A special photo…A memorable couple long ago…An inspiration to continue on…A year ago, a little village in Toscana…

Need I say, I went nuts when we saw these huge hanging Angel’s Trumpets, while on a drive a few days ago? As Tom maneuvered through a narrow winding road, I squealed when I saw these, hollering, “Stop!  Back up!” The road was too narrow for me to get out of the car so I took this photo with the window down. Wow!

It was the halfway mark of our time in Madeira as we mentioned in our yesterday’s heading. It’s hard for us to believe that we’re on the downhill now of living in this wonderful home in Campanario on this exquisite island.

At a distance, we saw a boat. Could it be a local fisherman?

We’ve determined that it usually takes about a month for us to decide if we’d ever considered returning to a location. As for having the time to return to a location, that in itself is a question for us to consider. There’s so much world left to see.

The shoreline is exquisite around the island. We wondered how the residents of the homes on this cliff could possibly get to their houses. That would be a fun outing to tackle.

We’ve contemplated that, down the road, perhaps we’ll choose four favorite locations and revisit them throughout the year at the same “perfect weather” times of the year, for example; South Africa during their winter months of June, July, and August. We were there during December, January, and February when it was a scorcher. 

Another creek under a bridge.

In years to come, in a perfect world, I could easily spend half of the year in Marloth Park, South Africa, and the other half here in Madeira. But, speaking of “half’s,” my “other half” would have to be on board. At this point, he can’t contemplate such a plan and I totally agree with him when so much excitement awaits us.

Yesterday, on our way to the supermarket, a cloud cover created this amazing view.

It’s not that I’m thinking of slowing down. By no means! As the perpetual dreamer and romantic, my mind tends to get ahead of me and I love to plan “way ahead.” Let’s face it, I’m 66 years old. Tom is 61. At some point, we’ll run out of steam.

However, when we were on our first and favorite cruise on the Celebrity Century on our way through the Panama Canal, one night an older couple sitting next to us, joyfully told us their stories of traveling the world, living in Africa, going on safari, and seeing much of the world.

As it began to rain, little puffs of clouds dotted the hills. 

We were both in awe as they excitedly told one exciting story after another. They were in their 90’s and still traveling! At this point, we were on our first foray outside the US at the beginning of our journey together, although both of us had traveled internationally before we met.

We had only a few stories to share with the delightful elderly couple and we encouraged them to go on and on.  With a captive audience, they enjoyed retelling their tales easily recalling details with each of them with a sharp memory, still intact after all their years.

It’s always interesting to see the homes nestled in the hills as shown here.

They inspired us and continue to do so as our journey continues. It’s hard to believe that we spoke to that couple in January 2013, a mere 18 months ago. How we’ve changed! We’ve learned so much. 

Another view of the valley on our way to the supermarket.

Our learning curve is literally at the “tip of the iceberg” based on the parts of the world we’ve already visited.  There’s so much more to learn. However, as experienced as we think we are now, it’s nothing compared to where we’ll be in a few years.

Mud running in a creek in Ribeira Brava.

I must admit that this traveling business has been a huge boon for our memory as has a strict diet which, BTW, Tom is finally following with me. He gave up the sweets, gluten, and starch a few days ago on his own, without prodding from me. 

His motivation is more inclined toward his frugal nature. He wants to fit into the clothes he already has and not have to replace everything in larger sizes.

It was cloudy yesterday, but a ray of sunlight reflected in the area to the left-center of this photo creating a pretty scene. Utility lines often obstruct our photos. With modern conveniences in Madeira, they are impossible to avoid.

Whatever his motivation, I’m happy. It means we’ll have more time together, he won’t have trouble hauling our bags and the quality of his life will be greatly improved. I can’t guarantee he’ll do this forever but for now, I’m thrilled. All I want is for him to be healthy so we can continue this life together for as long as possible.

Maybe we’ll be fortunate with good health to be able to continue our journey well into our 90’s like the couple on the Celebrity Century.  In any case, if we cannot, we’ll strive to find a joyful alternative of staying in one place for longer periods, like six months in Marloth Park???  With Ms. Warthog at our door each morning or Mr. Kudu stopping by the veranda for some pellets?  Heaven on earth.

Photo from one year ago, June 24, 2013:

This restaurant was located in the town of Benabbio, Tuscany, Italy, and was the closest to us, a 30-minute drive on the treacherous roads from our home in Boveglio. Although the food was wonderful and the prices fair, neither of us felt safe driving back at night in the dark, especially if Tom had a beer or two with the crazy drivers whipping around the road. As a result, we seldom dined out while living in the remote mountain village of Boveglio. We learned a valuable lesson after we left Boveglio…that we shouldn’t live in such remote locations, especially where no spoke English was spoken, adding to our sense of isolation. Although, once we got into a routine, we ended up enjoying the 75-day stay. For details of that date, please click here.

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