Day #262 in lockdown in Mumbai, India hotel…No masks!…More from South America in 2017…

Adult and baby pelicans atop a fishing net.

Today’s photos are a continuation of our visit to Arica, Chile while on a back-to-back cruise, (two-15 day cruises), to South  America on this date in 2017. For more photos, please click here.

Sure, I complain about this every few days, guests in the hotel refusing to wear a face mask in the corridors and public areas. Our dilemma? Do we stop walking in the corridors and spend 16 hours a day sitting in a chair and eight hours in bed? Not our ideal healthy scenario over the next month until we depart this hotel, and depart India on January 12th?

A scene of Arica, Chile from our cabin’s veranda.

I suppose if I didn’t have heart disease, I’d bite the bullet and stay in the room, figuring once we’re out of here, I can make up for it. But, I’ve found walking to be highly beneficial to my well-being, blood pressure, blood sugar, and hopefully my arteries. I don’t dare reverse the stamina I’ve built over the past almost nine months in this hotel, having to start all over again when we arrive in South Africa.

Last night, on Facebook, I read that a leopard with its leg in a snare was wandering the roads in Marloth Park. That could easily deter walking in the bush. The rangers are searching for the injured animal and once they do, they’ll dart it and take it to the local animal rehab until she/he is well enough to be returned to the wild.

A boulevard scene in Arica, Chile.

These types of situations are not uncommon in the bush, so walking on the dirt roads may be limited at times. Instead, I’ll have to stick to the grounds of our bush house, or even, if necessary, walking indoors, if, at any given times, it’s not safe to walk outdoors. It’s not easy to walk five miles inside a house, but it can be done.

In the Orange house in 2019, after heart surgery and before my legs became infected, I walked a route I’d created in the house once every 30 minutes, throughout the day, to accomplish 1000s of steps. Of course, once I’m busy cooking and “keeping house” getting in more steps will be considerably easier.

Arica was beautifully decorated for Christmas.

In Marloth Park, we will have extra services, limiting the amount of housework we’ll do each day to include: daily cleaning, pool services, laundry services, linen change once a week, shopping in Komatipoort. Can you believe Louise will shop for us if we prefer to stay away from the busy village of Komatipoort?

We prefer to put our clothes in the washer and then leave them for Zeff and Vusi,  (the cleaners) to hang them outdoors. That way, we have control over our whites, colors, and the delicate items being washed in the kitchen’s washing machine. There won’t be many steps taken by us doing laundry.

Dining in the open mall area.

It’s not safe to walk outdoors here either. It would require going into the lift twice an hour, down and then back up, which surely is a hotbed of germs with all these guests going in and out all day without wearing masks. Also, once outdoors, there is nowhere to walk, but in the parking lot or the parking ramp. The streets of Mumbai are so jammed with vehicles, making walking on the side of the road with no sidewalks, dangerous and foolhardy.

So, I guess we just have to deal with the endless stream of guests in the corridors not wearing masks, avoiding them as much as possible. I take no shame in literally turning on my heels and bolting in the other direction when they refuse to put on a mask which happens 50% of the time when I ask them to “Please put on your face mask.”

A colorful fishing boat.

If this face mask situation wasn’t such a stressful ordeal, waiting out the next 34 days would be a breeze. Alas, this is our fate for now and we continue to deal with it as best we can, asking guest after guest to “Please put on your face mask.”  And, then, if they don’t, running the other way,  Perhaps, I’m getting more exercise by my fast turns and escape from non-mask wearers!

Have a good day everyone. This too shall pass, (at least we keep telling ourselves).

Photo from one year ago today, December 10, 2019:

The compact unit/living room had everything we needed for the seven weeks in Apache Junction, Arizona, when we lived in a park model where Tom’s sisters and brothers-in-law spend the cold Minnesota winters. For more photos, please click here.

Day #261 in lockdown in Mumbai, India hotel…”Cruise to Nowhere” fiasco…

Christmas tree in Colon Park in Arica, Chile, with St. Mark’s Cathedral (San Marcos) in the background.

Today’s photos are from the 30-day cruise (two 15-day cruises, back-to-back), partially sailing around South America on the date in 2017 when we visited Arica, Chile. For more photos, please click here.

The above-mentioned cruise seems to have been a lot longer ago than three years. Life was so different then. Cruising was purely predicated by one’s ability to afford it and the desire to be out to sea for socializing, myriad adventures, and sightseeing. Now, we wonder if cruising will ever be possible in the future.

Buses arrived at the port to take passengers on tours.

From today’s news story here, Royal Caribbean’s Quantum of the Seas four-day “Cruise to Nowhere,” available only to residents of Singapore had to turn back due to an onboard case of Covid-19, forcing the ship to return to Singapore on day #3.

The article reads as follows:

“A Royal Caribbean ship has returned to Singapore on day three of a four-day “cruise to nowhere” after a passenger tested positive for Covid-19.

The city-state’s “cruises to nowhere” – starting and ending at the same port without stops – launched last month.

Government building in Arica, Chile near the port.

They are an attempt to revive the hard-hit industry, which largely ceased worldwide after outbreaks on board but has since resumed in a few places. Singapore’s special cruises were only open to its residents.

The Royal Caribbean cruise ship Quantum of the Seas departed Singapore on Monday for a four-day round trip as part of a “safe cruising” pilot program announced by the country’s tourism board in October.

From this site: “History goes that during the War of the Pacific (1879-1880) the Morro de Arica was taken by Chilean troops in a heroic deed after only one hour of fighting against the Peruvian-Bolivian army. This historical feat took place on June 7, 1880, and ever since has marked the northern territorial boundaries of the country. Today, over one century after such an epic event, visitors only need to go up almost 200 meters rising from the sea in order to behold the enormous City of Arica. Whoever hit the summit of this morro in those days would immediately gain control of the city. There were many casualties. In a matter of minutes, almost 2 thousand soldiers from both sides lost their life.”

The cruise company said it had turned the ship around after one guest tested positive for coronavirus after checking in with the on-board medical team.

“We identified and isolated all guests and crew who had close contact with this guest, and each of those individuals has subsequently tested negative for the virus,” it said in a statement.

A view of the Morro of Arica from the Plaza Colon where we wandered around the park.

It said guests would be allowed to disembark “after a review of contact tracing is completed”.

A raft of safety measures was introduced for passengers on the special cruises to nowhere, including coronavirus tests before boarding and after disembarking. The ships were also running at half their usual capacity for safe distancing purposes.”

In part, these cruises are intended to “test” how numerous precautions may prevent onboard cases of the virus and how they can safely be handled in the event of passengers becoming ill. But, at this point, it appears their “system” isn’t working as well as hoped.

A pond in the park occupied by dozens of seagulls.

All passengers were tested for Covid-19 before embarking on the cruise. However, as those of us who’ve followed Covid-19 scenarios, getting a negative test result today, doesn’t necessarily indicate it won’t be positive a few days later. Upon exposure, one may not exhibit symptoms or test positive for several days.

Until such time as a more accurate/earlier test becomes available, the cruise industry is SOL in offering safe cruises anywhere in the world. Currently, we have four cruises booked beginning on November 30, 2021. The others are well into 2022, none of which we may be able to embark upon, as long as this virus continues to impact cruising.

We stopped to see a nativity scene in the park.

At this point, we are waiting for the cruise lines to cancel our cruises as they see fit and ultimately necessary. I imagine, in the future, all guests may be required to have taken the vaccine and provide a recent antibody test upon boarding to ensure their documentation isn’t fraudulent. Antibody test results are available in minutes. Apparently, there are now black-market negative Covid-19 tests floating around.

Disappointing? Yes, but under no circumstances would we want to be on one of those cruises where we end up in quarantine. If we think this hotel room is small, a cruise cabin 30% smaller would be worse. Hum, 35 days and counting…

Happy day!

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

After arriving in Nevada to visit family, we were on our way to the Vegas Golden Knights game, guest of son Richard, a super fan. For more, please click here.

Day 18…Cruise to South America…Part 2…Arica, Chile…The cruise continues…An amazing coincidence!

Adult and baby pelicans atop a fishing net.

“Sightings from the Veranda while Cruising”

A scene of Arica, Chile from the veranda.

Last night at the nightly Captain’s Club party we had an opportunity to meet several passengers, engaging in interesting conversation as usual.  Toward the end of the two-hour party, we stumbled upon a woman that sent us reeling in awe of the coincidence.

Boulevard scene in Arica, Chile.

Here we are sailing around part of the South America continent and we met Marjorie who lives in a town nearby us (in our old lives) and attended the same church we attended in Victoria, Minnesota many moons ago. 

Arica is beautifully decorated for Christmas.

It was Father Bob who is still pastor at St. Victoria who married Tom and I one year after our civil ceremony after we’d had our former marriages annulled.  Oh, my what a coincidence!

Dining in the open mall area.

Marjorie shopped at the same markets where we shopped, bought her eggs and chickens from the same farmers in the area.  We were shocked by the opportunity to meet Marjorie.  Of course, she’ll say hello to Father Bob for us.

It was pleasant walking through the interesting town.

After our enthusiastic conversation in the Constellation Lounge, we invited Marjorie to join us for dinner in the main dining room, the Trellis Restaurant.  She had planned to meet up with her sister and brother-in-law in San Antonio (the second embarkation point on this cruise) and due to bad weather in the US, they missed embarkation day.

Arica is a popular tourist town.

Instead, they had to fly to today’s port of call, Puerto Montt to catch the cruise
while it’s in port for approximately 10 hours.  We hope it all works out for them.  That could certainly be a stressful situation which also occurs when passengers go on private tours and don’t get back to the ship in time for it’s sail away at the end of the day.

Walk-up McDonald’s restaurant attracted quite a crowd.

After dinner ended it was almost 10:00 pm and we decided to head back to the cabin for an early night’s rest.  Neither of us has slept well on the cruise and we are both exhausted.

An old locomotive on display at Colon Park.

After another fitful night’s sleep with both of us awakening every few hours, we’re still a bit sluggish today hoping to take a 20-minute nap later in the day.  We’re planning to get off the ship today after we upload the post, to visit the town of Puerto Montt which supposedly has some interesting history.

A colorful fishing boat.

Most likely, we’ll get on a tender by noon spending the bulk of the afternoon in town taking photos on yet another cool and cloudy day.  Much to our surprise, it has been cold during most of this cruise. 

More colorful fishing boats in the harbor.

We’d imagined South America would be very warm during the time of year but were we ever wrong.  Temperatures, although not outrageously cold have been in the 50’s and 60’s Fahrenheit (10C and 16C). 

Another outdoor cafe hoping to attract ship passengers and other tourists.

Today, when we leave the ship, we’ll be wearing some of our clothing we purchased for the upcoming Antarctica clothing.  We’re thrilled we have these warm items with us.  I’ve been wearing sweaters I’d purchased for that cruise over the past several days.  We’ll be adding our heaviest jackets when we soon disembark on the tender boats.   

We couldn’t determine what this white patch consisted of.  Any comments?

Today, we’re posting the final photos for Arica, Chile and tomorrow we’ll be back with more photos.  How silly we were, worried we wouldn’t have enough photos to share during this cruise.  We’ll be lucky to share the bulk of them.

Was this small wood building used to store musical instrument for street musicians?  We weren’t certain.

Thanks to our loyal readers such as Marie and Bill, LeAnn and Chuck, Pat and Dan, Gary and Judy and many more who have written to us.  Your messages mean so much.  We love hearing from you

A lonely looking stray dog.

May you have a lovely weekend day during this busy holiday season!

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Photo from one year ago today, December 10, 2016:
Upside down Christmas tree on display at Makers Workshop in Burnie, Tasmania. 
For more photos please click here.

Day 17…Cruise to South America…Part 1…Arica, Chile…The cruise continues…

Christmas tree in Colon Park with St. Mark’s Cathedral (San Marcos)l in the background.

“Sightings from the Veranda while Cruising”

Buses arrived at the port to take passengers on tours.

With almost two weeks remaining for this cruise, we continue to find we’ve had no problem having stories to share with so many ports of call and the opportunity to experience activities we’ve thoroughly enjoyed.

Government building in Arica, Chile near the port.

Now that the second round of passengers have boarded the ship and become settled since yesterday’s embarkation, we’re meeting many more interesting travelers all with their own unique stories to tell.

From this site:  “History goes that during the War of the Pacific (1879-1880) the Morro de Arica was taken by Chilean troops in a heroic deed after only one hour of fighting against the Peruvian-Bolivian army. This historical feat took place on June 7, 1880, and ever since has marked the northern territorial boundaries of the country.   Today, over one century after such epic event, visitors only need to go up the almost 200 meters rising from the sea in order to behold the enormous City of Arica. Whoever hit the summit of this morro in those days would immediately gain control of the city. There were many casualties. In a matter of minutes, almost 2 thousand soldiers from both sides lost their life.”

Another view of the Morro of Arica from the Plaza Colon where we wandered around the park.

Yesterday, at the prearranged luncheon for the 273 back-to-back passengers, by chance we ran into a couple we’d heard about, Nancy and Bob, about our ages, who’ve also been traveling the world for the past five years.  What a coincidence!

Statue in the park.

Like us, they sold everything they owned but, unlike us, their choice of locations and accommodations are quite different from ours. Those facts made our conversation about our mutual travels all the more fascinating. 

A pond in the park occupied by dozens of seagulls.

Of course, we never expected that other long-term travelers would do it just like us. Although, there were many commonalities that made the four of us laugh out loud during our two-hour lunch in the dining room.

We stopped to see a nativity scene in the park.

Actually, Nancy and Bob are the first couple we’ve met that have been traveling as long as we have. We’ve met many couples who are currently beginning their journey or have plans to do so in the near future. 

Another view of St. Mark’s Cathedral in Arica, Chile.

We all reveled in our bravery in making this type of life possible, required by letting go of everything and everyone we all knew and loved and releasing a life of comfort and familiarity for the vast unknown.

Santa Teresita de Los Andes statue in San Marcos Church.

With no complimentary cocktail party last night for the Captain’s Club members and without the fine companionship of Lisa and Barry, we went about meeting new people both in the dining room and later in the popular Ice Bar. 

 A confessional.

It’s unlikely we’ll find another couple with whom we were so well matched like Lisa and Barry, but still, the conversations and camaraderie we’re finding with others will continue to be a great source of quality time spent on the second half of this cruise.

The main aisle in the church.

Finally, last night, for the first night in two weeks, I slept over seven hours feeling like a new person today.  Those 2:00 am bedtimes are not for the faint of heart and I often wonder if I’m a little too old for such late nights.

Wood side door.

Tom seems to thrive regardless of how much sleep he gets or doesn’t get.  On the other hand, I am five years older than him which may make a difference to some degree.

I’m late in preparing today’s post and apologize to our dear readers for lagging behind. This morning we attended at 9:15 am CruiseCritic Meet and Greet arriving late to begin the day’s post.

Decorative statue in San Marcos Church.

Shortly, thereafter, once we were situated in the cafe we became engrossed in conversation with a lively pair while working on the post; a friendly grandfather and his lovely 31-year old granddaughter.  How wonderful to see them cruising together!

We have no big plans for this afternoon, another day at sea.  Surely, we’ll chat with other passengers as we lounge at the comfy table for four in the cafe, an easy invitation for two others to join us.  This is one of our favorites on board past times…meeting new people along with others we’ve already met.

View to the park from the interior of the church.

It’s considerably more fun than playing shuffleboard, bingo or learning to dance the merengue, all of which are offered on today’s list of available activities. The ship’s Emporium area, packed with a variety of shops with pricey cruise fare holds little interest to either of us even during their 50% off sales which seem to be conducted daily.

Tonight, at 5:00 pm, we’ll head to the happy hour in the Constellation Lounge and by 7:15 or so we’ll get in line for a shared table for dinner in the Trellis Restaurant.  Oddly, we’re never bored and always able to find ways to keep ourselves engaged and entertained, regardless of how we spend our time aboard the ship.

May you have a pleasing day engaged and entertained!                                                     

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Photo from one year ago today, December 9, 2016:
Many possible holiday gifts were  available at the Makers Workshop in Burnie, Tasmania.  For more details, please click here.

Day 15… Cruise to South America….Tom’s special homemade Irish Cream recipe…

Tom and I and Lisa and Barry, our new friends.

“Sightings from the Veranda while Cruising”

Boat in the harbor in Arica, Chile.

Each year at Christmas time, we receive many requests for Tom’s Irish Cream recipe which is comparable to Bailey’s Irish Cream, without all the chemicals and artificial ingredients used in commercial production. 

For those who may want to give bottles of this delicious concoction, glass bottles of this holiday beverage make perfect gifts, generally costing around US $12 a bottle. 

Bottles with corks can be purchased at any winemaking store or at such home good stores at TJ Maxx where they usually carry very decorative glass bottles.  Tom used to make about 150 bottles each year that we gave to friends and family, including a non-alcoholic version.

Some years we saved wine bottles as we used them, washing them in the dishwasher and storing them in bottle boxes from any liquor store.  This avoided the cost of the bottles.  In those cases, we only had to buy the corks.

Now that some wineries use screw-top caps, avid wine drinkers of those varieties can save those bottles and caps for future use as long as they’re sterilized in the dishwasher or hot water before filling them with the mix.

Also, using our at-home printer’s label making feature, we made labels to ensure all recipients were made aware that the product needs to be refrigerated and keeps only 30 days.

The stick-on label would read something like this often with a decorative jpeg of your choice :

Image result for holly jpg
 Lyman’s Irish Cream
From our home to yours…
Have a happy holiday season!
Please keep this product
refrigerated and store for
no more than 30 days.
Tom Lyman’s Irish Cream (Comparable to Bailey’s Irish Cream)1 can sweetened condensed milk

1 pint half & half or real whipping cream

3 pasteurized eggs (important for safety)

1/8 teaspoon coconut extract

1 tablespoon chocolate syrup

1 cup Irish Whiskey or other bourbon or whiskey

Blend all ingredients in a blender for 2 minutes, then add 1 cup whiskey, measuring into the empty can of sweetened condensed milk in order to remove every last drop of the creamy sweetened condensed milk.

Blend for another 30 seconds. Pour into a glass bottle with a tight-fitting cork.

Keeps refrigerated for 30 days.

Please don’t hesitate to contact us with any questions regarding the preparation of this recipe.  We’re happy to assist! Enjoy!

After many years of making these bottles, in 2011, our last Christmas in Minnesota, we stopped making them.  The cost for such large and continuing-to-grow numbers of recipients became prohibitive.

Although neither of us drank it, we always kept several bottles to share with guests visiting during the holiday season.  It was always a welcomed addition to a cup of fresh French pressed coffee. 

Speaking of French pressed coffee, yesterday for the first time since we embarked on this cruise on November 23rd on Thanksgiving Day, I ordered my first cup of low carb (my version) of Caramel Macchiato.  I requested decaf espresso using whole cream (instead of milk) and sugar-free vanilla syrup (instead of sugary caramel syrup) which they had on board much to my delight.

Last night at dinner one of our tablemates had the roasted duck.

It was the first coffee I’ve had in a while and it was such a treat!  This morning as we’re sitting in Cafe al Bacio, I’m sipping on my usual turmeric tea with cinnamon, unsweetened coconut cream, unsweetened cocoa, and a touch of my usual sweetener.  Actually, this drink is almost as tasty as the above-mentioned coffee drink.

In the afternoon, after we uploaded yesterday’s post, we played Five Crowns card game with Lisa and Barry and had a blast.  This afternoon, we plan to play one final time since their portion of the cruise ends tomorrow while we’ll continue on for the second leg of the back-to-back cruise.

Tonight after happy hour, we’re all going to dine in the specialty restaurant, The Tuscan Grill and no doubt will have another delightful evening.  We’ll take photos to share in tomorrow’s post.

May you have a delightful day and evening!
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Photo from one year ago today, December 7, 2016:

View from our vacation home/holiday home in Penguin, Tasmania, Tom’s favorite town in the world.  For more photos, please click here.


Day 14… Cruise to South America… Part 3… Visit to Pisco, Peru… A colorful, interesting culture, shown in our photos

A liquor store.

 “Sightings from the Veranda while Cruising”

We had no idea what was going on at this building in Arica, Chile.  Any comments?

Today’s post will be of minimal interest to most of our readers since we are totally preoccupied while sitting in Cafe al Bacio with friends Lisa and Barry who are sad to be getting off the ship in two days.  We’ve all had such a great time together. 

Bikers stopping in the desert to fix their bikes.

It’s hard for me to pay attention to what I’m writing here as we chat and laugh incessantly.  I’m a little sluggish today after little sleep last night when once again we had an early start to our day at a required meeting for the 266 passengers staying for the next leg of the cruise on the back-to-back.

Buildings along the main road.

We’re curious about the 1800 plus passengers who’ll board the ship in San Antonio, Chile assuming most will be foreign language speaking.  Our social activities may be severely limited with so few English speaking passengers aboard the ship.

Dog sitting outside the data store.

Today, we’re hoping to get done here before too long to be able to learn a card game that Lisa and Barry enjoy playing called Five Crowns.  Here’s a link to the rules of this game which requires a special deck of cards. 

Shops along the boardwalk in Pisco, Peru.

The past 24-hours have been a whirlwind of activity.  After we finished yesterday’s post, we took a shuttle bus to the town of Arica, Chile.  We were dropped off at the port entrance, where we went through security and were off for a walk through the festive little town. 

Beachgoers sunning and funning.

In the next few days, we’ll be posting many photos we took in Arica, Chile as we wandered through the fascinating town with an approximate population of 155,400.

It appeared many locals frequent this area as well as tourists.

Upon returning from Arica in the afternoon, we grabbed our computers to load the photos from our outing only to find ourselves nodding off at the table.  Shortly thereafter we returned to our cabin for a nap.  Tom was successful.  I was not.  It’s hard for me to “shut off my brain” when we’re having such a great time.

A band playing on the beach.

By 5:00 pm, we were showered and dressed for the evening’s happy hour where once again we met up with Lisa and Barry.   Since they dine in a specialty restaurant each night, we go our separate way for dinner, meeting up at the Martini Bar a few hours later.

Several fishing boats out to sea.

Again, we didn’t get to bed by midnight and bolted out of bed early this morning to get to the first of two meetings.  The second event was a private tour of the ship’s engine room with first officers conducting a presentation for a select group of passengers.  We were thrilled to be asked to attend and soon will post photos of that event.

The boardwalk in Pisco, Peru.

That’s it for today, folks.  Lisa and I are taking off for the seafood buffet being offered today for lunch in the Oceanview Cafe on deck 10.  In this particular case, I’ll be eating twice today. 

Hanging clothing, scarves, handbags and more.
The interior of a small shop on the boardwalk.

May all of our loyal readers have a fabulous day!

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Photo from one year ago today, December 6, 2016:

Penguin statue at the beach in Penguin, Tasmania dressed in Christmas clothing and various locally inspired pins and decorations. For more details, please click here.