Are killer bees next?…We survived Cyclone Nisarga unscathed…Photos of damage in Mumbai…

Mumbai cyclone
This is the first such storm to hit Mumbai in over 100 years. Dark clouds hang over the city ahead of cyclone Nisarga making landfall in Mumbai.

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 a result of damage caused by Cyclone Nisarga are from this site.

Neither of us had experienced a cyclone/hurricane in our lives. Living in Minnesota we had plenty of experience with serious storms and on occasion tornadoes. But, a cyclone was a new experience and we had no idea what to expect. 

Mumbai cyclone
The FedEx MD-11 plane skids off the runway while landing during heavy rain, as severe cyclonic storm Nisarga made landfall, at Mumbai Airport.

Fortunately, (and sadly) there was only one fatality when it could have been many more. As it turned out Mumbai planned well and many lives were saved by evacuating thousands of residents and getting fishing boats docked at the shore rather than out to sea.

The damage from high winds and flooding was substantial, but overall the city survived well. Our hotel didn’t incur any obvious damage from what we could determine.

Mumbai cyclone
Sea waves strike at a slum area near the Arabian sea as cyclone Nisarga makes its landfall on the outskirts of the city, in Mumbai.

During the worst of the storm, we stayed hunkered down in our room, never having the necessity of waiting it out in the corridors. I was able to continue my hourly walks, which gave me an opportunity to look out a few windows at the ends of the corridors to see the roofs and parts of buildings flying in the wind.

We are grateful and also sad for those who suffered and were disrupted during the storm, especially Covid-19 patients who had to be moved from makeshift tents and outdoor facilities. One can’t imagine their terror when having to be moved while they were suffering with the devastating effects of the virus.

Mumbai cyclone
The National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) shows NDRF personnel clearing fallen trees from a road in Alibag town of Raigad district following cyclone Nisarga landfall in India’s western coast. Cyclone Nisarga ripped roofs off homes in a coastal town near Mumbai after officials ordered offices and factories to shut and told people to stay home, reversing a move to ease a coronavirus lockdown in the Indian megacity.

This morning, my son Richard texted, (tongue in cheek), “Will it be killer bees next?”  I wrote back, “Maybe it will be a meteor rushing toward Earth, or Godzilla roaming the streets, or even Sharknado with sharks flying all over the city of Mumbai?”

We say this in an effort to inject a little lightness into this otherwise challenging situation. I guess I’ve spent too much time watching “disaster” movies and now real life is even more frightening than such movies as “Contagion.”

Mumbai cyclonesA family looking for shelter during rainfall ahead of Cyclone Nisarga’s expected landfall, in Navi Mumbai. Heartbreaking.

It’s still raining very hard and we still can hear thunder as we’re sitting safely ensconced in our comfy chairs with the darkening drapes closed with lamps on in the room. Most days, we’ve kept the drapes closed to keep the room cooler, but in the past few days, we’ve done so to provide some protection from the wall of glass if high winds caused any issues.

We watched the movie “Rocketman,” entertaining us for a few hours during the day and at night, we’ve been binge-watching two TV series; the Scottish show, “Dr. Finlay” and the 60-episode Australian show, “A Place to Call Home” on Acorn TV on Amazon Prime, a truly addictive show we’ve found exceptionally entertaining.
Mumbai cyclone
A corporation worker works to clear an uprooted tree that fell on a road during Cyclone Nisarga at Juinagar in Navi Mumbai.

Right now, anything we can do to “get out of our heads” for a few hours each day is worthwhile. As mentioned, at 3:00 pm we start streaming our favorite shows.

We pause the shows once an hour for my corridor walks, donning a face mask, putting my shoes back on, and carrying my phone with a headset to listen to podcasts to make the walking time pass more quickly. The latest time of the day I embark on the walk is 6:00 pm. Some days, I’m able to finish earlier, once I log 10 walks for a total of 2 miles, 3.2 km. 
Mumbai cyclone
Vehicles get damaged by uprooted trees due to strong winds after the landfall of cyclone Nisarga at Sanpada in Navi Mumbai.

Each time I head out the door, I attempt to walk faster than the last time, rather than attempt to increase the distance. Keeping track of my stats on the Fitbit I’d purchased in the US has also been a good diversion.

Much to my surprise, Tom has also been exercising by climbing the stairs in the stairwell near our room. He does this each day while our room is being cleaned. It’s good to see him up and moving around as opposed to sitting in one spot day and night.

Mumbai 15
Damaged billboards due to strong winds triggered by Cyclone Nisarga, at Bandra Reclamation in Mumbai.

Today, we’re back to our usual routine, now that the worst of the cyclonic storm is moving through with less damage. 

Yesterday, we read a news story that South Africa won’t be opening its borders to international travel until February 2021. Oh.

Mumbai cyclone
People scramble to enter a truck during an evacuation of a slum on the coast of the Arabian sea in Mumbai on Wednesday, as Cyclone Nisarga makes landfall.

Have as pleasant a day as you can as we all continue to make our way through this pandemic.


Photo from one year ago today, June 4, 2019:

Front door view from this property we’d booked one year ago, from August 23, 2019, to September 6, 2019.  The cost for 14 nights is Euro 2125, US $2395.96 which averages to Euro 151.75, US $171.14. This amount is higher than we’d usually pay but we’ve balanced the budget by choosing varying prices on all four properties.  For the listing on this cottage, please click here.
For more details from this post, please click here.

Battening down the hatches…Cyclone Nisarga is on her way to Mumbai within the hour…

Nisarga Cyclone Live Tracking: Know The Current Location of Cyclone, Get Movement Alerts
This morning’s weather map of the anticipated course of Cyclone Nisagra. As you can see Mumbai is located on the map in the dark green area indicated as the path of the cyclone.

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.

It’s morning in Mumbai, June 3, 2020. Cyclone (hurricane) Nisarga is expected to make landfall in Mumbai in the next few hours. There’s literally nothing we can do other than to stay put in our hotel room, away from the full wall of glass windows, heading out to the corridor if it becomes dangerous to our safety.

At this point, with varying news reports online, each stating different information, we have no idea as to the specifics other than what we feel is accurate on IndiaToday TV news.

There hasn’t been a cyclone of this magnitude in Mumbai in 129 years. As a result, disaster control may not have the necessary experience in handling this type of disaster. However, it appears they’ve evacuated almost 100,000 people living in high-risk areas where their homes consist of tents, huts, and lean-to type properties. 

This leaves millions of citizens in danger who reside in less sturdy buildings whose roofs and entire properties may be subject to the ravages of this untimely disaster.

Covid-19 patients in tents and less secure properties have been relocated to areas with generators to ensure ventilators and other mechanical life-support systems are protected by the use of generators.

Last night, we called the reception staff to inquire if the hotel is protected with generators. As most major hotels, they assured us we will have a continuous power source if the local infrastructure fails during the storm and thereafter.

However, there is no guarantee that WiFi will continue if local towers are felled during high winds, expected as high as 125 km, 78 miles per hour, or more, with definitive speculations unknown at this time.

Last night, after we’d gone to bed while watching the news, we got up at midnight and packed, in the event we’d have to evacuate in a hurry. We doubt this is a possibility. 

On the fourth floor of this large 334 room hotel, we’re anticipating we’ll be safe, although we’re fairly close to the Arabian Sea from where Cyclone Nisarga is rapidly gaining speed and intensity.

On the news at the moment is a video of the thousands of fishing boat owners getting into the sea to further secure their boats, covering them with makeshift tarps and coverings. This is their livelihood. Losing their boats to this storm will only be yet another disaster after Covid-19 has left so many poor families suffering.

We’re not adding any online news reports to today’s post when each publication is vastly different from others, except for the following, seeming factual information from this site which doesn’t allow me to copy and paste their story.

Instead, as we watch the TV news we feel well informed as to the progression of the storm. The area most at risk where the “eye” of the cyclone will hit, is Alihab, a mere 90 km, 56 miles from the center of Mumbai. The cyclone itself is over 125 km, 78 miles wide. 

Thus, if the cyclone eye hits its exact anticipated target of Alibab, a suburb of Mumbai, this area will be greatly impacted  As we know of hurricanes, cyclones, and storms, their path can change at any point.

As I upload today’s post shortly after 12:00 pm., we’ve begun to feel the beginnings of the storm. In an hour or more from now, the full brunt of the storm will reveal itself. It’s raining heavily at the moment but the winds are yet to come.

If, over the next several days, you don’t see a post from us, please know, as soon as we are able, we’ll be back online.

Prayers for all the people of India and the world, on this frightening day, during these frightening times in our lives.


Photo from one year ago today, June 3, 2019:

What an adorable Poll Dorset lamb on the property on the farm we rented in Devon, England, one year ago. Please click here for more details.

One by one…They return to their homes…Visit to Lava Tree Park…We begin to return to our wanderlust lifestyle…

This sign served as a valuable warning to keep us and others from exploring beyond this point when we visited Lava Tree Park yesterday.

As Tammy, Tracy and Vincent head back to Minnesota today, we are reminded of how quickly the time flew.  Now, only daughter-in-law, Camille and granddaughter, Madighan remain in Big Island for another week during which we’ll spend together at the beach, the park or strolling along the boulevard in the village of Pahoa.

Lava Tree Park has been closed to the public due to the risk of lava fissures creating vast openings in the ground. In August, Hurricane Iselle ravaged the Big Island leaving this and other parks closed due to risks from fallen trees and resulting lava shifts. We visited yesterday with Tammy and family going as far as we could stay safely within the marked areas.

Today, we’ve already begun the process of moving back into the house next door that Tom refers to as the “birdhouse” (so it looks from the aerial photos). This house is also situated in close proximity to the raging surf, the spray from the surf, and the roaring sounds. We’ll be as content as we were in the “birdhouse” prior to December 20th when we moved into the house next door to accommodate our family’s arrival.

A crevice area that was fenced off to protect visitors. This crevice was very deep.

Although we’re only moving next door, we still have sheets, towels, and more laundry to do plus the packing required as for any move. Packing neatly isn’t an issue right now. We only require that the clothes fit into our luggage and we can close our bags. Once we leave the Big Island in 13 days, we’ll be more diligent in regard to packing neatly.

Another roped off crevice in the park.

A huge storm is brewing in the islands over the next 24 hours, expected to hit the Big Island tonight or tomorrow morning. As a result, we’ll stay put hopefully not pounded with rain while we move next door.

Big Island is all about the lava as shown in these drawings.

This morning I packed my clothing and later today, I’ll begin the process of packing all that we have scattered about this big four-bedroom house, mainly in the master bedroom, en suite bath, and kitchen. I’ll be relieved when we’re done and situated, perhaps stopping to take a breath and realize that most of them are gone, back to the frozen tundra of Minnesota, now with temperatures below zero.

Map of Lava Tree Park original walking path.  We were restricted from venturing any further than the “You Are Here” designated area on this map.

Oh, how right it was that we left such a cold place, definitely not a good settling point for seniors. The risk of falling on ice and snow, hazardous driving conditions, and shoveling and snow blowing simply doesn’t make for an ideal scenario for the aging population. Plus, being cooped up during the long winter as a retiree never appealed to us.

Sign on display at the park.

Yes, we are warm weather people, following the sun wherever we may go with a few exceptions into the future, as we seek to fulfill our dreams of a few cold-weather wildlife expeditions. 

A picnic area in Lava Tree Park was desolate. 

I’m a little out of sorts today. As the storm brews, the air is outrageously humid and I can’t seem to shake this sticky feeling. We awoke before 6:00 am this morning to say goodbye to Tammy, Tracy, and Vincent. Showered, dressed, and ready for the day by 6:30 am, we have a long day of work ahead of us. 

Hibiscus, hearty flower that they are, continue to grow in the desolate park.

Soon, we’ll be settled and at peace, as we spend our final 13 days on the Big Island, amid an upcoming storm, the lava flow, and us two old-timers looking forward to the next phase of life as we carry on our worldwide travels.

Downed trees and shrubs in Lava Tree Park continue to flourish.

Also, thanks to our many readers who graciously inquired as to my dear sister’s health. She left the hospital yesterday and is recovering nicely at home. Son Richard’s shoulder injury is on the mend. We enjoyed a lengthy chat yesterday.

The highlight of living in these two neighboring houses has been the raging of the wild surf.
While lounging in the chairs, one is kept cool by the spray from the waves.
A huge surf pounded the shore yesterday.

We’ll be back tomorrow from the “birdhouse” with more good news to share. We’ve thoroughly enjoyed this lovely house but look forward to being settled once again.

Be well and have a safe first Saturday in 2015!

                                            Photo from one year ago today, January 2, 2014:

We left an egg outside for the mongoose who’s families often surrounded our house. We were happy to see one of them enjoy it. For details, please click here.