New road trip photos…Departure in 7 days…A year ago…Anticipating nine months in Africa…

Purple flowers, blue sea.  Lovely.

Since purchasing the HP laptop in South Africa I’ve had trouble with the keyboard. The letter “i” continues to stick although I’ve learned to press hard in order for it to work. 

There’s a substantial Catholic population on the island. It’s not unusual to spot a shrine of the Virgin Mary in public areas such as this.

A new problem started a few days ago. When I write a word with the letter “P” in it, the “P” moves to another position in the word such as this:  “hpoto” instead of “photo.” Now I have to be conscientious of every word that I type that has a “P” in it. Go figure. 

A small fishing boat anchored to a buoy.

We’ll both need new laptops when we arrive in Boston in September. At that point, my laptop will only be seven months old. It’s frustrating. 

View from a road at a high elevation to the village below showing the boat in the above photo.

I know that many think that a tablet will work for us but unless there’s a new model with a large enough monitor to satisfy us both, we’ll end up buying two more laptops. Tom’s two-year-old laptop has a broken monitor he’s been dealing with for months. There goes another US $2000, EU $1485.26.

These old stone tunnels are common throughout Madeira.

This morning I had an awful time logging on when I ended up having to use the on-screen keyboard to enter my password. I’m totally convinced that a quality laptop suitable for travel is yet to be designed. I’ve seen a few “rugged” styles but they are very heavy. Oxymoron.

Many areas neighborhoods consist of large homes, often owned by foreigners and ex-pats.

Today, when Judite arrives for the final time, we’re heading out for our last grocery shopping trip needing only a few items to get us through the next six dinners. Today, we didn’t buy produce from the truck when we heard it drive past when all we need is lettuce, cabbage, and carrots which we’ll buy at the supermarket.

As we drove through a village, this bell tower warranted a stop.

In the past several days, I’ve done some clearing and cleaning of items in my smaller of the two bags, which contains medical supplies, a few camera supplies, toiletries, and cosmetic items, lightening the load by a few pounds. Tom is down to bare bones unable to lighten his large bag. The second smaller bag holds our heavy boots and all of our shoes. 

There are a few sandy beaches on the island. Most are rocky such as this.

I’m considering getting rid of my large handbag which I only use on travel days. The bag itself is heavy. If I’m able to fit the vital items to the carry on duffel bag, we’d be down to the following carry on: one duffel, one laptop bag, and the cloth bag of prescriptions (in case our luggage is lost). We shall see if I can pull this off once we start packing.

Tom got a kick out of this sign for an Irish Sports Bar with a photo of a camel on the sign. We couldn’t quite grasp the significance of the camel and Irish.  There aren’t any camels in Ireland, are there?

Today, we’re sharing photos from another road trip. Driving around this magical island always offers us new and interesting scenery that we’re always anxious to share with our readers.

This village was decorated for the upcoming banana festival which occurred over this past weekend.

We both have a tendency to temper our enthusiasm as the time to leave nears, knowing that we have a full travel day ahead of us. We’ll be especially relieved when this upcoming travel day is over with all of the political unrest in the world.

Have a wonderful day!

                                              Photo from one year ago today, July 24, 2013:

A borrowed photo of Diani Beach, Kenya as we wrote about our fears and apprehension of living in Africa for nine months which at that point one year ago today, was only six weeks away. Now, looking back some of our fears were warranted such as cobras on the veranda, horrifying insects, and living with only an outdoor living room. In any case, worrying certainly provided little insight into that which we experienced. For details of that date, please click here.

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