Feeling great….Last few photos of Torquay…Two days and counting..

A cute little restaurant, the Cottage Cafe.

Fascinating Fact of the Day about Torquay: 
From this site:

“Roman soldiers are known to have visited Torquay when Britain was a part of the Roman Empire, leaving offerings at a curious rock formation in Kents Cavern, known as “The Face.” No evidence has been found of Roman settlement in the town. The first major building in Torquay was Torre Abbey, a Premonstratensian monastery founded in 1196. Torquay remained a minor settlement until the Napoleonic wars when Torbay was used as a sheltered anchorage by the Channel Fleet, and relatives of officers often visited Torquay. The mild climate (for the UK) attracted many visitors who considered the town a convalescence retreat where they could recover from illness away from the cold and cloudy winters of more northerly or easterly locations. The population of Torquay grew rapidly from 838 in 1801, to 11,474 in 1851.”
Six weeks ago, I came off the three heart medications, each of which was causing terrible side effects.  The conditions for which they were prescribed are not issues I’ve experienced except during the first few weeks after surgery while I was hospitalized.

The exhaustion, the constant need for naps, the chronic pain in my muscles and joints preventing me from walking or performing simple tasks, the erratic pulse often too low, the atrial fibrillations, the bouts of high and low blood pressure, and the frightening breathlessness, all are gone.

My pulse is comfortably in the high 60’s. My blood pressure runs in the 115/70 range. I can breathe easily and walk up and down several flights of stairs with no more difficulty than others without heart issues. I am often sleeping through the night…a first for me.
The best shot I could get of this church was when there was no nearby parking.

Keep in mind. I’ve never really noticed any difference before and after the surgery. I’d completed the stress test with seeming ease before the surgery without being out of breath. Then, I was easily able to exert myself, and now, there’s no difference.  

But it was an abnormal stress test readout attributed to the plethora of tests and surgeries that followed. Finally, it was the angiogram that provided the scary situation I was in.  I still have blockages but no angina (chest pain or otherwise). We’ll see what the future holds.

In the past month, I’ve stopped obsessing about how I am feeling at any given moment. With all the side effects I had, it’s no wonder I was in a state of worry and concern. I no longer check my pulse 20 times a day, my blood pressure ten times. All is well.
There are numerous churches in Torquay of many denominations.

Each of the three drugs had its own unique set of side effects. As I weaned off one medication after another, the changes in how I was feeling were palpable. I’m so grateful.

Sure, you may say I should have gone to a doctor before stopping these drugs. But, after considerable reading on reputable medical studies, all my side effects were expected. Normal? Yikes!
(Please do not take any of this information as advice or suggestions for your health. Please see your physician if issues arise).
A clock tower.

Once we left South Africa in May, I left behind a relationship with a cardiologist. I’d requested records from him and the surgeon, but they weren’t as comprehensive as they should have been to present to a new doctor.

IF I had gone to a cardiologist in another country, I would most likely have been required to have more tests, some invasive and some with a degree of risk. I took my own life into my hands which, in itself, wasn’t without risk.
However, if I’d had any new symptoms as I weaned off the drugs, I would have immediately sought professional help.  Now, I can stick to having my first annual checkup in February, which I plan to do.
We were surprised to see a casino in Torquay.

As we look to the future, we do so with innate optimism and passion for our continuing travels. We realize the risks, but after we’ve experienced what we have been through this past year, we know we can figure out the best possible solutions.

In two days, we head out for the last of the four holiday homes in the UK before we’re off to Southampton for a few days in a hotel and then on to the cruise back to the US. One month from today we’ll be with our families!

Enjoy your day to the max!
Photo from one year ago today, October 9, 2018:
Traffic jam on the way to the river. For more photos, please click here.

Part 2…Torquay, the much revered English Riviera…Living on farms…Three days and counting…

High Street in many towns and villages has banners flying indicating the main shopping area.

Fascinating Fact of the Day about Torquay: 
From this site:

“Torquay’s name originates in its being the quay of the ancient village of Torre. In turn, Torre takes its name from the tor, the extensively quarried remains of which the town’s Lymington Road can be seen, thus giving this the original name of Torquay, then Torkay, Torkey, and Tor Quay before joining the words together to Torquay.

The area comprising modern Torquay has been inhabited since Paleolithic times. Hand axes found in Kents Cavern have been dated as 40,000 years old,[4] and a maxilla fragment, known as Kents Cavern 4, maybe the oldest example of a modern human in Europe, dating back to 37,000–40,000 years ago.

It’s going to be hard to leave this incredible farm in three days. Our only disappointment has been the amount of rain during our stay, impacting our ability to explore further this beautiful 150-acre property and more of the surrounding area.

Several beachcombers wandered the shore with the dogs, tossing balls for them to chase.

Once again, we’ve discovered that living on a farm has been a memorable experience. In the past seven years, we’ve only spent a total of four months living on farms. Although not significant time-wise,  each unto its own has left an indelible mark on the accumulated scope of our travel experiences.

The center of town has a variety of shops and restaurants.

In the future, we may search for farms as possible holiday homes based on the depth and magnitude of their effects on our level of enjoyment along with a profound sense of well-being and pleasure.

A footbridge was leading to the beach promenade.

People often ask what has been our favorite experience since we began seven years ago. For both of us, the answer is simple…being close to nature, whether it’s living in the bush surrounded by wildlife or living in the area where we can spot indigenous wildlife and birds and, of course, living on farms.

Our two experiences of late include St. Teath, Cornwall, and now in Witheridge, Devon. And, when was our third? Our first farm adventure occurred when we lived on the alpaca farm in New Plymouth, New Zealand.

We walked on this bridge down to the beach.

As we’ve mentioned many times in the past, the three months we spent living in a newly built farmhouse with 100 alpacas surrounding us in various paddocks will be remembered as one of our favorite stays in any location.  

To begin reading a few of the alpaca farm adventures, please click here. When I just looked up the link, my heart did a flip-flop when I saw the adorable face of my favorite little alpaca (called a “cria”), Mont Blanc, who later lost his little life. Such memories.

The cliffs overlook the beach and promenade.

Then, of course, the four months we spent in Kauai, Hawaii, with almost daily interactions with the nesting, hatching, and eventual fledging of the stunning Layson albatross chicks who nested in the nearby neighborhood of several of the friends we made while there.  

Click this link for more and the beginning of our posts for this life-changing opportunity, one we’ll never forget as the chicks were about to hatch. We followed their story day after day, cherishing every moment of this peek into the life of these fantastic birds.  

This little dog made us laugh when fast chasing a ball.

And, as many of our long-time readers are well aware, the total two years we spent in Africa, our lives were filled with adventure and excitement beyond our wildest dreams. It’s hard to believe we left South Africa only five months ago, as the memories linger on.

The contemporary spire on a church in the downtown area.

It was in October 2013. We had the blissful experience of our first safari in Kenya. We still find ourselves reeling over the endless sightings we were blessed to see. Please click here where those photos began.

Well, it goes on and on. Mother Nature is our hero and will remain so for whatever time we are gifted with as we strive to continue this year-long journey.

There are many ornate office complexes in the town.

We are very grateful for life…for ours and theirs…the mission continues.

Be well.

Photo from one year ago today, October 8, 2018:
They aren’t particularly handsome animals, but they are an essential part of the animal kingdom. For more photos, please click here.

Part 1…Torquay, the much revered English Riviera…Wardrobe issues…

A creative sand sculpture artist was busy working on the beach in Torquay, Devon, known as the English Riviera.

Fascinating Fact of the Day about Torquay: From this site:

Torquay (/tɔːrˈkiː/ tor-KEE) is a seaside town in Devon, England, part of the unitary authority area of Torbay. It lies 18 miles (29 km) south of the county town of Exeter and 28 miles (45 km) east-north-east of Plymouth, on the north of Tor Bay, adjoining the neighboring town of Paignton on the west of the bay and across from the fishing port of Brixham.The town’s economy, like Brixham’s, was initially based upon fishing and agriculture. Still, in the early 19th century, it developed into a fashionable seaside resort, originally frequented by members of the Royal Navy during the Napoleonic Wars. At the same time, the Royal Navy anchored in the bay. Later, as the town’s fame spread, it was popular with Victorian society. Renowned for its mild climate (for the U.K.), the town earned the English Riviera’s nickname.

The writer Agatha Christie was born in the town and lived there during her early years, and there is an “Agatha Christie Mile,” a tour with plaques dedicated to her life and work.”

When it was sunny a few days ago, we didn’t waste a moment dropping everything to hit the road to visit the popular town of Torquay, Devon, known as the English Riviera.
It was beautiful to see the ocean once again in Torquay, Devon.
Driving was always challenging when many roads weren’t marked, and the GPS signal was seldom available. Saving the online directions helped, but only when we closely watched the odometer for turns which helped but still wasn’t perfect.
It was one of the few sunny days in weeks inspiring us to go on a road trip.
Once we got onto the highway, the M5, finding our way was easy with many signs marked for Torquay, the popular seaside resort town. It took us over an hour once we made it to the highway.
Upon arrival in the lovely town of Torquay, after we’d had lunch in a restaurant with a parking lot (yeah!) with excellent views of the sea. We had a nice lunch and were on our way to check out the attractive location.
Torquay is a busy tourist location as well as a permanent home for many British and foreigners.  Its current population is 65,245, making it the third-highest population in Devon, but not in England’s top 320 cities/towns/villages.
Perhaps, someday, we’ll stay in Torquay for a few weeks as we’d done in the equally fantastic seaside town of Falmouth, Cornwall, which we left only a month ago. It was a memorable experience along with the two farms we’ve experienced on this two-month leg in the UK.
The time in the English countryside has passed quickly, and when we realize we’re leaving Witheridge in a mere four days, for 11 nights in Chepstow, Monmouthshire, Wales. 
As shown above, over 1,000,000 tourists visit Torquay each year. Many stay in hotels and holiday rentals in buildings.
After spending two nights in a hotel in Southampton, we’ll be boarding the ship to begin our 15-night cruise back to the US in only 17 days from today, arriving in Fort Lauderdale on November 8th. We’re both very excited to see family again and, of course, to go on yet another cruise.
On our last cruise on August 11th from Amsterdam back to Amsterdam, I could not walk freely without awful pain.  Plus, my wardrobe was seriously lacking in options to wear both during the day and in the evenings when a more dressy attire is expected.  
The beach was clean and sandy, but the cool weather only attracted walkers, runners, and those exercising their dogs.
My clothes are worn out, and although I’ve tossed every tattered item, the remaining options showed signs of wear. It was frustrating to try to figure out what to wear each day and evening.
Also, most of my tops were low-cut v-neck, none of which I was excited to wear with the huge scar on my chest. No, I don’t mind it showing during our day-to-day lives, but I don’t care to draw attention to it in evening attire.
A week ago, the box of supplies we’d ordered from the US arrived (and received in five days) included a half dozen new tops I can wear on the cruise, along with the three casual dresses I’d fit in a prior package several months ago that arrived in South Africa, after quite a hassle.
Contemporary buildings line the boulevard, with many historic properties located throughout the town.  Parking was tricky.
My pants are all in good shape, so that these new tops will work out well.  I have one black skirt I’ve been hauling around for a few years that I’ve yet to wear. The scars on my legs are still raised and red, and unless I wear my opaque black tights, I doubt I’ll ever wear them. Maybe I’ll try that this time around.
We’ll pack in the next few days, and now that I have a few new things, I can unload an equal number of worn items I’ll no longer wear. This will make packing easier when we have to fly once again when we arrive in Florida in one month.
Today, we’re staying in again. You know…the rain continues.
May your Monday be sunny and bright!
Photo from one year ago today, October 7, 2018:
Cape buffalos sure know how to cuddle. Note the bird on his head. For more details, please click here.