More changes within our hotel in Mumbai based on new lockdown requirements…

We took this video in Chobe National Park in May 2018 illustrating how an elephant is unhappy about this safari vehicle in his territory.

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Today’s photos are from May 2019. Please click here for more details.
During our sunset cruise on the Zambezi River in May 2018, we spotted these bee-eaters making nests and burrows into holes they made in the river bank.

Last night at 9:30 pm, the hotel’s reception staff contacted us to tell us the restaurant was closing. In the few seconds it took for them to explain further, my first thoughts were, “Oh, great, how will we eat now?”

The staff member went on to explain the government has retracted the operation of restaurants in hotels and going forward, until further notice, we can no longer pick up our food. Room service is mandatory.

The sights and sounds of Victoria Falls from both the Zambia and Zimbabwe sides were unlike anything we’ve seen in the past.

Previously, the hotel refused to provide room service. Now it’s mandatory. Hum… We liked picking up our food which provided us with the opportunity to ensure it was safely handled from the cooks to our plates. 

Now, our food will be handled by yet another person or two, the person who puts the plates on the tray and the person who delivers it. This only adds to the risk of infection by a staff member touching our plates.

After this elephant dug a decent-sized mud hole, he decided to try to lay on his side.  Digging the hole must have been exhausting for this big fellow in the heat of the sun.  For four stunning videos of him swimming in the Chobe River, please click here and scroll down to the videos.

Based on information found online (always questionable) apparently, it’s unlikely to get the virus when an infected person is handling food during the preparation of a meal. However, the virus can survive on plates being touched by an infected person. 

We will become even more diligent in handling our plates when they arrive by washing our hands after moving them to our own trays which we wash frequently with hot soapy water before and after we eat. We have little control beyond those measures.

Sunset on the Zambezi River.

As a result of this new dictate, other than my walks once an hour in the corridors, neither of us will use the lift to go to the lobby. In one way this is good allowing us to avoid infection from people in the lobby or those who may have coughed or sneezed in the elevator, although we wear masks when leaving the room.

Each time I walk, I wear a mask and when passing either guests or staff in the corridors, I make a point of keeping my back to them as they pass in the narrow hallway.

Riding the ferry is free for people but not for vehicles between Zambia and Botswana but, to disembark it requires removing one’s shoes and walking in the water.

Oh, good grief. This is tiresome. It would be so much easier if we were living in a house, cooking our own meals, and ordering groceries and supplies online. But, this is our situation and it doesn’t appear as if anything will change for months to come.

There are a few flights flying out of India via Air India to Singapore, the UK, and the US. As international travelers, we wouldn’t be allowed to enter Singapore or the UK even if their international airports were open, and they are not. 

Albert, our guide prepared “tea time” before we entered the Chobe National Park.

And as mentioned, we aren’t interested in returning to the US with over 1.3 million cases and the fact our health insurance is only good outside the US. We’re fine here.

A few minutes ago when I went downstairs to pick up a package delivered from Amazon India, I spoke to our hotel rep, Dash and he explained our food handling will be meticulous. He’s taken it upon himself to personally deliver each of our two daily meals. He will not touch our plates. 

I was happy to see Tom safely return from climbing to the top of the wet slippery bridge which he tackled without me.  I’m not quite as surefooted as he is.  It was slipperythe visibility was poor and I wouldn’t have been able to take photos in the heavy mist so I stayed behind with Alec while we awaited his return. I was getting worried when he’d been gone for a long time.  
Seeing him in his yellow poncho made me sigh with relief.

Instead, he is having the kitchen staff place the food onto the plates and then onto a clean tray. The only part he will touch is the edge of the tray when he hands it off to Tom. We will wash our hands before and after we eat.

This afternoon, we’ll watch the series finale episode of Game of Thrones and soon begin a few new shows. It’s a wonderful way to get our minds off of our situation. Tonight, we’ll wrap up the engaging show, Succession, a must-watch series also on HBO, ideal for binge-watching.

In the shallow area of the Victoria Falls, we were gifted with a rainbow but this was the first of many we saw throughout the day.

Thanks for all the concern and love over my recent (ugh!) health issue. Apparently, the antibiotics I had on hand have worked and I am on the mend. I am so grateful to be feeling better. The thought of having to visit a doctor or hospital was dreadful. 

I’m now back to my usual number of daily walks which I’d cut back for a few days. This has been such a boon to my state of mind, knowing that once an hour, I put on a mask, while I walk and listen to podcasts on my phone, all excellent distractions.

We hope those of you who are high-risk are also taking ridiculously cautious measures to avoid getting the virus. Please everyone, stay safe.


Photo from one year ago today, May 9, 2019:

Alas, we arrived at the magical splendor of Victoria Falls, in Zimbabwe in May 2018, one of the Seven Wonders of the World. Photo from a post one year ago today with favorite photos. For details, please click here.

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