Local points on interest…Two more weeks in Tasmania…Foggy morning in the valley…Happy Valentine’s Day!

Statue in Franklin commemorating World War I soldiers.

When our cleaner became ill and was unable to do our place, Anne arranged for another cleaner to come by at 1:30 pm.  As a result, we waited to go out for our usual weekly grocery trip and plan to take photos along the way.

Cute pizza shop in Franklin.

As the time rapidly winds down until we depart Tasmania for the cruise from Sydney on March 1st, we’re now looking at only two weeks until we’re on our way to the second to the last of our seven cruises in the South Pacific over an almost two year period.

Tavern/hotel in Franklin.

Then on April 22nd, after spending 40 nights in Manly (suburb of Sydney with harbor views) we’ll embark on the seventh and final cruise.  Six of the seven cruises have embarked from the Port of Sydney with the first in the series having departed from Hawaii in May, 2015 when we made our way to this part of the world.


Boats moored in inlet on the Huon River.

Having spent this extended period in the South Pacific, we feel comfortable with what we’ve seen in and around Australia but have not doubt its very little in comparison to what Australia has to offer. 

After all, Australia and its surrounding islands could literally keep travelers on the move for a lifetime.  When we finally embark on the final cruise to the USA we’ll post all of the islands and areas we’ve visited during this 22 month period since our arrival.

Tour boat serving customers at Petty Sessions Restaurant and park.

Going forward its unlikely we’ll spend this much time in and about one continent.  But, the long distance from this part of the world to most others, prompted us to stay for this extended period. 

We don’t anticipate we’ll ever return to the South Pacific when we still have many continents to explore or…explore further, including our own North America which we’ll tackle down the road at some point.


Petty Sessions Restaurant.

As for our Valentine’s Day, as mentioned in yesterday’s post, we kept it low key. With few restaurants in the immediate area, most of which are more casual where its difficult to accommodate my way of eating, we enjoyed yet another homemade meal and evening together after returning from our drive and shopping trip.

This popular tourist spot, Petty Sessions has a gallery, restaurant, playground park and boat tours.

We weren’t disappointed.  How could we be when we’re so loving our surroundings here in the beautiful Huon Valley?  Although its cooler than we’d prefer with us frequently bundled up in warm clothing, the area is still a feast for the eyes.

This morning’s fog was so dense we weren’t able to see across the Huon River.

In fact, all of Tasmania provides some of the most exquisite scenery we’ve seen.  For the first time ever, when we were about to leave Penguin, Tom actually said, “Of all the places we’ve visited, I could see living in Penguin.”

But, in reality its all just “talk” when either of us makes such comments.  We do not envision settling down anytime in the near future.  And, as we traveled we’ve found our perception and opinions as to that which may be ideal for our “older age” may change from time to time.

This is the most fog we’ve seen since arriving in Tasmania,  By 9 am, it began to clear.

For those on the opposite side of the International Dateline, where its February 14th today, have a lovely Valentine’s Day with those you love.  We’ll be thinking of you with love.

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Photo from one year ago today, February 15, 2016:

A portion of the outdoor dining area where we dined on Valentine’s Day at Table Restaurant in New Plymouth, New Zealand, one year ago.  For more photos, please click here.

Part 2…Chobe National Park safari and Chobe River cruise…Interesting geography, culture and much more…

A small but substantially packed ferry arriving in Zambia from Botswana while we waited.  This reminded us of the ferry boat when we arrive in Mombasa, Kenya in September 2013.  Click here for that post.
Riding the ferry is free for people but not for vehicles between Zambia and Botswana but, to disembark it requires removing one’s shoes and walking in the water.

“Sighting of the Day in the Bush”

A kingfisher and his catch-of-the-day.  Not a perfect shot but we were thrilled to get this while on the move.

At the moment, as I begin today’s post, I’m sitting alone outdoors at the hotel restaurant while Tom has gone with Matthew, our regular taxi driver, to the bank where one of our debit cards was swallowed by the ATM on Saturday.

This is where we stood and waited for the little boat to take us across the Zambezi River.  A bridge is being built to accommodate the crossing which could be completed by the end of 2019.

Yesterday our free day, Matthew drove us to the bank only to find the bank manager, the only person who can release the card, was out and none of the staff knew when he’d return.  We couldn’t wait around all day for him to return.  We returned to the hotel.

Alec told us this truck broke down on the cement ramp on the river bank.  It was shoved off into the river two years ago to get it out of the way and still remains in this spot.

Matthew and the hotel concierge got to work to try and reach the bank manager and a few minutes ago, Tom left to head back to the bank where the manager was finally available.  There’s no guaranty he’ll return the card to Tom as explained by a bank official.  It’s entirely up to the manager’s discretion.

These locals, situated on the side of the road were selling cold beverages.

Humm…what about Tom will determine whether or not he is credible enough to get his card back?  He’s wearing a nice shirt and shorts but then again, so are all the locals and tourists we see.  I guess we’ll find out soon enough when he returns which, when he does, I’ll include the result here as I continue to work on today’s post.

Alfred, our BushTracks guide from Botswana.

Oh, don’t get me wrong, we don’t hold this against Zambia in any manner.  We’re in Africa and like many other parts of the world, there are clean-cut appearing scammers coming up with the most unbelievable means of scamming people and institutions.  I suppose they’re just following protocol.

Locals walking on the road from Zambia to the ferry to head to Botswana.

Yes, we know, we can order a new card from our bank in the US but the inconvenience of collecting the card by snail mail is frustrating and time-consuming. We’ll see how it goes soon enough.

Anyway, on to today’s photos and stories which include a variety of scenes from the trip to Botswana.  First, Alec, our trusty driver and tour guide inside of Zambian border (with Chris Tours) picked us up at the hotel at 7:00 am for the 45-minute drive to the Zambia immigration office near a busy pier on the Zambezi River where four countries intersect as follows:

“There is a place called Kazungula, at the intersection of the Zambezi and Chobe Rivers, where four countries meet. Zambia, Zimbabwe, Botswana, and a tiny strip of Namibia all come together in one spot.” 
 

These women around this table all looked up at me and smiled and gave the thumbs up.  What this meant, I’m not certain but I responded with a big smile and thumbs up as well

That’s interesting,” we both commented simultaneously.  In reviewing the map below, we started out in Zambia and crossed the Zambezi River.  Once we were on the other side we were in Botswana.  Here’s a map showing these points:

“African “Quadripoint” Only Place on the Earth, Where Four Distinct Territories’ are Touched.” 

(Tom just returned from the bank. He got the card back! Matthew went inside the bank with Tom as his local advocate and a short time later he and Tom walked out of the bank with Tom’s debit card safely back in his wallet. Whew! Tom generously “thanked” Matthew when they returned to the hotel).

At every border, vendors promote their wares by asking for purchases multiple times.  We say, “No, thank you.”

Once of passports were stamped indicating we were leaving Zambia, Alec walked us to a makeshift pier area where we’d have to walk over piles of pier-related construction materials toward the cement ramp where we’d board a little boat to cross the river. 

A very large hornbill, one of our favorite birds in South Africa.

Alec stayed behind in Zambia for the entire day awaiting our return at 4:10 pm.  We felt empathetic about his long day of waiting but he said he manages to busy himself while he waits for his customers to return after the Chobe day trip.

A troop of baboons in a tree.

Crossing from Zambia into Botswana isn’t as easy as showing a passport while crossing the border in a vehicle. Alec took our passports when exiting and again when returning, to the Zambian immigration office to get them stamped.

Albert, our guide with Bush Tracks Safari company, who drove us in the safari vehicle through the Chobe National Park and later drove the boat on the Chobe River, handled our passport stamps at the Botswana immigration office.

We saw no less a dozen crocodiles during our busy day.

When we were finally leaving Botswana at the end of the day we had to make a personal appearance at immigration.  Back in Zambia, as mentioned above, Alec again handled our passport stamps as he’d done upon entry. 

All of this takes time but somehow we breezed through most of it, while we were in the good hands of our guides.  Our four safari mates were interesting to talk to and we easily entertained ourselves while we waited.

Friend Louise in Kauai, Hawaii identified this bird as an African Darter.  Thanks, Louise!

Once on the Botswana side of the Zambezi River, Albert greeted us and told us a great story (while we waited for the four other guests) of how, when he was 12 years old, he became lost in the bush in Botswana. 

Female giraffes have hair at the top of their ossicones (horns).  Males have worn off the hair from fighting for dominance.  “The ossicones are what distinguishes the male and female from one another. Stereotypically, the female giraffe has tufts of hair on the top of her horns, while the males are bald on top. Some males develop calcium deposits on top of their heads, which creates the illusion of the animal having more than two horns.”

His grandfather had taught him valuable bush survival skills which came into use during his three-day ordeal when he was finally found by his family and a search party. He translated this experience into his masterful skills as a safari guide, both on land and on the river.  He provided an exceptional experience for all of us.



Another beautiful bird that is actually included in the “Ugly 5.”  It didn’t look so ugly to us.  Thanks to friend Louise in Kauai, Hawaii and niece Kari for identifying this bird.

Once the four others arrived we all jumped into the safari vehicle and began the short drive toward Chobe National Park.  Shortly before we entered the park, Alfred stopped the vehicle and set up “tea time” with coffee,  a variety of teas and homemade muffins.  I sipped on Rooisbos tea, the caffeine-free popular local tea, while Tom had coffee and a muffin. 

Albert prepared our “tea time” before we entered the Chobe National Park.

This pleasant tea time reminded us of when we had breakfast in the Masai Mara when our guide Anderson, set up breakfast in the savannah where the animals roamed around us. 

The photo from our breakfast in the savannah in the Masai Mara on October 2013.  See the post from that date, here. 

We can’t believe we’ll be back in the Masai Mara in February, this time with a new guide since Anderson now works in Uganda with the gorilla tours.  We’ll see him when we do that tour in the future.

Check out the muscles on the front quarters of this giraffe.

After tea and coffee, we headed directly into Chobe National Park to begin our land safari which would last less than three hours.  Our expectations were low during such a short period. 

A pair of giraffes at a distance.
Giraffes seldom bend down other than to drink water.  This position makes them vulnerable to attack by predators.
As typical during most safaris, the dirt roads were uneven and passengers must expect to bounce around as if on a ride at an amusement park.  But, this is way more exciting than a man-made ride.  This was nature at its finest.

Monitor Lizard on the shore of the river.

During the first 45 minutes we didn’t see much more than we were used to seeing in Marloth Park; impalas, warthogs and some pretty birds.  Then, the magic began as safari luck kicked in, as usual.  When we hadn’t seen much I was tempted to tell our safari-mates, “No worries.  We have safari luck.  We’ll see something soon!”  But, I kept quiet, not wanting to disappoint anyone if it didn’t happen.

An elderly group of four were stuck in the sand in their rental car.  There is no way they’d have extricated themselves from this situation.  Alfred used a tow strap/rope from another vehicle stuck behind this car and towed them out.  They insisted on trying to go through the sand again but Alfred discouraged them, telling them to turn around and go back. We don’t know what ultimately transpired for this group of four seniors. Can you imagine being stuck in such a location overnight, stranded in a vehicle?

And safari luck indeed transpired as hoped as we had a spectacular morning in Chobe National Park.  Over the next several days, we’ll continue to share photos from both the land and Chobe River safaris.

Elephant skull on the side of the dirt road.

Today at 3:30 pm, we’ll be picked up by yet another tour company to take us on a sunset cruise on the Zambezi River on the beautiful, newer “Lion King” catamaran where drinks and appetizers will be served.  It will be fun to meet more travelers while we all share the remarkable stories of our time in this special part of the world.

Please check back for more and more and more…

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Photo from one year ago today, May 16, 2017:
Vancouver is comparable to many cities with lots of skyscrapers and business centers but is impeccably clean and friendly.  We boarded the Celebrity Solstice to Alaska later in the day.  Please click here for details.

A visit to Circular Quay and ride on The Manly Ferry…A Sydney Harbour tradition and popular means of local transportation…

 
The esplanade, a walkway along the shore in Circular Quay.

Traveling from Manly Beach to Sydney couldn’t be easier.  The Manly Fast Ferry offers five location stops; Circular Quay; Darling Harbour; North Sydney; Pyrmont Bay: and weekend sightseeing ferry between Manly, Watsons Bay and Rose Bay. For details for the Manly Fast Ferry, please click here.

While in Sydney a few days ago, Royal Caribbean Voyager of the Seas was in port.  We’d sailed on this ship April 16, 2016 from Sydney to Singapore.

The slower ferry route taking about 30 minutes is the Manly Ferry, in operation since 1855, from the wharf in Manly to Circular Quay, the popular wharf. There are shops, a news stand and electronic machines from which to purchase more money for the Opal card used for Sydney transportation. 

Video during ferry ride to Circular Quay in Sydney.

In addition there’s an array of restaurants and fast food shops at the Wharf.  Bob showed us a “drool worthy” candy kiosk where candy lovers can find many of their favorites, if they so chose.


Entertainment at the Wharf in Circular Quay in Sydney.


Circular Quay is a harbour in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia on the northern edge of the Sydney central business district on Sydney Cove, between Bennelong Point and The Rocks. It is part of the local government area of the City of Sydney.  For information on this ferry, please click here.


Ferries ready to be boarded.

For our purposes the slower Manly Ferry will serve our needs.  Tomorrow night, when we’ll attend the opera at the Sydney Opera House, we’ll use the slower ferry for the round trip as we did when meeting friends Linda and Ken in the Rocks area of Sydney a few days ago.

The ride is easy and pleasant with breathtaking scenery with many popular points of interest greeting us along the way.  Getting on and off the ferry is seamless especially with its frequent departures every 30 minutes.  There are multiple decks, both outdoor and indoor seating and restrooms on board. 

Between the launch area to a view of the cruise ship.

Considered one of the top ten sights to see in Sydney at many tourist sites, the ferries themselves are a popular attractions.  Plus, it makes no sense to pay the high taxi fares when it’s much more economical and faster to use the ferry. 

Sales area for Captain Cook Cruises, a tourist company.

We paid AU $100, US $77 for the round trip taxi fare from Manly to Sydney whereby its only AU $28, US $21.50 for the round trip ferry for both of us.  Its a no brainer when we can easily visit the beautiful city as often as we’d like during our remaining time (yet unknown due to immigration) in Fairlight/Manly.

Tom on the Manly Ferry which was clean and well organized.

Taking the ferry requires a ride on a bus to return to the holiday rental but the Hop, Skip, Jump bus is free and arrives at the stop outside the Manly Wharf every half hour or less, stopping within a few blocks of where we’re living.

The cruise ship, the Sydney Harbour Bridge and a small ferry boat.

Typically in our world travels, we haven’t used a lot of public transportation when we’ve lived in more remote areas of the world where public trasnport schedules were erratic and stops too distant from our location at the time.  Instead, we’ve either had a rental car or used a taxi.  Neither of these options were necessary in this area.

From almost any point in the area, its easy to see the Sydney Harbour Bridge.  Ken asked if we were going to do the bridge walk.  Maybe not.

The weather has been rainy, windy and cloudy since our arrival on Monday.  We’ve only been able to wash clothes once with the high humidity.  It took three days for the clothing to dry indoors on the rack.  As a result of inclement weather we haven’t had much of an opportunity to walk the neighborhood, although we’ve been out and about on several occasions.

Soon, we’ll visit The Museum of Contemporary Art located near the wharf.

Yesterday late afternoon, our kindly landlord Bob took us to a local mall with dozens of shops and restaurants, Stockland Balgowlah, where we rounded out our grocery shopping at Cole’s Market, visited a pharmacy and stopped at the local health food store. 

We had to walk to find the pub where we were meeting Linda and Ken.

We’re hoping the weather will improve by tomorrow’s ferry ride to Circular Quay especially considering the long walk to the Opera House from the Wharf but it doesn’t look hopeful.  Rain or shine, we’ll be on our way for what surely will be a fabulous performance at the world famous venue.

Have a fabulous day!

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Photo from one year ago today, March 17, 2016:


Two bottles of New Zealand wine we’d purchased and savored in New Zealand.  We seldom purchase wine for “home” use but have done so twice in the past year.  No wine for me recently with this medical issue, yet to be fully resolved.  For more details, please click here.

Yorkeys Knob…An interesting visit provided a wide array of experiences…A few new favorite photos…

After leaving the beach we drove to a high point in the area with this expansive view.

The Cairns area of Queensland has so much to offer. It’s highly unlikely we’ll ever run out of places to explore during our remaining few months in Trinity Beach. Sure, at some point we’ll drive further away. For now, we’re soaking in everything we can in the wide-area surrounding us that is jammed packed with interesting spots to visit.

We walked past a grove of palm trees and evergreens as we made our way to the beach.

Yesterday’s outing after my workout was no exception. Having heard about Yorkeys Knob as a community rich in history and diversity, we decided to check it out and by no means were we disappointed.

As we walked toward this crest which after crossing dipped down to the beach, wondering if any cross may be lying in wait. 

We found an enormous stretch of beach that was pure paradise. We met people along the beach with whom we talked for some time, we drove along the many streets and beach boulevard enjoying the differences of other beach roads we’d seen thus far. We gathered shells on the beach which we’ll share in photos soon. 

Yorkeys Beach was serene and pristine.

And, much to our delight, we purchased fish and seafood at a fabulous wholesale fish warehouse on the remote drive back to Trinity Beach. We timed the return drive from the fish market to our house to discover it’s a mere five minutes away. Of course, we’ll return in the future.

At certain points, it felt more like the desert than the beach with various vegetation shooting up through the sand.

That five-minute drive confirmed how close we actually are to getting away from the more populated, somewhat traffic-congested areas in the popular Trinity Beach. 

This view was to our left as we faced the ocean.

It’s the unexpected experiences that we stumble upon that make our travels all the more exciting, those we’d never know about had we not driven to an area that may not particularly be on “tourist’s radar.” Visiting many of the typical tourist venues may not appeal to us due to the commercialism, impatient crowds, excess fees for entry, and of course, the long lines. 

To our right, this was the view we stumbled upon.

Nothing about yesterday’s outing reminded us of the above. Quiet, uncrowded, vast expanses of unspoiled beaches brought us the kind of joy that makes our travels meaningful and memorable.

We spoke with this woman who is from Sydney and travels throughout the continent with her husband in their “caravan.” She, like us, was enthralled with the number of shells on the beach, not often found on many beaches that we’ve walked throughout the world.

Today, we’re quoting from a book on Yorkeys Know written by Mary T. Williams which was published in 1960 entitled, “The Know, A History of Yorkeys Knob” as follows:

“Behind the naming of any village, township, city, state or country lies a story. Some names are bland, negating any curiosity to pursue the derivation. Conversely, names can be provocative instantly stirring the imagination.
 
Yorkeys Knob on the eastern coast of Australia in the northern part of the State of Queensland is such a name. Westing from the Coral Sea – approaching land from the east, Yorkeys Knob sits very prettily on the hem of the Great Barrier Reef. To further enhance a natural beauty it edges into rich coastal flatland running from the foot of a marvelous range straight into the illimitable sea.

The Knob itself is the first headland north of the Harbour of Cairns, a cheeky headland layered in rock with a fuzz of timber. Its boulders tumble into the sea in arrow fashion forming a calm bay on its northern side and giving the surf full play to the south. The bay is called Half Moon Bay because of its crescent-shaped white beach and cradles a tidal river running up to and fed by the massive range. On earth level at any angle or off-shore, the lumpy and picturesque Knob invites an explanation why a man nicknamed Yorkey gave to this Knob a meaning.

It might be assumed that amongst the cosmopolitan insurgence of gold-diggers into Northern Australia during the mid-1800’s was a Yorkshireman called George Lawson. There is no factual information to support this assumption. It was only in the 1880’s that an adventurous hard-living beche-de-mer fisherman nicknamed `Yorkie’ was, by a series of incidents emerging as an identity in the northern waters off the harbour of Cairns.

On 10th May 1883 issued the first copy of a newspaper “The Cairns Post”. Thereafter this newspaper was published weekly until 1888 then bi-weekly until 1893. Despite disruptions, changes and upheavals to this date, the newspaper flourishes on a daily circulation. But it is to its romantic and uncertain first decade that we owe a faithful recording of time, date and incident relevant to the man George Lawson nicknamed Yorkie.

In early records Yorkey is referred to as `Yorkie’ or ‘Yorky’ and in one instance as being a Norwegian fisherman who lived on the ‘hill’ called the Knob. However, in all traceable registers the man Yorkey and the headland Yorkeys Knob rise unmistakably and territorially rock-like from misty legends of an extensive region strongly linked to the sea. The same registers disclose the man Yorkey’s great respect for life in a time of lust and survival, more impressive when human life weighed little in value.”

Today, we’re sharing some of our photos from yesterday’s visit to Yorkeys Knob and more will follow in days to come.  And tomorrow, we’ll be back with photos and the “steal” we got on the seafood we purchased. 

Another view of the barren beach.

A few days ago, when we posted photos of the pier in Palm Cove and the limitations on fishing for the popular local fish, Barramundi, we were intrigued by this fish. 

We drove up the hills toward this resort, a distance from which we shot today’s main photo, looking back down at the beach.

As it turned out, we were able to purchase a fresh-caught over .5 kilo, 1.1 pounds, Barramundi filet which we’re having for tonight’s dinner, dipped in egg and dusted in almond flour to be sautéed in grass-fed butter and locally made extra virgin olive oil. 

We met this sweet puppy , Abby, on the beach as her parents took her for a walk without a leash. She playfully jumped up and down in the sand.

Of course, we’ll take photos of tonight’s dinner and share them tomorrow with our opinion on the firm fleshy fish. Even Tom, who doesn’t usually eat fish, agreed to give it a try.

Tiny wildflower growing on the beach.

Thanks for stopping by! We always appreciate your readership.

                                                Photo from one year ago today, June 30, 2014:

Unsure of why the village of Campanario was decorated and with the language barrier we could only guess at the purpose of the hoopla that many residents were busy preparing. As it turned out, it was a church festival that lit up the village that night. For more details from that date, please click here.

More to see, new and old…The wonder of it all never disappoints…Happy St. Patrick’s Day to those who celebrate…HB RL!!

Plumeria growing on a sparse tree.  Spring is in the air.

Recently, Julie and I have visited many locations I’d already seen with Tom. Kauai is not a huge island, but I’ve been pleasantly surprised when I’ve been equally ecstatic to see these points of interest yet another time. 

We arrived in Kapaa town around noon. After stopping at the local health food store to restock almond flour, the cashier explained that this resort across the street was definitely worthy of a visit and bite to eat. She was right in her assessment. The resort has great reviews on TripAdvisor.
The entrance to the resort was totally empty when we entered, although we saw guests by the pool, in the restaurant, and walking on the paths.

Never bored for a moment, my eyes peruse the same beaches, same scenes, and same popular spots with a renewed curiosity as to what I may have missed last time. And of course, we’ve discovered new spots as shown in today’s photos.

The beach at the resort is easy to access and pristine.

On each occasion, something new was to be discovered, to be photographed, with a totally different perspective. It’s funny how excited we can become showing someone we love, something we love. Over these past days, soon to end, we’ve seen a lot.

The resort’s grounds include easy walking paths parallel to the shoreline.

On Friday night, a mere three days from today, Julie returns to Los Angeles to an entirely different world, a world to which I no longer connect, nor have I for 50 years. 

Seating provided at the beach for resort guests.

I grew up in Long Beach, California, which is as far removed from my reality as anyplace I can imagine. The traffic, the people, the cost of living (Julie says not unlike here in Hawaii) is something I can’t imagine we’d ever want in our lives again.

The food in the Oasis restaurant at the resort was delicious according to Julie. Her lunch of fish taco was prepared perfectly and fresh. Unfortunately, there wasn’t one item on the menu that worked for me and I wasn’t hungry enough to ask for special modifications. I ordered an iced tea and was content to be with my sister as we looked out at the sea.

Looking back at the rush hour traffic, the long lines, the crowds, we now realize that living in any big city in the US or, outside the US, is not a life for us after living this simple life in the world in more remote locations, always anticipating a move to yet another exciting location.

A Kolea bird, common along the shoreline.

We can only work at good health and hope and pray that it will provide us with the opportunity to continue on in our travels for many years to come. We accept that not worrying about it is our best option, in actuality our only option.  Worry only creates bad health, not improves it. We both choose not to worry. 

More walking paths in the Waipouli  Beach Resort and Spa.

Sure, from time to time we suffer from maladies which even my diligent way of eating, which greatly reduces inflammation, cannot defer. We each have a few age-related issues that at any point could immobilize us. 

The pool’s waterfall.

With our healthy way of eating, staying active, walking a lot, exercising (me, only), and maintaining an upbeat attitude, we hope we can hold off the ravages of bad health commensurate with old age for a few years, extending the quality of life well into our 80s, 90s and more. God willing (or your choice of a higher power, or not).

A portion of the pool with a waterfall. 

Today is St. Patrick’s Day and a part of the world celebrates this day with merriment and celebration. Today is also eldest son’s birthday and that has always superseded St. Patrick’s Day in my mind on this particular date.  Happy birthday, Richard! We’re thinking of you with love and good wishes.

Beautiful beaches never disappoint.

Please bear with us over the next many days, in that we’re sharing new photos of places we may have shared in the past, considering the new eyes that beheld them with a renewed degree of excitement and awe.

Even on cloudy days, one will always find beachgoers, hoping for a bit of sunshine.  Often, the clouds clear, if only for a short while.

The world is an amazing place. We find that wherever we may be, there is always a treasure to behold right before us, whether big or small, scary, or gentle for which, we are always eternally grateful.

Have a safe playful day!

                                              Photo from one year ago today, March 17, 2014:

It was one year ago today, that we decided to stay put. The intestinal virus I’d acquired from the salad in the first few days in March upon arriving in Marrakech had gotten the best of me. It was time to begin taking the Cipro which I tried to avoid for weeks.  Getting weaker by the day, I began taking the antibiotic which began working in less than a few hours. For details from this date, please click here.

On the road again…Kauai never disappoints…

Do I recognize this scowl, similar to Tom’s when driving in traffic? Just kidding, honey!

Yesterday, when the sun wouldn’t cooperate as we sat by the pool in the clouds, we decided to go check out the Kilauea Lighthouse where we’d planned to visit today for a tour. 

These bulls were lounging under a tree. Notice the grumpy one on the left definitely annoyed at us for stopping.

Since it’s not possible to book tours at this particular first-come, first-serve venue, we thought it might be a good idea to check it out to see what type of waiting line there would be. 

Once we arrived, we were shocked by the line of cars and the number of people waiting for the next tour. With no required admission fees, we should have realized that January and February are busy tourist months in the Hawaiian Islands and it would not be a good time to attend a free tour.

Ocean view from Kilauea.

After getting stuck in the long lines for a while, we decided to come back in April or May when the tourist traffic has slowed down. Most travelers from the northern hemisphere seem to visit Hawaii before their own spring season arrives, spring break perhaps being the exception.

Instead, since we were already quite away from Princeville, we decided to explore the general area. We couldn’t have been more excited by the scenery we discovered in the little town of Kilauea (same name as the erupting volcano on the Big Island) and its surrounding beaches.

Mynah Bird.

Each time we drove down what appeared to be a dead-end road heading toward the sea, we gasped over the breathtaking beauty before us. Haphazardly, we made our way down one road after another, finding many roads that simply come to an end. 

Yard of one of many massive private residences in Kilauea.

However, the route required to come to that end, left us in awe as one interesting point after another awaiting our exploration. Often, one of us catches a glimpse of something wonderful and Tom doesn’t hesitate to back up or turn around if necessary. 

Away from the ocean, the sky is clear.

I‘m surprised Tom doesn’t mind backing up or turning around. In fact, he freely offers to do so, hoping we’ll get a good view of yet another of Mother Nature’s treasures.

This quaint church in Kilauea is definitely eye-catching.

Unfortunately, the sky was overcast most of the day and there was a dense haze in the air, referred to by the locals as a “vog.” See the description below for an explanation of vog:

“Vog in Hawaiʻi

Vog is a form of air pollution that results when sulfur dioxide and other gases and particles emitted by an erupting volcano react with oxygen and moisture in the presence of sunlight. The word is a portmanteau of the words “volcanic”, “smog“, and “fog”. The term is in common use in the Hawaiian islands, where the Kīlauea volcano, on the Island of Hawaiʻi (aka “The Big Island”), has been erupting continuously since 1983. Based on June 2008 measurements, Kīlauea emits 2,000–4,000 tons of sulfur dioxide every day.

Apparently, the vog wafts over all of the islands as we’ve witnessed these past four months since we arrived by ship on September 29th. (Gosh, that four months went quickly. Surely these next 111 days will pass as quickly). Dense humidity also covers many areas due to the vegetation covering the mountains, hills, and parts of the beach, only adding to the impeded view at times.

The red Ti Plant, commonly used in landscaping in the islands.

As we sit here now with the view of the mountains out the window when we lift our heads and the view of the sea when we wander out to the veranda, the foggy view even on this sunny day is a constant. We’ve yet to see a clear view of the mountains or the sea from our lanai.

Then again, who’s to complain? So, our photos look a little hazy taken by this less than professional photographer attempting to capture a feeling, a view, and a memory that need not bespeak perfection.

A beach along the road.  More beach photos to follow tomorrow.

So, today, we share our “voggy” photos with enthusiasm and aplomb, hoping our readers share the joy of nature with us, however humbly we may present our perspective.

It’s Saturday night!  (Do you recall, “Live from New York!  It’s Saturday night!)  Enjoy!

                                             Photo from one year ago today, January 31, 2014:

It was a year ago today, that we moved out of the Hornbill house over to the Khaya Umdami house when our hosts and new friends, Louise and Dani offered that we stay in this upscale house (at no additional fee) until their next guests would arrive. How did we get so lucky to stay in this gorgeous house, priced well beyond our budget?  For more photos of this fabulous property, please click here.

Life on a farm…An experience like none other…Once again, adapting…

John, our interesting and attentive host farmer has wonderful stories to tell.  A former physician and world traveler, he’s a wealth of information.  He took us on a partial tour of the 150 acres farm.  On another day we’ll see more.

Fascinating Fact of the Day about Devon, Cornwall:
Devon County Council is responsible for 8,000 miles of road – the longest network in the country. The county is home to everything from single track rural lanes across Dartmoor and Exmoor to major highways like the A38 and A30 – as well as the M5.”

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There are chickens, ducks, and geese on the property along with many Dorset sheep.  (Photos coming soon of these adorable sheep which are kept for their wool, not for slaughter.

Many of us have ancestors that farmed.  In Tom’s case, it’s certainly true when both of his parents, grandparents and some of his siblings were born on a farm.  I have no idea if any of my ancestors were farmers.


We both love living on a farm. It must be in our DNA.  It’s hard to imagine living in a typical city when over the past weeks we’ve lived on two farms, reveling in every aspect.  Of course, part of the enjoyment is based on the fact that we don’t do any of the work.

The acreage is diverse and beautiful.

People we’ve met along the way have asked if we “house sit” or work on farms as compensation for living quarters.  As much as they may be appropriate for some travelers, it just not quite our thing.  


We travel as retirees, although we spend hours each day preparing and working on our posts, taking photos and conducting research.  As we mentioned many times in past posts, we don’t feel as if our site is a “job” based on the enjoyment and benefit we derive out of writing our stories each day.  

If the weather was warm, we’d certainly use this pool but is very cool and rains frequently, as it is today.

Should our level of enthusiasm or interest in continuing to post each day ever changes, we may have to reconsider.  But, for now we can no more imagine ending this process than we can in ending our world travels. 

We can only strive to be healthy, diligently watch our budget and be adaptable to the many nuances properties and locations present to us along the way.  None the less, we’ll always encounter situations that aren’t ideal.

A small pond near their house and the barns.  Soon, we’ll share photos of the pond outside our door of the “Pond Cottage.”

In this new location, a well-built former barn renovated to perfection still has some nuances which we must adjust to, mostly small things such as a difficult to navigate stairway to the second floor where the bedrooms and bathrooms are located.


There’s a tiny under-counter refrigerator that requires bending over to access (although there is, much to our delight, a separate under-counter freezer), the bed is somewhat low and not as comfortable as we’d like.  To avoid being nitpicky there are other small things, not worthy of mentioning here.

John planted 600 sequoia seeds many years ago and now there are over 400 trees.

But, we’re living on a gorgeous farm and in a beautiful house and we appreciate being here more than we can say. The owners are over-the-top wonderful and the nearby villagers are kind, welcoming and friendly.  We couldn’t ask for more.


In a funny way, neither of us feel compelled to get out sightseeing right now as we’re immersed in the quiet solitude on this gorgeous property. Tomorrow we’ll head to Tiverton to check out the bigger of the villages in the area.


No doubt during our three weeks here, we’ll get out to see the local points of interest most of which is beautiful scenery.  There is so much to explore here at the farm that we can stay busy for days.  Also, the hills and rolling terrain is ideal for me building strength in my legs.

This is a young sequoia tree but in generations to come, may become as massive as many seen in Northern California.  

Yesterday, our tour with John was interesting and informational.  His and his lovely wife’s love of their farm is evident in every acre of land, the well-kept nature of every building and loving care of their barnyard animals.  We’re honored to have the opportunity to be here, with them only a short distance away, and all the beauty and wonder surrounding us.


Soon, we’re off to Exeter Airport to return te rental car and get another.  We’re hoping the rain stops and the sun comes out so we can explore on the return drive.


May your Sunday be blessed with joy and wonder!

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Photo from one year ago today, September 22, 2018:
“Gee…the eggs are all gone but I think I’ll lay in the bowl to let them know we want more.” Bands of mongooses came to see us almost every day.  Tom would scramble raw eggs for them and serve them in this bowl.  When the eggs were gone, lying in the bowl was a good way to express their enthusiasm.  For more details, please click here.


The Wild Atlantic Way…Nearing the end of five year ago Madeira, Portugal photos…

Five years ago on a walk, in Madeira, Portugal, we spotted this waterfall.  For more details on the 2014 post, please click here.

Fascinating Fact of the Day About Ireland 
“Wild Atlantic Way is the longest coastal driving route in the world.

The Wild Atlantic Way, a stunning drive that stretches all the way from the cliffs around County Donegal in the far north of Ireland all the way down to the beaches of County Cork, is the ‘longest defined coastal driving route in the world’. The 2,500 km, 1553 mile, the route passes through nine counties and three provinces, can you name them all? If you’re planning on driving this famous route then make sure you build in some time at Ireland’s best surf spots along the way.”
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In the above “Fascinating Fact of the Day” the Wild Atlantic Way, is a 2500 km coastal drive which passes through nine counties (not countries) which includes the following route:

The Wild Atlantic Way in 14 Steps

Here is the map from this site indicating the counties in which the Wild Atlantic Way passes through:

This could be an exciting way for ambitious tourists to see a huge portion of Ireland in only a few weeks.  As mentioned in the above site there are numerous bed & breakfasts, hotels, restaurants and local points of interest along the route.

The 2500 km, 1553 miles, journey could take weeks, especially when stopping for overnight stays and sightseeing.  However, with fuel costs, hotels, and dining, the cost for such an adventure may well be less than a two or three-week stay in more expensive hotels in the large cities.
We walked through this short tunnel to reach the ocean at the other end as shown in these other photos.
We’ll be spending one night in a hotel in Dublin before we fly to Amsterdam in a mere 10 days.  We used priority points from Hotels.com on our site but without our credits, the cost of the four-star hotel is Euro 121.35, US $135.

We’re anticipating dinner to be approximately Euro 72, US $80, in a nearby restaurant plus we’ll need to add another Euro 37, US $40, to our expenses for taxi fare and tip.  Once we arrive on Thursday (next week) we’ll drop off the rental car and use the hotel’s free shuttle to the airport.
Nothing is as mesmerizing as the sea.
The total cost of the one night stay at the hotel near the airport is expected to be Euro 230.35. US $255.  Sure, we could have chosen to drive to Dublin on the day of our 1320 hrs, 1:20 pm flight.  It’s a 3½ hour drive from here.  
But, in an effort to keep stress to a minimum, we felt this short hotel stay was worth it.  We’ll have an unrushed breakfast (included) at the hotel and then plan for a relaxed pace to arrive at the airport a few hours before the flight.
Two small waterfalls flow from the rocks in a natural rock wall.
If a tourist chose to drive the 2500 km Wild Atlantic Way route as their holiday in Ireland most likely they could do it for the above mentioned Euro 230.35. US $255 plus costs for car rental, extra meals, and tours.  

Multiplied accordingly, the anticipated two-week journey may incur a cost of (excluding rental cars, tours, and entrance fees to various venues, and additional meals and snacks), the total cost could be Euro 3209, US $3570.  
Clouds rolling in.
Add approximately another 30% for car rental, and above mentioned extras, this could prove to be quite a holiday especially for families, if the kids and adults typically enjoy rode trips.

Oddly, for world travelers, one would assume we look forward to long road trips but as we’ve mentioned here in the past, neither of enjoys long periods in the car.  Tom is a relatively aggressive driver, with little patience for traffic.
The preformed cement blocks aren’t attractive but serve a useful purpose.
Riding in the car can be stressful for both of us.  The intent of our lives is to keep stress to a minimum, especially with my recent heart surgery.  We’ve found we’ve been able to thoroughly revel in our travels without embarking on long road trips.

The 3½ hour drive to Dublin on August 8th will be a long enough drive for us.  When we arrive in England after the Baltic cruise ends, we’ll fly to Exeter, England and over two months we’ll be driving to our four chosen holidays rentals every two weeks or so as our address changes.  These shorter trips will be perfect for sightseeing and enjoying the English countryside.

Have a great Monday!
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Photo from one year ago today, July 29, 2018:
Male kudus have horns, females do not.  At about 15 months the horns begin to take on the shape of the first spiral. For more photos, please click here.

Storm subsides…Happy Thanksgiving to all in the US…Finding happiness throughout the world…

Behind this fence and a short drive to the beach is the location of Jean-Michel Cousteu Resort, another upscale all inclusive resort in Savusavu.

It always feels a little odd when its a holiday and we don’t celebrate.  Not that we mind.  We don’t.  Now that the stormy weather has subsided, we’ve scheduled getting out today with Rasnesh who’ll pick us up at 1 pm. 

We spent a lifetime making holidays special and although we always wish the very best to our family, friends and worldwide readers, we’re content that we’ve made this choice. 

Today, Thanksgiving in the US, we’ll dine on Helen’s roasted chickens with veggies and salad.  We don’t celebrate this holiday or any others as we travel the world.  It hasn’t seemed to work well to do so when many holidays are only celebrated in the US. 

This morning, in speaking with one of my sisters, she wondered how we can be happy without a sense of “community” or belonging to an area, participating in local activities, volunteering, attending functions, cultural events and dining out, all the activities many retired seniors often do with enthusiasm and passion.


View of Nawi Island in the village.

When we live in an area that offers social functions, a sense of “belonging” we jump on board happy to participate and feel included.  This has only been practical in a few locations in which we’ve lived to date; Marloth Park, South Africa and Kauai, Hawaii where collectively we spent seven months engaged in memorable social lives.

Living this life, we haul our happiness with us.  No social life?  No problem.  We find pleasure and entertainment being together.  A few days ago, with no transportation and an all day power outage, we kept ourselves busy and entertained, enjoying each other’s companionship.

After all, hanging out with one’s best friend never gets boring. Add the playful aspect of “being in love” and lots of laughter, day by day, we find ourselves enjoying whatever we may do.

Sure, we love to go to museums, cultural centers and visit local points of interest.  Here in Savusavu, there are no museums, no cultural centers and few major points of interest we haven’t already visited.  When a trip to the dentist becomes an “interesting” activity we know we’re easy to please.

Dining out is a huge activity for most travelers.  We have the reality of my way of eating that has enabled me to travel the world pain free and in good health.  Would I trade dining out for my ability to walk?  Hardly. 


View from the hill above our house.

It amazes me that Tom has so readily adapted to my diet and easily accepts that we don’t eat out more often.  He never complains.  And, if he suggests we dine out, I’d be happy to go.  I can always order a piece of fish or a steak and a salad without the sauces and starchy sides.

But, he too has his limitations.  He doesn’t like spicy food.  That’s not to say I don’t season our food.  I do.  Over the years I’ve learned which spices he’ll tolerate and which he will not.  As a result, our meals are well seasoned and flavorful, just not with curry or Moroccan type spices common in many parts of the world.

Add these two peculiarities for us two travelers and dining out in remote locations become extremely challenging and often not worth the bother.  After we spent a month in Paris and London, dining out for 31 days in a row, we discovered how we could adapt and do well in the right location with a wide variety of food types.

Over the next year we’ll be on four cruises, totaling 61 days where we’ll be essentially dining out for every meal.  With the accommodations made by the various chefs, we’re easily able to fulfill our needs and expectations, often to a point whereby the meals are highly enjoyable and suitable for both of us.

In more remote areas, there are fewer options of dining out on less seasoned, sugary and starchy meals, as has been the case here in Fiji.  Two months from now, we’ll be living in New Zealand for three months.  Dining out there will be relatively easy and from time to time, we will.


Water tank servicing this area.

Also, we face the facts of our budget.  Often dining out in many locations can be pricey.  In order for us to continue traveling without money worries, we must consider the budget and its limitations.  Our average daily cost for cooking our meals is USD $27, FJD $58. 

If we were to dine out, the cost will generally be twice that amount at the very least including beverages, tax and tip.  In more populated areas, we’d easily spend three times that amount. 

Every month, we pay off our credit cards in full, leaving room for the huge amounts of rents and cruise fares we’re required to pay well into the future.  If we were to dine out twice a week, we’d see those balances climb which could easily impact the price range of the properties we choose which, in the long run, is more important to us than dining out, especially with our limitations.

In my old life, I was a “foodie” loving to cook and entertain.  This is our new life.
Today, the Thanksgiving holiday in the US, we’ll continue to be thankful as always, as we dine on Helen’s chickens, content as ever.

Happy Thanksgiving to all who celebrate in the US and to the rest of the world…have a glorious day!

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Photo from one year ago today, November 27, 2014:

A year ago today, we visited the Whalers Village Museum.  These are whaling ship’s masthead rings that held the sailors to the mast.  For more museum photos, please click here.

Review of vacation rental in Trinity Beach, Australia…Great new and unique photos…

Yesterday’s clear blue skies contributed to our colorful beach photos. 

Once we leave a location, our interest in writing a review rapidly dissipates. Arriving at a new location totally changes our focus to absorbing and settling into a new environment, having left the past location behind.

Knowing this, we usually post reviews on such sites as TripAdvisor and the vacation rental site from which we originally booked the rental. In each case, we strive to get this done during the last week before departure.

In the case of this property in Trinity Beach, Queensland, Australia, it is listed on this website. We can’t stress enough the kindness, generosity, and thoughtfulness of the owners, Sylvie and Andy. Not only were they helpful and willing to answer endless questions via email many months prior to our arrival, but they were also quick to respond to any inquires or concerns, we expressed while on the premises. 

The beaches in this area during the winter months are relatively uncrowded.

Once we move into a location, we tend to be laid back with a few questions or concerns unless there’s a serious issue affecting our safety or comfort. In the case of Sylvie and Andy, living above us in the huge property, it was easy to ask to “borrow” a few items; steak knives, measuring spoons, a spatula, a pot, or a thermos, all of which they promptly supplied.

Having read that we enjoy lounging by the pool, they purchased two comfortable chaise lounges with thick cushions for the pool area that we’ve appreciated and often used. 

When on another occasion they’d read we were having trouble cooking in one of the smallest available skillets, later in the day, we found a new huge high-quality frying pan with a glass lid sitting atop the clothes dryer while our clothes were spinning. We’ve used that pan many times wishing each vacation rental had such a skillet.

Trinity Beach has many shady areas.  Although we didn’t have chairs, we sat on beach towels we’d brought along.

On top of it all, they’d offered to clean our entire house once a week. Instead, we suggested they only vacuum the area rug and wash the floors once every two weeks. 

We’ve happily done the rest. With a broom, dust mop, and dustpan, we’ve been able to keep the floors clean in the interim along with the remaining cleaning; changing and washing the linen weekly, and the almost daily washing of the bath and kitchen towels. Had we not been so picky, it may have been easier, but we prefer to keep our surroundings clean and tidy.

Their warmth, friendliness, and willingness to suggest activities for us was unstoppable. They couldn’t have been better hosts always chatting when we ran into one another in the carport which occurred fairly often, sharing valuable tidbits of information.

View along Trinity Beach and the esplanade.

This house has been ideal in most ways. The living room, dining room, kitchen, bedroom, and bath (with separate toilet area) have fully met our needs. Everything throughout the property is in excellent, if not perfect, condition. 

With a comfy sofa, coffee table and flat-screen TV, we’ve easily been able to work on our computers and watch our shows at night. With no eating space in the kitchen, we ate every meal at the spacious dining room table.

The plates, flatware, and kitchen gadgets are matching and of good quality, and other than the few above items we requested, the only additional household items we purchased was a muffin tin, two small baking pans, and a microwave splatter cover, all of which we’re shipping ahead to Fiji, along with the food items we discovered we won’t be able to purchase there.

This rock in the ocean is the subject in a painting on the wall, known in the Bay of Islands as one of the rocks of the 12 Apostles in Victoria.

(Yesterday, we purchased a large box from the post office with a maximum weight of 20 kilos, 44 pounds. Back at home, we packed and weighed the package and we won’t have trouble staying under the maximum allowable weight).

As for the bed…it wasn’t as comfortable as we’d prefer and although it measured as a queen-sized, it seemed tighter. Neither of us moves around a lot while sleeping so we made the best of it with each of us tending to hug the edge of the bed in an attempt to give each other space. The bedding was comfortable with options for a lighter blanket or warmer comforter.

Tom spent a part of each day at home outdoors on the veranda in order to get a better wifi connection utilizing the included wifi service in the house. 

A wood decorator item on a wall.

I always used the hotspot “borrowed” from the Telstra store which we’ll return the last day, gobbling up at least a half of a gig each day, over one gig on some days, which proved to be expensive at AUD $140, USD $99.65 for 16 gigs. On average, I reloaded the data every three weeks. Had the signal been better in this property, we’d have avoided this unexpected expense.

Then again, we accept the reality that a property owner doesn’t expect this degree of data use and may not be able or willing to make it available during our stay. On a few occasions, we’ve had no choice but to purchase data when the signal in the property was inadequate such as in Kenya and South Africa. 

In all other locations, the WiFi has worked well enough for our use without incurring additional expense. We never know if it’s adequate until we begin to use the provided services and, we never rent a property unless wifi is included in the rent. At this location, it would certainly be adequate for most travelers doing email and searching for various venues.

A quaint farm-like decorator box located in the kitchen in the house.

Another area worthy of mention is the lack of air conditioning for visitors in the hotter summer months. The temperature, while we were here, was rarely over 85F, 29C during these winter months in the southern hemisphere. Had there been AC, we’d never have used it. The summer visitor may feel differently when the temperature can rise to the 90’s F, 30’s C, or more. 

We never used the hot tub on the veranda. With the warmth during the day and the insects at night, we had little interest. Plus, we are always sensitive to the cost of electricity, turning off lights and appliances when not in use.

Our biggest issue, one we experience all over the world except the US, is the lack of screens on the sliding doors and windows. As a result, when we’re staying indoors, we’re doing so without fresh air other than two tall, narrow windows (previously mentioned), one in the living room and the other in the bedroom.

Many tourists, here only a week or two, may have no problem with leaving the doors open without screens.  Rarely do tourists cook their meals other than a quick breakfast or sandwich. The fact that we cook daily is a huge draw for flies entering the house. 

This is where we’ve kept the only clutter we leave out.

The flies magically appear as soon as I begin to prepare meals. Luckily, these flies rarely bite, but the fact that they make everything feel dirty, we’re constantly covering food with clean kitchen towels as it’s being prepared.

Other than flies, there are mozzies, many appearing during the daylight hours and many more at dusk and at night  If it weren’t for them and the flies, we’d have been willing to leave the doors open. When we first arrived, we tried it but, after I ended up with dozens of bites itching for days, we changed our minds. Preferring not to wear repellent daily we’ve kept the doors closed. Luckily, there are quite powerful fans in each room.

We’d expected there to be many insects and snakes in this area and have been pleasantly surprised to see relatively few scary looking critters. Early this morning I awakened Tom when I heard something scratching at the bedroom and making odd sounds. 

As it turned out, it was a huge ugly gelatinous looking gecko which is harmless. It scampered off when we tried to catch it to put it outside. Most likely, it found a crack in the house and is long gone.

This antique mirror with doors is on the wall above the credenza.  You can see me in the mirror taking the photo.

Ants are prolific in Australia as they are in many other parts of the world. We’ve made a special point of not leaving damp kitchen towels in the laundry basket. All of these mentions of “critters” have nothing specifically to do with this property as much as it is an Australian thing. Luckily, there are fewer venomous funnel-web spiders in Queensland, although they’re prolific in Sydney and other states throughout Australia.

As for the location of Trinity Beach, we’ve thoroughly enjoyed it. There are many exquisite beaches, plenty of restaurants, excellent, conveniently located shops including the local Smithfield Mall and slightly further down the road, Cairns Central Shopping Centre with multi-plex theatre, food court, and multiple restaurants.

Although Cairns is a busy tourist area, Trinity Beach feels less so. Although the local markets and restaurants are busy, it’s never been a problem for us. Traffic is busiest at the many roundabouts on Captain Cook Highway which can be congested at times, especially during rush hour, lunch, and on weekends. 

We purchased these black washable placemats to prevent watermarks on the wood table. No longer using linen napkins we use these two kitchen towels that travel with us. Neither of us cares to use paper napkins.

Overall, crowds and traffic haven’t been an issue for us when we plan most outings during the quieter times of the day including on weekends. Our lifestyle doesn’t require that we visit local points of interest on the weekend unless something special is on the agenda that we’d like to see, such as our recent visit to Rusty’s Markets in Cairns on a busy Friday which is only opened on Friday through Sunday.

Overall, we’d give this rental a 4.5 out of 5, high on our overall scale. We’d encourage any travelers to the Cairns area to give Trinity Beach a try, staying at this conveniently located, lovely property, well maintained and respectfully managed by a wonderful couple we’ll always remember. Thanks to Sylvie and Andy. Click here for more information on this vacation home.

Yesterday, we visited the Trinity Beach esplanade for the last time, walking on the nicely paved path, nodding hello to others we encountered along the way. Later, we relaxed on the beach mostly in the shade, treasuring the view and the surroundings. It was the busiest day at the beach we’ve seen since our arrival, which most likely will escalate with spring in the air. 

Our electrical set up: our a converter/adapter plugged into the wall with our power strip.

Apparently, locals seldom lounge on the beaches during the winter months, not uncommon in many beach communities throughout the world.

Soon, we’re off to the mall for a few last-minute items to take to Fiji, to pay our luggage fees at the travel agency, and for our final trip to Woolie’s for a few groceries.

Tomorrow, we’ll share more photos and thoughts on the aesthetics of this area, including those we found most appealing and those which may appeal to the most tourists.

Happy day to all.

                                          Photo from one year ago today, September 1, 2014:

Tom was checking out the ship’s room service menus posted on the wall in our cabin on the Royal Caribbean’s Brilliance of the Seas as we prepared to sail from Harwich, London to Boston, USA. For more details, please click here.