts, as if provided some insurance, nothing terrible would happen. It did happen anyway. I am done saying that!

After further research and comments from kindly readers who’ve been to India, it appears we can stay up to 180 days. That’s great! We didn’t want to deal with more immigration problems.

Gotta go! My timer just went off for my next round of walking.  

Enjoy your day!

Photo from one year ago today, July 1, 2018:

One year ago today, we attended the Honorary Ranger’s Annual Fair in Marloth Park.  Artist’s renditions of wildlife along with an array of skulls, horns, and tusks. For more photos, please click here.

Part 4…New bookings…A new country…A new lease on life!…Tomorrow, our new itinerary!…

Mumbai.

“Fascinating Fact of the Day About Ireland”
“The longest river in the country is the River Shannon. The river is 360 km, 224 miles long. The River Shannon (Irish: Abha na Sionainne, an tSionainn, an tSionna) is the longest river in Ireland. It drains the Shannon River Basin, which has an area of 16,865 km (6,512 sq mi), one-fifth of the area of Ireland.”

As mentioned in yesterday’s post, we hesitated over spending so much on this cruise, especially after the cost of the Maharajas Train on which we’ll embark on February 3, 2020.  

We have two months to travel while in India while we look forward to this upcoming cruise embarking on April 3, 2020, ending in London on May 2, 2020, 29 nights later.

We’ve yet to decide where we’ll go when we arrive in London. We have plenty of time for that, a little over 10 months. We may plan to stay around Europe for a few months. With the Schengen visa restrictions, we can only remain in most European countries for 90 out of 180 days.

There are several countries that aren’t part of Schengen. For more details on Schengen visas, please visit this site.

According to visa regulations listed on many sites for India e-visa, a traveler from the US and many other countries may only stay for 60 days. We’ll be in India for 63 days. If necessary, we’ll apply for an extension through the Indian Embassy through the consulate in San Francisco, the location we must use as residents of Nevada.

However, at the governmental e-visa site for India, the following is clearly stated as follows:

“Stay:
Continuous stay during each visit shall not exceed 90 days for countries except the USA, UK, Canada, and Japan. For the USA, UK, Canada, and Japan, continuous stay during each visit shall not exceed 180 days.

Today, I sent them an email asking to clarify if a 90-day stay is accurate. After all our visa issues these past few years, we aren’t taking any chances. Nothing spoils a visit to a country like immigration issues.  
 
Anyway, back to the cruise fare…We weren’t thrilled that Viking requires payment in full so close to the time of booking and far from the time of sailing. In this case, the final payment, as shown below, is due in full on July 24, 2019, a little over three weeks from now:  
 
Cruise Fare $19,998.00  
E-Check Discount ($633.53)       
Past-Passenger Discount ($800.00)            
Grand Total: $18,564.47   
Total Deposit Paid: $483.50    
Total Balance Due: $18,080.97  Final payment due July 24, 2019 

Tips/Amenities Included: 
Jessica Lyman: $300.00 Onboard Credit 
Thomas Lyman: $300.00 Onboard Credit 

We justified this expensive cruise based on the fact that we have three cruises we’ve booked with deposits we can transfer to later cruises, most likely to 2022, giving up plenty of time to recover the considerable expense.  

In the interim, we’ll wait and see if we can sail on the cruise from Lisbon to Cape Town on November 10, 2020, on Azamara, which visits many ports on the western side of Africa, a very rare cruise.  

We’re waiting to determine if the five-year ban from returning to South Africa is lifted for medical reasons.  We applied for the waiver almost seven weeks ago and have inquired several times to no avail. They don’t respond to our inquiries by phone or email.  

On Friday, we inquired again and will do so every Friday until we get an update. If we don’t receive the waiver, we’ll lose part of the deposit we paid and miss this exciting itinerary and plan when and if we’ll get back to Marloth Park.  When and if we do, we won’t stay longer than 90 days in South Africa.

Today, we’ve added photos and information about dining options on the Mumbai cruise with Viking, including the complimentary specialty restaurants. Please see below for details.


FastDeal
21770
29 nights departing April 3, 2020, on
Viking Cruises Viking Sun

Brochure Balcony $9,999
Our Balcony $9,999
You Save 0%
Brochure Suite $16,749
Our Suite $15,999
You Save 4%

Prices include select shore excursions and unlimited internet.
Book select categories by June 30 and pay a reduced deposit of $250 per person.
Promotions may not be combinable with all fares.
___________________________________________________________

Dining options on Viking Sun:

“The Restaurant
Cuisine: Continental
Dress Code: Elegant casual
Surcharge: No
Reservations Required: No
Hours
Breakfast: 8:00am – 10:00am
Lunch: Noon – 2:30pm
Dinner: 6:00pm – 10:00pm

The Chef’s Table
Cuisine: Continental
Dress Code: Elegant casual
Surcharge: No
Reservations Required: Yes
Hours
Dinner: 6:30pm – 10:30pm

Manfredi’s Italian Restaurant
Cuisine: Italian
Dress Code: Elegant casual
Surcharge: No
Reservations Required: Yes
Hours
Dinner: 6:30pm – 10:30pm

World Cafe
Cuisine: Variety
Dress Code: Elegant casual
Surcharge: No
Reservations Required: Yes
Hours
Breakfast: 7:30am – 10:00am
Lunch: 11:30am – 2:00pm
Dinner: 6:30pm – 10:30pm

Viking Deli
Cuisine: Scandinavian
Dress Code: Casual
Surcharge: No
Reservations Required: No
Hours
Check onboard for hours

Aquavit Terrace
Cuisine: Al fresco options
Dress Code: Casual
Surcharge: No
Reservations Required: No
Hours
Check onboard for hours

The Kitchen Table
Cuisine: Cooking school and restaurant
Dress Code: Casual
Surcharge: No
Reservations Required: No
Hours
Check onboard for hours

Mamsen’s
Cuisine: Norwegian breakfast and lunch
Dress Code: Casual
Surcharge: No
Reservations Required: No
Hours
Check onboard for hours

In addition to the restaurants mentioned above, the Viking Sun also features afternoon high tea in the Wintergarden, a pool grill, and 24-hour room service. “

Last night, our dinner for guests was canceled due to an unexpected illness of one of our guests.  We’re hoping she will recover soon.  We ended up thoroughly enjoying the dinner we planned and spent a quiet evening at “home.” 

Tomorrow, we’ll be back with our new itinerary. Please stop back to see it!

Be well.

Photo from one year ago today, June 30, 2018:

The particular “dazzle” of zebras visiting that morning was all female except for a youngster. For more photos, please click here.

 

Part 3…2018, “Year in Review” with favorite photos…They’re back!!!…Six years ago today…Itinerary re-post from one year ago.

We were so excited to see the kudus and other wildlife returning to our garden as the holiday crowds dissipated.  

“Sighting of the Day in the Bush”

One of our two favorite frogs took up residence in this cute little decorative basket near the pool on the veranda.

This morning, two bushbucks, one duiker, five zebras, and three warthogs stopped by simultaneously.Last night before the pelting rain began, 12 kudus and three warthogs stopped by for a snack. We couldn’t toss the pellets quickly enough.  

Notice the pellet crumbs on her nose.  Often, there are lots of crumbs in the enormous bags of pellets. Most wildlife is happy to lap up the crumbs if we place them on the tile steps. See more here at this link.

We’re so excited the animals have begun to return to our garden. After all, that’s why we’re here, the wildlife and the people. They’re all wonderful and have made this past year fly by in a flurry of activity.

We couldn’t believe our eyes when we spotted this elephant digging a hole to access water in the ground below. Please take a moment to watch our video at the top of the page. See this link here for more.

The now working aircon in our main floor bedroom provided us with a good night’s sleep along with the fact the power stayed on for the past 36 hours. Add the fact that today, for the first time in days, the temperature is cool and comfortable at 21C (70F) and surprisingly doesn’t feel as humid as it had over the past several days. What a welcomed relief!

Louise and Danie joined us for dinner that night at Kambaku, the popular restaurant at the golf course in Komatipoort, as we celebrated their belated birthdays. We couldn’t be more grateful for all they’ve done for us.  See this link here for more.

Today, we’ll complete this three-part series of 2018, “Year in Review,” and return tomorrow with our regular posts and all new photos as we see more and more wildlife each day as the holidaymakers have begun to drift away.

Our photo of the blood moon was taken on July 27, 2018.  See this link here for more.

Holiday times are different in South Africa than in many other countries. In the US, kids return to school the first day after New Year’s Day. But here, the return to school varies from public to private schools but maybe as late as the middle of January. This fact determines when many of the holidaymakers leave Marloth Park.

Not a night passes without an opportunity to watch these adorable bushbabies enjoy the yogurt we place on their little stand. See this link here for more.

However, as we’ve seen from the gradual return of the wildlife to our garden, many may have left right after New Year’s Day. At this point, we’ll see how it transpires over the next week or two.

What an animal!  We feel fortunate to have been able to get lion photos. See this link for more.

This morning when Tom was reviewing past posts, he mentioned it was precisely six years ago today that we boarded our first cruise. See here for the link. (At that time, we didn’t post many photos and didn’t post daily). In 80 days, we’ll be boarding our 24th cruise in Santiago, Chile, ending in San Diego, California.  

Mom and baby love.  See this link here for more.

It’s even hard for us to believe how many cruises we’ve experienced in this short period, and other than a four-day back-to-back cruise in 2013 in the Mediterranean, we’ve loved every one of them.  

Every piece of art at WayiWayi Art Studio & Gallery was representative of Zambian culture. See this link here for more.

The four-day cruise was during spring break and was crowded with highly inebriated, loud, demanding, and pushing and shoving passengers. It couldn’t have ended quickly enough for us.  

We were excited to get a view of the leopard’s face after waiting for a considerable period while Samson, our guide in Chobe National Paek in Botswana, kept moving the vehicle for better shots. Upon careful inspection of this photo, you can see the pads of the feet of her kill in the tree near her head. See this link here for more.

Below included in our “one year ago today” feature, we posted the itinerary we’d included on today’s date in 2018. Certain aspects of our itinerary have changed, including the first year that has since passed. As we add more bookings in the next few months, we’ll be updating the itinerary and posting it here.  

Based on our position in the line-up of vehicles in Kruger, our photo-taking advantage was limited. See this link here for more.

As the years have passed, we don’t feel the sense of urgency to fill in the blanks and extend the itinerary beyond two years. It’s less about being lazy and more about feeling comfortable that all of it will work out as we go along.

Stunning female lion – as a part of the Ridiculous Nine, we spotted in a game drive in Marloth Park with friends Lois and Tom, who visited for three weeks. See this link here for more.

Tonight, we’ll be visiting Rita and Gerhard at their second condo at Ngwenya where they’re staying until tomorrow. Then, much to their delight, they’re moving back to the Hornbill house where they lived the first month they were here and will stay until sometime in March when they’ll be leaving Marloth Park.

After a highly successful game drive in Kruger, Tom, Lois, Kerry (our guide), me, and Tom. See this link here for more.

We’re hoping to see them in the New Year when they’ll come to visit us in Ireland during our three-month stay beginning in May. We’re also looking forward to Kathy and Don visiting us in Ireland as well.  How fortunate we are to have made such fine friends.

We encountered this stunning scene of zebras and wildebeest from the fence at Marloth Park. One reason zebras and wildebeests hang out is that they love to eat the taller grass and wildebeest the shorter grass – it’s a type of symbiosis. There is no competition regarding food. Also, wildebeests have a better sense of hearing, while zebras can see very well. It’s always great to have an ally to warn of any impending danger.  Another reason is zebras and wildebeest prefer to be in the open savannahs…the concept of safety in numbers comes into play.  See this link here for more.

Then upcoming on January 14, friends Linda and Ken will stay here with us for a week. They arrive from Johannesburg on the day that we’re having a birthday dinner party for Rita. We are grateful to have such good friends.

We’ve so enjoyed spending time with new friends Rita and Gerhard who came to Marloth Park after reading our posts years ago. They found the holiday home they’ve rented through our site and found Louise to help them get situated. They’ll be here in Marloth until March.
We look forward to many more exciting times together.  See this link here for more.

That’s it for today, folks. We’ll be back with more tomorrow. 

May you find your day to be fulfilling and meaningful!

Photo from one year ago today, January 3, 2018:

One year ago today, we posted the upcoming itinerary that included a total of 852 days, which is now down to 486 days since the first year of this itinerary has passed. Since that date, we’ve had a few modifications which we’ll include next time we update and post the itinerary. For details, please click here.

 Location 
Days
 Dates 
 Buenos Aires, AR – Prodeo Hotel 
20
 1/2/2018 -1/23/2018 
 Ushuaia, AR – Ushuaia, AR – Antarctica Cruise 
16
 1/23/2018 – 2/8/2018 
 Buenos Aires, AR – Prodeo Hotel 
2
 2/8/2018 – 2/10/2018 
 Marloth Park, South Africa – Bush home selected
89
2/11/2018 – 5/11/2018
  Zambezi River Cruise – Victoria Falls 
8
5/11/2018 – 5/19/2018
 Marloth Park, South Africa – Rent a bush home
89
5/19/2018 – 8/16/2018
 Uganda – See gorillas and the “Cradle of Mankind.” 
7
8/16/2018 – 8/23/2018
 Marloth Park, South Africa – Rent a bush home
89
 8/23/2018 -11/20/2018 
 Mozambique, Africa (get visa stamped) 
1
 11/20/2018 -11/21/2018 
 Marloth Park, South Africa – Rent a bush home
89
 11/21/2019 – 2/17/2019 
 Valparaiso, Chile – Rent vacation home or hotel
36
 2/17/2019 – 3/24/2019 
 Cruise – San Antonio, Chile – San Diego 
14
 3/24/2019 – 4/8/2019 
 San Diego, CA – Fly to Minneapolis, MN – Family visit
13
 4/8/2019 – 4/21/2019 
 Cruise – Fort Lauderdale, FL- Dublin, Ire (1-day hotel stay) 
15
 4/21/2019 – 5/6/2019 
 Ireland – Rent country house – Research Tom’s ancestry 
90
 5/6/2019 – 8/1/2019 
 Amsterdam, NLD – Hotel stay 
11
 8/1/2019 – 8/11/2019 
 Cruise, Baltic – Amsterdam, NLD – Amsterdam, NLD 
12
 8/11/2019 – 8/23/2019 
 England – Rent country home
62
 8/23/2019 – 10/24/2019 
 Southampton, UK – Fort Lauderdale, FL
15
  10/24/2019 – 11/8/2019 
 Henderson/Las Vegas, NV – Los Angeles, CA -Scottsdale, AZ 
25
 11/8/2019 – 12/3/2019 
 Ecuador – Galapagos – Rent vacation homes on islands
89
 12/3/2019 – 3/1/2020 
 Peru – Machu Picchu – Rent vacation homes, visit site 
30
 3/1/2020 –  3/31/2020 
 The Pantanal/Amazon River Cruise – Brazil (2 cruises)
30
 3/31/2020 – 4/30/2020 
 Number of days  
852