Part 3…2018, “Year in Review” with favorite photos…They’re back!!!…Six years ago today…Itinerary re-post from one year ago.

We so excited to see the kudus and other wildlife returning to our garden as the holiday crowds dissipate.  

“Sighting of the Day in the Bush”

One of our two favorite frogs took up residence in this cute little decorative basket near the pool on the veranda.

This morning, two bushbucks, one duiker,  five zebras, and three warthogs stopped by at the same time.  Last night before the pelting rain began, 12 kudus and three warthogs stopped by for a snack.  We couldn’t toss the pellets quickly enough.  

Notice the pellet crumbs on her nose.  Often, there are lots of crumbs in the huge bags of pellets.  Most of the wildlife are happy to lap up the crumbs if we place them on the tile steps.  See more here at this link.

We’re so excited the animals have begun to return to our garden.  After all, that’s why we’re here…the wildlife and the people.  They’re all wonderful and have made this past year fly by in a flurry of activity.

We couldn’t believe our eyes when we spotted this elephant digging a hole to access water in the ground below.  Please take a moment to watch our video at the top of the page.  See this link here for more.

The now working aircon in our main floor bedroom provided us with a good night’s sleep along with the fact the power stayed on for the past 36 hours.  Add the fact that today, for the first time in days, the temperature is cool and comfortable at 21C, (70F) and surprisingly doesn’t feel as humid as it had over the past several days.  What a welcomed relief!

Louise and Danie joined us for dinner that night at Kambaku, the popular restaurant at the golf course in Komatipoort, as we celebrated their belated birthdays.  We couldn’t be more grateful for all they’ve done for us.  See this link here for more.

Today, we’ll complete this three-part series of 2018, “Year in Review” and return tomorrow with our regular posts and all new photos as we see more and more wildlife each day as the holidaymakers have begun to drift away.

Our photo of the blood moon taken on July 27, 2018.  See this link here for more.

Holiday times are different in South Africa than many other countries. In the US, kids return to school the first day after the end of New Year’s Day.  But here, the return to school varies from public schools to private schools but may be as late as the middle of January.  This fact determines when many of the holidaymakers leave Marloth Park.

Not a night passes without an opportunity to watch these adorable bushbabies enjoy the yogurt we place on their little stand.  See this link here for more.
However, as we’ve seen from the gradual return of the wildlife to our garden, many may have left right after New Year’s Day.  At this point, we’ll see how it transpires over the next week or two.
What an animal!  We feel fortunate to have been able to get lion photos.  See this link for more.

This morning when Tom was reviewing past posts, he mentioned it was exactly six years ago today that we boarded our first cruise.  See here for the link. (At that time, we didn’t post many photos and didn’t do a post daily). In 80 days, we’ll be boarding our 24th cruise in Santiago Chile, ending in San Diego California.  

Mom and baby love.  See this link here for more.

It’s even hard for us to believe how many cruises we’ve experienced in this short period of time and other than a four-day back to back cruise in 2013, in the Mediterranean, we’ve loved every one of them.  

Every piece of art at WayiWayi Art Studio & Gallery was representative of Zambian culture.  See this link here for more.

The four-day cruise was during spring break and was crowed with highly inebriated, loud, demanding and pushing and shoving passengers.  It couldn’t have ended quickly enough for us.  

We were excited to get a view of the leopard’s face after waiting for a considerable period while Samson, our guide in Chobe National Paek in Botswana kept moving the vehicle for better shots.  Upon careful inspection of this photo, you can see the pads of the feet of her kill in the tree near her head.  See this link here for more.

Below included in our “one year ago today” feature we posted the itinerary which we’d included on today’s date in 2018.  Certain aspects of our itinerary have changed, including the first year that has since passed.  In the next few months, as we add more bookings, we’ll be updating the itinerary and post it here.  

Based on our position in the line-up of vehicles in Kruger our photo taking advantage was limited.  See this link here for more.

As the years have passed, we don’t feel the sense of urgency to fill in the blanks and extend the itinerary beyond two years.  Its less about being lazy and more about feeling comfortable that all of it will work out as we go along.

Stunning female lion – as a part of the Ridiculous Nine we spotted in a game drive in Marloth Park with friends Lois and Tom who visited for three weeks.  See this link here for more.

Tonight, we’ll be visiting Rita and Gerhard at their second condo at Ngwenya where they’re staying until tomorrow.  Then, much to their delight, they’re moving back to the Hornbill house where they lived the first month they were here and will stay until sometime in March when they’ll be leaving Marloth Park.

Tom, Lois, Kerry (our guide) me and Tom after a highly successful game drive in Kruger.  See this link here for more.

We’re hoping to see them in this New Year when they’ll come to visit us in Ireland during our three-month stay beginning in May.  We’re also looking forward to Kathy and Don visiting us in Ireland as well.  How fortunate we are to have made such fine friends.

We encountered this stunning scene of zebras and wildebeest from the fence at Marloth Park. One reason zebras and wildebeest hang out together is that zebras love to eat the taller grass and wildebeest the shorter grass – it’s a type of symbiosis. There is no competition regarding food.  Also, wildebeests have a better sense of hearing, while zebras can see very well. It’s always great to have an ally to warn of any impending danger.  Another reason is zebras and wildebeest prefer to be in the open savannahs…the concept of safety in numbers comes into play.  See this link here for more.

Then upcoming on January 14, friend Linda and Ken will stay here with us for a week.  They arrive from Johannesburg on the day that we’re having a birthday dinner party for Rita. Such good times with friends…we are so grateful.

We’ve so enjoyed spending time with new friends Rita and Gerhard who came to Marloth Park after reading our posts years ago.  Through our site, they found the holiday home they’ve rented and also found Louise to help them get situated.  They’ll be here in Marloth until March.  We look forward to many more exciting times together.  See this link here for more.

That’s it for today, folks.  We’ll be back with more tomorrow. 

May you find your day to be fulfilling and meaningful!

___________________________________



Photo from one year ago today, January 3, 2018:

One year ago today, we posted the upcoming itinerary that included a total of 852 days, which is now down to 486 days since the first year of this itinerary has passed. Since that date, we’ve had a few modifications which we’ll include next time we update and post the itinerary. For details, please click here.


 Location 
Days
 Dates 
 Buenos Aires, AR – Prodeo Hotel 
20
 1/2/2018 -1/23/2018 
 Ushuaia, AR – Ushuaia, AR – Antarctica Cruise 
16
 1/23/2018 – 2/8/2018 
 Buenos Aires, AR – Prodeo Hotel 
2
 2/8/2018 – 2/10/2018 
 Marloth Park, South Africa – Bush home selected
89
2/11/2018 – 5/11/2018
  Zambezi River Cruise – Victoria Falls 
8
5/11/2018 – 5/19/2018
 Marloth Park, South Africa – Rent a bush home
89
5/19/2018 – 8/16/2018
 Uganda – See gorillas and the “Cradle of Mankind” 
7
8/16/2018 – 8/23/2018
 Marloth Park, South Africa – Rent a bush home
89
 8/23/2018 -11/20/2018 
 Mozambique, Africa (get visa stamped) 
1
 11/20/2018 -11/21/2018 
 Marloth Park, South Africa – Rent a bush home
89
 11/21/2019 – 2/17/2019 
 Valparaiso, Chile – Rent vacation home or hotel
36
 2/17/2019 – 3/24/2019 
 Cruise – San Antonio, Chile – San Diego 
14
 3/24/2019 – 4/8/2019 
 San Diego, CA – Fly to Minneapolis, MN – Family visit
13
 4/8/2019 – 4/21/2019 
 Cruise – Fort Lauderdale, FL- Dublin, Ire (1-day hotel stay) 
15
 4/21/2019 – 5/6/2019 
 Ireland – Rent country house – Research Tom’s ancestry 
90
 5/6/2019 – 8/1/2019 
 Amsterdam, NLD – Hotel stay 
11
 8/1/2019 – 8/11/2019 
 Cruise, Baltic – Amsterdam, NLD – Amsterdam, NLD 
12
 8/11/2019 – 8/23/2019 
 England – Rent country home
62
 8/23/2019 – 10/24/2019 
 Southampton, UK – Fort Lauderdale, FL
15
  10/24/2019 – 11/8/2019 
 Henderson/Las Vegas, NV – Los Angeles, CA -Scottsdale, AZ 
25
 11/8/2019 – 12/3/2019 
 Ecuador – Galapagos – Rent vacation homes on islands
89
 12/3/2019 – 3/1/2020 
 Peru – Machu Picchu – Rent vacation homes, visit site 
30
 3/1/2020 –  3/31/2020 
 The Pantanal/Amazon River Cruise – Brazil (2 cruises)
30
 3/31/2020 – 4/30/2020 
 Number of days  
852

Part 2…2018, “Year in Review” with favorite photos…An important decision has been made…

Two female rhinos on the trail of a nearby male.  See this link here for more.

“Sighting of the Day in the Bush”

We were hopeful on Monday when we had 13 kudus in the garden, thinking perhaps the traffic in Marloth Park was thinning out.  Today, we’ve had several kudus, bushbucks and the warthog mom and four babies.

Yesterday was another hot and humid day, leaving us soaked in sweat throughout the day.  Today, it continues.  Luckily, the power didn’t go out and we slept in one of the upstairs bedrooms with working aircon.

Linda, me and Kathy.  It was these two thoughtful friends that took me to lunch on my birthday, four years ago.  Now, we’ll all be together again to celebrate my 70th.  Wow!  See this link here for more.

We’re hopeful, the repair guy will come today and repair the aircon in our main floor bedroom where we have a dust-mite-free mattress, pillows, and covers.  The bed upstairs is a double and although we’ve slept in double beds throughout the world, a queen-sized bed is much more comfortable, especially when we both have a tendency to hog the center of the mattress.

Ken, Tom and Don making big faces for the camera!  See this link here for more.

We’re looking forward to aircon comfort in our main floor bedroom, hopefully, available by this evening.  From there, we hope the power stays on as it has for the past 24 hours.

We’ll always remember this birthday as a special event for both of us; celebrated life, health, our experiences and the fine friends we’ve made along the way.  See this link here for more.

This morning, it’ rained, a nice soaking rain needed in the bush at this point.  We were discussing the frustration many holidaymakers must be feeling after they came to the bush with lots of expectations, only to be sorely disappointed by some events that transpired.

While in Kruger, we spotted a rhino mom and her baby, born this season and still closely attached to the mother. See this link here for more.

It’s been outrageously hot, humid and there have been more power outages than we can count.  Kruger National Park has been difficult to enter with the crowds going as far as making reservations for a fee, to enter.  Once inside, they’ve had to deal with all the vehicles blocking the roads during a sighting.

This was a “tower” or “journey” of the eight giraffes who made their way to the only paved road in Marloth.  Note the eighth giraffe is to the far right in this photo.  See this link here for more.

On top of that, there has been less wildlife visiting the properties over the past several weeks due to the added number of people and vehicles in Marloth Park, certainly adding to the frustrations.

When “capturing” the Black Mamba it is imperative to immobilize the head close to the ground and raise the tail.  Tom managed to do this while it was desperately attempting to escape during his snake handling experience at Snake School.  The Black Mamba is the fastest snake on the planet.  See this link here for more.

As we often drive around Marloth Park for two hour periods, almost every day, we see few animals in the gardens of holiday homes, other than an occasional kudu or warthog.  

At a distance, they saw Dad coming their way.  The chick’s pace picked up the moment she spotted him.  Look at the far end of the dirt road to see him coming!  His feathers are dark.  See this link here for more.

We can only imagine the frustration of the holidaymakers dealing with these issues, as well as property owners and managers, dealing with the renter’s demands as a result of their frustrations.  It hasn’t been an easy situation. Some tourists have left earlier than they’d planned.

 I awoke Tom when this thing was walking on me.  With the light from my phone, I saw it and must admit, a little scream escaped my lips as I shooed it off my shoulder.  Yucky!  Look at those spiky legs!  Tom captured it in this plastic container and released it outside.  See this link here for more.

Today, we continue on with Part 2…2018, “Year in Review.”  In yesterday’s post, found here, we covered our cruise to Antarctica and the many stunning photos we captured along the way.  It was exciting for us, once again, reviewing each post for favorite photos to share in the post.

This was a common sight in Marloth Park a holiday weekend in April.  It’s packed with tourists sitting in the back of a “bakkie” which is Afrikaans for “pickup truck.”  Very dangerous.  See this link here for more.

Today, we’re including photos and links from the first half of the year up to and including June 2018.  Tomorrow, we’ll add a Part 3 which with so many photos, we found to be necessary.

Adorable baby Danie with his loving and attentive mom, Okey Dokey, our friend and driver from 2013 when she and her husband and baby came to visit.  He never stopped smiling and laughing the entire time they were visiting.  See this link here for more.

Of course, we want to “save” some favorite photos to share on the last few days of our one year stay in Marloth Park, including all the year’s expenses which we’ll include on the last day, February 14, 2019.  On that date, we’ll depart the park to spend the night in a hotel in Nelspruit, close to the airport for our early morning flight to Kenya.

This gorgeous feta, onion and lettuce salad served by dear friends Louise and Danie when they invited us for dinner was enhanced with edible flowers indicative of the attention to detail and creativity these two fine hosts possess. See this link here for more.

We made a very important decision in the past few days…we will return to Capetown, South Africa via a cruise on December 2, 2020.  However, we’ll fly to Namibia from there where we’ll spend three months and then return to Marloth Park.  

Alas, we arrived in Zambia to see the magical splendor of Victoria Falls, one of the Seven Wonders of the World.  Later that day we also went to Zimbabwe to see the falls from that country.  See this link here for more.

By then, the holiday season in Marloth will have passed and we can avoid or at least diminish some of our own frustrations during the holiday season.  No doubt, Namibia will have some challenges but we’ll have an entirely different set of expectations of our own.

None of the six of us or our guide Alfred could believe our eyes as we watched this male elephant build his mud pool in Chobe National Park.  We’ve seen a lot of elephants in Africa but this was a rare sighting for us.  See this link here for more.

As for yesterday and today’s photos, many of our long-term readers certainly have seen them in past posts.  However, we always have a new influx of readers and encourage them to click on the links we’ve provided along the way.

Check out those teeth on a croc we spotted while on the Zambezi River cruise. Crocs are able to replace each of their 80 teeth, up to 50 times in their 35 to 75-year lifespan.  See this link here for more.

It’s been a fantastic year, as we mentioned in yesterday’s post and we continued to smile when we reviewed the year’s posts and see all that we’ve accomplished and experienced along the way.

The harsh realities of the bush – This is a Bovine Tuberculosis infected kudu we spotted only the day after we were educated on this dreadful disease impacting mainly kudus in Marloth Park.  See this link here for more.

And, there’s so much more yet to come in the New Year.  Please stay with us as we continue on our exciting world journey.


 This video will remain as one of our favorites in years to come clearly illustrating the intelligence of elephants during a human intervention in “their world.”  Watch and you’ll see why.  See this link here for more.


Have a spectacular second day of the New Year!

___________________________________


Photo from one year ago today, January 2, 2018:

We set up the tripod to take this photo of us in Costa Rica on October 31, 2017, the five year anniversary of our world travels which was posted in Part 2, our 2017 “Year in Review.”  For more, please click here.

Part 1…2018, “Year in Review” with favorite photos…

It was fun to hold up our US flag on the ice floe in Antarctica. See the link here for more.

“Sighting of the Day in the Bush”

Perhaps the holidaymaker’s are beginning to leave the park when yesterday we had no less than 20 kudus stop by throughout the day, including this adorable young male.

This has been one of the best years of my life.  The adventures were many the challenges endless, and the opportunity to see parts of the world we only dreamt of.

A one or two-year-old Rock Hopper Penguin on New Island in the Falkland Islands yet to grow his full plumage.  See this link for more.

Tom always says, “The best year of my life is yet to come.”  OK, I’ll go along with that premise as well.  

  Closer view of King Penguin with a chick.  See this link here for more.

But, how in the world can we possibly top this past year visiting Argentina, Antarctica, spending a year in Marloth Park, and twice traveling to Botswana, Zambia, and Zimbabwe…Chobe River, Chobe National Park, Victoria Falls and cruising on the Zambezi River?  (More photos will follow in Part 2 tomorrow).

Tom certainly got it right when he captured this Black Browed Albatross chick with what appears
to be a smile. See this link here for more.

Today, included in our photos is a focus on our Antarctica cruise, surely one of the highlights of both of our lives.  We left Palermo, Buenos Aires, Argentina, on January 23, 2018, to head to Ushuaia, Argentina, the most southerly city in the world, to board the ship, the Ponant Le Soleal.

It was stunning to see all these Albatross atop these pods in their massive nesting grounds.

When the cruise ended on February 8, 2019, we returned to Palermo for two more days before we flew to Marloth Park on February 11, 2018, to begin this year-long stay, ending on February 14, 2019, in a mere 44 days.

This elephant seal on Steeple Jason Island didn’t care for our photo taking antics.  See the link here for more.

Going from the cold and ice of Antarctica to the heat and dust of Africa was quite an experience in itself.  But, in no time at all, we adapted to our new life for the year to come.  And, its been a grand year we’ll always treasure.

This is unreal…the Black Browed Albatross on Steeple Jason Island, remove tall grass from these massive “pod-like” structures, adding mud and vegetation to make it a free-standing pod on which they can nest. Here’s a young chick making a little noise while atop her/his elevated nest.  That’s amazing!  See the link here for more..

By far, that cruise was the most expensive cruise or venue we’ve experienced in our six-plus years of world travel.  We doubt we’ll embark on such a costly expedition in years to come.  It proved to be well worth the expense and we have no regrets.

Standing among the King Penguins was an experience we’ll always remember.  See this link here for more.

Last night we brought in the New Year at Royal Kruger Lodge, a four-star safari resort and spa here in Marloth Park.  Our host, Flo, and JJ did an exceptional job at making us feel welcomed. We been to several social events with Flo and JJ over the past year and found them to be a very special couple, with three children, teenage daughter, and a son and, a college-age daughter, all of whom attended the party.

This has got to be one of our favorite Antarctic photos, a Chinstrap Penguin lying on the rocks for a short rest with what looks like a winsome smile on his face.  See this link here for more.

Louise and Danie, longtime close friends of theirs ensured we had an invitation, along with Rita and Gerhard.  We couldn’t have had a more enjoyable New Year’s Eve.

We had to keep our distance from this delicate structure which would be a disaster for us in the small boat, where it to collapse near us.  See this link here for more.

Also, we knew a number of other guests in attendance of the party of 30 to 40 guests, staged poolside, at their stunning property, surely one of the most beautiful resorts/game lodges in Marloth Park.

There we were, sitting on a Zodiac boat in Pleneau Bay sipping on French champagne.  Was that ever fun!  See this link here for more.

We returned to the house at 1:00 am but didn’t fall asleep until after 2:00 am.  Fortunately, we both managed to get some sleep even without working aircon which hopefully will be repaired in days to come.  Also, we were thrilled to find we had power and could at least use the portable fan.

Both of us raising a glass in celebration of this special occasion.  The ships staff created an ice bar on a small ice floe.  We used the Zodiac boat to arrive at the floe, all set for French champagne.  See the link here for more.

Today, we’ll lay low and have a nice dinner on the veranda, hoping we’ll see as many visitors as we did yesterday before we left for the party close to 1900 hours, (7:00 pm).  

Both of us holding the “I crossed the Polar Circle” sign.  See this link here for more.

We had no less than 20 kudus stop by; Little and his best friend; warthog friends Mike and Joe;  numerous bushbucks, and both female and male duikers.  Even Frank and the Mrs. made an appearance.  We hadn’t seen either of them in over a week.  I suppose holiday traffic has an impact on francolins (birds).

A face only a mother could love.  See this link here for more of our favorite photos from the  Antarctica cruise.

We’re wishing every one of our worldwide readers has an exceptional New Year, filled with the riches of life that even money can’t buy…the joys of nature and our surroundings, free for the taking, fulfilling in many ways.

Happy New Year to each of YOU!

___________________________________


Photo from one year ago today, January 1, 2018:

Us, one year ago at the boutique hotel in Palermo, Buenos Aires, Argentina where we awaited the Antarctica cruise beginning on January 23, 2018.  For more details, please click here.


Is Tom procrastinating?…Shopping, his nemesis…

Pelican resting on a log on a pond at Zoo Ave, the bird sanctuary.

“Sightings from the Veranda in Costa Rica”

It was pouring rain when I took this photo from the veranda.  These two little Tropical Kingbirds didn’t seem to mind the rain.

There’s never been a time where I’ve seen Tom enjoying shopping, not in a store, not grocery shopping, and certainly not shopping online for clothing.  In most cases, I’ve purchased everything for him such as was the case when we replaced our entire wardrobes while we were in Minnesota.

We’ve known this daunting task of deciding on clothing for Antarctica was facing us and we’ve both procrastinated for some time.  Now, we’re down to the wire.
Spending only one night in a Fort Lauderdale Florida hotel on November 22nd, (US Thanksgiving eve), and the necessity of having of having everything arrive in one box, we’re having everything sent to our mailing service.

A police building in a small town on the mountain road.

Once it all arrives, the mailing service will pack it into one large box and ship it to the hotel with a plan for it to arrive about a week before our arrival, in the event of any mailing delays.  We’ll purchase insurance for the package and send it USP for a fast arrival. 

If anything does go wrong, we’ll have time to reorder everything to have it shipped to Buenos Aires where we’ll be for one month prior to the Antarctica cruise…backup plan in place.  We always have to consider contingencies when we’ve experienced plenty of shipping issues throughout the world over these past five years. 

Even some of the newer homes don’t have clothes dryers and hang their laundry outdoors. 

We both committed to getting the shopping done this week allowing plenty of time to receive it all in time.  None of the items required shipping fees.  The only shipping fees we’ll have to pay is for sending the box from Las Vegas to Fort Lauderdale which will be a lot less than we’ve paid for international shipping.

Having added other supplies and products we’ll need for our year in Africa, this will be one large package of supplies.  We’re hoping to avoid having anything shipped to Africa if possible.  No matter how hard we’ve tried, it’s not possible for us to exist with products offered in many countries.

Many homes are small single story styles.


In Australia which is a shopping haven, we couldn’t find a replacement laptop for Tom suitable for his needs.  We ended up paying US $400 (CRC 229,814) for shipping fees for the laptop from the US to Australia.  

I’ve been using my laptop since January 2015.  It’s still working with only one issue with the touchscreen.  I can’t swipe from the right to the left to access the “networks” screen.  With an easy workaround, this hasn’t been a problem for me.

Gated villa in Roca Verde, our neighborhood.

Tom is worried, we’ll be in South Africa and my computer will crash and I’ll experience the same frustrating situation as when I dropped it and broke the screen in in January 2014.

Okee Dokee and I drove the long distance to Nelspruit to purchase another laptop.  It was a disaster when my only option was an inferior HP which proved to be a dud. 

Here’s the post from the date I dropped it and here’s the post from the date Okee Dokee and I drove to Nelspruit to find another.

Many homes located outside of the planned communities aren’t gated.

I certainly don’t want to go through that again. But, I hesitate to replace this laptop that is working so well for me at this point.  It’s a decision I’ll have to make within a week or two prior to the shipment being sent to Fort Lauderdale. 

At the moment, Tom is finishing his order on Amazon spending a little less than I did.  By the end of today, he too will have it completed and we can put one more task behind us.

Corn growing along the road.

With the sun shining this morning, we’re hoping to spend time by the pool.  Yesterday was sunny and warm during which we stayed in the pool until our fingers were wrinkled. 

As always we swam, we laughed, we talked, and we shared stories of our lives long before we knew one another. We’re so grateful for this unusual life we live and the ways in which we spend it together.  Life is good.

May your live be good as well.

_________________________________________

Photo from one year ago today, October 11, 2016:

In Bali, these smaller buffaloes than the scarier big males, present a huge task for these young boys as they walk them to the river and back.  For more photos, please click here.

It’s time to start planning clothing for the Antarctica cruise… Different for us than most other travelers…

This is a variety of Bromelaid.  This stunning bloom is located  on the grounds of the villa is over-the-top!

 “Sightings from the Veranda in Costa Rica”

This was a perfect opportunity to get a photo of Ulysses, our groundskeeper, and maintenance person, who lives in an apartment on the property.  We wish we could chat with him freely but we are able to communicate sufficiently to ask him questions and make requests.

It’s not as if we can jump in the car and drive to REI or Cabella’s to purchase clothing for our upcoming Antarctica cruise in five months.  And, realistically, we need to start planning now knowing anything we purchase will have to be shipped to Buenos Aires and go through customs which can take a long time, as we’ve experienced in past situations.

There are several options for handling the required items of clothing considering we’ll be leaving the ship on Zodiac boat for several hours at a time while we visit various islands, ice floes, and glaciers.  Waterproof gear is a must.

Another Bromelaid with patterns appearing more like fabric for curtains than an actual plant.  Wow!

Over the past several days, we’ve begun conducting research to discover the following options since the Ponant Cruise Line doesn’t handle rental clothing as do most other Antarctic cruise lines:
1.  Rent from one of a few companies that handle such clothing, all of which require the clothing be sent to us in Buenos Aires.  Downside:  Clothing of this type can easily be stolen in transit; customs can cause delays; the clothing is rented for a specific period and penalties will incur if there are delays in transit times;  the clothes must promptly be returned at the end of the cruise, adding one more project to handle when we need to be on our way.
2.  Purchase the clothing from the US at lower costs.  Downside:  The above shipping and potential theft issues would be unavoidable.  Plus, when we’re done, shipping the clothing back to the US to be held by our mailing service until we need it again someday.
3.  Purchase the majority of the clothing through Ponant.  They’ll have it waiting for us in our cabin when we board the ship.  Purchase odds and ends in the US and have them shipped to our hotel in Florida on November 22nd where we’ll stay for one night before boarding the back-to-back cruise the next day.  This results in a two step process.  Downside:  Ponant’s items are expensive.

These waxy flowers almost look like Begonias we’d plant years ago in shady areas in Minnesota.

Originally, when we booked the cruise, we budgeted US $1,000, (CRC 57,594) for each of us for clothing rental as a necessary element of this expensive cruise, which is pretty much the going rate per person for all items.  If we purchase some of the items separately and ship to the Florida, we may be able to save a few hundred dollars each.

After considering all of the above options, we’ve definitely decided to go with purchasing the bulk of the major items directly from Ponant and the balance  (long sleeved shirts, socks, glove liners, etc) from Amazon in the US with free shipping with our Prime membership directly to the hotel in Florida.

These orange flowers, Lobster Claws, against the palm background create an appealing scene.

The other options, although less expensive make no sense at all, especially when there’s the cost of shipping and delays due to customs.  If we purchased the bigger items on our own, we’d have no idea on the quality and suitability for the cruise.  Most likely, the clothing from the cruise line in suitable.

Most likely sizing will be an issue for me with my extra long arms and legs. Maybe I’ll be able to tuck my pants into the Ponant provided complimentary boots to avoid the high water look. Hopefully, I’ll have enough layers to keep my arms covered especially wearing the almost elbow length gloves we’ll also purchase through Ponant.

What was Mother Nature thinking here?

Tom inquired to previous Antarctica cruise passengers at Cruise Critic for more finite details and based on their comments, it appears we’re going down the right path.

It’s considerably easier for those who can jump in the car and drive to local cold-weather-clothing stores to check out the possibilities, try on a few items and purchase their smaller items with ease.  Here again, this is one more of the many challenges we face as constant world travelers. 

We love this type of palm tree.  We’d seen many of these in Hawaii a few years ago.

No doubt, we’ll have it all figured out long before we board the ship, Ponant Le Soleil, on January 23, 2018, in Ushuaia Argentina.  No worries.  It will all work out! 

Have a happy Monday or Tuesday, depending where you may be in the world, whether it’s approaching the end of your warm summer months or your cold winter months, depending on which side of the equator you may live.

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Photo from one year ago today, August 14, 2016:


We visited the Phuket Seashell Museum.  It was fascinating to see all of the various seashells indigenous to the area.  For more photos, please click here.