Day #280 in lockdown in Mumbai, India hotel…Visa extensions done!…12 days and counting…

Tom’s burger in a restaurant in Palermo, Buenos Aires, with ham, eggs, cheese, and beef plus, fried potatoes.

Today’s photos are from this date, December 30, 2017, while staying in Palermo, Buenos Aires, Argentina over the holidays in a boutique hotel, awaiting our upcoming cruise to Antarctica, sailing on January 24, 2018. For more on the post, please click here.

It was only three years ago, we arrived in Buenos Aires, Argentina on Tom’s birthday, December 23, 2017, to begin the one-month wait to fly to Ushuaia, Argentina to board our upcoming 18-day cruise on Ponant’s Le Boreal. We’d booked that particular cruise after searching for weeks to find a cruise meeting our major criteria; being able to disembark the ship while in Antarctica to board the 10-person Zodiac boats to fully embrace the true Antarctica experience, up close and personal.

This is where we dined one night, San Serrano Deli & Drinks.

The cost was outrageous for our budget, over US $36,000, INR 2,637,995 but as a once-in-a-lifetime adventure, we felt it was worth it. We paid it off over many months, so by the time we sailed, it was paid in full and the only other expenses were those on our cabin bill. WiFi, all meals, drinks, and tours were included in the cruise fare, resulting in few expenses subsequent to sailing.

However, that one-month in the tiny boutique hotel in Buenos Aires presented some challenges of its own, none of which we couldn’t handle with ease. An included continental breakfast consisting of boiled eggs, deli meats, cheese, fruit, pastries, coffee, and tea got us through the day. With no restaurant in the hotel, each evening, we headed out on foot to find yet another spot for dinner.

Guest started filtering in when it was hot outdoors, although many patrons dined at tables near the busy street.

Due to the fact we prefer to dine by 7:00 pm, our restaurant choices were limited to a degree. Many restaurants didn’t open until 9:00 pm or later. We prefer not to dine so late, especially as early risers having the small breakfast to hold us through the day since we prefer not to eat lunch, resulting in way too much food. With our low carb/keto way of eating, we’re never hungry until the early evening.

That month in the hotel was challenging in some ways, particularly around Christmas and New Year’s. Most restaurants were closed on Christmas Eve and day and also on New Year’s Day. We diligently searched for dinner options for us for those three evenings, but there were none. We weren’t willing to walk the streets at night in the dark which didn’t seem safe or sensible.

We stretched our necks to read this menu on the wall. After a while, a server brought us menus.

Subsequently, we ended up purchasing a wide array of deli meats, canned tuna, and a variety of cheeses to eat at the little table and chairs in the Jacuzzi area in our hotel room. In the end, it all worked out well. We enjoyed a few drinks at the hotel bar (no food available) as we laughed over the irony. We were the only guests in the hotel at Christmas!

We made it through the holidays, looking forward to the upcoming cruise, often laughing over our peculiar situation. That was one long month. But, it was nothing compared to the 10 months we’ll have spent in this hotel. At least there, we were able to go out each day and evening to explore the interesting area, often walking for many miles.

You couldn’t pay me to eat this grilled chicken salad with grilled tomatoes. I need some beef!

As for today, we’re settled down, hoping our new flight will continue to stay in place as it has in the past 48 hours. With only 12 days until we depart, now on January 11th, we’re getting all of “our ducks in a row.” The hotel manager has booked a different lab for our Covid-19 tests on January 10th when the company we’d booked didn’t respond to email inquiries or answer their phone. I sent an email canceling the first company and feel comfortable that the second company booked by the hotel will suit our needs.

Yesterday, after uploading our hurried post, we began the painstaking process of filing for an extension of our now-expired  Indian visas. Whew! What a cumbersome process! The website stated it would take approximately 14 days for approval. Our applications were posted on the 13th day.

Sullivan’s Irish Pub, on a corner in the neighborhood.

If by the time we’re ready to leave, we don’t have the extensions, we’ll have the hotel print the documents and email verification that we did in fact apply. Hopefully, the immigration department at the airport will accept those records at the airport as we depart.

What are our odds of actually being able to leave for South Africa? At this point, it feels as if 50% is fair speculation. We have made a decision that we will not stay in India if we are turned away at the airport. We’ll find another flight to some other country while at the airport and head out. Since everything changes day by day, at this point, we can’t commit as to where this will be.

One of many historic buildings we’d see each time we headed down Gorriti road.

Today, I will start going through luggage to see how I can lighten the load. Tom doesn’t usually care to pack his bag until a day or two before we depart. That’s fine with me.

May you have a good day as we all wind down this dreadful year. Be well.

Photo from one year ago on December 30, 2019:

Painting on the wall outside a sushi restaurant in Palermo, Buenos Aires, Argentina on this date in 2017. For the year-ago post, please click here

Day #268 in lockdown in Mumbai, India hotel…Another day in the life…

This rock formation connotes where the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans meet at Cape Horn.

Today’s photos are from this date in 2017 while on a cruise along the coast of South America, where we sailed around Cape Horn on our way to the most southerly city in the world Ushuaia. For the story, please click here.

In the above-mentioned post, we wrote: “It was only 6:00 am when we were situated in Cafe al Bacio drinking our favorite coffee. The ship is humming with announcements over the loudspeaker with the enthusiasm of the passengers palpable as we sail from the Pacific Ocean to the Atlantic Ocean via Cape Horn, South America.”

Evening photo. The sun didn’t fully set until almost 11:00 pm.

It was another of those great adventures that some may dismiss as interesting and moderately eventful, but for us, it was another of those profound, memorable milestones as a part of our world travels. Many such experiences befell us when we had never even considered such possibilities.

Alas, our travels at any time could bestow upon us, yet another experience that we carry into the future. Each day, as we search for the repeat photos from past travels to share in the newest post, we continually encounter many such events that make us smile and feel grateful for what we’ve encountered during the past eight years.

Tom said he was nearly blown away by high winds when he took this photo in the early morning as we approached Cape Horn.

We wonder, what will we remember of these 10 months in this hotel room, by the time we leave in January? What did we discover? About life? About ourselves? About confinement such as this?

Ideally, we’ll walk away from here with a plethora of new perspectives, emotions, and insights. At the moment, it’s difficult for us to embrace such thoughts when the majority of our daily lives center around telling other guests to wear a face mask. It’s absolutely outrageous!

Rock formations at Cape Horn.

Our frustration is palpable. Tom does most of his exercises in one fell swoop so he deals with it during that 40-minute segment. I walk every half hour, occasionally longer to accomplish my 5 miles, 8 km, throughout the day. I realize this issue might be less annoying if I finished all my walking at one time. But, I’ve found getting up and moving around at least once an hour, has a better health benefit for me, helping to reduce pain and stiffness from sitting too long.

This morning, when our room was being cleaned, we both took off some exercise in the corridors. Immediately, we both encountered a group of three guests blocking the corridor. None of them was wearing a face mask. From a distance of about 15 feet, 5 meters I kindly said, “Please put on a face mask!”. They didn’t move. Tom was ahead of me. They didn’t respond, move, or put on face masks.

Map of the most southerly tip of South America, Cape Horn, where we sailed.

Behind us were several cleaning carts blocking the corridor, making turning around nearly impossible. When they didn’t respond, Tom, in dire frustration, faked a massive sneeze accidentally knocking his glasses off his face. He was hoping they’d learn to want to protect themselves from others. He managed to get past them. Next, it was my turn. But as I passed, one yelled out to me, “Hey, this is yours!” The man handed me Tom’s eyeglasses which had flown off his head during the fake sneeze. Apparently, Tom hadn’t noticed this.

My first concern was I was holding Tom’s glasses in my left hand, my phone with earbuds in my right hand. Yuck! I had touched something from the hand of a person who didn’t and wouldn’t wear a face mask, possibly the most likely COVID-19 carrier. I chased Tom down. He wasn’t even aware that his glasses were gone! I suppose the face mask on his face prevented him from feeling that his glasses had flown off.

Many rock formations are named but with the slow Wi-Fi right now we’re unable to do much research.

As I caught up with him, I handed him his glasses and immediately turned on my heels to head back to our room to wash my hands. I encouraged Tom to do the same, but when we reached the room, the cleaner was on his hands and knees washing the bathroom floor. I didn’t care. I kindly asked him to leave so we could wash our hands. He complied.

Ah, we’re only 27 days from leaving this hotel room to head to the Mumbai International Airport for South Africa. The days can’t come soon enough. In Marloth Park right now there are daily power outages resulting in WiFi outages (load shedding from the electric company), horribly high temperatures, zillions of insects, including malaria-carrying mosquitos, snakes (commonly seen in the summer months, often entering houses), and from the comments we’ve seen on Facebook, occasional water outages. Bring it on, baby! We’re ready to take it on!

Cape Horn is not one single spot. It’s a series of islands and rock formations.

Stay safe, please.

Photo from one year ago today, December 16, 2019:

Even those residents with RVs in the park in Apache Junction, Arizona, may have fruit trees such as this orange tree in their front yards. For more, please click here.

Tom’s latest haircut…A new look and…A new smartphone purchase in South Africa…

Tom’s excellent new haircut.  She cut his hair this time as opposed to using the electric clippers.  Cost with a tip?  ZAR 130, US $9.35 (includes tip).  Wow!  I love the beard!

“Sighting of the Day in the Bush”

A band of mongoose stopped by for raw scrambled eggs. Note green dish in the right center of the photo.

When Tom grew a beard in Bali, he quickly became frustrated with it when he said it was “scratchy” on the pillowcase when he was trying to sleep. As light sleepers, any type of distraction can prevent a good night’s sleep.


Recently, when he hadn’t shaved for a day or two I raved about the stubble, he decided to give it another try.  So far, so good.  We all enjoy seeing our beloved significant other with a new look from time to time, don’t we?

I can’t say I shake it up much, living this lifestyle but as I continue to work on my weight loss, albeit slowly but successfully, that’s all the new look he’s getting out of me. 

Tom’s wild hair before the haircut.

Later, I’ll disclose how much I’ve lost and how I’ve done it.  It may be another two months until I reach my goal.  I’m only losing about .5 kg (one pound) a week at this point although I never “cheat.”

Yesterday, we decided to head to Komatipoort a little early and left before I’d finished the day’s post as mentioned in yesterday’s post.  On the way to Spar Center, we stopped at the Pep Cell Phone Store first to no avail.  There wasn’t a single phone in that store that appealed to me.

Realizing I probably wouldn’t keep a new phone for more than a year or so, the price was a major consideration.  As it turned out, I left the Vodacom store a few doors from the market with one of the most expensive phones in the inventory price at ZAR $2500, US $179.86.

Within an hour another band of mongoose came by for eggs or…was it the same group that was here earlier?  These animals and others are very tricky in making us think they are a new batch of visitors!

Of course, there’s no required contract when buying “unlocked” phones to which one can add two separate SIM cards, one for voice, another for data.  Once I selected the phone I wanted as shown in the photo, the salesperson put my existing voice SIM card in the new phone and I was ready to pay.

Not unexpectedly, their credit card machine didn’t work (this happened years ago at this same location when we tried to buy data) so Tom headed to the neighboring bank’s ATM for the cash. 


In the interim, the store’s tech guy showed up and got the handheld credit card processing device to finally process my credit card purchase.  We can always use the extra Tom got from the ATM, so it was no big deal.

My new smartphone purchased yesterday at the Vodacom store in Komatipoort.

Actually, this happens a lot here.  After all, this is Africa, not the USA and services don’t always work as expected, seamlessly and without complications.  Networks are often down, electricity is often down and packages don’t arrive as anticipated.

Our package containing hundreds of dollars of supplies, shipped from the US on May 28th has yet to arrive.  Dear Louise has taken over the daunting task of getting the package sent to Marloth Park. 

The postal service has acknowledged it has arrived in Pretoria after successfully going through customs.  We’ve called no less than 10 times seeking an answer.  But the language barrier has been an obstacle that seems to have impeded the conversations when we did manage to get someone on the line.  We’ll see how it rolls out, posting the results here.

Last night, our next door neighbors, staying in the house for two, stopped by for happy hour.  We had a great time with Lydia and her son Jody from Amsterdam.

When we returned to the house, we put away the groceries after which I finished and uploaded the day’s post.  I was anxious to get my new phone up and running with all my favorite apps.

The process went as smoothly as I hoped and within a few hours, the new phone was loaded with all my information and apps.  Although I rarely make a phone call on the smartphone, I usually use it for the same types of mindless drivel most people do. It was a relief to have this handled.

Last night, tourists from Amsterdam who are renting the house next door, joined us for sundowners on our veranda.  With the outdoor heater on low, we were able to stay comfortable at the big table.  We had a great time with Lydia and Jordy and have already connected in Facebook.

There’s a tinge of green developing in the bush after on and off drizzling over the past few days.  This little bit of rain can be so beneficial for the grazing wildlife.

Tonight, we’re invited to dinner at friend’s Uschi and Evan’s home.  We have no doubt this will be another enjoyable evening in the bush.  Still, the wildlife visitor count is low and we’re looking forward to Monday when the tourist traffic thins out and our animals friends return to our garden.

Have a fabulous summer weekend for some and winter weekend for those of us in this side of the world!

____________________________________

Photo from one year ago today, August 10, 2017:

One year ago today we booked the Protea Hotel in Buenos Aires where we stayed while awaiting the cruise to Antarctica.  The nightly rate included this breakfast.  We ate the eggs, cheese and meats only, no cereals, milk, pastries or fruit.  For more details, please click here.

Final expenses for 31-nights in a hotel in Buenos Aires…We’re off to Ushuaia!…


Due to the poor signal in this crowded Wi-Fi cafe in Ushuaia, we’re unable to upload any photos.  As mentioned in earlier posts, we’ll continue to make every effort to maintain our usual style of posts.  Please excuse any typos and formatting issues.
 
 
Yesterday was quite a busy day and today won’t be much different. By the time you see this post, we’ll be at the airport getting ready to leave Buenos Aires to fly on a chartered plane to Ushuaia, Argentina, where we’ll board Ponant’s Le Soleal to begin our expedition to Antarctica.

We’ve been excited about this for a very long time.  The situation with my knee put a bit of a damper on our enthusiasm but now that I am on meds to hopefully alleviate the discomfort, we’ll be able to settle in on the cruise and enjoy this once-in-a-lifetime adventure.

Getting out the door in the middle of the night wouldn’t be my preference.  For Tom, after 42.5 years on the railroad, he was used to getting up and out the door at all hours of the day and night.  But, now after retirement, even he cringed at the early hour.

Today, we wanted to share two important aspects of the 31-nights we spent in Palermo Soho Buenos Aires, Argentina; one, the reasonable expenses we incurred staying in the Prodeo Hotel, a fine boutique hotel and two, a short review of the hotel itself.

First, let’s start with the expenses we incurred in total for the 31-night stay in the Prodeo as shown beloW: (Due to a poor Wi-Fi signal, we’re experiencing formatting issues):



















































 Expense   US Dollar   Argentine Pesos 
 Hotel – 31 nights $                  2,480.00 47,076.69
Flight – Round trip- inc
in cruise
                  –               –
 Taxi   $                       65.31 1,239.75
 Groceries & Dining
out- inc tips 
 $                     987.87                     18.752.28
 Laundry  $                        56.00 1,063.02
 Tips for hotel staff   $                     158.05 3,000.19
 Pharmacy & Misc.   $                     477.52 7,157.48
 Total   $                  4,224.75 59,537.13
 Avg Daily Cost    $                     136.28 1,920.55

We’re thrilled to have spent this amount while staying in a hotel and dining out every night, the exception when we purchased groceries for Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day when most restaurants were closed or only offered outrageous prices on fixed price meals, not suitable for our budget or, my dietary restrictions.


Compared to the cost for groceries, rental cars and vacation/holiday homes, this was surely a bargain.  And we imagine, that a traveler desiring a month in this fascinating country could even do better with proper planning and careful spending.

Would we return to Buenos Aires in the future?  Possibly, with our plans to return to South America in the distant future for some specific sites we’d like to visit such as Machu Picchu, the Galapagos and the Pantanal. 

A contributing factor to our enjoyment in the area has been the quaint and charming Prodeo Hotel, a contemporary boutique hotel, architecturally interesting in a fantastic location, staffed by some of the finest people in the land.  We generously tipped all of the staff members who made this stay memorable.

During this less-than-busy summer season in Buenos Aires, there were many days we were the only hotel guests.  However, whether it was a full house or we were the only guests, we were always treated with the utmost of kindness, generosity and attention.

As shown in the above expenses, we booked the hotel through a corporate rate at US $80 (ARS 1,532) a night, a reasonable rate for this busy city with many other hotels twice as much of more.  No doubt, our long stay helped us with pricing but the competitive nature of boutique hotels does allow for some special pricing from time to time.  It never hurts to ask.

Any issues while we were here?  The power went out four times when the city was having problems.  Our bathroom sink wouldn’t drain but with a few hours of bringing it to the attention of staff, it was repaired. 

Housekeeping was inconsistent at times but our room was always clean and well-kept.  The complimentary breakfast was repetitive, most of which we don’t eat (fruit, granola, cakes, bread, etc.) we appreciated the daily sliced ham, cheese and hard boiled eggs.  Tom enjoyed the coffee while I sipped on my turmeric tea concoction each morning. 

The atmosphere is pleasing, comfortable and inviting.  The bar has many types of beverages from fine wines to eclectic beer and serves some traditional Argentine empanada and other types of local food (none of which I could eat).  We never dined in the bar/dining room but enjoyed drinks from time to time.

The intimate hospitality by far surpasses that one may find in a large hotel and we’ve found we particularly have found smaller hotels tend to suit our needs.
We highly recommend Prodeo Hotel for you next visit to Palermo, Buenos Aires.

Moving right along, we’re currently sitting at a tiny table at a tiny little bar with Wi-Fo in Ushuaia.  We did fine getting up at 2:30 am and getting out the door in time for our 3:15 taxi to the airport.  Check in was a bit challenging and time consuming but, the flight on Aerolineas, an Argentine airline was seamless.

We both watched a free movie, Hacksaw Ridge, a stunning movie on our individual monitors during the flight while the 3.5 hours passed quickly. Once we collected our bags we were off to the bus with our Ponant group of passengers.

After a ride through the gorgeous town of Ushuaia, recognized as the most southerly city in the world or “the bottom of the world,” we headed to a local Accor Hotel for a magnificent buffet lunch with many foods I could have.

At our assigned table of English speaking passengers, we met two fun couples and had a taste of the lively conversation yet to come with our cruise mates, most of whom are serious world travelers.  Not, necessarily like us, but world traveled, none the less.

We’ll be back with more as Wi-Fi allows, hoping to be able to stay in touch with all of you!

Take care until then!

____________________________________________________

Photo from one year ago today, January 23, 2017:

Andrew and Ian Smith, father, and son and innovative owners/managers of Willie Smith Organic Apple Cider and Apple Shed, including restaurant, cider shop and museum. (Not our photo).  For more photos of this popular landmark in Tasmania, please click here.

Hospital visit for the knee…Favorite photos from Buenos Aires…12 hour countdown until departure…What if we can’t post due to a poor signal?…

Our favorite graffiti art.

The Minnesota Vikings game last night was hard to watch.  They were brutally beaten leaving us fans sorely disappointed with but a tinge of hope for the future, as always.

By the time we got into bed last night, it was after midnight.  We both had a bad night’s sleep. As soon as I got into bed I noticed my leg was throbbing, more swollen and red.  I got up several times to ice it with no relief at all. I don’t think I slept for more than three hours and Tom didn’t do much better.

Fireworks on New Year’s Eve from our hotel rooftop.

This morning while preparing today’s post I told Tom the pain in my knee was worsening by the minutes, since last night.  With so little time remaining until our 3:15 am drive to the airport, I knew something had to be done.

We grabbed a taxi and headed to the large local private hospital recommended by our hotelier Alessandro, Santorio De Los Arcos, which was only a five-minute ride.  Within an hour I was seen by the doctor, examined and diagnosed with an infection.  

An adorable little e parrot sitting atop a bird bath.

No wonder my knee was red, hot and swollen, keeping me awake almost all night.  The entire bill for the emergency room visit and the prescription came to a grand total of US $62.68 (ARS $1,200)!  I wonder how much that would have cost in the US or other countries with outrageous medical costs.

The pharmacy is located next to the hospital.  Tom left me seated in a wheelchair in the lobby while he got the prescription for antibiotics filled.  Sure, I despise having to take antibiotics but I’d also despise having an infected leg situation escalate while in Antarctica. 

Carved-in-stone wall art.

I can’t express how grateful I am that we went to the hospital this morning.  Hopefully, the meds kick in soon and I’ll be on the mend and able to participate in.  When I fell the skin broke slightly.  When we returned to the hotel I washed it with hot soapy water and used hydrogen peroxide. 

Apparently, this wasn’t enough prevention to avoid an infection appearing three days later.  If we’d gone one or two days earlier the infection wouldn’t have been obvious and I wouldn’t have been given antibiotics.  Whew!  Safari luck!

More amazing wall art on the side of a building in Palermo.

Tonight, we’re hoping we’ll be tired enough to be able to fall asleep by 9:00 pm in order to awaken by 2:45 am to head out the door.  By this time tomorrow, we’ll have arrived in Ushuaia and at a local upscale hotel where we’ll have lunch and spend part of the day.

By 2:00 or 3:00 pm, we’ll be escorted to the pier in Ushuaia where we’ll board the ship and check in for the 5:00 pm sail away.  It won’t be until we’re onboard that we’ll be able to figure out the Wi-Fi situation and sign up for a plan, suitable for our needs. 

My favorite meal at La Cabrera where we dined five times during our 31-night stay in Buenos Aires. The small side cup is unsweetened buttery pumpkin mash.

There are many comments in the Ponant cruise documents that the Wi-Fi signal is not going to be good once we’re a distance from Ushuaia.  As for tomorrow’s post, we’re still hoping to have time to prepare it today and set it up for an automatic upload at the usual time tomorrow.  It will contain the final expenses for 31-night in at the Prodeo Hotel and a short review of the hotel.

Tom ordered this massive steak four our of five times at La Cabrera.

Please keep in mind, that we’ll be preparing a post daily for the 17-days we’ll be on the ship (actually, it’s 16-nights, but the cruise line refers to it as 17-days).  Certain days, perhaps three or four in a row or more, we won’t have a good enough signal to upload the posts. 


Once we receive a good signal, we’ll upload the posts for each of the days we’ve missed.  However, we’ll only be able to upload a few photos with each post, if at all.  Once the cruise ends, we’ll upload more of our photos and any remaining posts we’d yet to upload. 

Tom, at the botanical garden.

All in all, there will be 16 or 17 days of posts until we return to Buenos Aires on February 8th where we’ll stay for two more nights until departing for Africa.  During this period, we’ll make every attempt to get “caught up.”  If we don’t have enough time to do so, once we get settled in Marloth Park, we’ll finish the missing posts with photos.


This is a similar process as to when we were on safari in the Masai Mara and the Serengeti in Kenya in 2013.  We had an awful signal and couldn’t get most of our stories and photos uploaded until we were back in Diani Beach, Kenya.  But then, we posted a new story with photos each day, for many days.

After Tom’s excellent haircut at a little nearby barbershop.

Of course, we’ll be bombarded with new and exciting current events as they occur in Marloth Park during this period.  No worries, we’ll keep it all separated and easy to read.


Thanks to all of our readers who wrote to me offering prayers and warmest wishes for a fast recovery.  That means so much to both of us.  And, once again, we’re disappointed to be sharing another medical issue but, as we’ve always promised, we make every attempt to “tell it like it is.”

Me, at the botanical garden.

Please continue to check back each day for new posts and don’t be discouraged if an expected post isn’t available.  Please know, we are thinking of all of you and passionately taking Antarctica photos, excited to share it with all of you.

The mausoleum for the famous Duarte family including Evita (Duarte) Peron’s remains.

Hugs and best wishes to all of our friends/readers!  Stay well! We’ll “see” you again soon! (Hopefully, by tomorrow with the final expenses).
                    __________________________________________


Photo from one year ago today, January 22, 2017:

I had to take all of our photos as we arrived in Hobart, Tasmania while the car was moving due to a lack of shoulder which is always challenging.  For more photos, please click here.

Working on it!…One and a half days and counting….Wrapping up payments due…Tonight’s the big football night!…

Mini-mart next door to a small apartment.

Over the past few days, after taking a bad stumble and injuring my knee on the uneven sidewalk in Palermo Soho, Buenos Aires, as we began winding down our last few days until leaving for Ushuaia. 

The Argentine people love color especially on the exterior of their buildings.

Tom’s packing is almost completed and by tomorrow, we’ll be able to bring down the bags and boxes we’ll store at the hotel during our time away on the cruise.

I’ve been obsessively following the R-I-C-E protocol; rest, ice, compression and elevate which is recommended during the first 72 hours of an injury, switching to heat if needed and forgoing the ACE bandage. 

Hotel along the boulevard.

From the time we’ve made our way down to the hotel lobby in the past two mornings to work on the day’s post, until bedtime, I’ve faithfully iced my knee for 20 minutes once an hour, except for the few hours we were out to dinner last night at Rave Restaurant.

I was fine while walking, albeit gingerly, the three long blocks to the restaurant and back.  While there, sitting on a banquette, with no one else in the restaurant, I was able to elevate my leg during our leisurely dinner.  It’s definitely improving with this diligent protocol.

An apartment building with shops o ground level.

Last night, back at the hotel we moseyed down to the bar in order to lounge in the big comfy booth with more ice on my knee while we sipped on a wine for me and beer for Tom.  We’re trying to use the last vestiges of the beer and wine we have on hand.

Pigeons are everywhere here, on the street, standing on outdoor dining tables and chairs, hoping for a dropped crumbs or food residue on tables.

It seems that each night as we’ve dined in restaurants, I wasn’t able to finish my half bottle of Malbec.  We’d cork the bottle and bring it back to the hotel to drink at a later time.  Invariably, these partial bottles accumulated and I have more wine than I can drink. 

A restaurant served barbecue, referred to as Parrilla, in Argentina.

When we first arrived we purchased one bottle of wine from the mini-mart, a decent Malbec for US $6 (ARS 114) we’ve yet to open.  Tom purchased two-liter bottles of the local beer for US $5.90 (ARS 112). 

The big “E” stands for “entrada” which translates to entrance in English. 

Prices on alcohol both in markets and restaurants in Buenos Aires is very inexpensive.  One can order a good glass of red wine in a restaurant for around  US $3.95 (ARS 75) and a liter bottle of beer (with an ice bucket) for not much more.

Lion statue adorning entrance to a home.

After so many years as a non-drinker, it’s been enjoyable having a glass of wine with dinner every so often.  But, tonight, with the big Minnesota Viking game, we plan to drink only water with dinner since we’d like to have wine and beer during the game, attempting to put a dent in what we have left.  

Tattered cloth sign falling over the building.

Since the game doesn’t start here until 8:40 pm and, neither of us drinks more than a few glasses, we decided to wait to celebrate until we’re situated in the bar with Tom’s laptop fired up to the game.  We’re hopeful for a great outcome but as all Minnesota Viking fans so well know, we shall see how it goes.

Yesterday, we paid our hotel bill in full since we’re leaving very early Tuesday morning (3:15 am) and wanted to have this out of the way.  Also, as we prepare the final expenses for our 31-nights in Buenos Aires to be posted on Tuesday, the day we fly away, we wanted the total handled and out of the way.

It costs slightly over US $10 (ARS 190) for an ATM transaction of any amount.  Plus, there are machine limits of a maximum of US $158 (ARS 3,000).  During weekends, its not unusual to find the ATMs out of cash.

Also, two weeks prior to arriving in Marloth Park it’s necessary to pay the second half of the three month rental for the vacation home, a total of US $2,465.08 (ZAR 30,000, ARS 46,791).  We paid the 50% deposit a few weeks ago.

Realizing we may not have a sufficient Wi-Fi signal during the cruise to handle the transaction online, it made sense to pay it yesterday and have it out of the way and never have to give it a thought. 

The railroad tracks near our hotel.

Yesterday’s outlay was almost US $5,000 (ARS 94,908) but now our only big upcoming expenses for the next few months will be the car rental (which we’ll pay in full at the Mpumalanga/Nelspruit airport on February 11th when we pick up the car), groceries and dining out, Kruger Park entrance fees and fuel for the rental car.

There are several tree-lined streets such as this.

Of course, during those three months we’ll be booking other adventures in Africa as we make plans for traveling to other countries.  We’ll work with dear friend/property manager Louise to book other houses in South Africa (which we’re using as our “base”) as we go in and out over the one-year period on the continent.

Most streets in Palermo Soho are one way.

Well, folks, I must take a moment to address our Minnesota Vikings fans…our fingers are crossed, for them, for all of us.  We’ll be live online on Facebook during the game on my laptop.  Please stop by to comment, grumble or cheer.  We’ll be right there with you!

Enjoy the day!

__________________________________________


Photo from one year ago today, January 21, 2017:

One year ago in the Huon Valley in Tasmania, Anne, our property owner, explained that the whirring helicopter blades dries the netting to save the cherries from spoiling after the rain.  Who knew?  For more details, please click here.

A most untimely mishap…Oh, good grief!…I’m injured!…Three days and counting…

Fancy chalk graffiti on the exterior of a cafe.

What can I say?  Regardless of where we may be in the world, we are subject to the risks of injury.  For all of you whether you’re in your home, backyard or out for a walk with the dog, no one is exempt from an occasional injury-inducing fall or stumble.

With my bad spine, a hereditary condition for which a low inflammation diet manages to keep the pain under control, my stability is not the best, even with considerable exercise and walking.  My spine is a fragile mess accounting for the reasons we don’t zip line, bungee jump, scuba dive and engage in similar types of activities.

Most often, we see pigeons walking on the ground or flying to crumbs left by humans, but seldom sitting in a tree.

However, it hasn’t kept us from living life to the fullest as we’ve traveled the world.  The only period of time I was unable to easily participate in some planned activities was when we were on the Mekong River cruise after I’d injured my spine in the pool in Bali, taking five months to heal.  We avoided the participate in all of the other tours.

Gosh, I don’t like to “whine” here but Tom suggested we continue to “tell it like it is” as we’ve done over and over again in this past over 2000 posts.  We try not to exclude realities of life that many can relate to as you read our daily journal.

Our reality, whether we like it or not, is that occasionally we’re sick or injured and sharing how we handle it is of the utmost importance to our readers, especially when we can’t jump into the car and run to “our doctor” (of which we have none) or a local urgent care center.  (Of course, we’d go to a hospital if we felt a situation was dangerous or life-threatening).

Tom doesn’t have a lollipop of cigarette in his mouth.  It’s an optical illusion based on something in the background.

We arrived in Buenos Aires on December 23rd.  We’ve walked more here than we’ve walked in any country during our last over five years of world travel, except perhaps in Paris and London (two weeks each) in 2014.   But, frequent walking in itself is no surefire means of preventing oneself from an obstacle-induced fall.

And, that’s what happened to me last night.  Wearing a different pair of shoes was my first mistake.  Each time we walked in Buenos Aires, I ‘ve worn a pair of ultra comfortable, good supporting, water shoes that I purchased in Minnesota during the family visit last summer.  I’ve never been so comfortable in a pair of shoes.

Last night, for a change of pace, I decided to wear a pair of white lace-up leather Keds. Big mistake.  The thin soles simply didn’t provide the degree of stability I needed to walk the uneven streets here in Palermo, wrought with broken tiles, potholes and massive inconsistent areas of uneven pavement. 

Not so busy corner in Recoleta where we walked on Monday.

My bad, I didn’t think of that when I wore the Keds last night for our walk to Diggs Restaurant (I guess we had Stefon Diggs, wide receiver for the Minnesota Vikings, on our minds).  I didn’t notice an issue with the shoes or I’d have been more careful.

Alas, I was looking around, instead of down at the pavement, and my foot hit a stone tile what was about 4″ higher than my last step and…boom!  I hit the ground, breaking the fall to my knees and elbows, particularly my left knee.  I was wearing jeans and the thick fabric prevented a break in the skin. But, oh…did it hurt. 

And, yes, my elbows and right wrist got dinged as well but nowhere near as bad as my left knee.  After composing myself with Tom lifting me off the ground, I was able to hobble along for the remainder of the few blocks to Diggs.  Immediately, I remember R-I-C-E;  rest, ice, compression and elevate.

Statue at Jardin Botanica:  Los Primeros Frios which translates to “first cold” in English.

Once we entered Diggs to find our favorite waiter ready to fuss over us, he brought me a plastic bag filled with ice, a bucket to hold it when taking a break from the icing, while I elevated my leg on the bench in the booth where we were seated. 

After dinner, which I struggled to eat, we slowly walked back the few blocks to the hotel since it made no sense to take a taxi for the short distance.  Plus, I wanted to see how I’d do walking. 

Once back in our room with a bucket of ice to make an ice pack using a ziplock bag, I raised my leg on pillows, covered with a few bath towels to keep the bed from getting wet while we proceeded to watch a few episodes of Shark Tank to get our minds off of it.

Hydrangeas.

Tom was (is) devastated and worried.  I was more concerned about him than I was my injury.  I can walk, albeit carefully, and the swelling is well under control with the rest, ice, compression, and elevation. 

Surprisingly, usually a side sleeper,  I slept well on my back with my leg elevated, after taking a Tylenol PM which helped with the discomfort and made me sleep through the night.  This morning, I found an Ace bandage in our medical supplies and wrapped the knee for the “compression” part of R-I-C-E finding it quite comforting.

Now, as we sit in the hotel lobby, I’m situated on a lounge-type chair with the knee wrapped and elevated. Once an hour, I unwrap the Ace bandage to do another 20-minute round of ice which I’ll continue throughout the day and night, rewrapping it in between icing it, all the while, keeping my leg elevated.

Peachy blooms.

I think it will be OK.  I have exactly five days to get better in order to be able to get off the ship in order to get on a Zodiak boat to the Falkland Islands (in Spanish, known as the Islas Malvinas).

In three days, we head to the airport around 3:15 am for the three and a half hour flight to Ushuaia.  Hopefully, by then I’ll have considerable improvement but will wear the Ace bandage while frequently getting up to move around.  Ice is only good for the first 48 to 72 hours, then heat is recommended.  We’ll see how it goes.

Sure, I’m frustrated and angry with myself for my clumsiness.  But, like all the trials and tribulations we all must bear from time to time, a positive attitude coupled with diligent care is all we can do.

Perfume-smelling flowers blooming from a tree.0

We still have a lot to do to prepare to leave although most of my packing is done.  Our hotel room is jammed with odds and ends to handle over these next few days.  Tom will pack today or tomorrow (he prefers to wait until the “end”) and we’ll weigh both of our bags to ensure we’re both within the baggage weight restrictions.

Tonight, we’ll walk to the closest of restaurants in the area, a burger joint that had a decent chicken Caesar salad for me with a burger and fries for Tom.  It will be fine.  It all will be just fine.

Have a safe and healthy day, week, month, and year!
                   __________________________________________

Photo from one year ago today, January 20, 2017:

While at The Tench, the historical Penitentiary in Hobart, Tasmania we stopped by this courtroom located on the grounds.  The area was known as one of several penal colonies in Tasmania in the 1800’s.  For more photos of the Tench, please click here.

Getting it all together….The tasks are never-ending…Four days and counting…

Hummm…a waterfall next to an escalator at the Recoleta Mall.  Unusual.

It was quite a productive day.  After uploading yesterday’s post by noon our time, I was determined to go upstairs to our hotel room on the second floor, pull out my nearly empty suitcase and begin packing for the cruise.


We’re allowed 23 kg (50 pounds) of checked baggage on the early morning flight to Ushuaia on Tuesday.  Ponant Cruise Line had no issue with how much we bring aboard the ship but the airline does.  Apparently, we’re leaving Buenos Aires on a somewhat smallish plane designated for the approximate 200 cruise passengers.

Tom’s watch battery died a month ago.  There isn’t a single jewelry store nearby that replaces watch batteries.  We decided to walk the distance to this mall thinking there might be such a store here but there was only a Swatch store which only replaces Swatch-brand batteries. We left the mall since there was nothing else we needed to purchase.

We’re scheduled to arrive at the airport at 4:05 am which requires we’re up at 3:00 am for the 30-minute ride to the airport.  We don’t usually fly out in the middle of the night like this so the early wake-up time will be a bit challenging.  The usual hour-long ride in traffic to the airport will be considerably less at this hour.

The prior night, we’ll have given the hotel staff our bags and boxes to store while we’re away which we’ll collect when we return to Buenos Aires for two nights on February 8th, after the cruise has ended.

The University of Buenos Aires, The School of Law, located in Recoleta.

Yesterday, to alleviate thinking about this process, I decided to complete 90% of my packing.  Leaving Tom in the hotel lobby on his computer, I headed up to the room preferring to get the task done on my own. 

He offered to come up with me to assist but I knew sorting through clothes and other items would be best if left to my own resources. It would require going through every item in my wardrobe asking myself, “Shall I bring this or leave it behind?”  There was no way I wanted to be in a position of regretting leaving certain items behind that I could have used during the 17-day cruise.

There was no need for shorts and lightweight summer tops.  I made piles of “to bring” or “not to bring” and the process moved more quickly than I’d anticipated.  Within about an hour I had my bag packed assuming the weight would be fine. I have 2 kilos of space left which I’ll fill with toiletries I’m still using now.

A colorful exterior of an ethnic restaurant near a park in Recoleta.

I packed minimal underwear knowing I could handwash it nightly which I usually do anyway in an attempt to make them last longer.  I’d purchased one warmer maxi length sleep-type dress and I have one cooler nightshirt to wear when that’s at the laundry.

In checking online, the ship has laundry service and the “butlers” assigned to each room can do touch-up ironing as needed (all for a fee of course).  There is no way we’d be able to last so many days with the clothing we have on hand.

In going through the shipped box of our cold weather clothing, I sorted mine from Tom’s and packed all of those items.  We also had to consider what to wear on Tuesday when we get to Ushuaia where it’s cold and we’ll spend the morning and early afternoon until we board the ship in the afternoon.

Weathered old building in Recoleta.

The cruise line has arranged a luncheon for us at a local hotel where we’ll hang out as we wait.  This should be fun as we get an opportunity to meet other passengers.  Some may have purchased a tour and won’t be attending the luncheon or waiting at the hotel. 

After I finished packing Tom entered the room suggesting we take off on foot to purchase a few last minute items requiring a trip to a pharmacy and the shop where we’d previously purchased the unsweetened coconut cream for my daily turmeric tea drink. 

The traffic was light on this street in Recoleta as we wandered about looking for a jewelry store for a battery for Tom’s Movado watch.

We’d have to purchase enough of the coconut cream to last during the 17-day cruise,  leaving a few little packages behind for the two-day return to Buenos Aires and the first few mornings in South Africa before we’ll have gone grocery shopping in Komatipoort.

We found two more jewelry stores about 10 blocks from here and decided to walk there first to see if we could get a battery for Tom’s watch.  No luck.  Neither of the two stores handled watch battery replacement.

Apartments along the main boulevard in Recoleta.

By 3:00 pm, we were back at the hotel with the coconut cream and pharmacy items. We walked 7,000 steps on my FitBit and we’d yet to walk to dinner later in the evening.  As it turned out, by the end of the evening we almost hit the 10,000 step mark we attempt to achieve most days.

Tom stayed in the room while I went back down to the lobby to begin scanning the many receipts we’d accumulated while here.  I’d already entered all the items on the spreadsheet which I do daily, so the task didn’t take more than 30 minutes.  I’ll scan the new receipts from these next few days on our final day and be done for awhile.

A man crossing the road with what appeared to be three greyhounds.

I felt so accomplished when done with the day’s tasks. Now I can work on the final expenses for the 31 nights we stayed in this hotel to have them ready for the last day’s post, in order to share them with all of you. 

Last night, we decided to dine at our favorite restaurant in Palermo, La Cabrera during the 40% off happy hour.  Once again, we had a perfect meal and chatted with another English speaking couple from the US.  It was dark by the time we began the walk back to the hotel. 

The park surrounding La Recoleta Cemetery.  We could see the monuments behind the brick wall.

Not quite ready for bed, we carried my laptop to a booth in the hotel’s bar and watched a few shows.  By 11:00 pm, we were in bed but we both had a fitful night’s sleep, awakening for extended periods.  Its the way it is.  A short nap may be in order later today.

We’ll be back with more tomorrow as we wind down our time in Buenos Aires preparing for the once-in-a-lifetime experience of visiting Antarctica.  Happy day to all!

_________________________________________


Photo from one year ago today, January 19, 2017:

The views of the Huon River in Tasmania was beautiful on the way to Huonville.  For more photos, please click here.

The countdown has begun…Five days until departure for Antarctica!…A landmark in Recoleta…Last photos of La Recoleta..

We took this photo from the taxi wishing we’d been able to see it at the park. This work of art is Floralis Generica is described as follows from this site:  “Floralis Genérica is a sculpture made of steel and aluminum located in Plaza de las Naciones Unidas, Avenida Figueroa Alcorta, Buenos Aires, a gift to the city by the Argentine architect Eduardo Catalano. Catalano once said that the flower “is a synthesis of all the flowers and, at the same time, a hope reborn every day at opening.” It was created in 2002. The sculpture was designed to move, closing its petals in the evening and opening them in the morning. The sculpture is located in the center of a park of four acres of wooded boundaries, surrounded by paths that get closer and provide different perspectives of the monument, and placed above a reflecting pool, which apart from fulfilling its aesthetic function, protects it. It represents a large flower made of stainless steel with aluminum skeleton and reinforced concrete, which looks at the sky, extending to its six petals. It weighs eighteen tons and is 23 meters high.”

With a mere five days remaining until we depart Buenos Aires to fly to Ushuaia, Argentina to board the cruise to Antarctica, we’re busy as we can be.  Not only are we wrapped up in preparing detailed posts each day, taking photos while walking through the neighborhood each day, but we’re now entrenched in the process of the upcoming confusing packing scenario.


On every other occasion, packing for our next adventure has been easy.  We simply pack everything we own.  It’s a no-brainer.  This time, we have to sort through all of our belongings trying to determine what we’ll need during the 17- day cruise days and what we can leave behind, storing the balance at the Prodeo Hotel.

Highrise in Recoleta.

Yesterday, I began the process of going through medical and other supplies contained in our third smaller checked bag which we’re leaving here.  Plus, we have the pill bag which contains all types of emergency meds and over the counter items we may or may not need.

Sure, we could leave behind aspirin, Tylenol, cough drops, decongestants, and sinus wash but what if we get sick and need these items, many of which may not be available on this smaller ship? 

Recoleta is a much larger neighborhood from Palermo and is home to many more modern office buildings and apartment complexes.

Instead, we’re packing some of these items since Tom caught a cold on the last cruise and used all of them.  Why pay exorbitant fees to see the doctor when in most cases, we can treat ourselves?  Plus, we’ve added items appropriate in the event of exacerbation of my gastrointestinal thing which does rear its ugly head from time to time.

Then, of course, a girl needs her cosmetic items which for me means one duplicate for every item in my little black cosmetic bag.  What if I lost or broke an item?  I don’t use creams, lotions, and potions, so to speak, other than an organic facial wash and eye makeup remover so there’s not much packing there.

A steeple in the park in Recoleta.

Add a razor with a new blade for each of us, our crystal deodorant, a small bag of my nail stuff, hair products and we’ve got it covered.  After spending an hour or more gathering the items we’ll need, that part of the packing is done.

Today, I’ll go through the box of cold-weather and water resistant clothing and start packing my suitcase.  Tomorrow, we’re having the final bag of laundry done (there are no laundromats in this area) and will add whatever we need from the laundry when its delivered on Saturday.

There are also many historical hotels and buildings in the area.

Yesterday, we printed 21 pages of documents and vouchers that Ponant requires in paper format and more copies of my food list, adding them to the litany of health certificates and other documents we already have ready to go in a large manila envelope. 

Another task I completed yesterday was setting up “bill pay” payments in our bank account due on February.  At the first of each month, we pay off all of our credit cards in full to make room for the next barrage of big payments towards vacation homes, cruises, rental cars, and other living expenses.

Tom is quite a history buff and is particularly fascinated with older structures.

If we were to experience a poor signal aboard the ship (which we expect), preventing us from getting into our accounts, the payments could be late, a risk we can’t ever take. Entering the payments in advance, sooner than we usually do at the end of the prior month, allows us to be entirely free in thinking about this during our adventure.

Also today, I’ll be working on sending the grandkids a little something for Valentine’s Day.  We’ll already be in South Africa by February 14th, arriving on the 11th.  However, some of the items we order require advance planning and a two or three-day window isn’t sufficient.

A broader perspective of Evita’s family (Duarte) mausoleum.

Once we’re done posting here today, we’re off to the health food store to purchase five bottles of unsweetened coconut cream for my morning turmeric tea drink.  I decided I’d given up enough things I like to eat and drink, that I wasn’t willing to forgo this healthful morning concoction during the cruise.

Also, since I’ve found I feel my best when I don’t eat breakfast, only the drink, there’s an amount of nutrition in this drink that can get me through the first Zodiac boat outings in the morning.  When we return midday for lunch, I’ll eat enough to hold me until the anticipated late dinners on the ship that we read are usually after 8:00 or 9:00 pm, typical European-style.  Ponant is a French cruise line.

Me, in front of an old structure at La Recoleta.

From what we heard from past Ponant travelers to whom we spoke on Skype while in Costa Rica, most passengers dress up for dinner each night.  We can accommodate this to a degree but I don’t have evening gowns and Tom doesn’t have a tuxedo or even a sports coat.  We can’t be carrying those items with us!

Having even one such set of clothing items would be ridiculous when we’d have to wear the same outfit over and over which in itself is preposterous.  Instead, we make due with what we have, Tom with two dress shirts and dark pants and me with a few dressy tops and pants. 

A mausoleum with statues on the top, commonly found at La Recoleta.

Occasionally, we may get a few looks here and there for our “casual chic” attire but we can’t get worked up over this.  With only 200 passengers on this upcoming cruise, in no time at all, they’ll discover why we don’t have dress-up clothing and never give us another glaring look.

Last night, we headed to Diggs (ironic name, Minnesota fans?) for dinner but they were closed when they’re usually open. This has been the case for many restaurants we’ve visited, inspiring us to always have a backup plan.

Another ornate mausoleum.

The past two nights, I’ve slept at least seven hours and feel better than I have in weeks.  Tom had a good night last night and is equally chipper, leaving us both prepared to tackle (no pun intended) the many tasks at hand.

Also, the better we feel, the more we have done, frees us up mentally for the upcoming Minnesota Vikings football game on Sunday night! We couldn’t be more excited about this event!

Happy day to all!

_________________________________________


 Photo from one year ago today, January 18, 2017:

Decorative item in Anne and Tom’s garden, owners of the vacation home in Huon Valley, Tasmania.  They suggested we take whatever we’d like at any time and we gladly did (in moderation of course).  For more photos, please click here.

Evita Peron’s burial site at La Recoleta Cemetery…A movie to remember…Comments for our 2000th post…

We could see we’d found Evita’s family crypt.

The first mausoleum most visitors rush to see upon their arrival at La Recoleta Cemetery is that of Evita Perón, first lady of Argentina from 1946 until her death from cancer in 1952.  We were no different than others and excitedly rushed to her site as soon as we discovered where it was located.

Here is information about Evita from this site:

Eva Perón
Eva Perón Retrato Oficial.jpg
First Lady of Argentina
In office
4 June 1946 – 26 July 1952
President Juan Perón
Preceded by Conrada Victoria Farrell
Succeeded by Mercedes Lonardi (1955)
President of the Eva Perón Foundation
In office
8 July 1948 – 26 July 1952
Preceded by Position established
Succeeded by Delia Parodi
Personal details
Born Eva María Duarte
7 May 1919
Los Toldos, Argentina
Died 26 July 1952 (aged 33)Buenos Aires, Argentina
Resting place La Recoleta Cemetery
Political party Justicialist Party
Peronist Feminist Party
Spouse(s) Juan Perón (1945–1952)
Signature
Eva María Duarte de Perón (7 May 1919 – 26 July 1952) was the wife of Argentine President Juan Perón (1895–1974) and First Lady of Argentina from 1946 until her death in 1952. She is usually referred to as Eva Perón or Evita.

She was born in poverty in the rural village of Los Toldos, in the Pampas, as the youngest of five children. At 15 in 1934, she moved to the nation’s capital of Buenos Aires to pursue a career as a stage, radio, and film actress. She met Colonel Juan Perón there on 22 January 1944 during a charity event at the Luna Park Stadium to benefit the victims of an earthquake in San Juan, Argentina. The two were married the following year. Juan Perón was elected President of Argentina in 1946; during the next 6 years, Eva Perón became powerful within the pro-Peronist trade unions, primarily for speaking on behalf of labor rights. She also ran the Ministries of Labor and Health, founded and ran the charitable Eva Perón Foundation, championed women’s suffrage in Argentina, and founded and ran the nation’s first large-scale female political party, the Female Peronist Party.

In 1951, Eva Perón announced her candidacy for the Peronist nomination for the office of Vice President of Argentina, receiving great support from the Peronist political base, low-income and working-class Argentines who were referred to as descamisados or “shirtless ones”. However, opposition from the nation’s military and the bourgeoisie, coupled with her declining health, ultimately forced her to withdraw her candidacy.[1] In 1952, shortly before her death from cancer at 33, Eva Perón was given the title of “Spiritual Leader of the Nation” by the Argentine Congress.[2][3][4] She was given a state funeral upon her death, a prerogative generally reserved for heads of state.

Eva Perón has become a part of the international popular culture,[5][page needed] most famously as the subject of the musical Evita (1976).[6]Even today, Evita has never left the collective consciousness of Argentines.[3] Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, the first elected female President of Argentina, and many other leaders attest that women of her generation owe a debt to Eva for “her example of passion and combativeness.”  

 






A few evenings prior to our visit to La Recoleta Cemetery, we downloaded and watched the popular movie about her life, Evita, starring Madonna.  The film, an adaptation of the hit Broadway musical portrayed the story of her life as the often beloved countrywoman, still revered by many Argentines to this day.

Some of these flowers, left at her site, were fresh while others were artificial.

There’s a lot of controversy about Eva Perón that continues to swirl around her memory but we won’t get into that here. You can read about the controversy over the movie, here at this link

Madonna embracing Antonio Banderas from behind, with the film name written in bold red color above the image.
Poster from the movie Evita in 1996.

Instead, we saw the representation of her life and death at La Recoleta Cemetery as she was entombed with other members of the Duarte family.  It was interesting to see but we’re aren’t into “celebrity” all that much. 

Our perception of “celebrity” is that “famous” people are just like us, they just happened to be in the right circumstances at the right time, with certain skills or opportunities that aided in propelling them into the limelight. 

Could this be the 50th year from when Evita was entombed at the Duarte family mausoleum?

And yet, in various countries, we’ve seen people lining the boulevards to get but a glimpse of a public figure of one type or another.  But, if seeing their beloved celebrity brings them joy, then its purpose is clearly defined.  I get excited to see a warthog.  I suppose that makes me no different.

The street was so narrow and it impossible to get a got shot of the entire mausoleum.  However, it wasn’t as large or as ostentatious as many others.
On the other hand, Tom, revels in the element of surprise and the unexpected, such as when we encountered, four years ago today, three dozen elephants walking along the road in Kruger National Park. See this link for photos and details. “Safari luck.”
As we wandered through row after row of ornate mausolea (yep, that’s the plural of mausoleum. Who knew?) we continually searched for the Duarte or Perón name, never knowing quite what to expect.


A commemorative plaque in honor of Evita added in the year 2000.

We’d failed to get a map of the facility when we entered figuring we could weave in and out of the rows upon rows of sites.  With no luck, we finally encountered an employee and in Spanish, I asked, “Dov’è Evita Peron?”  Immediately, he pointed us in the right direction. 

We weren’t too far away.  As we entered the long narrow “street” it was easy to see where her mausoleum was located with the crowd gathered at the site. We patiently and quietly waited our turn to take photos and read the inscriptions as shown in today’s photos.

Several commemorative plaques for Evita added over the years.

La Recoleta Cemetery is definitely worth visiting when in Buenos Aires.  There are numerous affordable tours available online at a number of sites and as tours offered on cruises that spend a night or two docked in Buenos Aires. 

As usual, we prefer to go at our own pace, avoiding crowded bus rides and tours. Some may say we’d learn more if we booked a tour but we always read volumes of information about the venue from many reliable sites both before and after visiting. This works well for us. 

Many have ornate doors and entrances.
Keeping our lives relatively stress free and uncomplicated is the gist of our world travels. If we can avoid strict time constraints, huge crowds, traffic and waiting for extended periods in long queues, we’re most content.


Some of the mausolea have granite or marble surfaces.
Speaking of our lives of world travel, yesterday we uploaded our 2000th post. I can’t recall doing 2000 of anything, other than having heartbeats, days or weeks of life, the number of steps taken on my Fitbit or number of meals consumed, etc.

Many of the mausolea were smaller and unassuming than others.

Two thousand posts? If someone told me seven years ago I had to write 2000 stories at a rate of one per day, including fairly decent photos, in order to be allowed to travel the world, I’d have said “Forget about it! It’s too much pressure! It would spoil the experience!”

This stone crypt was particularly interesting.


And yet, here we are, 2000 posts later and, each day, we are grateful for the opportunity to have shared yet another morsel of our lives on the move with each and every one of our worldwide readers.

In the center of town, La Recoleta Cemetery is a popular location for tourists to visit.

Many write to us expressing their gratitude for our daily stories, as we continue to be vulnerable and revealing as to the most intimate aspects of this humble life.  But, we are grateful for all of YOU for inspiring us and providing us with an added purpose that only enhances the quality of this life we lead. 

Health provided, there will be 2000 or more yet to come.

May all of you join in good health with us as you share each day of our journey at our side.

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Photo from one year ago today, January 17, 2017:

View of the Huon River from the veranda of our vacation home in Geeveston, Tasmania.  For photos of the house please click here.