Day #271 in lockdown in Mumbai, India hotel…Where will we go for visa stamps while in South Africa?…

“Puerto Madryn (Spanish pronunciation: [ˈpweɾto ˈmaðɾin]Welsh: Porth Madryn) is a city in the province of Chubut in Argentina, Patagonia. It is the capital of the Biedma Department and has about 93,995 inhabitants according to the last census in 2010.”

We toured the oceanfront village on foot on this date in 2017.

Today’s photos are from this date in 2017 while visiting the port of call, Puerto Madryn, while on a South America cruise nearing the end. For more details, please click here.

Unfortunately, as many of our long time readers are well aware, we can only stay in South Africa for 90 consecutive days. With our desire to stay in Marloth Park as long as possible over the next year, this will require that we leave the country and/or apply for an extension as often as three times.

Another abandoned seafaring boat on the beach in Puerto Madryn.

We have a cruise booked for next November, sailing out of Lisbon, Portugal, that sails along the western coast of Africa, ending in Cape Town, South Africa, enabling us to return to Marloth Park once again. Will this cruise be canceled? At this point, we have no idea.

If it is, we may want to stay in Africa longer, visiting other countries every three months for the visa stamp, allowing us to stay another 90-day segment at a time. Our three months on this upcoming trip for which we depart on January 12, 2021, arriving in Johannesburg before midnight, leaves us with the requirement of departing again by April 10, 2021, 89 days later. We leave a day earlier than the 90 days, in the event of a potential layover in Johannesburg that may take us into the 90th day.

This could have been a street in any beach town.

The tricky part about flying out of South Africa and avoiding the five to six-hour drive to the airport in Johannesburg, an area with a certain risk of carjackings and corrupt police, is to fly from Nelspruit/Mpumalanga/Kruger airport (an hour from Marloth Park), fly to Johannesburg and go anywhere in the world from there, often with multiple layovers.

Unfortunately, the tiny airport, which considers itself an “international” airport, actually only flies to two countries besides South Africa, including Zambia which we already visited twice in 2018 on two very enjoyable tours of Botswana, Zimbabwe, and Zambia and also Mozambique (which borders SA and won’t provide us with a usable visa stamp). At this point, returning to Zambia to drive to other countries holds little appeal to either of us when we’ve already visited the sightseeing highlights of Chobe National Park, Chobe River, Victoria Falls from Zambia, and also the Zimbabwe sides, Zambezi River cruise, and more.

Statue at Puerto Madryn Beach.

No doubt, we enjoyed the two trips, but returning doesn’t make sense. We don’t look forward to flying to Johannesburg to go anywhere else. However, we have no choice but to do so. One of those three above-mentioned visa stamp requirements will most likely result in us applying for one extension during this period which we’d done once in 2018. It’s all tricky, costly, and time-consuming. Traveling to a country bordering South Africa doesn’t count as “leaving the country.”

But, for us, the monkey business (no pun intended) is worth it. With the low cost of living in Africa, compared to most other parts of the world, we can comfortably budget the added costs for these side trips. Plus, it gives us an opportunity to visit other countries and expand our horizons.

A whale carving at the beach.

In the past few days, being hopeful that we’ll be able to leave India in 24 days, we’ve been researching flights for possible countries in Africa we’d like to visit. A few considerations are Zanzibar, (Tanzania), Madagascar, Reunion Island, and more, all of which require flying out of Johannesburg, which we finally accept as the only way we make this work.

The island of Zanzibar in Tanzania is probably our first choice since we don’t want to embark on any 24-hour travel times. Now, we begin the process of searching as to what’s available in the way of hotels or holiday homes, depending on how long we may decide to stay, which is up in the air at this point. We’ve accumulated quite a few free hotel nights by using Hotels.com on our site which we can save for such a trip.

Typical apartment building in Puerto Madryn.

A few years ago, we were determined to see the gorillas in Rwanda or Uganda. However, after the diagnosis of severe cardiovascular disease, it doesn’t make sense for us to go to such a remote location, which requires a challenging mountain trek. Sure, my stamina has greatly improved walking so much for the past nine months, but it hasn’t reversed my condition and such an expedition might be foolhardy.

There’s still plenty of world left for us to see, traveling to locations that won’t be outrageously physically challenging. Walking, we can do. Steep mountain treks may be out of the question. We both accept this reality.

Protesters marching on the beach boulevard.

Once we get situated in South Africa, we’ll book our plans for April and be able to rest easy for the remaining days of our stay in Marloth Park, until again, we’ll hopefully be able to return.

There was a big party in the hotel last night with a DJ resulting in loud thumping music until 11:15 pm. It settled down shortly thereafter when finally, we were able to sleep barring the sounds of doors slamming next door to our room for several hours, Oh, well. Soon enough.

Stay healthy, safe, and content amid the madness that continues to rage throughout the world.

Photo from one year ago today, December 19, 2019:

 

Photo from this date in 2013 which was reposted one year ago today: Of the nine members of this warthog family, there were two moms; one with four babies and the other with three babies. From watching this family almost daily over a period of 18 days, we believe the mom shown above is the mom of the three babies, which if you look closely are all nursing. (It was hard to see the third piglet). Thus, the baby on which she is resting her chin belongs to the other mom who is nearby and seems comfortable with this situation. We couldn’t have laughed more when the fourth baby, whether hers or not, provided this neck resting spot. For more photos from this date, one year ago, please click here.

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