Photo shortage…Photos from five years ago today…The island of Madeira Portugal…

These old stone tunnels are common throughout Madeira.  To see this five-year-old post, please click here.

Fascinating Fact of the Day About Ireland 
“The population of
Ireland currently sits at around 4.5 million people, which is still almost 4
million less the population before the Great Irish Famine of 1845-1852.
However, it has been reported that almost 80 million people around the world
have Irish passports. Up to half the entire population of Australia claim Irish
ancestry, while just over 39 million Americans believe they are part Irish.”

With all the wind and rain this week we haven’t been out to take photos.  This creates a certain amount of concern as I struggle to share photos for each day’s post.  

This fact has been a constant dilemma when at times, especially lately, I haven’t felt up to going out.  Now as we wind down our time here, leaving in 15 days,  I doubt we’ll go sightseeing before we leave.
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.
I’ve kept track of the interest by our worldwide readers when we post sightseeing photos and oddly, there are no fewer readers when we haven’t been sightseeing, taking lots of photos.  I can’t quite figure out this dilemma.

At this time, with the ongoing realities of my continuing recovery, I don’t feel like riding in the car for hours at a time.  Instead, we’ve decided to only go out when we have to shop in these remaining days in Connemara.
There are a few sandy beaches on the island.  Most are rocky such as this.
In the interim, I continue to walk, climb stairs indoors and walk the big hill from the driveway (which I haven’t done in a few days due to bad weather, fearing the slippery rocks could result in a fall).  

Perhaps I am babying myself.  Its what I feel like doing right now.  We’ll be plenty busy when we get to Amsterdam and two days later board the cruise with many ports of call we’d like to see.  
As we drove through a village, this bell tower warranted a stop.
We apologize for this “change” over the next 15 days but once we’re on the move, many photos will follow.  In the past over seven years since we began posting, (March 2012), there have been few occasions when we didn’t post photos, except perhaps for the first year before we became excited about taking photos.

Sadly, we didn’t do what we’d hoped to do while in Ireland, mainly further explore Tom’s ancestry and sightsee.  For now, the timing wasn’t quite right and the distances required to do so would have resulted in six or more hours of driving each day.
This village was decorated for the upcoming banana festival which occurred over the prior weekend.
Had I not had the dreadful surgery in February, everything would have been entirely different.  But, this is our current reality.  And, as hard as its been, we’ve made every effort to stay upbeat and positive.

Without getting out much, writing here has been challenging.  Much to our delight, our readership hasn’t faltered during this less exciting period.  Thanks to each and every one of you for sticking with us.  
Soon, it will become more exciting as we work our way toward our upcoming travels, cameras in hand and enthusiasm in our hearts and minds.  No doubt, we too, have missed the excitement.
Ironically while in Madeira, Portugal, 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?  Not that we’ve seen thus far.
Over the next few weeks, we will add photos from past adventures often going back as many as seven years.  During the last week, we’ll begin posting our favorite photos of Ireland and then, a few days later we’ll be in Amsterdam.

Yesterday, we wrapped up our travel health insurance.  From August 11th, when we board the ship to November 8th when we arrive in the US, we’ll be covered including my preexisting conditions.  

The total cost was for the short term policy for both of us was Euro 1113,  US $1240, half as much as our old policy which no longer covers my preexisting condition.  This gave both of us peace of mind.  (The policy doesn’t cover time spent in the US).

Thank you for your patience and understanding.  See you soon!

Photo from one year ago today, July 24, 2018:

We took this photo on Volstruis Street.  The word volstruis means ostrich in Afrikaans.  For more photos, please click here.

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