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 they are well enough to be returned to the wild.

A boulevard scene in Arica, Chile.

These situations are not uncommon in the bush, so walking on dirt roads may be limited at times. Instead, I’ll have to stick to the grounds of our bush house or even, if necessary, walk indoors if, at any given time, 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 more manageable.

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?

There won’t be many steps taken by us doing laundry. 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 control our whites, colors, and the delicate items being washed in the kitchen’s washing machine.

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, there is nowhere to walk once outdoors, 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 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 weren’t such a stressful ordeal, waiting out the next 34 days would be a breeze. 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! 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.”

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 cruise, as mentioned above, 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 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 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 onboard 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 is 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 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. 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 22…Cruise to South America…Punta Arenas, Chile, port of call has been cancelled due to rough seas…

Punta Arenas would have been a great port of call to visit, but bad weather prevented the necessary use of the tenders. We sailed away.

Sightings from the Veranda while Cruising”

Tom captured this rainbow when we were in Punta Arenas, Chile.

A few frustrations popped up this morning. One is due to rough seas; we won’t be able to visit today’s port of call, Punta Arenas, Chile, one we’d very much looked forward to seeing during this cruise.

Secondly, the Wi-Fi signal aboard the ship this morning is prolonged, making it impossible at the moment to upload our awaiting photos for today’s post.
Another view of Tom’s rainbow capture.

Well, missing the port isn’t so crucial for us when we plan to return to South America for an extended stay in 2019-2020. Thus, we take that in our stride. However, being unable to upload photos is an entirely different scenario altogether.  

I’ll continue to try, but if I can’t get them uploaded, we’ll have to post our story for today, adding the photos as soon as we receive a better signal. Since all passengers are staying on board today, they are busy on cellphones, tablets, and computers. 

A cruise ship, a freighter, and a fishing boat in the harbor in Punta Arenas.

Plus, many passengers had booked private tours for Punta Arenas and are busy attempting to cancel them to receive refunds for monies they may have paid in advance. That must be frustrating.

In these circumstances, the cruise line automatically reverses all charges for ship-sponsored booked tours without the necessity of passengers heading to the guest relations desk. But, they do not reimburse passengers for any lost funds they cannot recover from private tours.

What a pretty city view.

Hopefully, the tour company operators understand the weather conditions and will refund all monies paid in advance. Nonetheless, it’s quite an inconvenience for those passengers working on that today. Luckily, we hadn’t planned anything specific when we grabbed a taxi for a few-hour tour of the area.

Instead, we’re now leaving Chile to be on our way to Ushuaia, Argentina, for tomorrow’s port of call. Oddly, we’ll be back in Ushuaia on January 23rd, when we fly from Buenos Aires to board the Ponant Antarctica Cruise.

View of Punta Arenas from the bow of the ship.

When we arrive on January 23rd, we won’t have much time in the most southerly city in the world, so we hope to disembark the ship tomorrow and explore on our own.

We’re so fortunate to have this upcoming Antarctica cruise since we’ve been wearing several items we purchased for that cruise to stay warm, especially during these high winds rough seas in the area.  

A ferry making its way to the port.

The ship keeps the indoor temperature very cool to control the spread of germs. As a result, most passengers, including us, are bundled up in warm clothing, with many wearing heavy jackets. We haven’t needed to wear our jackets but take advantage of sweaters and nice sweatshirts we have on hand—Safari luck.

Last night, again, we stayed up very late having too much fun!  I don’t think I slept for four hours. Tom’s slept a few hours more than I did and is feeling well after his pesky cold subsided. 

On the other hand, I may have dodged a bullet by not catching Tom’s cold but today. I feel a bit raggedy.  Perhaps a short nap will be on today’s agenda later in the day.

As we sailed away from Punta Arenas…

At the moment, we’re in the Cafe al Bacio doing the usual, writing to all of our worldwide readers while enjoying the delightful conversation that periodically ensues with passengers stopping by to chat.

May you have a great day engaged in delightful conversation!

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

Last year at this time, we called Pyengana Dairy Company in Tasmania to order ten packages to be shipped to us in Penguin, Tasmania, as a holiday time treat since we don’t eat traditional Christmas baked goods and candies. For more details, please click here.

Day 21…Cruise to South America…Whoa!…Videos of rough seas as we approach the Strait of Magellan!

This morning’s video of the water splashing out of the pool
during the rough seas as we approach the Strait of Magellan.

Sightings from the Veranda while Cruising”

This is just the beginning of what is yet to come as we approach Cape Horn in the next few days. one of the windiest spots on the planet.
We traded photo-taking with another couple while on the deck last night around 9:00 pm. 

Whew! What a start to the day! Around 5:00 am this morning, while awake as usual, I felt the familiar rolling of rough seas. As soon as it became light, I opened the drapes to find some rough seas.

It was a “smart casual” night so we didn’t have to figure out what to wear for a dressy night. 

Tom was still sleeping and I didn’t awaken him knowing he needed every moment of sleep as he’s quickly recovering from his six-day cold, now almost completely gone.

Snow-capped mountain.

How I didn’t catch the cold baffles me but I won’t “look a gift horse in the mouth.” I’ll take whatever good health comes our way as we continue on our journey.

Most often, it is foggy and cloudy when sailing through the Chilean Fiords.  We were fortunate to see some blue skies.

On at least half of our 21 prior cruises, I’ve fallen prey to the “cruise cough,” a sore throat, and cold or flu. I’m hoping that with all the care I’ve taken these past few years with the gastrointestinal illness that perhaps my immune system has recovered and I’ll be less prone to coughs, colds, and flu. My fingers stay crossed for this one.

The scenery is breathtaking through the fiords.

This morning, after taking the two above videos, we’re comfortably situated in Cafe al Bacio with cruise-mate Don, with whom we’ve shared many delightful conversations over these many past mornings while I busily prepared the day’s post, all the while listening to the conversations between Tom and Don.

Snow-capped mountains in the Chilean Fiords.

The ship captain continues to keep us informed as to the development of the storm we’re currently experiencing. However, we have no doubt the seas will worsen over the next several days.  With our past cruising experience, we aren’t intimidated by rough seas.

We took this photo last night, close to 10:00 pm.

Instead, we’re fascinated with where we’ve been these past many days and anticipating what is yet to come over the remaining 10 days until the cruise ends. This has been a fantastic cruise thus far.

There wasn’t much vegetation on the islands in the cold-weather climate.

For a bit of information about the Chilean Fiords where we’ve been sailing over these last many days:

“Fjords and channels of Chile

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The southern coast of Chile presents a large number of fjords and fjord-like channels from the latitudes of Cape Horn (55° S) to Reloncaví Estuary (42° S). Some fjords and channels are critical navigable channels providing access to ports like Punta ArenasPuerto Chacabuco, and Puerto Natales.


During colonial times, the fjords and channels of Patagonia were first explored by the Spaniards. There were many motivations for their explorations, including a desire to Christianize indigenous peoples, prevent intrusions of any foreign power into territory claimed by Spain, increase geographic knowledge of the zone, and finally, to search for a mythical city called the City of the Caesars. In 1792, the viceroy of Peru ordered the exploration of the Patagonian channels to find an entrance to the interior of Patagonia. The said order was carried off by José de Moraleda who led an expedition that visited many of the main channels of the zone. In the early to mid 19th century, explorations by hydrographers like Robert FitzRoy and Francisco Hudson increased knowledge on the channels. The channels south of the Isthmus of Ofqui were explored in detail by Chilean government agent Hans Steffen in the late 19th century.

Climate and geography

This route is mostly used by vessels desiring to avoid the heavy seas and bad weather so often experienced on passing into the Pacific Ocean from the western end of the Strait of Magellan. The large full-powered mail steamers generally at once gain the open sea at Cape Pillar (at the west entrance of the Strait of Magellan), as experience has shown that time is thus saved to them. Still, vessels of less engine power, to which punctuality and dispatch is not so much an object as avoiding possible danger, will find the Patagonian Channels the best route.
The general features of these channels are high, abrupt shores, with numerous peaks and headlands remarkably alike in character, their bold, rugged heads giving an appearance of gloomy grandeur rarely seen elsewhere. The shores are generally steep-to and the channels, for the most part, open and free, while the few dangers that exist are usually marked by kelp. The tides are regular and not strong, except in the English Narrows.
In the case of the two above mentioned and some other fjords, these waterways proved of value as transport lanes when western Patagonia was settled and incorporated into Chile. On the other hand, the fjords have served as a natural barrier preventing north-south land travel in Chilean Patagonia.”
Overview of Channels in South Chile: North to right and South to left side
Map of the Chilean Fiords.

By 2:00 pm, less than three hours from now, we’ll be entering the Magellan Strait (aka, the Magellan Straits or the Straits of Magellan).  In tomorrow’s post, we’ll be posting information, videos, and photos of this majestic part of the world.

The rough seas didn’t start until the middle of the night. 

Please stay tuned for more as we make our way through this stormy part of the world filled with excitement and adventure on this fascinating journey to the southern end of South America.

A ferry was moving through the Chilean Straits.

Have a great day, dear readers!

Photo from one year ago today, December 13, 2016:

Gerard and his High on Penguin holiday home in Penguin, Tasmania, overlooking the town and the sea.  For more details on this rock and roll memorabilia-themed property, please click here.

Day 20…Cruise to South America…Part 2, Puerto Montt, Chile…What’s going on at sea these days?

The giant Sentados Frente del Mar statue is often criticized for its unattractiveness. We found it to be humorous and charming. Note the size of the statue by comparing me standing at her feet.

Sightings from the Veranda while Cruising”

A snow-covered mountain view from the veranda while in Puerto Montt.

With only 11 days remaining until the cruise ends on December 23rd, Tom’s birthday, we continue to find ourselves with stories and photos backed up. Of all of our 21 past cruises in our over five years of world travel, we’ve yet to have so much to share.

Santuario Santa Maria del Mar.

In part, it may be due to the fact that we’ve taken an even greater interest in ports of call with an increased passion for learning more and more as time marches on.

Side view of the tiny church.

Many of the ports of call and areas we’re seeing on this cruise are new to us and although we’ll definitely plan to return to South American no later than 2020, we’re fascinated with this complex continent. 

The tiny church appeared to be able to seat about 16 parishioners.

As we mentioned in the past, spending part of a day in a port of call by no means provides us with any degree of knowledge compared to our experiences of “living” in a country for two to three months.

Stained glass window.
But, for many travelers, these one-day experiences give them somewhat of the flavor of the country as they scramble to see as much as possible in a four or five-hour tour, whether “ship sponsored” or on their own.
The mysterious “all-seeing eye” is often found in churches throughout the world.
There are certain hazards in visiting ports of call, especially for seniors (or others) with medical conditions. In rough seas, a few days ago in Puerto Montt, we heard that three seniors suffered heart attacks while on the tenders. 
Osorno Volcano is a 2,652-metre (8,701 ft) tall conical stratovolcano lying between Osorno Province and Llanquihue Province, in Los Lagos Region of Chile. It stands on the southeastern shore of Llanquihue Lake and also towers over Todos Los Santos Lake. Osorno is known worldwide as a symbol of the local landscape, and is noted for its similar appearance to Mount Fuji.”
Another was injured when seats on the lifeboat in which they were riding, broke loose during rough seas slamming against a passenger’s legs. Of course, this is hearsay since the ship’s staff doesn’t share information about illness and injury to passengers. 
A Black-faced Ibis.
Sometimes, what we may “hear” is fact and at other times may purely be based on the human phenomenon to embellish a story when it’s passed on from one person to another. 
Harbor view.
We know how dangerous rough seas can be and for the less experienced passenger, being in a lifeboat in outrageously choppy seas could easily elicit sufficient stress to exacerbate an already existing medical condition.
View of our ship, Celebrity Infinity, in the harbor in Puerto Montt.
As we’ve navigated through the Chilean Fiords over these past few days, (photos coming tomorrow) the seas have been rough at times, swaying our ship to and fro. 
Flowers blooming on the grounds of the church.
The Chilean Fiords are used by ships when attempting to avoid the rough seas and bad weather often experienced when passing from the Pacific Ocean from the western end of the Strait of Magellan. Tomorrow, we’ll be writing more on this part of our itinerary including photos and a map of our location.
Today, another day at sea we’ll continue as we have over the past several days, enjoying the pleasant company of many other travelers, reveling in their stories, as well as sharing our own.
Pretty flowers at the tiny church.
Yesterday, we met a fabulous couple, Vicki and Ray, with whom we spent the entire afternoon in Cafe al Bacio.  We shared many hilarious and entertaining stories of our mutual experiences in awe of how diverse their adventures were as well.
At dinner with shared a table with two couples, one from Germany, who is on a one-year world travel adventure. Much younger than us, it was exciting to hear of their often frightening and risk-taking treks in many areas of the world.
Views of Puerto Montt from atop a hill.
Another couple at the table, Linda and Leo, are now living in Florida, also have had extensive travel experience and it was fun to hear their stories. The two hours at the dinner table passed quickly and by 9:30 pm we headed back to our cabin. 
The lighted cross atop Tenglo Island as our ship sailed away after dusk.
Tom’s cold was still present and an early night’s rest was definitely on the agenda. So far, I’m yet to suffer any symptoms that he’s passed it on to me.  My fingers remain crossed that miraculously I’ve been spared. But, Tom doesn’t complain and without a fever or a cough, he’s been able to continue to participate in our usual routine.
We’ll be back tomorrow with more. May you have an outstanding day!
Photo from one year ago today, December 12, 2016:
We run outside each time we see the Tas Rail train coming, hoping it’s the one with the Christmas lights. For more photos, please click here.

Day 19…Cruise to South America…Part 1, Puerto Montt, Chile…What’s going on at sea these days?

Shoreline view from high atop the city.

“Sightings from the Veranda while Cruising”

View from the veranda as we approached Puerto Montt, Chile.

Last night at dinner, one of our tablemates asked, “Aren’t you bored with traveling and all the hassle that goes with it?”

Tom and I looked at each other, our eyes twinkling with that “knowing sense” couples acquire after years together, and responded simultaneously, “Not at all.” I chimed in with “It’s more exciting now than it was years ago.” Tom agreed.

City street in Puerto Montt, Chile.

Anyone with a permanent home could be asked a similar question, “Aren’t you bored with your home and all the hassle that goes with it?” It’s all about what we do with our time and our ability to glean the most from our day-to-day lives.

Christmas decor shop.

How we spend our days and nights becomes the essence of the quality of our lives. As continuous world travelers, we have the same opportunity to make life meaningful and fulfilling as do those who don’t travel at all, or who do so to a lesser degree.

We feel the challenges that arise for everyone each day. For example, Tom’s been fighting a cold for days that finally manifested into a full-blown case of the snivels with a tickle in his throat. I’m usually the one who “catches” a bug on a cruise, not Tom. 

There was some type of protest in the city regarding dogs.

I’m good so far. It’s been four days since the onset of his symptoms and I’ve yet to experience any symptoms so I’m hopeful it may bypass me this time. Realistically, I’ll most likely get it from our close quarters in the cabin and our incessant handholding while walking.

Graffiti on a wall in the city.

(At times, I wonder if our handholding is out of Tom’s desire and concern to steer me along and not dawdle while we walk or simply a sweet form of affection we both relish. But, who’s to question this pleasurable habit we’ve developed over the years?) I prefer the later, romantic that I am.

Yesterday, we went ashore to the town on Puerto Montt, Chile  Here’s some information about the port city:

Puerto Montt

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Puerto Montt
Meli Pulli
City and Commune
Nocturnal view.
Nocturnal view.
Flag of Puerto Montt
Coat of arms of Puerto Montt
Coat of arms
Location of the Puerto Montt commune in Los Lagos Region
Location of the Puerto Montt commune in Los Lagos Region

Puerto Montt is located in Chile

Puerto Montt
Puerto Montt

Location in Chile

Coordinates (city): 41°28′S 72°56′WCoordinates41°28′S 72°56′W
Country Chile
Region Los Lagos
Province Llanquihue
Founded as Melipulli
Founded 12 February 1853
 • Type Municipality
 • Alcalde Gervoy Paredes Rojas (PS)
 • Total 1,673.0 km2 (645.9 sq mi)
Elevation 14 m (46 ft)
Population (2012 Census)[3]
 • Total 218,858
 • Density 130/km2 (340/sq mi)
 • Urban 192,473
 • Rural 26,385
Demonym(s) Puertomontino -a or
 • Men 107,748
 • Women 111,110
Time zone CLT (UTC−4)
 • Summer (DST) CLST (UTC−3)
Postal code 5480000
Area code(s) 56 + 65
Climate Cfb
Website Official website (in Spanish)
“Puerto Montt is a port city and commune in southern Chile, located at the northern end of the Reloncaví Sound in the Llanquihue ProvinceLos Lagos Region, 1,055 km to the south of the capital, Santiago. The commune spans an area of 1,673 km2 (646 sq mi) and had a population of 175,938 in 2002. It is bounded by the communes of Puerto Varas to the north, Cochamó to the east and southeast, Calbuco to the southwest and Maullín and Los Muermos to the west.
Founded as late as 1853 during the German colonization of southern Chile, Puerto Montt soon outgrew older neighboring cities due to its strategic position at the southern end of the Chilean Central Valley being a gateway city into the Chiloé ArchipelagoLlanquihue and Nahuel Huapi lakes and Western Patagonia.
Puerto Montt has gained renown and grown significantly due to the rise in Chile as the second largest salmon producer of the world during the 1990s and 2000s. However, the Chilean salmon aquaculture crisis of the late 2000s resulted at least temporarily in severe unemployment and exposed weaknesses in the local economy. The city’s cultural heritage mixes elements of Chiloé culture with German heritage although the city has attracted a significant number of newcomers from all over Chile in the last 30 years due to employment opportunities.”


Many passengers had booked pricey tours to various scenic locations but our determination to avoid expensive and crowded ship sponsored tours often spending hours sitting on the bus, we decided, as usual, to take off on our own. 

After a ride on the lifeboats used as “tenders,” we landed at the pier taking off on foot to assess the situation and decide what we’d like to do. Would we walk through the town or take a taxi for a tour of the highlights? 

The answer to this was predicated on how close we were to the action in town. After walking a few hundred meters it was evident we’d need to take a taxi in order to see what Puerto Montt had to offer.

It was a cool sunny day perfect for sightseeing.

Many of the taxis waiting to take passengers on tours were old and rundown,n but we didn’t mind a bit, except that the seat belts didn’t work. Our taxi driver George assured us he’d drive safely. Rarely, would we agree to ride in a vehicle without seatbelts but we threw caution to the wind and took off.

George drove to a high spot in the city for panoramic views.

George agreed to take us around the city for two hours at a fee of US $45. Feeling this was a fair rate, we didn’t negotiate. After all, George has to make a living. If we feel a “fare is fair” we pay what is asked. If not, we’ll negotiate.

In his older vehicle he’d use plenty of fuel in two hours and this rate was fine with us, as compared to three or four times the cost for a pre-arranged similar tour through the ship or other tour providers. We didn’t hesitate to add a tip at the end of the tour. He’d done a nice job. 

View from the tender as we approached the port exit.

Much to our delight, our experience in speaking a little Spanish after 113 days in Costa Rica, was helpful in explaining what we were hoping to see. We’d done some research in advance and were able to convey this to non-English speaking George.

We could see our ship at a distance.

The time passed quickly as he took us to our suggested and his favorite spots allowing us to take many photos.  Once we returned to the ship that stayed in the harbor for several more hours, we could get some great shots of the city before sail away around 9:00 pm.

With Tom’s looming cold, we decided another early night was in order and by 10:00 pm, we headed to our cabin.  I awoke at 2:00 am and didn’t fall back to sleep until around 4:30, getting in two more hours, much to my relief. 

Expansive view of the city of Puerto Montt.

Tom coughed off and on during the night awakening to a non-stop runny nose.  We decided not to head to the dining room and risk infecting others. Tom headed to the Oceanview Cafe for poached eggs and bacon while I held our seats in Cafe al Bacio. 

A building with a turret on the roof.

Today’s a sea day and all the seats could be taken if I didn’t hold our usual table for four, leaving two seats free should any passengers ask us to share which we’re always happy to do. Most days, others join us for more lively conversation while I whittle away at the day’s post hoping to upload it before too late.

Blue sky with fluffy white clouds at an overlook area.  

Tonight is dress-up night, referred to as “evening chic” which used to be described as “formal.” Still, many women wear evening gowns and men wear tuxedos and suits. We opted for what we may call “casual dressy” with no such clothing on hand,  which is definitely an oxymoron, but you know what we mean.

Tom wears one of his new long sleeved dress shirts with black pants and I’ll dress up an otherwise more casual outfit with a scarf, my one pair of high heeled shoes and some costume jewelry. 

A  closer view of the above shoreline.

Right now, it’s so cold on the ship (and outdoors) that I wonder what I’ll wear tonight should Tom feel well enough to go to the Captain’s Club party from 5:00 to 7:00 pm and then off to dinner in the formal dining room. We’ll see how it rolls out.

Be well and be happy!

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

During his performance in the annual Christmas musical in Penguin, Tasmania, Terry, our dear friend and landlord. He’d learned to play a sax a few weeks earlier! For more photos and 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!

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 preoccupied while sitting in Cafe al Bacio with friends Lisa and Barry, who are 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 mandatory 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 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 unique 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 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 after that, 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 was 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 two meetings. The second event was a private tour of the ship’s engine room, with the first officers conducting a presentation for a select group of passengers. We were thrilled to be asked to attend and will soon 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 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!

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.