Itinerary one year ago…Itinerary today…

We stumbled upon the Preston Fresh Seafood Wholesaler on our drive to Yorkeys Knob which is a quick five-minute drive from our then home in Trinity Beach. We returned many times during our months in Queensland.

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 shortly, making these extra steps unnecessary. Thank you. 

Today’s photos are from July 1, 2015, while in Trinity Beach, Queensland, Australia. See the link here for more details.

While searching for the “Photo from one year ago today,” it was interesting to see the upcoming itinerary we’d posted on July 1, 2019. Doing so, prompted me to post this prior itinerary revealing how much has changed at the tail end to the present, in light of COVID-19. (See below).

Their colorful signs in the somewhat remote location made it easier to spot from the highway.

This is the first time in our almost eight years of world travel that we don’t have a specific itinerary, nor do we have holiday/vacation home bookings anywhere in the world, at any time in the future.


We have some cruises booked going forward but, based on how COVID-19 is progressing, we expect they’ll be canceled or changed at some point, leaving little reason to post an itinerary including such cruises.

When we arrived at the wholesale fish market we were intrigued by what could possibly be “cooked bugs.”  Could this possibly be some type of sea “insect?” Check out the photo below of “cooked bugs.”

It’s a weird perception after all these years of world travel to literally be in “limbo” with virtually no definitive plan for the future, other than to leave India when it becomes possible, which could be months from now.


Our itinerary has been a vital aspect of the joys of traveling the world. Having the opportunity to review and revise it as needed has been a vital part in our planning. Now, everything has changed.

Gee…we’ve never seen scallops in the shell. We can imagine a plate of six of these covered in an almond flour and Parmesan-crusted buttery topping. Tom likes scallops so this will be a no brainer.

There are several couples with whom we’ve stayed in touch, mostly from North America who have been traveling the world as well, mainly from one to three years. 


On Facebook or via email and text messages we stay in touch with those couples and are up to date on their travels during the lengthy lockdown. Some have been able to travel within their own country, US or Canada, and have been able to fly in and out of several locations in order to maintain a degree of the continuation of their world travels.
These are “large cooked bugs” which are similar to crab but according to the salesperson, they taste similar to prawns. Next time we visited, we tried a few and loved them.

Had we been able to fly to islands in the Caribbean, the South Pacific, and the Indian Ocean, no doubt, we would have chosen another path during this long haul rather than staying stuck in Mumbai. 


As more time passes, more and more countries are refusing to allow travelers with US or Indian passports/visas to enter their borders. It seems this fact is escalating by the day when this morning on the news, a growing list of countries now forbidding entry into their borders where COVID-19 is on the rise, as is the case in the US and India.

If and when India’s international flights resume, we may have to continue to stay in Mumbai when few countries will welcome us with this double whammy (US and India) in our passports.

We selected a barramundi filet from this batch, caught that morning. Keep in mind, for those of you reading from countries not using the metric system…AUD $32.50 per kilo translates to 2.2 pounds which would be USD $14.77 per pound, not too bad for fresh (never frozen) wild-caught fish. We purchased about one pound of which Tom had 9 ounces and I had approximately 7 ounces.

The few countries, such as Tanzania, which we previously considered, is accepting anyone from anywhere which may be indicative of their lack of interest and caution in providing safe entry into their country. But, according to this news story (and others), it may be foolhardy to travel to Tanzania based on their lack of statistics and precautions.


The reality isn’t as simple as, “When and where international airports will open to US citizens having spent many months in equally high-risk India.” It’s much more complex.


Again, some of our US readers write, “Come back home!” But, as we continue to reiterate, ad nauseam, there’s no point in us doing that when cases of the virus continue to escalate, we have no insurance in the US (only outside the US) and we have no home, no stuff to fill it.

At AUD $64, USD $49.26, all of these items which includes a huge Barramundi filet, two pieces of made-without-sugar smoked fish and two containers of crab meat which we’ll use to make low carb crab cakes this weekend (lasting for two meals) will result in four meals for the two of us.  As a result, the cost per entre results in a cost per day of AUD $16, USD $12.31, not bad for such delicious fish and seafood. We struggle to be motivated to go out to dine when we do so well at home and have just as good a time.

This fact doesn’t make us sad or despondent. Still, we consider ourselves world travelers and we have no intention of changing that scenario one day sooner than is absolutely necessary, which most likely would be due to health considerations.

Sure, on numerous occasions, we’ve discussed the reality that travel will be different going forward to include; vaccination requirements; long queues at airports and cruise terminals; required quarantine in some countries; face masks being worn in public areas; social distancing and more restrictions we’ve yet to discover.


We had to get about 18 vaccinations when we began traveling in 2012, which we updated in 2018 while in South Africa. Although we’d both prefer not to be vaccinated if a proven-to-be-safe COVID-19 vaccination becomes available, we will accept this requirement, when most likely, having such a certification may be required to enter most countries. 

There were a few types of fish that had been frozen but it was clearly marked. We prefer not to purchase defrosted fish preferring to buy only fresh when available.

We didn’t flinch when we had to be inoculated for Yellow Fever and other diseases in order to visit certain parts of Africa and other countries. And, we won’t flinch again when this becomes a requirement to travel. We have no doubt this will become necessary in the future. Want to travel? Be vaccinated or stay home, which will be the standard travel motto in the future.


We appreciate and accept the risks of vaccination that have created a movement of sorts, who are opposed to vaccinations. We understand and accept there are certain risks. 


But, traveling the world may require a degree of putting aside some of our personal beliefs, preferences, customs, and familiar modes of living to accept that of the country we’re about to visit.

There were a few types of fish that had been frozen but it was clearly marked. We don’t purchase defrosted fish preferring to buy only fresh when available.

Here is our link from which we’ve taken this year-ago itinerary as shown below.

Itinerary 2019 – 2020
Ireland – Connemara – house rented 89 5/12/2019 – 8/8/2019 
Hotel Dublin, Ireland 1 8/8/2019 – 8/9/2019
Hotel Amsterdam, The Netherlands 2  8/9/2019 – 8/11/2019 
Cruise – Baltic – Amsterdam to Amsterdam  12  8/11/2019 – 8/23/2019 
England – Falmouth, Cornwall, UK 14  8/23/2019 -9/6/2019 
England – St. Teath, Bodwin, Cornwall, UK 14 9/6/2019 – 9/20/2019
England – Witheridge, Devon, UK 21 9/20/2019 – 10/11/2019
Wales – Chepstow, Monmouthshire, UK 11 10/11/2019 – 10/22/2019
Hotel – Southampton, England 2 10/22/2019 – 10/24/2019
Cruise – Southampton to Fort Lauderdale  15  10/24/2019-11/8/2019 
Hotel – Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA 14 11/8/2019 – 11/22/2019 
Henderson, Nevada, USA 9 11/22/2019 – 12/1/2019
Holiday Rental – Apache Junction, Arizona USA 61 12/1/2019 – 1/30/2020
Flight Phoenix, Arizona to Mumbai, India* 2 1/30/2020 – 2/1/2020
Hotel – Mumbai, India 1 2/1/2020 – 2/2/2020
Train – Maharajas Express -Mumbai to Dehli 6 2/2/2020 – 2/8/2020
Safari – India (inc. in Private Tour) 5 2/8/2020 – 2/13/2020
India – Private Tour 51 2/13/2020 -4/3/2020*
Cruise – Mumbai to London 29     4/3/2020 – 5/2/2020
Total days planned 359 5/12/2020 – 5/2/2020
*The private tour ended on March 15, 2020, due to COVID-19

Life is filled with trade-offs. Only each of us as an individual, a couple, or a family can decide what works best for their desires and choices. We pray that each of our readers is able to choose what is best for their needs as opposed to being driven by the choices and opinions of others.

_____________________________________

Photo from one year ago today, July 1, 2019:

A year ago, we posted more information on the then-upcoming tour on the Maharajas Express. One of the many excursions on the Maharajas Express train includes a visit to the Taj Mahal. (not our photo). For details, please click here.

The first day of our 55-day tour itinerary…Delhi and New Delhi…The burial site of Mahatma Gandhi’s ashes…

From this site: “Indian Statesman and Spiritual Leader. Mohandas Gandhi, who come to be popularly known as “Mahatma” (Great Soul), was born a colonial subject of the British Empire. He studied law at University College in London and was admitted to the bar in 1891. In 1893, Gandhi took a position as a legal advisor for an Indian law firm in Durban, South Africa (then also a British colony). Appalled at the racism against South Asians there, Gandhi became an activist for equal rights. Gandhi disdained the violent tactics often employed by socialist and anarchist activists, however, and advocated new forms of nonviolent resistance, collectively known as “Satyagraha” (truth and firmness). Influenced by traditional Hinduism as well as the works of Jesus, Leo Tolstoy, and Henry David Thoreau, Gandhi’s methods stressed change by noncooperation with the colonial authorities, including disruptive (though nonviolent) demonstrations and general strikes and boycotts.

Yesterday morning, our Delhi tour guide, Subi, appeared in the hotel lobby a half-hour earlier than anticipated. Since we were ready for the day, we joined him to begin the first day of the 55-day.

Crowds of tourists and local visitors filled the walkways.

The same driver from the prior day would be responsible for transporting us from place to place and Subi would be our personal tour guide. The concept of not having other tourists with us proved to be a good decision.

“Raj Ghat is a memorial dedicated to Mahatma Gandhi in Delhi, India. Originally it was the name of a historic ghat of Old Delhi. Close to it, and east of Daryaganj was Raj Ghat Gate of the walled city, opening at Raj Ghat to the west bank of the Yamuna River. Later the memorial area was also called Raj ghat.”

At no point were we subject to the pace, shopping, dining, and restroom breaks of others. We could go at our own pace which is particularly of importance to me when at times, I may walk a little slower than others.

The grounds of the burial site of Gandhi are meticulously manicured with exquisite flowers and gardens.

With this pressure non-existence for our 55-day private tour, we can decide exactly which venues appeal to us and which do not. For example, after visiting no less than six forts during the tours during the Maharajas Express train, we’re somewhat “forted out.

“Though his position on nonviolence was not absolute (he would later be a British Army recruiter during World War I), Gandhi would willingly take beatings from British police throughout his career and would require his supporters to do the same. In 1914, the newly-autonomous South African government recognized Indian marriages and abolished the Indian poll tax, and Gandhi returned to India. After World War I, Gandhi became a major advocate for Indian home rule, again applying the methods of Satyagraha. In 1919, the British Army opened fire on demonstrators in Amritsar, killing nearly 400 people including several children. In response, Gandhi stepped up his campaign of noncooperation. Indian officeholders resigned, British courts and schools were boycotted, and demonstrators blocked streets all over the country. When this movement escalated to violent extremes, however, Gandhi called the demonstrations off. Gandhi also advocated the revival of Indian cottage industry for economic independence from Britain, especially in the field of textiles; he would wear only simple homespun clothes to illustrate this point. He was jailed from 1922 to 1924, but would return to his position in the Indian National Congress and call for a tax revolt in 1930.”

We informed our guide on what appeals to us and proceeded accordingly. Keeping in mind we’ve seen an endless array of churches, mosques and historical buildings, at this point, after over seven years of world travel, we’re relatively picky about the buildings we see as we continue on.

The words of the great leader.

He seemed disappointed when we explained we weren’t interested in buying jewelry and other goods. Most certainly he’d receive a commission from any purchases we made or expensive items. We weren’t about to make such purchases for that purpose. We tipped him well at the end of the tour.

Gandhi was revered from his depth and his great wisdom.

With a little research, we’re able to pin down what appeals to us most. How do we explain this to a tour guide? We did as follows:

1. No jewelry stores
2. No shopping for souvenirs or trinkets
3. No shopping in general, except for showing us spectacular open/local markets with local foods and handmade crafts, in essence, cultural markets.
4. No need to eat during the tours
5. No typical overly crowded tourist venues

Flowers are a big part of Indian culture.

Where does that leave us? The unique, the unusual, the quirky, the nuances of a culture far removed from our own reality. The guide suggested we visit a local shopping mall with well-known designer stores. No thanks. That’s not for us.

“Several other samādhis or cremation spots of other famous leaders can be found in the vicinity of Raj Ghat.” Click here for more details.

The end result, although many venues during this 55-day tour are pre-set at this point, we’ll always have the option to request changes in the itinerary, although we will honor any venues whereby fees have been paid in advance for our attendance. We’re not foolhardy.

The flowers are breathtaking.
One of the reasons we generally don’t care for big cities is the repetitious nature of seeing similar buildings over and over again. In remote areas, we have a more comprehensive opportunity to see what we’d like to see, the local culture, scenery and nature along with a smidgen of wildlife and farm animals here and there… Ultimately the more simple life which appeals to us the most.
The symmetry of design is imperative in India’s structures.


India may not appear to be the ideal country for our usual vision, but we’ve decided to temper our motives and embrace as much of this country as we possibly can.

Nothing was spared in the meticulous detail in the memorial.


In the interim, amid our preferences, we’re thoroughly enjoying what we’ve seen thus far and have no doubt these next many days and nights will be satisfying, educational and fulfilling.

Street food in Delhi. 

You’ll be able to “travel along with us” if you so chose, on this extensive journey through India. Tomorrow, beginning at 6:30 am, we’re beginning a long travel day, which includes journeys on two trains with only a 25-minute layover in between. During this short layover, we’ll have to arrange to move our luggage from the first to the second train.

Jama Masjid Mosque in Delhi. “The Masjid e Jahan Numa, commonly known as the Jama Masjid of Delhi, is one of the largest mosques in India. It was built by the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan between 1650 and 1656 at a cost of one million rupees and was inaugurated by Imam Syed Abdul Ghafoor Shah Bukhari from Bukhara, present-day Uzbekistan. The mosque was completed in 1656 AD with three great gates and two 40 meters high minarets constructed with strips of red sandstone and white marble. The courtyard can accommodate more than 25,000 people. There are three domes on the terrace which are surrounded by the two minarets. On the floor, a total of 899 black borders is marked for worshippers. The architectural plan of Badshahi Masjid, built by Shah Jahan’s son Aurangzeb in Lahore, Pakistan, is similar to the Jama Masjid.”

Hopefully, we’ll be able to find a porter to assist us. The hotel is packing a breakfast for us since we won’t arrive at our next hotel in Shimla until around 6:00 pm tomorrow evening.

Us, with the Jama Masjid Mosque in Delhi in the background. It was horrible pollution that impeded a clear photo.

Most likely, I’ll be preparing tomorrow’s post while on the train and hopefully, wrap up the visit to Delhi to be able to continue posting in the sequence of our experiences.


Be well. Be happy.

_________________________________________

Photo from one year ago today, February 10, 2019:
No photos were posted one year ago today as we were wrapping up our entries for a week or more as I prepared for open heart surgery on February 12, 2019.
For the second to last post before the surgery, please click here.

Here it is at long last!…Our newest itinerary!…

One of the many excursions on the Maharajas Express train includes a visit to the Taj Mahal. (Not our photo).

“Fascinating Fact of the Day About Ireland”
“Abortion
is illegal in Ireland unless keeping the child would put the mother’s life at
risk.”

__________________________________________

There’s no doubt we’re tentative about booking into the future, especially when there is no certainty about my health going forward.  To date, we haven’t booked anything where we’d lose the entire cost of the venue, just deposits.


Even paying deposits is risky.  After we’ve paid out so much in medical bills our insurance company refuses to pay and losing so much for prepaid travel events we couldn’t attend, flights we had to cancel, and bookings we had to forgo, it’s not surprising we’re cautious.


The unexpected cardiac bypass surgery could easily put a quick end to our travels, which neither of us wanted to stop.  Instead, we strive to continue on, living life to the fullest.  


None of us knows how much time we have on this earth and yes, my situation may mean I have less time than many.  But, it’s no reason to stop living.  What would we do if we lived in a condo in the US?  Stay home and do nothing? 


The travels we have ahead of us will require some days at the airport, waiting in a long queue to board a ship and lots of walking.  Would it be a lot less active if we lived in the US (or some other country)?  Besides, being active is the number one prescription for improving one’s health after cardiac bypass surgery.


Walking?  Yep. I’m on it every day, keeping track of my fitness watch to ensure I get in enough steps each day.  Believe me, it’s not easy to do, walking around the house all day.  Right now, I have a timer set to walk every 30-minutes.


I shake it up every few days.  Sometimes, it’s for long periods or several times a day once every hour.  On some days I do half or more of the walking at one time.  Why don’t I walk outside?  It’s cold, windy and it rains a lot.  Also, there are no sidewalks on the very narrow winding roads. The driveway to the road is rocky and uneven. It defeats the purpose to risk injury.

Itinerary 2019 – 2020
Ireland – Connemara – house rented 89 5/12/2019
– 8/8/2019 
Hotel Dublin, Ireland 1 8/8/2019
– 8/9/2019
Hotel Amsterdam, The Netherlands 2  8/9/2019 – 8/11/2019 
Cruise
– Baltic – Amsterdam to Amsterdam 
12  8/11/2019 –
8/23/2019 
England
– Falmouth, Cornwall, UK
14  8/23/2019 -9/6/2019 
England
– St. Teath, Bodwin, Cornwall, UK
14 9/6/2019 – 9/20/2019
England
– Witheridge, Devon, UK
21 9/20/2019 – 10/11/2019
Wales –
Chepstow, Monmouthshire, UK
11 10/11/2019 – 10/22/2019
Hotel – Southampton, England 2 10/22/2019 – 10/24/2019
Cruise
– Southampton to Fort Lauderdale 
15  10/24/2019-11/8/2019 
Hotel – Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA 14  11/8/2019 –
11/22/2019 
Henderson,
Nevada, USA
9 11/22/2019 – 12/1/2019
Holiday
Rental – Apache Junction, Arizona USA
61 12/1/2019 – 1/30/2020
Flight
Phoenix, Arizona to Mumbai, India*
2 1/30/2020 – 2/1/2020
Hotel –
Mumbai, India
1 2/1/2020 – 2/2/2020
Train –
Maharajas Express -Mumbai to Dehli
6 2/2/2020 – 2/8/2020
Safari
– India
5 2/8/2020 – 2/13/2020
Hotels
Udaipur, India 
30 2/13/2020 – 3/13/2020
India –
to be booked
21 3/13/2020 – 4/3/2020
Cruise
– Mumbai to London
29 4/3/2020 – 5/2/2020
Total days planned 359 5/12/2020 – 5/2/2020
It does not include cruises beyond this date in the event we make some changes. * All distant locations include flights – the
only flight more than a day is from Phoenix 
to Mumbai.

                                

Walking around the house at a good clip is not that bad.  I have a route I vary every few minutes rather than stick to one path.  Boredom is the biggest problem.  My cheap South African-purchased-smartphone doesn’t have enough memory to add a podcast app which would help tremendously.  


At one point I added an SD card, but it isn’t able to store any data.  It’s the phone.  Nothing I can do about that until we purchase new phones in the US when we arrive in November, a mere four months from now.  


We’ve already selected the phones we’d like, but won’t order them until closer to the time of our arrival in the US.  In four months, newer models could hit the market and prices may change.


In preparing the itinerary we’ve included today, we didn’t include the cruise we’ve booked to Cape Town, South Africa, long before my illness, based on hearing from immigration as to our “undesirable” status after overstaying for three months for my recovery.  As mentioned a few days ago, we’ve applied, re-applied, and called several times, requesting a response.  None yet.  We’ll continue trying.



Also, as mentioned, we have a few more cruises we’ve booked and may not actually take. These are not shown in the itinerary.   We’re able to move the deposits at any time with no losses.  Having chosen a few costly cruises, with considerations for our budget, we won’t be cruising as often as we had in the early part of our travels.


Cruises are highlighted in the itinerary in turquoise.  We’ll definitely be taking the cruises listed on the itinerary. Everything we do in life is subject to good health. For some oddball reason, I wrongfully thought that saying “health providing” in dozens, if not hundreds of other posts, as if provided some insurance nothing bad would happen. It did happen anyway.  I am done saying that!


After further research and comments from kindly readers who’ve been to India, it appears we can stay up to 180 days.  That’s great!  We didn’t want to deal with more immigration problems.


Gotta go!  My timer just went off for my next round of walking.  


Enjoy your day!

__________________________________________


Photo from one year ago today, July 1, 2018:

One year ago today, we attended the Honorary Ranger’s Annual Fair in Marloth Park.  Artist’s renditions of wildlife along with an array of skulls, horns, and tusks.  For more photos, please click here.

Part 4…New bookings…A new country…A new lease on life!…Tomorrow, our new itinerary!…

Mumbai.

“Fascinating Fact of the Day About Ireland”
“The longest river in the country is the River Shannon. The river is 360 km, 224 miles, long. The River Shannon (Irish: Abha na Sionainne, an tSionainn, an tSionna) is the longest river in Ireland.  It drains the Shannon River Basin which has an area of 16,865 km (6,512 sq mi), one-fifth of the area of Ireland.”

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As mentioned in yesterday’s post, we hesitated over spending so much on this cruise, especially after the cost of the Maharajas Train on which we’ll embark on February 3, 2020.  


We have two months to travel while in India while we look forward to this upcoming cruise embarking on April 3, 2020, ending in London on May 2, 2020, 29 nights later.


We’ve yet to decide where we’ll go when we arrive in London.  We have plenty of time for that, a little over 10 months.  We may plan to stay around Europe for a few months.  With the Schengen visa restrictions, we can only stay in most European countries for 90 out of 180 days.

There are several countries that aren’t part of Schengen.  For more details on Schengen visas, please visit this site.


According to visa regulations listed on many sites for India e-visa, a traveler from the US and many other countries may only stay for 60 days.  We’ll actually be in India for 63 days.  If necessary, we’ll apply for an extension through the Indian Embassy through the consulate in San Francisco, the location we must use as residents of Nevada.

However, at the governmental e-visa site for India, the following is clearly stated as follows:


“Stay:
Continuous stay during each visit shall not exceed 90 days for countries except the USA, UK, Canada, and Japan. For the USA, UK, Canada, and Japan continuous stay during each visit shall not exceed 180 days.

Today, I sent them an email asking to clarify if a 90-day stay is accurate.  After all our visa issues these past few years, we aren’ taking any chances.  Nothing spoils a visit to a country like immigration issues.  

Anyway, back to the cruise fare…We weren’t thrilled that Viking requires payment in full so close to the time of booking and far from the time of sailing.  In this case, the final payment, as shown below is due in full on July 24, 2019, a little over three weeks from now:  

Cruise Fare $19,998.00  
E-Check Discount ($633.53)       
Past-Passenger Discount ($800.00)            
Grand Total: $18,564.47   
Total Deposit Paid: $483.50    
Total Balance Due: $18,080.97  Final payment due July 24, 2019 


Gifts/Amenities Included: 
Jessica Lyman: $300.00 Onboard Credit 
Thomas Lyman: $300.00 Onboard Credit 


We justified this expensive cruise based on the fact that we have three cruises we’ve booked with deposits we are able to transfer to later cruises, most likely to 2022, giving up plenty of time to recover the big expense.  


In the interim, we’ll wait and see if we can sail on the cruise from Lisbon to Cape Town on November 10, 2020, on Azamara, which visits many ports on the western side of Africa, a very rare cruise.  


We’re waiting to find out if the five-year ban from returning to South Africa is lifted for medical reasons.  We applied for the waiver almost seven weeks ago and have inquired several times to no avail.  They simply don’t respond to our inquiries by phone or email.  


On Friday, we inquired again and will do so every Friday until we get an update.  If we don’t receive the waiver, we’ll lose part of the deposit we paid and miss this exciting itinerary and plan when and if we’ll get back to Marloth Park.  When and if we do, we won’t stay longer than 90 days in South Africa.


Today, we’ve added photos and information about dining options on the Mumbai cruise with Viking including the complimentary specialty restaurants.  Please see below for details.



FastDeal
21770
29 nights departing April 3, 2020, on
Viking Cruises’ Viking Sun

Brochure Balcony $9,999
Our Balcony $9,999
You Save 0%
Brochure Suite $16,749
Our Suite $15,999
You Save 4%

Prices include select shore excursions and unlimited internet.
Book select categories by June 30 and pay a reduced deposit of $250 per person.
Promotions may not be combinable with all fares.
___________________________________________________________

Dining options on Viking Sun:

“The Restaurant
Cuisine: Continental
Dress Code: Elegant casual
Surcharge: No
Reservations Required: No
Hours
Breakfast: 8:00am – 10:00am
Lunch: Noon – 2:30pm
Dinner: 6:00pm – 10:00pm

The Chef’s Table
Cuisine: Continental
Dress Code: Elegant casual
Surcharge: No
Reservations Required: Yes
Hours
Dinner: 6:30pm – 10:30pm

Manfredi’s Italian Restaurant
Cuisine: Italian
Dress Code: Elegant casual
Surcharge: No
Reservations Required: Yes
Hours
Dinner: 6:30pm – 10:30pm

World Cafe
Cuisine: Variety
Dress Code: Elegant casual
Surcharge: No
Reservations Required: Yes
Hours
Breakfast: 7:30am – 10:00am
Lunch: 11:30am – 2:00pm
Dinner: 6:30pm – 10:30pm

Viking Deli
Cuisine: Scandinavian
Dress Code: Casual
Surcharge: No
Reservations Required: No
Hours
Check onboard for hours

Aquavit Terrace
Cuisine: Al fresco options
Dress Code: Casual
Surcharge: No
Reservations Required: No
Hours
Check onboard for hours

The Kitchen Table
Cuisine: Cooking school and restaurant
Dress Code: Casual
Surcharge: No
Reservations Required: No
Hours
Check onboard for hours

Mamsen’s
Cuisine: Norwegian breakfast and lunch
Dress Code: Casual
Surcharge: No
Reservations Required: No
Hours
Check onboard for hours

In addition to the restaurants mentioned above, the Viking Sun also features afternoon high tea in the Wintergarden, a pool grill and 24-hour room service. “



Last night, our dinner for guests was canceled due to an unexpected illness of one of our guests.  We’re hoping she will recover soon.  We ended up thoroughly enjoying the dinner we planned and spent a quiet evening at “home.”


Tomorrow, we’ll be back with our new itinerary.  Please stop back to see it!


Be well.

__________________________________________


Photo from one year ago today, June 30, 2018:

The particular “dazzle” of zebras visiting that morning was all female except for a youngster.  For more photos, please click here.


Part 3…2018, “Year in Review” with favorite photos…They’re back!!!…Six years ago today…Itinerary re-post from one year ago.

We so excited to see the kudus and other wildlife returning to our garden as the holiday crowds dissipate.  

“Sighting of the Day in the Bush”

One of our two favorite frogs took up residence in this cute little decorative basket near the pool on the veranda.

This morning, two bushbucks, one duiker,  five zebras, and three warthogs stopped by at the same time.  Last night before the pelting rain began, 12 kudus and three warthogs stopped by for a snack.  We couldn’t toss the pellets quickly enough.  

Notice the pellet crumbs on her nose.  Often, there are lots of crumbs in the huge bags of pellets.  Most of the wildlife are happy to lap up the crumbs if we place them on the tile steps.  See more here at this link.

We’re so excited the animals have begun to return to our garden.  After all, that’s why we’re here…the wildlife and the people.  They’re all wonderful and have made this past year fly by in a flurry of activity.

We couldn’t believe our eyes when we spotted this elephant digging a hole to access water in the ground below.  Please take a moment to watch our video at the top of the page.  See this link here for more.

The now working aircon in our main floor bedroom provided us with a good night’s sleep along with the fact the power stayed on for the past 36 hours.  Add the fact that today, for the first time in days, the temperature is cool and comfortable at 21C, (70F) and surprisingly doesn’t feel as humid as it had over the past several days.  What a welcomed relief!

Louise and Danie joined us for dinner that night at Kambaku, the popular restaurant at the golf course in Komatipoort, as we celebrated their belated birthdays.  We couldn’t be more grateful for all they’ve done for us.  See this link here for more.

Today, we’ll complete this three-part series of 2018, “Year in Review” and return tomorrow with our regular posts and all new photos as we see more and more wildlife each day as the holidaymakers have begun to drift away.

Our photo of the blood moon taken on July 27, 2018.  See this link here for more.

Holiday times are different in South Africa than many other countries. In the US, kids return to school the first day after the end of New Year’s Day.  But here, the return to school varies from public schools to private schools but may be as late as the middle of January.  This fact determines when many of the holidaymakers leave Marloth Park.

Not a night passes without an opportunity to watch these adorable bushbabies enjoy the yogurt we place on their little stand.  See this link here for more.
However, as we’ve seen from the gradual return of the wildlife to our garden, many may have left right after New Year’s Day.  At this point, we’ll see how it transpires over the next week or two.
What an animal!  We feel fortunate to have been able to get lion photos.  See this link for more.

This morning when Tom was reviewing past posts, he mentioned it was exactly six years ago today that we boarded our first cruise.  See here for the link. (At that time, we didn’t post many photos and didn’t do a post daily). In 80 days, we’ll be boarding our 24th cruise in Santiago Chile, ending in San Diego California.  

Mom and baby love.  See this link here for more.

It’s even hard for us to believe how many cruises we’ve experienced in this short period of time and other than a four-day back to back cruise in 2013, in the Mediterranean, we’ve loved every one of them.  

Every piece of art at WayiWayi Art Studio & Gallery was representative of Zambian culture.  See this link here for more.

The four-day cruise was during spring break and was crowed with highly inebriated, loud, demanding and pushing and shoving passengers.  It couldn’t have ended quickly enough for us.  

We were excited to get a view of the leopard’s face after waiting for a considerable period while Samson, our guide in Chobe National Paek in Botswana kept moving the vehicle for better shots.  Upon careful inspection of this photo, you can see the pads of the feet of her kill in the tree near her head.  See this link here for more.

Below included in our “one year ago today” feature we posted the itinerary which we’d included on today’s date in 2018.  Certain aspects of our itinerary have changed, including the first year that has since passed.  In the next few months, as we add more bookings, we’ll be updating the itinerary and post it here.  

Based on our position in the line-up of vehicles in Kruger our photo taking advantage was limited.  See this link here for more.

As the years have passed, we don’t feel the sense of urgency to fill in the blanks and extend the itinerary beyond two years.  Its less about being lazy and more about feeling comfortable that all of it will work out as we go along.

Stunning female lion – as a part of the Ridiculous Nine we spotted in a game drive in Marloth Park with friends Lois and Tom who visited for three weeks.  See this link here for more.

Tonight, we’ll be visiting Rita and Gerhard at their second condo at Ngwenya where they’re staying until tomorrow.  Then, much to their delight, they’re moving back to the Hornbill house where they lived the first month they were here and will stay until sometime in March when they’ll be leaving Marloth Park.

Tom, Lois, Kerry (our guide) me and Tom after a highly successful game drive in Kruger.  See this link here for more.

We’re hoping to see them in this New Year when they’ll come to visit us in Ireland during our three-month stay beginning in May.  We’re also looking forward to Kathy and Don visiting us in Ireland as well.  How fortunate we are to have made such fine friends.

We encountered this stunning scene of zebras and wildebeest from the fence at Marloth Park. One reason zebras and wildebeest hang out together is that zebras love to eat the taller grass and wildebeest the shorter grass – it’s a type of symbiosis. There is no competition regarding food.  Also, wildebeests have a better sense of hearing, while zebras can see very well. It’s always great to have an ally to warn of any impending danger.  Another reason is zebras and wildebeest prefer to be in the open savannahs…the concept of safety in numbers comes into play.  See this link here for more.

Then upcoming on January 14, friend Linda and Ken will stay here with us for a week.  They arrive from Johannesburg on the day that we’re having a birthday dinner party for Rita. Such good times with friends…we are so grateful.

We’ve so enjoyed spending time with new friends Rita and Gerhard who came to Marloth Park after reading our posts years ago.  Through our site, they found the holiday home they’ve rented and also found Louise to help them get situated.  They’ll be here in Marloth until March.  We look forward to many more exciting times together.  See this link here for more.

That’s it for today, folks.  We’ll be back with more tomorrow. 

May you find your day to be fulfilling and meaningful!

___________________________________



Photo from one year ago today, January 3, 2018:

One year ago today, we posted the upcoming itinerary that included a total of 852 days, which is now down to 486 days since the first year of this itinerary has passed. Since that date, we’ve had a few modifications which we’ll include next time we update and post the itinerary. For details, please click here.


 Location 
Days
 Dates 
 Buenos Aires, AR – Prodeo Hotel 
20
 1/2/2018 -1/23/2018 
 Ushuaia, AR – Ushuaia, AR – Antarctica Cruise 
16
 1/23/2018 – 2/8/2018 
 Buenos Aires, AR – Prodeo Hotel 
2
 2/8/2018 – 2/10/2018 
 Marloth Park, South Africa – Bush home selected
89
2/11/2018 – 5/11/2018
  Zambezi River Cruise – Victoria Falls 
8
5/11/2018 – 5/19/2018
 Marloth Park, South Africa – Rent a bush home
89
5/19/2018 – 8/16/2018
 Uganda – See gorillas and the “Cradle of Mankind” 
7
8/16/2018 – 8/23/2018
 Marloth Park, South Africa – Rent a bush home
89
 8/23/2018 -11/20/2018 
 Mozambique, Africa (get visa stamped) 
1
 11/20/2018 -11/21/2018 
 Marloth Park, South Africa – Rent a bush home
89
 11/21/2019 – 2/17/2019 
 Valparaiso, Chile – Rent vacation home or hotel
36
 2/17/2019 – 3/24/2019 
 Cruise – San Antonio, Chile – San Diego 
14
 3/24/2019 – 4/8/2019 
 San Diego, CA – Fly to Minneapolis, MN – Family visit
13
 4/8/2019 – 4/21/2019 
 Cruise – Fort Lauderdale, FL- Dublin, Ire (1-day hotel stay) 
15
 4/21/2019 – 5/6/2019 
 Ireland – Rent country house – Research Tom’s ancestry 
90
 5/6/2019 – 8/1/2019 
 Amsterdam, NLD – Hotel stay 
11
 8/1/2019 – 8/11/2019 
 Cruise, Baltic – Amsterdam, NLD – Amsterdam, NLD 
12
 8/11/2019 – 8/23/2019 
 England – Rent country home
62
 8/23/2019 – 10/24/2019 
 Southampton, UK – Fort Lauderdale, FL
15
  10/24/2019 – 11/8/2019 
 Henderson/Las Vegas, NV – Los Angeles, CA -Scottsdale, AZ 
25
 11/8/2019 – 12/3/2019 
 Ecuador – Galapagos – Rent vacation homes on islands
89
 12/3/2019 – 3/1/2020 
 Peru – Machu Picchu – Rent vacation homes, visit site 
30
 3/1/2020 –  3/31/2020 
 The Pantanal/Amazon River Cruise – Brazil (2 cruises)
30
 3/31/2020 – 4/30/2020 
 Number of days  
852

Our new itinerary!!!…With a few gaps…In time, we’ll fill them!…

Upcoming Itinerary – June 21, 2018 to March 1, 2021
 Marloth Park, South Africa  56 6/21/2018 – 8/16/2018
 Zambia – Chobe National Park – Chobe River  7 8/16/2018 – 8/23/2018
 Marloth Park, South Africa  89 8/23/2018 – 11/20/2018 
 Leave South Africa for visa – not booked 7  11/20/2018-11/27/2018 
 Marloth Park, South Africa  89  11/27/18 – 2/21/2019 
 Marloth Park SA to Kenya – tour booked 15  2/21/19 – 3/8/2019 
 Valparaiso, Chile- hotel stay – not booked  15  3/9/2019 – 3/24/2019 
 Cruise – San Antonio, Chile – San Diego  14  3/24/2019 – 4/8/2019 
 San Diego – fly to Minnesota – hotel stay 17  4/8/2019 – 4/25/2019 
 Cruise – Fort Lauderdale to Copenhagen  16  4/26/2019 – 5/12/2019 
 Ireland – Connemara – house rented 90  5/12/2019 – 8/9/2019 
 Amsterdam – hotel stay – not booked 2  8/9/2019 – 8/11/2019 
 Cruise – Baltic – Amsterdam to Amsterdam  12  8/11/2019 – 8/23/2019 
 England – rent countryside house – not booked 62  8/23/2019 -10/24/2019 
 Cruise – Southampton to Fort Lauderdale  15  10/24/2019-11/8/2019 
 Las Vegas, NV – Los Angeles, CA – Scottsdale, AZ  22  11/8/2019 – 12/3/2019 
 Ecuador – Galapagos – rent vacation home – not booked 89  12/3/2019 – 3/01/2020 
 Peru – Machu Picchu – rent vacation home, visit site  30  3/01/2020 –  3/31/2020 
 The Pantanal/Amazon River Cruise – Brazil (2 cruises)  30  3/31/2020 – 4/30/2020 
 Gap – to be booked  134  4/30/2020 – 9/11/2020 
 Minnesota – family visit – not booked 14  9/11/2020 – 9/25/2020 
 Gap – to be booked  46  9/25/2020 -11/10/2020 
 Cruise – Lisbon to Cape Town  22  11/10/2020 -12/2/2020 
 Cape Town/Marloth Park   90  12/2/2020 – 3/1/2021 
 Number of days   983

 *Cruises are indicated turquoise shading

“Photo of the Day in the Bush”

At night, Little Wart Face lies down for a nap, exhausted from eating pellets and his busy day.

A few days ago when we mentioned we’d be updating our itinerary and posting it in the next few months, we became motivated to get it updated now rather than wait. 


We attempt to post a recent itinerary every six months or so but it doesn’t always work out that way when plans are still up in the air.  Although we have several gaps and un-booked events listed in the above itinerary, we aren’t at all concerned about booking these now, especially those that are out more than a year or two.

Lots of zebras in the yard after dark.

It’s possible but tricky to book anything two years out, other than a few cruises here and there as indicated above.  Most owners of holiday/vacation homes prefer not to commit to a booking so far out, especially when we often request discounts based on two factors: one, our long term stays and…two, the frequent online exposure of their property which may result in more bookings for them from our worldwide readers.


We fully understand the hesitancy.  When we find a possible holiday/vacation home we’re interested in renting, if the owner says, “Check back in a year,” we seldom check back.  When we’re ready to book, we’re ready to book and prefer not to spend time “checking back.”


The same goes for cruises.  When we find a cruise we’d like, we usually book it within 48 hours of discovering it to ensure choice of our preferred cabin and to take advantage of any early booking promotions that may be offered at the time.

After the zebras left, female kudus and youngsters arrived.

The good thing about working with Vacations to Go is they offer the lowest possible price (with perks) up until the final payment date which is usually 75 to 90 days before “sail date.”


As we’ve mentioned in prior posts, Tom checks prices for any cruises we’ve already booked, almost daily.  If he finds a cruise we’ve booked at a lower price and/or with better “perks” he’ll contact Vacations to Go to request the price adjustments.  Once completed, we’ll receive an entirely new “cruise confirmation” document with the new pricing and/or perks

Cute young kudu.  Note the bushbabies knocked over their cup of yogurt on the stand above.

This process has served us well.  Over the years we’ve saved thousands of dollars on cruises making the almost-daily extra-effort worthwhile.  But many cruise passengers don’t bother to check (or their agency doesn’t offer this feature) and the cruise line will not do the checking for you.


Contact your travel agency or however you’ve booked the cruise for the price reductions.  Here again, many travelers don’t take to time to check frequently enough for “daily specials.”  Once the special offering is gone, one may not benefit from its price changes.

This morning, baby zebra nursing.

Fortunately, price increases do not have any bearing on existing reservations.  As for the six/seven cruises, as shown above, we have not yet booked the Amazon River and Pantanal cruises which we’ll book within a year.

As for the other cruises as indicated above, most will stay in place. We’ve yet to cancel a cruise we’ve booked.  On a few occasions, the cruise line has cancelled a cruise we’d booked and we had to make other plans with little compensation for the change.

Cruising is an excellent option for us for many reasons. Generally, it’s a cost-effective opportunity to see more of the world, rather than flying from place to place.  Plus, it’s a lot more fun to sail between countries than fly on airplanes.  Often, we use cruises as a means of getting us from one country to another where we may stay for a period of time.

The zebras also stop by during the day, more frequently in this past week.

As for yesterday, we attended an excellent presentation at the home of friends and Marloth Park Honorary Rangers, Uschie and Evan that we’ll soon share in detail.  It will take a few days to prepare the comprehensive post.

Today, we’re off to Komatipoort and Lebombo to grocery shop.  As always, Tom drives to Lebombo for carrots and apples for the wildlife while I shop at the Spar Supermarket and the meat market in the Spar Centre.  This way, he doesn’t have to spend so much time grocery shopping with me, which isn’t fun.  I’m a slow and deliberate shopper.  Can you imagine that?

We’ll be back with more tomorrow and wish all of our readers an excellent day and evening, wherever you may be, whatever you may do.

_______________________________________


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

Grandpa and Vincent at Cardboard Camp in Minnesota.  For more photos of cardboard camp, please click here.

Worthwhile itinerary changes added more time we can spend in Minnesota visiting family…Newly revised itinerary here today…

Tom, looking good with his recent haircut and of course, always with a smile on his face.
The smell of the white flowers on this tree was intoxicating.
Every few days Tom checks prices on cruises we’ve booked.  A cruise booking benefit provided to US citizens (may not apply to citizens of other countries) is as follows: 

If a price drop occurs prior to the final payment’s due date (90 days in advance of the cruise sail date), we can ask that price is dropped to the new pricing on multiple occasions.  If the price increases at any time prior to final payment, it has no bearing on our final price.

Entrance to Jardin Botanico. No entrance fee are charged.

However, a stipulation on this benefit is that we are responsible for discovering these price drops.  Subsequently, almost daily, Tom checks prices online for all cruises we’ve booked, searching one by one.  Doing so has saved us thousands of dollars over these past five years.

A map posted with the layout of the triangular facility.

Yesterday, while he was searching for price drops, he noticed a newly posted cruise:  Royal Caribbean’s Serenade of the Seas, April 26, 2019, a transatlantic crossing with an almost identical itinerary to the cruise we booked a few days ago, with a slight difference in dates and number of sailing days at considerably lower pricing.

A few remaining flowers blooming late in the season.

Immediately, he got to work to contact Vacations to Go in order to book this particular cruise based on two pertinent facts that particularly appealed to us:  one, we’d be able to stay in Minnesota with family for four more nights going from 13 nights to 17 nights and; two, we’d save a considerable sum.

A garden of stock-type plants.

In doing so, we eliminate the necessity of staying in Amsterdam for 11 nights.  Instead, we’ll be staying three nights which is plenty of time to spend in the big city.  Based on research we’d done it would be costly to stay in Amsterdam for the prior extended period.

A statue of Julius Caesar.

Here are the changes we made yesterday: 

Originally booked cruise:
Celebrity Reflection 4/22/2019 – 5/6/2019
$4,497.10 (inc tax, no tips, no perks) (ARS 84,892)
$150 (ARS 2,832) cabin credit

Change to different cruise:
RC Serenade of the Seas  4/26/2019 – 5/12/2019
$2,806.32 (inc. tax, no tips, no perks) (ARS 52,975)
$325 (ARS 6135) cabin credit
Includes two extra nights

Four additional nights in Minnesota:
4/8/2019 – 4/25/2019

We didn’t enter the information building.

Savings differences:
Difference between cost of two cruises:  $1,698.78 (ARS 32,068)
Difference cabin credit:  $175 (ARS 3,283)
Total savings:  $1,865.78 (ARS 35,220)

As a result of these changes, we’ve adjusted the itinerary we posted on January 3, 2018, as follows. To avoid confusion for those that closely follow our itinerary, we felt it was important to post the revisions as shown below:

 Location  Days  Dates 
 Buenos Aires – Prodeo Hotel 
20*
 12/23/2017 – 1/23/2018 
 Ushuaia – Ushuaia – Antarctica Cruise 
16
 1/23/2018 – 2/8/2018 
 Buenos Aires – Prodeo Hotel 
2
 2/8/2018 – 2/10/2018 
 Marloth Park, South Africa 
89
2/11/2018 – 5/11/2018
  Zambezi River Cruise – Victoria Falls 
8
5/11/2018 – 5/19/2018
 Marloth Park, South Africa 
89
5/19/2018 – 8/16/2018
 Uganda – See gorillas,  Visit “Cradle of Mankind” in SA
7
8/16/2018 – 8/23/2018
 Marloth Park, South Africa 
89
 8/23/2018 – 11/20/2018 
Mozambique, Africa (get visa stamped) 
1
 11/20/2018 -11/21/2018 
 Marloth Park, South Africa 
89
 11/21/2019 – 2/17/2019 
 Valparaiso, Chili 
36
 2/17/2019 – 3/24/2019 
 Cruise – San Antonio, Chili – San Diego 
14
 3/24/2019 – 4/8/2019 
 San Diego – fly to Minnesota – Family Visit 
17
 4/8/2019 – 4/25/2019 
 Cruise – Fort Lauderdale to Copenhagen 
16
 4/26/2019 – 5/12/2019 
 Ireland –  rent country house – research Tom’s ancestry 
90
 5/12/2019 – 8/9/2019 
 Amsterdam – (wait for upcoming cruise) – hotel stay 
3
 8/9/2019 – 8/11/2019 
 Cruise, Baltic – Amsterdam to Amsterdam 
12
 8/11/2019 – 8/23/2019 
 England – rent countryside house 
62
 8/23/2019 – 10/24/2019 
 Southampton to Fort Lauderdale 
15
 10/24/2019 – 11/8/2019 
 Las Vegas, NV – Los Angeles, CA – Scottsdale, AZ 
25
 11/8/2019 – 12/3/2019 
 Ecuador – Galapagos – Rent vacation home 
89
 12/3/2019 – 3/01/2020 
 Peru – Machu Picchu – Rent holiday homes, visit site 
30
 3/1/2020 –  3/31/2020 
 The Pantanal/Amazon River Cruise – Brazil (2   cruises) 
30
 3/31/2020 – 4/30/2020 
 Number of days  
852


*When we prepared this itinerary on January 3, 2018, we had 20 remaining nights during the first stay at the Prodeo Hotel in Buenos Aires until we depart for the Antarctica cruise on January 23rd.  At this point, we have 16 nights remaining until we depart but, we chose not to change the published itinerary reflecting this difference.

An alternate view of the information center.

Yesterday during the day, we went sightseeing to the Carlos Thays Botanical Garden, a 10-minute taxi ride from our hotel.  The cab fare was a paltry US $3.22  (ARS 60) but we walked back to the hotel on the perfect-weather-day with brilliant sunshine and temperatures around 72F (22C).

A statue of a wild dog nursing two human babies.  This statue depicts the Roman mythological story of Romulus and Remus.

The season of flowers blooming was late for the botanical garden since it’s mid-summer here now.  However, we were able to take many good photos of plants, trees, and a few remaining blooming flowers. 

Unknown pods preparing to bloom.

We walked through the garden for a few hours. The garden is located in the city and the 17 acres triangle shaped facility was surrounded by busy roads on all sides, making our long walk a bit noisy.  None the less, we had a pleasant stroll through the property leaving with many good photos.

Small flowers in a garden patch.

After leaving the botanical garden, we decided to walk the busy streets of an area of Palermo we’d yet to see.  The hustle and bustle of Saturday shoppers and a handful of tourists filled the sidewalks and roads.  We had to carefully watch where we were walking due to the uneven pavement.

Bamboo tree.

After walking for some time, we took a side street to head back to our neighborhood, an hour-long walk.  It felt good to be out and about in the fresh air, away from our laptops after staying indoors in the comfortable lobby of the pleasing hotel where we’ve worked for many days on future planning.

A decorative pond with a statue.

By 6:00 pm, we headed out to dinner.  We found yet another restaurant we’d yet to try.  (Only one repeat thus far).  I had a glass of Malbec (wine) and Tom had a few beers.  By 9:00 pm we were back in our room to relax and read for a few hours.  It was a great day, especially after we had the opportunity to extend our time in Minnesota with family and also, save a good sum in the process.

These purple flowers, Agapanthus, looked familiar and we remembered there were blooming wildly in New Zealand when we arrived in January 2016.  Thanks to friend Louise in Kauai for once again being a great resource for names of flowers, trees and birds!

Next week, we’ll head out for more sightseeing.   For now, we’ll be sharing photos over the next several days from yesterday’s outing.  As I sit here in the lobby now well afternoon, Tom is wearing his earbuds while watching football on his laptop, as we fast approach the time for Super Bowl.  With the Minnesota Vikings in the playoffs, he has a particular interest in how the competing teams are doing.

We’ll be back tomorrow with more.  We look forward to “seeing you” then.  Have a wonderful day, wherever you may be. 

________________________________________

Photo from one year ago today, January 7, 2017:

We saw Meerkats at a rescue center in Tasmania.  These adorable creatures are marsupials in the mongoose family.  For more details, please click here.

Finally…Itinerary for the next 852 days!…A daunting task yet to be fine tuned…

We stopped at a gluten-free bakery but there wasn’t an item I could have when they all contain starch and sugar.

After many days of research and discussions, we’ve finally pinned down our travel goals for the next 852 days.  This extended period is a lofty goal.  We realize we’ve left out some parts of the world we’ve yet to visit, primarily China, India, and Japan which we’ll save for the future.

In due time we’ll return to Europe to live in many other countries we’ve also yet to explore and would love to visit down the road.  The world is a huge place and we pray for good health to make it all possible in years to come.

As you review this itinerary, you’ll note that we’ll be in an out of South Africa, staying for 89 days on each occasion.  Our intent during these multiple stays is two-fold; one to “lick our wounds” from the upcoming pricey Antarctic cruise and two, to savor our last foray in living in my favorite place in the world, the Conservancy of Marloth Park where animals roam free around the bush houses.

So here it is, folks (cruises are noted in turquoise shading):

 Location 
Days
 Dates 
 Buenos Aires, AR – Prodeo Hotel 
20
 1/2/2018 -1/23/2018 
 Ushuaiai, AR – Ushuaiai,AR – Antarctica Cruise 
16
 1/23/2018 – 2/8/2018 
 Buenos Aires, AR – Prodeo Hotel 
2
 2/8/2018 – 2/10/2018 
 Marloth Park, South Africa – Bush home selected
89
2/11/2018 – 5/11/2018
  Zambezi River Cruise – Victoria Falls 
8
5/11/2018 – 5/19/2018
 Marloth Park, South Africa – Rent bush home
89
5/19/2018 – 8/16/2018
 Uganda – See gorillas and the “Cradle of Mankind” 
7
8/16/2018 – 8/23/2018
 Marloth Park, South Africa – Rent bush home
89
 8/23/2018 -11/20/2018 
 Mozambique, Africa (get visa stamped) 
1
 11/20/2018 -11/21/2018 
 Marloth Park, South Africa – Rent bush home
89
 11/21/2019 – 2/17/2019 
 Valparaiso, Chile – Rent vacation home or hotel
36
 2/17/2019 – 3/24/2019 
 Cruise – San Antonio, Chile – San Diego 
14
 3/24/2019 – 4/8/2019 
 San Diego, CA – Fly to Minneapolis, MN – Family visit
13
 4/8/2019 – 4/21/2019 
 Cruise – Fort Lauderdale, FL- Dublin, Ire (1 day hotel stay) 
15
 4/21/2019 – 5/6/2019 
 Ireland – Rent country house – Research Tom’s ancestry 
90
 5/6/2019 – 8/1/2019 
 Amsterdam, NLD – Hotel stay 
11
 8/1/2019 – 8/11/2019 
 Cruise, Baltic – Amsterdam, NLD – Amsterdam, NLD 
12
 8/11/2019 – 8/23/2019 
 England – Rent country home
62
 8/23/2019 – 10/24/2019 
 Southampton, UK – Fort Lauderdale, FL
15
  10/24/2019 – 11/8/2019 
 Henderson/Las Vegas, NV – Los Angeles, CA -Scottsdale, AZ 
25
 11/8/2019 – 12/3/2019 
 Ecuador – Galapagos – Rent vacation homes on islands
89
 12/3/2019 – 3/1/2020 
 Peru – Machu Picchu – Rent vacation homes, visit site 
30
 3/1/2020 –  3/31/2020 
 The Pantanal/Amazon River Cruise – Brazil (2 cruises)
30
 3/31/2020 – 4/30/2020 
 Number of days  
852


For those avid followers of our site, you’ll note we’ve added some locations we’d never mentioned in past posts.  As we began pinning down locations and dates, Tom continued his search for cruises that can get us from Point A to Point B in many instances.

In other cases, we included 89 or 90 day stays in countries before or after specific cruises. Additionally, one may wonder, why are we going back and forth to South America?  This was a plan Tom had suggested long ago to which at the time I didn’t think made sense.

Artistic painting on a wall on a narrow street.

Now, as we map this out and, based on available cruises, it makes all the sense in the world to me.  In reality, there isn’t much “jumping around” and after all, we’re doing it exactly as we see fit, not by some preconceived notion as to how we “should” travel.

As always, we’re doing it exactly as we’d prefer, always considering the best possible experiences befitting our tastes along with the most reasonable costs in the process.

Diners sitting outdoors at a local dining establishment

There are a few other points we should mention including Ecuador one year from now.  Through our extensive research over these past years we’ve discovered we can rent vacation homes on three of the islands in the Galapagos, enabling us many private tours to the areas where wildlife is found, rather than going out on a tour with lots of others tourists.  This is especially appealing.

Another point to mention is regarding Machu Picchu…by staying in the area for one month, the experiences will be more comprehensive and rich in culture and we’ll have plenty of time to acclimate to the high altitudes staying at varying points partway up the mountains.

It’s too early to book the cruise to The Pantanal in Brazil, the world largest wetlands (10 times the size of the Florida Everglades) and home to 3500 plant species, 656 bird species, 325 fish species, 159 mammals, 53 amphibian and 98 reptiles.  Our kind of place.

A narrow road we walked in the Serrano Plaza area.

From there, either before or after The Pantanal, we’ll cruise the Amazon River.  This type of journey may not be for everyone but it fits well into our objectives of experiencing nature at it fullest.

From there?  At this point, we aren’t even thinking of terms of what will be next.  Surely, we’ll visit family in the US.  By that time, we’ll have a handle on where we’ll go next, primarily locations we’ve never visited in the past.

This morning our friends from the UK left to head to their home in the UK and now it’s just the two of us.  We’ve been highly social with others since November 23rd and now we’ll happily return to our usual happy state of being “just the two of us.”

Inside the mall near Jumbo market.

Tomorrow, we’ll be back with more including some details of the Baltic cruise we locked in last night, one we hadn’t seen on the horizon for quite some time based on high prices.  But, when we were able to get the balcony cabin for an excellent price, it was time to book it.  St. Petersburg, here we come!

It was five years ago today that we boarded the first cruise (for either of us) embarking from San Diego heading through the Panama Canal (we recently transited the canal a second time during the most recent cruise) and ending in Fort Lauderdale.  Here is the link from that first day!

Enjoy your day with any plans you may have on the horizon!

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Photo from one year ago today, January 3, 2017:


Trespassers entering this field in Tasmania, thinking they could “get high” from the unprocessed poppy/opium have died from doing so.  For more details, please click here.

Part 2…Our year in review…Photos of us…Busy preparing new itinerary, ready for tomorrow’s post…

In July, we had a great evening at The Elephant Bar in Henderson, Nevada with friends that live in Las Vegas.

New Year’s Day proved to be another good holiday. We stayed busy posting until later than usual and then spent the rest of the afternoon making future travel plans.

Why do we plan so far ahead?  With our lifestyle, it gives us  tremendous piece-of-mind knowing what’s coming down the road.  Also, it gives us an opportunity for good prices for upcoming venues.

Tom standing next to the Giant Bamboo tree to gain a perspective of its massive size.  The vegetation at Zoo Ave in Costa Rica was almost as interesting as the wildlife.

Although we’ll post the itinerary tomorrow, we’ve yet to book all of the vacation homes for the upcoming visits to various countries but the cruises are already booked. Over the next few months, once we’re in Africa, we start booking vacation/holiday homes in these various locations.


As we’ve mentioned in the past, cruises are a driving force in our decisions to visit certain countries, although as shown we don’t hesitate to fly when necessary.

I used repellent while at Zoo Ave in Costa Rica but still got a few mosquito bites.

Planning is a daunting task and today, we’ll continue with the preparations for tomorrow’s post.  We’re happy we’d made the commitment to post the itinerary. It motivated us to “get the show on the road” and finally make some decisions for the future.  

By no means, our failure to get this done wasn’t due to any lack of enthusiasm on our part.  Instead, it was based on the simple fact that we’ve been rather busy this past month with the cruise and socializing. 

We set up the tripod to take this photo of us in Costa Rica on October 31, 2017, the five year anniversary of our world travels

All along our intent has been to post a new itinerary around the first of the new year.  By tomorrow, we’ll have this accomplished as we joyfully share it with all of our worldwide readers.

As for yesterday, New Year’s night, we ate the remainder of the food purchases we’d we made to share with Margaret and Con.  By 7:30 pm, once again we gathered in a big booth in the Prodeo Hotel’s dining room with a food which included roasted chickens, coleslaw salad which I made in our room, olives, cheese, meat, and nuts.  It was another fine evening.

On formal night aboard Celebrity Infinity only weeks ago.  My teeth were purple from the glass of red wine I’d just finished.

By 11:00 pm, we were sleeping and although intermittently, I feel hangover free and refreshed today, ready to tackle a new day in Buenos Aires.  In a short time, once we’ll upload today’s post and we’ll head to a local barbershop for Tom’s haircut which opens after 12:00 pm.

He hasn’t had a haircut since October.  He’s facing “hat hair” on the upcoming Antarctica cruise when we’ll both be wearing hats for several hours each day.  This is less of an issue for me when a few swipes with the flat iron and I’m back to normal. 

Us, with our wonderful new friends, Lisa and Barry whom we’ll see in June in South Africa.

But for him, his hair has a tendency to be spikey when either too short or too long.  He’s thumbing through past posts right now to see how short he wants it cut today.  We’ll post photos soon.

Tonight, we’ll walk to Serrano Plaza, our favorite area for dinner. There are many restaurants we’ve yet to try.  After eating in these past few nights we’re looking forward to getting out again.  Now that the holiday season is over, we expect to find more dining options.

On the ship’s deck as we sailed through the Chilean Fiords on the most recent cruise.

May your new year begin and end with considerable contentment and joy in all of your endeavors, whatever they may be.  Happy day to all 

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Photo from one year ago today, January 2, 2017:

Green/spring onions were being processed for wholesale distribution at a Penguin, Tasmania vegetable processing farm.  For more details, please click here.

Visit to Dover, Tasmania…Uncertainty in filling gaps in the itinerary…Worrisome?

Turkeys crossing the road.

As we drove through the foreshore of Dover, Tasmania it felt as if we could be I any oceanfront town in the world, even in the US.  The only difference on a sunny day was the lack of traffic, sunbathers on the beach and vendors pushing passersby to partake of their offerings.

“Hey, you guys!  Wait for me!”

From the web:  “Dover is the southernmost town of its size in Australia, located on the western shores towards the southern end of the D’Entrecasteaux Channel, just south of the Huon Valley, southwest of Hobart, located on the head of Port Esperance in Tasmania.”

  After looking online we couldn’t find the motivation for the name of this little town.  Any comments from locals?  We veered off the main road to Police Point to find a few farms and turkeys walking on the road.

We’d heard about Dover from the butcher in Geeveston who recommended we make a point of visiting the scenic ocean town.  We weren’t disappointed.  Our love for the sea is driving force behind most of the planning in building our itinerary year after year.

Cattle on a hill seeking respite from the sun under the shade of a tree.

Now, as we review the upcoming itinerary, we’re well aware of a few holes we need to begin thinking about.  (Please click here if you’ve missed our most recently posted itinerary, considering the fact that we’ve moved down the page a few lines since we posted it).

The word “foreshore” in Australian speak refers simply to ocean frontage/beach.

One, the most imminent gaps is the month long gap in Buenos Aires, Argentina beginning on Tom’s birthday on December 23, 2017, a mere 10 months from now. 

Sailboats moored in the bay in Dover, Tasmania.

Continuing for a period of one month, we haven’t yet decided how we’ll spend that month in Argentina as we peruse a number of possibilities. It appears the cost of vacation/holiday homes is high in this city and it surrounding areas inspiring us may to remain open minded as to our options.

The tide was low as we drove through the town of Dover.

Based on the upcoming Antarctica cruise at the end of this one month beginning on January 23, 2018 and its outrageous cost, we must steer ourselves into a somewhat economical budget-friendly mode of living.  We’re still researching.

Pier in Dover.

As for the gaps following the Antarctic cruise, we’ll be flying from South America to South Africa to begin a period of time yet undetermined.  Where we’ll stay there is also “up in the air” when Louise, our friend and past property manager has promised to find us an ideal scenario in Marloth Park/Kruger National Park.

Pier in Southport, Tasmania.

Once we arrive in South Africa next February with no definitive plans booked for the future, we’ll begin to explore various expeditions we’ve long to experience while on the continent such as the gorillas in Rwanda, Victoria Falls and more safaris.

Occasionally, we discuss these particular gaps in our itinerary but with plenty of time to pin down accommodations and activities for Africa, its more of a concern to begin searching for options in Buenos Aires.

More of these exquisite white sand beaches in Dover as well as in Southport.

Today, cloudy and foggy, we’re staying put while taking care of some business related tasks, making another great meal (with a few photos for tomorrow) and contemplating plans for the future. 

See you soon!

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Photo from one year ago today, February 10, 2016:

Surfing and kayaking are popular in both New Zealand, Australia and  of course, Tasmania.  For more photos, please click here.