Traveling styles…Where do we fit in?…

“Dino,” our towel, pet last night.

Time changes continue. At our present location, 12 hours from entering the Straits of Gibralter we are 9 hours later than Los Angeles and 7 hours later than Minnesota.

Last night during the night, we hit rough seas again, not as bad as a few days ago, the three torturous days of 50 foot swells. 
Sleeping still seems to be an issue for us but also other passengers revealed that they, too, continue to be unable to go to sleep until 2:00 or 3:00 am, awakening at 9:00or 10:00.  It’s the nature of the beast.

Yesterday, after only four hours of sleep, we awakened early. Sluggish all day, I’d hope an
early night would be in order. After dinner and a live show last night (comedian/magician) we returned to our cabin at 10:45 pm to find yet another card on the bed informing us to forward our
clocks yet another hour.

Suddenly, it’s almost midnight with nary a desire to sleep. By 2:00 am Tom dozed off. At 3:30 am, I did as well. We awoke at 9:00 am, still tired, struggling to get up and ready for the day.

During the night I was up several times with a funny stomach, not “ha ha” funny but “oh oh” funny.

Never one to suffer with abdominal distress,immediately my mind went to either food poisoning or norovirus. My fish tasted funny last night at dinner,not “ha ha” funny but “oh oh” funny. With an absence of other distress or nausea, I dismissed it as a fluke, refraining from eating anything yet today.We’ll see how it goes.

Still reeling from the joyful experience yesterday of meeting Gina, the owner of the house we’ll rent in Madeira Portugal next yearand having an opportunity to tour of portion of the tiny island of Madeira.

Pilot boat picking up the pilot that had come aboard as we approached the pier to aid in maneuvering the ship to the dock, which we’ve observed as we enter each port of call.

Today, we’re content to spend a lazy day, reading our books and perhaps watching a movie on the giant screen in the Atrium, the main lobby area of the ship. 

Every three or four days, I consume a novel, many of which either free or under $5 on, mostly books popular a few years ago with four and five star reviews. Mostly some simple stories,  some more significant.

Tom, a slower reader has been wrapped up in many books written by Vince Flynn, a Minnesota author who’s series of well-written novels center around CIA stories of international intrigue, an ongoing saga of a character, Mitch Rapp. So far, he’s read five lengthy novels with many more to go.

Most of our reading occurs at night in bed with only an hour or less during the day. With no US
TV shows other than a few news networks, we seldom watch anything. Occasionally, a 10-15 year old movie runs, many about baseball.  We’ve seen “Field of Dreams” three times and “The Natural” four times, mostly in bits and pieces since there’s no way to know in advance when a movie is on.

When we’re online for short periods each day to read email, look at Facebook, handle financial matters and post this blog, Google often comes up in German, Portuguese, mainly based on the majority of the populace in the areas we’re sailing

“Pirate” type boat for tourists, observed while still in the Port of Madeira.

Last night, we dined in the “included” Manhattan Room, the food again mediocre, but made memorable by the four women at our shared table, many experienced travelers, two coincidentally from Minnesota. 

It’s enriching to hear the suggestions by other travelers with much more experience than us.
We’ve observed how each traveler has their own specific style of traveling. Our human nature is
to believe that “our” methods are the best. We are no exception, although we’re curious about the methods of others. 

Many factors determine the style travelers we all choose to be: financial constraints or desires, time constraints, need or desire for comfort, personal interests, personality and lifestyle. 

Pier as we pull away from Madeira.  A ship, the MSC Sinfonia remains at the pier.

We find many travelers content to backpack, stay in hostels and sleep in tents if need be. Others are in the middle, as we are, desiring comfort while willing to pay a little more for it. Others will only travel staying in the most plush cabins, finest hotels and dining in the most posh restaurants. 

Whichever style the travelers we meet choose, we find them interesting, often picking up a tidbit of information that we may find useful in the future. On we go, to the port of Barcelona in two days while we continue on our second leg of this back-to-back cruise for four more days to Majorca and Marseilles. We’ll have get off the ship to go through customs but able to keep our stuff in our cabin.

Goodbye, Madeira.  See you again next year.

On May 5th, we’ll be back in Barcelona  for our next leg of our journey, the 15 day cruise through the Suez Canal to the Middle East. Some say we’re crazy to explore this highly charged area of the world while we feel excited for the opportunity. We plan to explore Barcelona, sharing photos and stories of how we’ll avoid the rampant pickpockets, for which Barcelona is so well known.