Happy 4th of July to US! New itinerary for 620 days, posted here today!


Yesterday, we entered the longest tunnel we've been through in our travels, the "Tunel da Encumeada" as we drove to Sao Vincente.  Click here for a short video we found on YouTube, taken at 2x speed through this tunnel.  It took us almost four minutes to drive through it.
We both wish all of our family and friends in the US a happy and safe 4th of July.  It's great it fell on a Friday so all of you still working have a nice long weekend. Enjoy the festivities and fireworks!

Here it is, folks...our itinerary from July 31, 2014 to April 11, 2016, all of which is booked and set for our arrival, except for a few flights and a few one night hotel stays:

Flight Madeira, Portugal to Paris, France 0 7/31/2014
Paris Hotel  15 7/31/2014-8/16/2014
Tunnel (Chunnel) Paris to London 0 8/16/2014
London Hotel  15 8/16/2014 -8/31/2014
London to Boston - Cruise 14 8/31/2014 - 9/14/2014
Hotel Boston 3 9/14/2014 - 9/17/2014
Flight Boston to Vancouver 0 9/17/2014
Hotel Vancouver  6 9/17/2013 - 9/23/2014
Vancouver to Honolulu - Cruise 12 9/23/2014 - 10/5/2014
Honolulu/Waikiki Rental  11 10/5/2014 - 10/16/2014
Maui Rental 57 10/16/2014 - 12/1/2014
1st house Pahoe Hawaii Rental  46 12/1/2014 - 1/14/2015
2nd house Pahoe Rental  (family visiting) 0 12/20/2014  - 1/3/2015
Kauai Hawaii Rental 120 1/15/2015 - 5/14/2015
Honolulu/Waikiki Hotel 9 5/15/2015 - 5/24/2015
Honolulu to Sydney - Cruise 18 5/24/2015  - 6/11/2015
Trinity Beach, Australia 89 6/11/2015 - 9/8/2015
Fiji Rental -Savusavu Island 89 9/8/2015 - 12/6/2015
Fiji Rental #2 - Fiji Main Island 29 12/6/2015 - 1/4/2016
Sydney Hotel 1 1/4/2016 - 1/5/2016
Sydney to Aukland - Cruise  14 1/5/2016 - 1/19/2016
New Plymouth, New Zealand Alpaca Farm 83 1/19/2016 - 4/11/2016
Total Days Booked into Future 620 7/31/2014 - 4/11/2016

Please note:  Not all flights are posted here since we've yet to book them this far in advance. Flights cannot be booked more than 330 days in advance.  In most cases we don't book flights any sooner than 90 days prior to travel.  Also, in the next few days, we'll be adding a few cruises, not shown here.


These sparse trees lined this hill.
The time and effort we put into booking the last 10 months of this itinerary was more work than we'd ever expected.  It wasn't easy planning this leg of our ongoing journey with higher prices than we've ever seen and many properties booked well in advance


The low lying clouds impeded the clarity of our photos which often occurs.
We're satisfied with the end result and look forward to every step of the way (except for "flying days" which are always tiring and stressful). Beyond April 11, 2016?  We don't have a clue where we'll go next other than the few above mentioned yet-to-be-booked cruises.  A year ago, we didn't know we'd be going to Australia.  The decisions all come in time as a natural evolution. 

The hillsides everywhere on the island are filled with beautiful gardens.
We often look at the world map wondering where we'll go after the final booking.  We've yet to visit South America, the Orient, Antarctica, the countries in the former Soviet Union.  At some point, we'll cruise to Alaska and tour the US and Canada, most likely not for years to come. 

In reality, we're not trying to visit every part of the world.  We're traveling to places we find most interesting.  We've yet to even count how many countries we've visited thus far.  With 196 countries in the world, we still have a long way to go.  But, this isn't a contest, a race or an attempt to break some arbitrary record

Stopping at an overlook, we spotted this unusual tree.
This is just us, two senior citizens, in-love, enjoying time together in different environments, trying to live life to the fullest for as long as we can.  We feel no pressure to do anything differently than we're doing.  If we screw up, its on us.
 
Yes, we miss our loved ones and yes, we'll see them from time to time.  But, staying in touch is easy these days, making them seem less far away. We hope and pray that they understand and accept the "why" to our lives.  

We noticed a tour bus when we spotted this group of tourists crossing this foot bridge. Most likely they are touring from a cruise ship that had arrived in Funchal, a popular port of call.
We know being away may seem selfish to them.  But, we hope we taught our children to live their dreams to the fullest and that also included us.  We hope this message is also conveyed to our grandchildren.  Make a dream...make it happen.

This morning, I awoke at 5:45 deciding to get up.  It's now 8:15 am and Tom's still sleeping, a rarity for him.  As soon as I bathed and dressed for the day, I came downstairs, turned on the hot water for my tea, immediately I opened the heavy glass door to the veranda and stepped outside. 

The tourists were heading down to this park.
The sun had yet to come up and the reflection of the billowy clouds always present, cast a colorful image on the sea.  As I stood there in awe of the beauty it dawned on me that in 27 days we'll leave this island and in time it will become a distant memory.

Unusual vine covered narrow trees.
Yesterday, as we drove to the village of Sao Vincente taking photos, some of which are shown here today, with more shown tomorrow, we spoke of leaving this island and about how grateful we are that we've documented every step of our travels in words and photos. 

We were disappointed that there was a cloud cover when we arrived in Sao Vincente. It had been sunny when we left Campanario.  Rapidly changing weather is typical for this island. 
When and if the time comes, that we can no longer travel, we'll always be able to look online to recall a date, a place or an event; to laugh, to cry and to know that through sheer determination and a bit of "safari luck" we somehow managed to live this dream. 

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Photo from one year ago today, July 4, 2013:

This is the only photo we posted a year ago today when it was a rainy day keeping us indoors in Boveglio Italy.  This photo was taken in May, 2013 (one month earlier) when we visited Petra, Jordan which we hadn't posted at the time of posting Petra photos. But, we posted it last July 4, 2013 when we had no new photos available to post. For details of the story from one year ago today, please click here.

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