Moving cruises to future dates…Dealing with unknowns in time of Covid-19…

Dozens of school kids walked along the beach while on a field trip to celebrate the end of the school year in Sumbersari, Bali for a one month holiday. When they return to school, they’ll enter the next grade as they continue their studies. Wearing school uniforms is required with a color change on different days of the week.

Note: To all of our readers visiting our site via a smartphone, please click the “View web version” tab under the word, “Home” at the bottom of the page to access the web version enabling you to access all of our archives on the right side of the page. We’ll be updating our site in a few months, making these extra steps unnecessary. Thank you. Today’s photos are from June 10, 2016, while living in Sumbersari, Bali. See the link here for more photos.
At present, we have four cruises booked from November 2020 from Lisbon, Portugal to Cape Town, South Africa, and three in and around Japan between February 2022 to May 2022. 


The final of the three cruises ends in Vancouver, Canada, at which time we’ll spend time in the US for a family visit, flying from state to state to visit everyone.

Beautiful colors and scenery at high tide from our vacation villa.

For now, we’re thinking in terms of the upcoming cruise from Lisbon, Portugal to Cape Town, South Africa, which is scheduled to embark on November 10, 2020. Every few days we check Amazara Cruise Line’s website to see if the cruise has been canceled based on Covid-19. After all, that’s only five months from now.


When we originally booked the Azamara cruise for 22 nights, we’d done so early enough to book it for a good price for the unusual itinerary with ports of calls on the western coast of Africa, a route rarely taken by cruise ships. 

The kids were happy and playful as they chatted with one another on their field trip.

This cruise appealed to us with its unique ports of call and the resulting disembarkation in Cape Town, where we’d planned to spend a few days and then head to Marloth Park, with visa restrictions allowing us to stay for the remainder of 90 days less those we spent in Cape Town. 


We’ve never visited Cape Town and decided this cruise would be a good opportunity to visit one of the most popular tourist locations as one of the “most beautiful cities” in the world. 

The colors and shadows change in the constant daylight sunshine.

When we booked this particular cruise two years ago, we hesitated a little over the price since Azamara’s smaller ships with 690 passengers are considerably higher priced than larger cruises, often with 1000’s of passengers. 


But, we were fortunate to lock-in an excellent early booking price of IDR 950992, US $12,598 (for two). Now that same cruise is listed as IDR 1388819, US $18,398, a difference of INR 437828, US $5,800.

This breathtaking view never ceased to amaze us.

This is all well and good, but we are certain this original cruise will be canceled. As we approach July 7, 2020, when the final payment is due and, if the cruise line hasn’t yet canceled the cruise, in order to hold our best pricing, we’d have to pay the balance in full, less the INR 83036, US $1100 deposit we paid at the time of booking.


If they cancel after we’ve paid the balance in full, we could end up waiting three months or more to get a refund. We don’t want them holding our money for so long. On another note, if they cancel and we don’t ask for the money back, most likely they’ll offer a 125% credit toward a future cruise. What happens next?

Each day, we’ve rescued many grasshoppers who were drowning in the pool. Once we take them out, they dry off for a while and then fly off.  Some appeared dead but often come to life in no time at all.

They’ll raise the price of the 2021 similar cruise (of 21 nights as opposed to 22 nights) and if using our 125% credit (if we chose not to get the money back) we will end up paying a higher price for the similar cruise.


However, if we move our booking for the November 2020 cruise to the similar cruise in 2021, our best booking price will roll over to the transferred booking. I hope this makes sense.
This grasshopper was lethargic after I rescued him/her from the pool but soon flew away.

Last night, considering the time difference, we requested the change with our rep at Vacations-to-Go. By this evening, we should be receiving a new confirmation for the 2021 booking ending in Cape Town. The disadvantages of this cruise are the differences in some ports of call, and the fact it arrives in Cape Town on December 22, 2021, (the day before Tom’s birthday), making arrival at Christmas-time tricky. We’ll deal with that later.


So, here is a possible scenario for now. We leave India as soon as both borders open for us to fly to Marloth Park, via Johannesburg and then on to Nelspruit with a one-hour drive to Marloth Park. We’ll spend three months there with additional travels in Africa to extend the visa by going in and out of South Africa.
The view directly in front of our villa as the tide rapidly washed closer to the edge of the infinity pool. Logs and ocean debris often accompany the incoming tide which later disappears as the tide rolls back out to sea.

We’ll plan to work our way back to Lisbon, Portugal for the eventual sailing in 2021 and then, back to South Africa for another visit. At this point, with India and South Africa borders closed to international travel, we have no idea how long it will be between our first and second arrival in South Africa. We’ll figure it out as we go.


As for the remaining three cruises in 2022 in and around Japan, we’ll play it by ear and see what transpires over the next many months. These cruises are all on Celebrity with much higher passenger counts. Later, we’ll decide if they are safe in light of Covid-19.
A praying mantis on the glass door.

Thanks to many of our readers with suggestions for future posts after yesterday’s post asking for suggestions, shown here. We so appreciate your valued input and many of you will see your suggestions in posts to come.


Hang in there everyone! Hopefully, soon, these challenging times will pass.
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Photo from one year ago today, June 10, 2019:

Happy on a hill, cows in Connemara, Ireland. For more photos, please click here.

Final expenses, Baltic cruise…Final sailing day…Stockholm, Sweden photos…

Please see our final cruise expenses at the end of today’s text. With the poor WiFi connection, I wasn’t able to move the expenses box to be contained within the text or load captions due to the poor signal.  Please excuse the inconvenience.


The cruise is winding down.  Tomorrow morning we disembark in Amsterdam to take a taxi to the airport and fly to Exeter, England where we’ll pick up a car and drive for approximately two hours until we arrive at our next holiday rental in Falmouth, England.


It’s wonderful knowing this cruise is ending only to result in our starting our next adventure for two months in England, staying in what appears to be four unique and exciting country cottages.




Once we began our travels I had a vision of living in a stone cottage in the English countryside and now this dream will be fulfilled.  For us, it’s always the “simple life” that brings the greatest pleasure and purpose of our world travels.




Today is our last full day at sea and the ship is a flurry of activity with passengers booking new cruises, meeting up with others they’ve met along the way and reminiscing about the experiences of the past almost 12 days and nights.





Last night, once again we had dinner with our favorite little group including American partners Fred and Larry and British mother Deborah and adult son James. The conversation and laughter are neverending with this six-person group and thus we booked a special table with our favorite waiter for tonight’s final dinner at 7:45.





Last night we stayed up late once again watching passengers dancing to a variety of “oldies” in the Centrum.  It was the first time in my life, I couldn’t participate in the lively dancing.  Tom and I love dancing together, especially to “oldies” of the right beat (to us anyway).







Trying not to feel sorry for myself I couldn’t help but wonder if I’ll ever be able to dance again.  Right now, it doesn’t feel as if I could.  But, hopeful that I am, I’m now dreaming of the day when I’ll have my strength back and be on steady legs.  Right now, my legs feel as if they’re made of jello and it takes everything I have to keep from falling flat on my face.





I believe this is a result of the medications and the weaning process, tentative walking being listed as a major side effect while on the drugs and also while attempting to wean off of them, possibly lasting for many months.  





If I knew for sure that an end to the discomfort was in sight, it would be a lot easier.  But, like life itself, nothing is certain.  All we know is the moment we’re living and how important it is to treasure it as it occurs.  It’s challenging not to project into the future.





This morning I reduced the dose of the Bisoprolol in one more increment.  I’m now down about 70%.  I’ll wait another four or five days until I attempt to reduce it again.





The most common side effects of the withdrawal of this beta blocker are increased heart rate and blood pressure, breathing issues, at times to dangerous levels and also coughing and painful walking.  I am monitoring these closely.  Once the body adjusts, for most people, the rates return to more “normal” levels and the pain eventually dissipates.





Before I started weaning off this drug, my pulse was in the 40s and 50s causing me to feel exhausted and short-winded.  Now, as I’ve reduced the dose, it’s running between the 60s and 90s. My blood pressure is low.  We’ll see how it goes.





Oh, I am sorry to go on and on about my health but, let’s face it, it has a huge impact on our travels.  If we were living in a condo somewhere in a warm climate, I could easily have fallen into the trap of being the “perpetual patient” going back and forth to doctors to answer every question that comes to mind.





Now, I lean on reputable scientific research to guide me through this process.  I’ve read in many cases how many cardiologists have suggested their patients stop these drugs “cold turkey” while others warn patients to be hospitalized during the weaning process.  Go figure.


Medical information is misleading and doctors can have varying “opinions” on how to treat their patients, especially cardiologists.  I’ve chosen to go to the “middle ground” and try to work this out on my own.  



Of course, if anything untoward were to occur, we’d immediately seek medical attention.  Also, if my pulse or blood pressure rise too much, I always have the option to increase the dose short-term to get me through a bad spell and then try again a few days later.  Right now, I’m holding my own.


As the day quickly sails by (no pun intended), we find it hard to believe this cruise in over. We’ve already packed our bags, leaving out clothes to wear tonight and tomorrow.  Since our bags will be whisked away at 10:00 pm tonight, most likely, we’ll wear the same outfits tomorrow that we’ve worn tonight.


Today’s photos are those we took while in Stockholm, Sweden riding on the Hop-On, Hop-Off bus that we decided to try one more time.  With no rain this time, the photos were better.  


We were able to ride on the top deck without windows providing us with a clear view. It’s not easy taking photos from a fast-moving bus, but we did our best and are delighted to share these with you today.


Most likely, we won’t be able to prepare a full post tomorrow but we’ll let you know we’ve arrived at our new holiday rental in the late afternoon. We’ll be busy unpacking and washing clothes.  Hopefully, we’ll have a few new photos to share!


Be well.  Be healthy.  Be happy.

Expense US Dollar Euro
Cruise Fare  $          4,313.84                      3,894.36
Airfare –   $             385.00                    347.56
Hotel & Meals Amsterdam- $              440.00                    397.21      
Taxi   $             102.00                      92.08
Cabin Credit  $              (150.00)                  (135.41)
Wi-Fi on ship  $                227.40                     205.29
Gratuities  $                520.00                     469.44  
Miscellaneous  $                   82.00                       74.03
Tours  $                 930.00                     839.57   
Total  $             6850.24                   6184.12
Avg Daily Cost – 12 nights  $              570.85                     515.24



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Photo from one year ago today, August 22, 2018:
While on safari in Chobe National Park in Botswana, we were excited to get a view of the leopard’s face after waiting for a considerable period while Samson, our guide 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.   For more photos, please click here.

Our wonderful helpers in the park…A stroke of good luck saving us lots of moolah!…

A tattered ear on an old elephant.

“Sighting of the Day in the Bush”

Three little pigs…

Update:  There’s a good possibility the “lioness on the loose” has returned to Kruger National Park via the same means (or other means) by which she entered a week or two ago.  She hasn’t been sighted in the past few days.

A few wildebeests with a zebra in the background.

Currently, in South Africa, kids are off school until July 17th for the “school holiday.” The reason we knew this particular date is that Marta, our housekeeper, who lives in a tiny house on the property has a few of her kids staying here with her until the holiday ends when they’ll return to school to stay with other family members in a nearby town. 

A large bull at the side of the road.

This scenario is typical for the local workers in Marloth Park.  Many of them come here to work and walk to catch buses that pick them up to return them to various towns surrounding the area.  Many others stay in Marloth during the week living in small houses such as Marta’s here on the grounds and return to their families on their days off.

Elephants crossing the road.

It’s not an easy life and we appreciate them all including Marta and Josiah who cleans the pool, the grounds and the veranda on most weekdays.  Then, there’s Vusi and Zef who attend to replenishing our bottled water and bottled gas.  Many areas of the house use bottled gas such as the water heater, oven, range, and gas braai. 

Wildebeests, zebras and an impala sharing their food sources in Kruger.

Typically, they all cover for one another if one is ill or unable to work.  Of course, Louise and Danie oversee the efficient running in all of these areas, ensuring the work is getting done proficiently and in a timely manner.

Giraffe preparing to cross the road.

As for our “stroke of good luck,” well, Tom couldn’t have done a better job at saving us over ZAR 14,893 (US $1100) on an upcoming cruise we’d already booked.  The cruise sails on October 24, 2019, beginning in Southampton, England and ending in Fort Lauderdale, Florida on November 8, 2019, at which time we’ll fly to Nevada (and later drive to Arizona) to see family for a few weeks.

As we zoomed in on the above giraffe, we noticed this round patch which must be a result of some type of injury.

As we’ve mentioned on many past occasions, by watching cruise fares almost daily, when there’s a price drop, all we must do is notify Vacations-to-Go, a company we use exclusively for booking cruises.

They’ll verify the price drop with the cruise line and issue us a new “cruise confirmation” document showing the new pricing. Tom had been able to get a ZAR 4062 (US $300) price reduction on this same cruise about a month ago. 

Cape buffalo grazing along the edge of a waterhole.

Yesterday, he contacted Vacations-to-Go again when he noticed another price reduction at Celebrity’s website for another ZAR 10,831 (US $800).  With these combined price reductions we saved ZAR 14,893 (US $1100).  This is more than a 25% reduction from the original cost of the cruise.

It’s this type of diligence we maintain, individually and collectively to ensure we’re always getting the best possible pricing for everything we do.  In doing so, it allows us to spend a little more on quality properties wherever we may travel in the world.

We’d hoped to go to Kruger today but have heard there’s a long wait to enter.  They only allow so many visitors inside the park at one time.  We’ve heard it is a maximum of 600 visitors per day at each of the nine entrance gates to the vast national park.  We’ll wait until the holiday season winds down.

Have an excellent day and evening!

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Photo from one year ago today, June 26, 2017:

Vincent caught his first fish of the day, tiny but gratifying.  The hooks are carefully removed to avoid injuring the fish and the fish are tossed back into the lake.  The kids have no interest in eating the fish they catch nor do any of the adults care to fillet small sunfish or crappies (pronounced, croppies).  For more photos, please click here.

Antarctica – February 8, 2018…Final expenses are here!!!…We’re back in Buenos Aires for two nights…

Killer Whales…we’ve yet to share the many photos and videos of whales and will do so over the next few days.

This morning’s short post:  Due to a poor Wi-Fi signal at the airport, we’ll have to wait until we arrive in Buenos Aires later today to complete our post.  Please check back later in the day for the final expenses.  Thanks for your patience.

These Black Browed Albatross build this unbelievable nests for their chicks.

Now, since we’re back in Buenos Aires, a little pooped after so many action-packed days, I honestly don’t have much ummph to write much.  I didn’t sleep more than three hours last night and have yet to have a bite to eat today.  

In a little while, we’ll make the walk to La Cabrera for our final dinner at the fabulous restaurant.  Our mouths are watering over the prospect of the options available and look forward to a great sit down meal. 

Gentoo Penguins in the thousands.

During the cruise, we mostly dined in the buffet with our group of friends since we all found the variety much more appealing than the lesser menu options in the formal dining room.

Magellanic Penguins on a mission to get to the beach.

It’s 5:30 pm.  We arrived back at the Prodeo Hotel about an hour ago, did a little unpacking, getting necessary toiletries out for the less than two days until we depart for Africa.

Rock Hopper Penguin parent and their chick (they only have one) but a friend chick stopped by for a visit.

We decided to wait to have our laundry done in South Africa since there just isn’t enough time to get it laundered and packed here.  By early afternoon tomorrow, we planned to be packed leaving out comfy clothing for the overnight flight.

This Rock Hopper Penguin is one of my favorite photos.

I apologize for the repeat photos we shared from only a few days ago.  But, when I perused through all the photos, some of these came up as favorites.  It simply can’t be helped.  Plus, I’m reasonably bleary-eyed and couldn’t muster any creativity or enthusiasm right now to go through the several thousand photos we shot during that 17 days.  Bear with us.  They’ll be coming.

Us and our flag on  “real life'” ice bar in Antarctica.

Tomorrow, we’ll begin to share our exciting whale photos although we did include one here today.  Plus, we’ll be uploading a few special videos we’ll finally be able to post on YouTube which allows us to share them here.

Seeing that which Mother Nature provides is life changing.

The flight today was good and pleasantly uneventful.  It was fun to see all the wonderful friends we’d made during the cruise on the plane.  Roundtrip airfare to Buenos Aires was included in the cruise fare.

Toasting with French champagne on a sofa on an ice floe.

Speaking of the cruise fare, here you go…our final expenses for the cruise and incidentals.  It was a hefty chunk for us but we have no regrets.  It certainly was worth all the sacrifices we made these past two years to make this possible.


Expense US Dollar Euro
Cruise Fare  $             34,500.00  $                27,945.00
 Airfare – inc in cruise fare  $                                –
Hotel Buenos Aires – 2 ngts $                    140.00 $                       113.40
Taxi – paid by hotel  $                  $              
Cabin Credit  $                 (101.23)  $                      (81.00)
Wi-Fi on ship  $                   444.45  $                       360.00
Gratuities  $                   250.00  $                       202.50
Miscellaneous  $                    29.63  $                         24.00
Doctor visit on ship  $                  213.73  $                       173.12
Total  $             35,476.58  $                 28,899.02
Avg Daily Cost – 17 days  $               1,970.92  $                   1,605.50

The “ice bar,” the real deal on an ice floe in Antarctica.

No doubt, this was a lot of money to spend for this relatively short period of time.  However, it was a once-in-a-lifetime experience, one we doubt we’ll ever regret or repeat.

Happy as we could be to share this blissful experience.

Now, we need to get busy handling our complicated packing after storing half of our belongings here in boxes at the hotel.  Tomorrow will be a busy day but we plan to start it with a cup of coffee for Tom and tea for me, sitting in the hotel lobby, sharing more of this stunning experience with all of you.

Happy day to all!

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Photo from one year ago today, February 8, 2017:

This adorable coffee shop in Southport, Tasmania made us laugh.  It appears to be a diving bell  For more photos from our road trip, please click here.

Antarctica…February 7, 2018…Rough seas update…A most unusual experience on an ice floe in the Polar Circle…Spectacular…

Both of us raising a glass in celebration of this special occasion.

The Drake Passage continued to be rough, requiring we hold onto walls and railings when we walk throughout the ship with a degree of added difficulty while maneuvering in the cabin, especially in the bathroom and shower.  Last night, the buffet where the 12 of us has dined together on most occasion was closed and we had no choice but to dine in the main dining room.

We loved the sofa and a champagne bar on an ice floe in the Polar Circle.  I couldn’t resist lying down for this pose.  How fun it was!

Today, it’s settled down and all dining areas will be open.  However, this morning the ship continued to bob, occasionally jerk and lurch from side to side. We haven’t heard anything from the bridge as to the size of the swells or speed of the winds, both of which we anticipate have been fairly high.

Tom with icebergs in the background sitting on the sofa on the ice floe.

We’ve weathered it well with nary a moment of seasickness for which we’re extremely grateful.  Many passengers had no choice but to wear the seasickness patches or take medication to avert the uncomfortable sensations attributed to getting sick at sea.  But surprisingly, many passengers had no ill effects like us.

The wine steward, Laurent served us French champagne.

Later today, we’ll arrive in Ushuaia where the ship will spend the night.  This afternoon, we’ll pack leaving out enough clothing to get us through the next 24 hours.  We’re baffled as to why the ship designated tonight as a “dress up” night when everyone needs to have their baggage ready for pickup around 10:00 or 11:00 pm.  As a result, we’ll be casual tonight as usual.

It was fun to hold up our US flag on the ice floe.

Now, as the cruise winds down, I’m feeling a little sad to see it end.  Without a doubt, this ranks in my top three experiences since we began traveling the world in October 2012.  Definitely, it’s an expensive once-in-a-lifetime adventure leaving us with photos, stories, and videos we’ll always regard as treasured memories.

The bar was set up on on the ice floe earlier in the day so by the time we arrived, everything was set and ready to go.

We’re thrilled to be heading to Africa next since many other locations could be anticlimactic after this stunning experience.  Africa won’t disappoint and I expect we’ll handle the transition with ease, even with the vast difference in weather conditions.  It’s will be hot for a while longer in South Africa during their hot and humid summer months. 

Tom holding the “I crossed the Polar Circle” sign while sitting on the sofa.
Fortunately, we’ll have air conditioning in the bedroom and we’ll spend most of our days outdoors on the veranda. As excited as we’ve been during this outstanding cruise, a little tinge of excitement impacted me knowing on February 11th, we’ll arrive in Mpumalanga, Nelspruit/Kruger, albeit very tired after the long flight with layovers, to commence the 90-minute drive to Marloth Park.

Both of us holding the “I crossed the Polar Circle” sign.

We still have many Antarctic photos and videos we’ve yet to share and will attempt to wrap them up while in Buenos Aires during our final two days in Palermo Soho while we reorganize our packing, get laundry done (we only hand washed underwear on the cruise) and get ready for the upcoming long flight.


The sun setting on the icy waters.

Tonight, we booked a table for 10 in the buffet for our final meal with our group of new friends.  We all prefer to dine in the buffet where the options are many and the food more appealing for all of us than in the main dining room with limited menu options. 

There is exquisite scenery at every turn.
Overall, Tom hasn’t been thrilled with the food (picky eater) but I found it suitable for my diet and don’t have a complaint.  As for food photos, I’ve yet to show many when food was the last thing on my mind during this adventure.
The sun reflecting on the sea during daylight hours.

Today, we’re excited to share the photos of one of the most enjoyable events during the cruise, drinking French champagne, once again after a Zodiac boat ride, but this time, in the Arctic Circle on an ice floe, not while in the Zodiac as we shared a few days ago.  This surprising event left all of us reeling with sheer delight over the irony of the situation.

It was fascinating to see how the ship and Zodiac boats maneuvered through the ice-filled waters.
Who stands on an ice floe, sipping champagne? What an exquisite touch added to this magnificent cruise!  We’re all still talking about it along with all the other exceptional experiences we’ve had during this past almost 17 days and 16 nights.
Icebergs often develop into artistic designs.

Since we’ll be getting off the ship before 8 am tomorrow, this afternoon we hope to have time to prepare tomorrow’s post with the “final expenses” to automatically upload around our usual earlier time of the day.  We’ll be adding “favorite photos” in the two or three posts we’ll prepare while in Buenos Aires.

A single Crabcatcher Seal on an ice floe.

If for some reason, we can’t get tomorrow’s post done today, we’ll finish it once we arrive in Palermo later in the day.  In other words, there will be a post tomorrow, but at this point, the exact time if up for grabs.

It has been exciting to see wildlife sunning on ice floes.
My knee has greatly improved after the ship’s doctor provided excellent medical care and we’re both feeling well and ready to tackle this next leg of our journey.


Another Crabcathcer Seal lounging on an ice floe.
Stay well.  Stay happy and please, stay tuned for more. 
          ________________________________________________________
Photo from one year ago today, February 7, 2017:
A white sand beach in Dover, Tasmania. For more photos, please click here.

Antarctica- Saturday, January 27, 2018…Tom’s photos…

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

Today, we’re heading to South Georgia Island, a popular stopping point on the route toward the Antarctic Circle.  We’ve yet to see snow-covered islands and glaciers.  Soon enough, that will come.  But, it’s a long way from Ushuaia and today is only day five of the 17-day cruise.

The beautiful scenery in the Falkland Islands.  Notice the birds flying above.

Many of our readers have written asking the status of my injured knee  Thank you all for your thoughtful concern. As it turned out, yesterday at 5:00 pm, I visited the ship’s doctor, fearful that the infection wasn’t improving after four full days of antibiotics. 
Penguins fill the hills.

Bound and determined, I wasn’t about to be missing out on any of the many upcoming Zodiac boat excursions, and with another sea day to recoup, I felt I had no choice to see what was going on.

It’s fascinating to see how penguins love to stay close to their family members and friends.

My leg was turning red further up my thigh, several inches from the original site of the infection.  It wasn’t in a specific line creeping up my leg as one might expect from “blood poisoning.”  Instead, it was in bright red blotches, each of which was tender to the touch.  This was worrisome.  I had no idea what was going on or how to treat it.

They’re never far from easy access to the sea.

This is cruise number 22 for us in the past over five years during which neither of us has ever visited a ship doctor, not even when we contracted awful coughs, colds, and cases of flu.  Fortunately, we’ve never had norovirus or seasickness requiring medication from the doctor.

A lone Caracara.

After a very thorough exam of my knee, my leg, my groin, and mid-section he determined I have the equivalent of phlebitis, inflammation in the vein in my leg and lymphatic system, which if left untreated could be a disaster.  He determined it hadn’t spread to any other parts of my body and was localized in my leg. 

Black Browed Albatross in a massive colony.

He prescribed a strong prescription anti-inflammatory drug which must be taken with food three times a day along with continuing the antibiotic for at least four more days.  Although concerned with the diagnosis, I was especially relieved when he said I can keep walking as long as I can tolerate it. 

A lone little bird.

Even with the pain these past many days, I’ve been able to participate in the long walks on the excursions although I continue to walk gingerly due to the pain.  Tom has been patient and helpful as always, hanging on to me as we’ve navigated our way over the rough, rocky and uneven terrain. 

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! 

I’m scheduled to return to the doctor tomorrow at 5:00 pm to decide the next course of treatment if there has been a sufficient improvement.  We’re hopeful when this morning I noticed the redness and tenderness has improved about 20%, not a significant amount but enough to make us feel optimistic.

More chicks and parents sitting atop their raised pods.

During this last outing on Steeple Jason Island in the Falkland Islands, he took all of the photos while I watched my footing using the walking sticks that the ship recommended we all bring with us.  Tom, as sure-footed, as one can be, hasn’t needed to use them, hence we only brought along one pair.

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

In our enthusiasm to present our photos and with the sketchy Wi-Fi signal, we failed to mention any information about the Falkland Islands.  Here’s a bit of information from the ship’s newsletter, to fill in the blanks:

The varying species can easily hang out together as shown in this photos of Penguins and Albatross.

“The Falkland Islands have a rich history embracing maritime trade, sealing, whaling, as well as cattle and sheep farming.  The English navigator, John Davis, aboard the “Desire” made the first confirmed sighting of the islands in 1592. 

The first landing is attributed to the British Captain, John Strong in 1690 at Bold Cove, Port Howard on West Falkland.  Early visitors were sealers, whalers and penguin hunters from different corners of the world.  Many imported domestic animals were left at various locations as a food source for future voyages.

A preening chick on the nest.

Cattle spread rapidly throughout the islands.  Travel was on horseback and South American gauchos made their mark.  Stone and turf corrals were constructed and remains of these can be seen scattered across the islands. particularly on East Falkland.

It is “wildly” congested in spots!

The year 1833 saw the re-assertion by British for its sovereignty.  By 1845 the capital had been moved to its present site and was named Stanley, after the Colonel Secretary, Geoffrey Smith Stanley. 

A bird of prey, the Caracara awaits the next opportunity for a meal.

Stanley became an important port for vessels involved in whaling and rounding Cape Horn.  Settlements and farms were built across the islands and sheep farming took over from cattle ranching as a mainstay of the economy.

The ship’s naturalists set up a perimeter of flags for us to walk.  This curious Caracara had to investigte the flagpole.

Falkland Islanders participated in both World Wars. The World War I Battle of the Falklands is commemorated the monument on Ross Road whilst the Cross of Sacrifice commemorates World War II.  For 74 days in 1982, Argentine troops occupied the Falkland Islands. 

There are over one half million Albatross on this island.

A British Task Force was sent to recover the islands. Fierce fighting took place on land, at sea, and in the air with a number of Islanders aiding the British military.  Ultimately, Argentine Forces surrendered to the British Forces.”

As mentioned above, today’s photos were taken by Tom while we were at Steeple Jason Island in the Falkland Islands.  He’s becoming quite the photographer!  For more information on this island, please click here.

They seem to go on forever.  What a sight!

Tomorrow’s post will be arriving later in the day since we’re heading out again, in the early morning, on the Zodiac boats to South Georgia where we’ll certainly be in for quite a surprise which we can’t wait to share with all of you.

Have a fabulous day filled with many wonders!
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Photo from one year ago today, January 27, 2017:
This fish mascot wandered about the Australia Day celebration for photo ops.   For more photos, please click here.

Antarctica- Thursday, January 25, 2018…Our first penguin photos…The Falkland Islands…Aaaamazing!!!

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

As we expected, the Wi-Fi signal on the ship is touchy. On our first full day out to sea and we anticipate arriving at our first so-called “port of call” at the Falkland Islands, one day earlier than scheduled.  

Rock Hopper Penguins.  Pinch me…is this really happening?

Tuesday night, after an enjoyable dinner (fully accommodating my dietary restriction) in the main dining room with two fine Aussie couples we tried on the complimentary red parkas which we’ll take with us when the cruise ends.  

A colony of penguins.
A family gathering.Rock Hopper penguins with one of their offspring.
Most likely we’ll add them to the other winter clothing we’ll be shipping back to our mailing service in Nevada to store until another cold-weather adventure in years to come.
There are thousands of Rock Hopper and Imperial Shags penguins on New Island.

The crowd on this 200 passenger ship, Ponant Le Soleal, are mostly seniors like us although many, based on the outrageous fares we all paid, are much more “financially possessed” than our middle-income selves.  But, like most people we met, we all seem to blend well, particularly based on our mutual world travel experiences.  

 
Rock Hopper and Imperial Shags.

Of course, we never meet anyone that “does it” quite like us although we’ve found many of the passengers are traveling more than they’re staying “home.”

About half of the 200 passenger hail from France or other French-speaking countries.
A Zodiak boat bringing passengers back to the ship after their exploration of the island.
The remainder is from Australia, the US, the UK and various parts of Europe.  Many speak no English or very little.  Why should we expect them to speak English when we don’t speak their language.  I’m having a hard time not saying “hola” when people walk past.  After all, we’ve spent the last six months in Spanish speaking countries.
A female Uplander Goose.
The staff is perfect at arranging like-language speaking seminars and dining tables allowing for free-flowing conversations.  I’m finding I’m understanding a great deal of the French language, more than I’d expected, from my four years of studying French 55 years ago in high school.  I always say our brains are like computers storing information that may be retrieved decades later if we try hard enough. 
A male Uplander Goose wandering about.

Jumping back for a moment:  Once we arrived in Ushuaia, our bags were whisked away to be placed in our cabins.  An English speaking 30-minute city tour ensued as we headed to an Accora Hotel located at about 2100 feet in the Andes Mountains which surround the historic and beautiful city for a fabulous buffet lunch.  

 
Another male Uplander Goose.

Having been in Ushuaia in mid-December on the South American cruise, we found ourselves reveling in the beauty of this remote location.  Details of this lunch and time in Ushuaia is described in more details in yesterday’s post.

Me in front of the museum on the Falklands Island of New Island.

By 4:15 we began the quickest boarding process of all of our past 21 cruises in the past five years.  Within minutes, we were escorted to our cabin by sophisticated English speaker porters who handled our carry on bags.  

 
Tom, in front of The museum on New Island in the Falkland Island

Once in our luxurious cabin which was only about 200 square feet, we were pleased with our fourth deck (out of six decks) choice.  With tons of closet and drawer space, by dinner time and after the mandatory muster drill, we were completely unpacked with our bags neatly tucked under the king-sized bed.


A shipwreck on the shore at New Island in the Falkland Islands.
The first night we sailed away by 6:00 pm, arriving the next morning at New Island of the Falkland Island which are the photos we’re sharing today.  To say the least, we are both wildly in awe of being in this part of the world never taking a single moment for granted.
An old stone stove in the museum.
This is one of those times, we keep pinching ourselves, asking “How did we get so lucky to be here?  How did we ever manage to save enough to pay this outrageous cruise fare?  I guess we can say, we bit the bullet and sacrificed many amenities and extras we may have included in our lives in the past.
This bird, a female Kelp Goose, found a bit of kelp to nibble on.
Soon, when we arrive in Africa, again we’ll tighten our budgets to be able to afford the many tours on which we’re hoping to embark while on the continent.
For now, we’re reveling in this experience, wrapped up in every luxurious moment, every bit of wildlife and scenery we’re gifted with the opportunity to behold.
Our first trip on a Zodiac boat.  A maximum of 10 passengers is allowed on the Zodiac boats.  The boat ride is bouncy, windy and wet but our waterproof clothing protected us from the elements.
Above all, we’re especially grateful to be sharing this with each other and then, of course, with all of you, our dear readers/friends.  As mentioned earlier, if you don’t see a new post, keep an eye out.  We’re making every effort to stay in close touch with new photos each day. We can’t wait to share more penguin photos!!!

We’ll be back soon!   Stay warm!
              ___________________________________________       

Photo from one year ago today, January 25, 2017:
This Tasmania Devil posed for our photo while at Wild Wings Wildlife Farm in Gunns Plains, Tasmania, the first we’d seen.  For more photos, please click here.

Part 2…Challenges along the way…New cruise bookings…Changes in tipping on cruises…

San Antonio, Chile to San Diego, California
15 nights departing March 24, 2019, on Celebrity’s Celebrity Eclipse
Our price:  $3,885.68 (we included tips on this cruise) (ARS 73,349.98)
(Prices listed here are for both of us included taxes and port fees)

Date Port Arrive Depart
Sunday, March 24 Santiago (San Antonio), Chile 9:00pm

Monday, March 25 La Serena, Chile 10:00am 6:00pm

Tuesday, March 26 At Sea

Wednesday, March 27 At Sea

Thursday, March 28 Lima (Callao), Peru 7:00am 5:00pm

Friday, March 29 At Sea

Saturday, March 30 Manta, Ecuador 10:00am 6:00pm

Sunday, March 31 At Sea

Monday, April 1 Puntarenas, Costa Rica 7:00am 4:00pm

Tuesday, April 2 At Sea

Wednesday, April 3 Huatulco, Mexico 10:00am 8:00pm

Thursday, April 4 At Sea

Friday, April 5 Puerto Vallarta, Mexico 9:00am 5:00pm

Saturday, April 6 Cabo San Lucas, Mexico 9:00am 5:00pm

Sunday, April 7 At Sea

Monday, April 8 San Diego, CA 7:00am



In reviewing our upcoming itinerary for 2018-2020 for 852 days (see this link), we realized we’d yet to post any information for the cruises we’ve already booked. 

We’ve yet to book the Zambezi River cruise in Africa which we’ll do once we arrive on the continent and also, the cruises for the Pantanal and Amazon River since they’re both far into the future.

Otherwise, at this point, we have a total of five cruises booked which includes the upcoming Antarctica cruise sailing in 17 days.  Based on the fact we’ll be spending a full year in Africa, other than the Zambezi River cruise, these four cruises are booked as shown including pricing.

Fort Lauderdale, Florida to Dublin, Ireland
14 nights departing April 22, 2019, on Celebrity’s Celebrity Reflection
Our price:  $4,497.10 (tips not included) (ARS 84,891.76)
(Prices listed here are for both of us included taxes and port fees)

Date Port Arrive Depart
Monday, April 22 Fort Lauderdale, FL 5:00pm

Tuesday, April 23 At Sea

Wednesday, April 24 At Sea

Thursday, April 25 At Sea

Friday, April 26 At Sea

Saturday, April 27 At Sea

Sunday, April 28 At Sea

Monday, April 29 At Sea

Tuesday, April 30 Ponta Delgada, Portugal 7:00am

Wednesday, May 1 Ponta Delgada, Portugal 3:00pm

Thursday, May 2 At Sea

Friday, May 3 At Sea

Saturday, May 4 Cork (Cobh), Ireland 10:00am 8:00pm

Sunday, May 5 Waterford (Dunmore East), Ireland 7:00am 7:00pm

Monday, May 6 Dublin, Ireland 4:30am

Tom suggested I mention the fact that the pricing in Vacations to Go is not necessarily the price we paid.  Usually, they list the prices for the lowest valued cabin the category mentioned. 

Based on our Captain’s Club member status, we often get an upgrade and also choose a more conveniently located cabin suitable for our needs that may be priced slightly higher than listed.  Thus, the prices listed here today may be different than listed on the VTG site.

From time to time, there are various perks listed but few are included on the cruises listed here due to their excellent overall pricing based on “six of one, half dozen of another.”

Note: No map was provided for this itinerary.
Amsterdam to Amsterdam, The Netherlands
12 nights departing August 11, 2019, on
Royal Caribbean’s Brilliance of the Seas
Our price:  $4,313,18 (tips not included) (ARS 81,419.90)
(Prices listed here are for both of us included taxes and port fees)

Date Port Arrive Depart
Sunday, August 11 Amsterdam, Holland 5:00pm

Monday, August 12 At Sea

Tuesday, August 13 Copenhagen, Denmark 8:00am 5:00pm

Wednesday, August 14 At Sea

Thursday, August 15 Tallinn, Estonia 11:00am 6:00pm

Friday, August 16 St. Petersburg, Russia 7:00am

Saturday, August 17 St. Petersburg, Russia 6:00pm

Sunday, August 18 Helsinki, Finland 7:00am 3:00pm

Monday, August 19 Stockholm, Sweden 7:00am 4:00pm

Tuesday, August 20 At Sea

Wednesday, August 21 Skagen, Denmark 8:00am 6:00pm

Thursday, August 22 At Sea

Friday, August 23 Amsterdam, Holland 6:00am

Oftentimes, cruise passengers prefer the perception of getting a great deal with a number of perks provided.  After all these years of cruising, we’re well beyond the concept of perception and prefer a straight-forward price.

Recently both Royal Caribbean and Celebrity (owned by the same parent company) have upped the daily tips from US $13.50 (ARS 254.84) per day per person to US $14.50 (ARS 273.72) per day.  That results in an amount of US $29 (ARS 547.43) per day added to our cruise bill.  For a 15-night cruise, there’s a total of US $435 (ARS 8,211.49) added to the bill.

These tips can be reversed by passengers when on the ship and they can do whatever they’d like regarding tipping their favorite staff members.  However, we’ve never reversed the daily tips and always include extra tips for cabin steward and others.

London, England to Fort Lauderdale, Florida
15 nights departing on October 24, 2019, on
Celebrity’s Celebrity Silhouette
Our price:  $4,304.40 (tips not included) (ARS 81,254.16)
(Prices listed here are for both of us included taxes and port fees)

 
Date Port Arrive Depart
Thursday, October 24 London (Southampton), England 4:30pm

Friday, October 25 At Sea

Saturday, October 26 At Sea

Sunday, October 27 At Sea

Monday, October 28 At Sea

Tuesday, October 29 At Sea

Wednesday, October 30 At Sea

Thursday, October 31 Boston, MA 7:00am 5:00pm

Friday, November 1 New York (Any Port), NY 3:00pm

Saturday, November 2 New York (Any Port), NY 5:00pm

Sunday, November 3 At Sea

Monday, November 4 King’s Wharf, Bermuda 10:30am

Tuesday, November 5 King’s Wharf, Bermuda Noon

Wednesday, November 6 At Sea

Thursday, November 7 Nassau, Bahamas 10:00am 6:00pm

Friday, November 8 Fort Lauderdale, FL 5:00am

We discovered from a former cruise employee that the removal of tips is noted in the passenger’s computer file and clearly visible by all serving staff members.  This could surely have a negative impact on the quality of service. 

Like us, many passengers prefer to show an extra token of gratitude for exceptional service especially for their cabin steward, bartenders, and other service staff one may frequent.  After all, these workers leave their homes and families and live in not-so-ideal conditions while aboard ship for many months at a time.

When we first began booking cruises in 2012, tips were often included in the price.  But, this was merely a case of convenience.  With price increases, these cruise lines decided to leave them out for passengers to pay separately, allowing them to raise basic pricing which would provide the perception of somewhat lowered pricing on many sailings. 

Artistic painting on a wall in Palermo.

Trickery.  It’s the nature of the beast.  We love cruising in between our land-stays, using cruises as much as possible for us to get from one location to another as illustrated in our newly posted itinerary.

With the sun shining again, after last night’s rainy walk to dinner (the Prodeo Hotel staff provided us with an umbrella), we’re looking forward to getting out today for a bit of sightseeing, now that we’ve completed so much planning for the future.

We’re both feeling well, optimistic and refreshed as we’re almost halfway through our extended stay in Buenos Aires, enjoying each and every day’s insight into life in this big city in Argentina.

Be well and happy!

___________________________________________________

Photo from one year ago today, January 6, 2017:

Joey head and legs hanging out of the pouch in Tasmania last year.  It looks as if it’s time to stop living in there!  For more photos, please click here.

Day 28…Cruise to South America…Stats on the cruise…Engine room tour and photos…

The two officers were clear and concise in explaining the functions and safety systems in the ship’s engine room.
Sightings from the Veranda while Cruising”
Another exquisite view of Ushuaia from the veranda.

We’re often curious about numbers of passengers on our cruises.  With this back-to-back cruise as our 20th and 21st since January 3, 2013, we were especially interested in the fact we observed passengers from all over the world.

Multiple monitors are on display for the management of the ship’s engines.

Most passengers spoke English on our past cruises, consisting primarily of Americans, citizens of the UK and Canadians.  While sailing in the South Pacific from 2015 to 2017, the passengers included Australians, Americans, citizens of the UK, Canadians and a mix of other countries and languages.

It was interesting to hear about the many systems in place for the operation of the ship.

Based on the fact that this cruise would primarily be sailing in South America, except for the embarkation from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, it’s been an interesting mix of passengers from all over the world, more than we’ve seen on any past cruises.

This monitor shows the status of the ship’s stabilizers.
On each leg of the cruise, based on these numbers we’re sharing today, over half the passengers have been English speaking.  Why is this significant or worthy of mention?  Certainly, from our perspective, by no means a result of any prejudice of any ethnicity.

There were dozens of pieces of equipment for the staff to monitor 24-hours a day.

However, many passengers choose to cruise for the socialization as well as being able to visit many countries in one fell swoop.  The more culturally diverse cruises may limit some of the social engagement.

On several occasions, we were seated at shared dining tables where we were unable to communicate with our table-mates, making it difficult for all of us.  We feel bad that we don’t know their language and are unable to communicate. 

Emergency buttons available which had yet to be used by either officer.

Here are some stats provided to us by the Captain’s Club Hostess as to the breakdown of the languages spoken by passengers on both legs of this back-to-back cruise:

Cruise #1 – November 23, 2017 – Fort Lauderdale, FL to San Antonio, Chile:

  • Arabic – 2
  • Chinese – 4
  • Croatian – 2
  • Czech – 3
  • Danish – 29
  • Dutch – 89
  • English – 1514
  • Finish – 6
  • French – 44
  • German – 121
  • Greek – 3
  • Hebrew -13
  • Hungarian – 6
  • Italian – 5
  • Latvia – 2
  • Malay -1
  • Norwegian – 34
  • Portuguese – 45
  • Russian – 1
  • Slovene – 2
  • Spanish – 175
  • Sweden – 4
  • Turkish -1
  • Ukrainian -4
  • TOTAL – 2109

Cruise #2 – December 8, 2017 – San Antonio, Chile: to Buenos Aires, AR

  • Arabic – 2
  • Chinese – 11
  • Croatian – 2
  • Czech – 2
  • Danish – 1
  • Dutch – 33
  • English – 1257
  • Finish – 3
  • French – 54
  • German – 103
  • Greek – 3
  • Hebrew -82
  • Hungarian – 6
  • Italian – 3
  • Japanese – 10
  • Korean – 4
  • Malay – 4
  • Norwegian – 17
  • Portuguese – 139
  • Romanian – 2
  • Russian – 14
  • Slovene – 4
  • Spanish – 368
  • Sweden – 4
  • Turkish – 22
  • Unknown – 1
  • TOTAL – 2193

Last week we were invited to participate in a tour of the ship’s engine room. Various tours are offered at no charge for Captain’s Club members while other tours, such as the galley, require a payment. Without a required payment, we decided we’d be happy to attend.



Although we anticipate the staff of the engine room may be tired of doing such tours, their kindly and knowledgeable manner made it appear as if this was their first time.

Another workstation.

They eagerly answered questions and allowed photos of the equipment and computer monitors as they explained how it all works. Overall, it proved to be interesting to both of us and thus, we wanted to share some of these photos here today.

Me and one of the two officers who conducted the presentation.

Today, the ship is anchored in the bay at Punta Del Este, Uruguay with the lifeboats being used as tenders to take passengers ashore. With only a small population and few sites to see, we’ve decided to stay on board. 


In researching this small town, the highlights include shopping for local handicrafts and a few photo ops; a lighthouse and hand sculpture on the beach. Tomorrow, we’ll be arriving in Montevideo, Uruguay, where we’ll definitely be heading ashore and sharing photos on Friday.
Tom and the second officer in command.

On Saturday, we’ll post our final expenses (including cruise fare) for this back-to-back cruise including our total bills for both legs in the journey.

Have a lovely day and be well.

______________________________________________________


Photo from one year ago today, December 20, 2016:

Entrance statue to Binalong Bay in Tasmania.  Click here for details.   For more photos from the year-ago post, please click here.

Day 10…Cruise to South America…Part 3, Manta, Ecuador… Busy fishing port… See below for “Year ago photo” and link to our final expenses for last year’s the 33-night cruise ending on this date…

It was interesting to see these huge nets of fish, mainly tuna, being pulled from huge fishing vessels In Manta, Ecuador, arriving at the pier after a night at sea.  Manta is one of the biggest producers of wild-caught tuna in the world.

“Sightings from the Veranda while Cruising”

Tom is getting to be quite the photographer.  But, when I compliment him he says, “Even a stopped watch is correct twice a day!”  He’s too modest!  Soon, we’ll purchase a second camera so we both take photos simultaneously while in Antarctica and Africa.

Today, we’re still at the port in Callao, Peru, yet to leave the ship.  After speaking with many passengers, those who’d done what we’d hoped to do, take the shuttle to town, were sorely disappointed in the experience. 

Many reported that the 45-minute shuttle bus ride turned into a 90-minute to two-hour ride (one way) due to outrageous traffic.  With Tom’s impatience in traffic, it would not have been a pleasant experience for us. 

Also reported, once they arrived near the town they had to take a taxi to get to the shopping district.  We had no interest in such an outing.  We’re glad we stayed behind, ending up having a wonderful day on the quiet ship.

The nets of fish kept cold on dry ice were moved from the ships to trucks heading to the local processing plants and canneries.

The group tours had better reviews but here again, we had no interest in spending money on pricey group tours when photos from moving vehicles are difficult to take. 

When we return to South America in the next few years, we’ll be able to travel about Peru at our own pace, rather than be subject to less-than-desirable circumstances.  Crowds just aren’t “our thing.”

As our long-time readers are aware, we mostly opt for the more laid back and easy pace in seeing the sights that appeal to us.  No doubt Machu Picchu and Galapagos are on our “to do” list for the future.

Each time the nets were lowered into the ship’s hold, they brought up hundreds of fish.  These workers look on to ensure everything goes smoothly from the ship to the awaiting trucks.

Busying ourselves on the ship yesterday was easy for us.  We were never bored for a moment.  By the time we finished the post around 12:30 pm, we headed to the Celebrity Theatre for the 1:00 pm movie, 2016’s, The Promise. 

For those who haven’t seen this movie, a beautiful love story at the end of the Ottoman Empire, we’d highly recommend seeing it.  We both thoroughly enjoyed it.

After the movie, we hung out in Cafe al Bacio chatting with other guests who’d also remained behind having chosen not to be standing in the one or two hour-long queues just to get onto a shuttle bus, plus the hours-long rides through traffic.  We felt at ease we’d done the right thing for us.

Net being lowered into a truck.

By 4:30 pm, we headed to our cabin to get ready for the evening happy hour in the Constellation Lounge for Captain’s Club members only. We sat with a lovely couple from Florida (originally from Massachusetts) engaging in interesting conversation until it was time to leave for dinner in the Trellis Restaurant.

There again, we had another entertaining dinner with other passengers at a shared table.  After dinner, at 9:00 pm, we wandered to the Celebrity Theatre for the evening’s comedy show.  We both dozed off during the not-so-comical show. 

I slept during the entire performance, waking myself periodically with a startled jolt.  Tom said he’d done the same.  Many nights we simply don’t get enough sleep, inspiring us to return to our cabin by 10:00 or 10:30 pm.  Other nights, we can stay up much later to partake in dancing and lively activities.

The vapors from the dry ice are seen at the bottom of this net.

In any case, it’s all quite enjoyable, tired or not.  As soon, as I upload today’s post, I’m off to the fitness center on Deck 10 to work out.  Since we embarked on the ship I’ve been working out, doing my usual HIIT (high-intensity interval training). 

It’s been a long time since I’ve worked out.  It felt great to get back to it especially when it felt as if I’d never missed a beat when I began my former routine.  If only I could work out wherever we may live but it’s not possible in many locations. 

A worker guides the net to the proper position for unloading into the trucks.

The hotel in Buenos Aires has a fitness center but nothing is available in South Africa.  Walking may not be as prevalent for us in Marloth Park as it was four years ago when we could easily walk the dirt roads in the bush always on the alert for wild animals. 

Now, our friends are reporting that lions and leopards have been sighted in Marloth Park and a leisurely walk may be out of the question.  We shall see how it goes.

That’s it for today, folks.  Enjoy the fishing photos from Manta, Ecuador.  And, may you have an enjoyable day!

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Photo from one year ago today, December 2, 2016:

The miniature representation of schooner located in the Schooner Bar in Royal Caribbean Radiance of the Seas.  We disembarked the ship that day after a 33-night cruise.  For the final expenses for this long cruise, please click here.