A step in the right direction…Domestic flights in India beginning on May 25…

Playful elephants on the Sabie River in Kruger National Park.

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Today’s photos are from May 21, 2019, from Connemara, Ireland. Please click here for more details.
This morning’s news announced the reopening of some airports in India for domestic flights. This is a step in the direction for the same for international flights sometime down the road.

We love the reflection of clouds in the water as we drive through the countryside.

However, based on the original transmission of Covid-19 traced to passengers entering the country from other countries, its impossible to predict when this may occur.

The US has allowed some domestic flights from the onset of the lockdown, but here again, it could be many months before international flights will begin. As for South Africa, our preferred next destination, there is no indication of its borders opening anytime soon.

As for Madagascar, it appears they may reopen their borders in the next 60 days. Tanzania will be opening its borders for international travelers within a week. This leaves us with a good option for staying in one of these countries enjoying its vast array of wildlife while we await the reopening of borders in South Africa.

Yellow irises growing wild in the countryside.  Please click here for information on the wild yellow irises in Ireland that often grow along the road. 

Madagascar and Tanzania allow a 90-day visa on arrival. If after 90-days or 180-days in these two countries (and other) if South Africa’s borders aren’t open, we can visit other islands near Africa’s eastern border or other countries within Africa such as Namibia, Botswana, Uganda, depending upon the degree of outbreaks in those countries.

In the interim, liquor shops have reopened in some areas in India for “home delivery” only. No pubs will be open nor will bars in open in hotels. Since we’ve gone so long without a drink, at this point, we won’t bother. 

Besides, having beer and wine delivered to the hotel in lockdown with a guard at a distant gate would be cumbersome. We’ve decided we’ll wait until we get to our next location which could be many months from now. 

A little sheep family resting near the road.

It’s interesting to read the comments our readers have sent. We appreciate your comments and suggestions. As we’ve mentioned in past posts, the most common comment we receive is “Why don’t you seek repatriation to the US and get out of this odd situation?”

Another question we received yesterday, “Can you fly to another city in India” while you wait?”

There would be no point in us considering either of these scenarios. There is no city in India that would offer a safer, more comfortable environment than where we are staying now in this quality hotel and it would make no sense to fly any more than absolutely necessary to ultimately leave India when it’s allowed.

We anticipate the flight out of here with a certain sense of dread, as grateful as we’ll be to be on the move. The required five or six-hour early arrival at the airport, wearing a mask and gloves for such an extended period, the medical checks, the luggage fees, and of course, the long and laborious flight.

As we approached the town of Clifden we noticed a number of apartments and townhouses on the inlet.  Clifden, our area to shop, only has a population of 1,597. “Clifden is a coastal town in County Galway, Ireland, in the region of Connemara, located on the Owenglin River where it flows into Clifden Bay. As the largest town in the region, it is often referred to as “the Capital of Connemara”. Frequented by tourists, Clifden is linked to Galway city by the N59.”

But, there doesn’t appear there will be any other options. We’ve into the possibility of an upcoming cruise on a small ship sailing out of Mumbai at some point, but only if it gets us closer to a destination we prefer. This is highly unlikely.

It’s not as if we are being overly picky as to where we choose to go from here. The country has to have open borders, adequate incoming international flights, and not be a hotbed of Covid-19 at the time. 

We accept the reality that we may be required to be quarantined for 14-days (or more) once we arrive in any country especially since India’s number of cases is rising rapidly and…we are US citizens, the biggest hotbed in the world.

Ah, by no means is this situation easy nor will it be when we have some serious decisions to make. But, the one thing we know for sure, it will have made no sense for us to return to the US when flights were offered for stranded citizens.

This precious photo was my favorite of the day.

Where would we have gone? We have no home. Many holiday homeowners are refusing to rent their properties during times of Covid-19. Hotels and meals are twice as expensive as we’re paying here or will pay in other parts of the world.

I’m high risk. We have no insurance in the US except Part A Medicare, which isn’t nearly enough to cover costs if either of us were to become infected. Our international insurance covers everything with only a $250 deductible.

The reasons are obvious. But, we thank everyone who has taken the time to write and offer suggestions and will continue to respond to your suggestions.

Yesterday, we crossed this single-lane bridge on the way to Clifden.  There are a few different routes we can take from here to Clifden and will change it up each week.

The weeks seem to fly by quickly, especially from weekend to weekend. Often, when we comment on what day of the week it is, we’re both surprised it’s Friday or Saturday once again.

Regardless of all of this, we continue to have hope, for the world, for India, for our own country, for our readers/family/friends and for ourselves that eventually this too, shall pass and a new world will begin to emerge.

Stay safe. Stay hopeful.


Photo from one year ago today, May 21, 2019:

Donkeys are highly regarded in Ireland to the point there are special programs available to adopt and a specialized Donkey Sanctuary in Cork, Ireland. For more photos, please click here.

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