Category Archives: Comoros

Heading West and By the Numbers

A four hour train ride took us from Pamplona to Madrid.  We got lost in the mesmerizing landscape grinning every time a small village with white stone buildings entered the scene.  Lush were the hillsides and fields of agriculture.

We walked by the Atocha Station a couple of times while in Madrid but discovered a lush garden inside after departing the train.It was an easy listless day – train and then a taxi to the hotel near the airport for our flight back to the USA the following morning.

It was an eight and a half hour flight to Newark where we were to have a quick layover and be one our way to Charlotte.  Upon landing lightening crashed in around us and the plane stood still on the tarmac as the airport closed.  An omen.  A half hour later the plane was cleared to head to the gate.

Unbeknownst to us the airline industry and particularly United was in melt down mode.  It was utter chaos. Cancelled flights and stranded people.  Our connecting flight to Charlotte a victim.

It was 5:00 pm.  A United agent told us it would be days before any  seats would be available. “Check online.” The internet confirmed the worst.

We had places to be!  The following day was our grandson’s first birthday and our son had taken time off of work – we didn’t have days…. who has days???

Quick change of plans – we rented a car and headed to Charlotte driving until dark.  It was 1:30 am Madrid time by the time we stopped for the night somewhere in Maryland.

We arrived at our destination 21 hours late but in time to celebrate.

We visited family, broke bread, raced cars and played with our grand babies. 

United continued its melt down and we feared we’d not make it home to Nevada as scheduled.  It all worked out – both flights harmoniously were delayed and we made it home.Now we shift through months of mail, dust off the house and get ready for summer.  We head out again in 8 days.

Our trip by the numbers:

13 flights, 1 cruise ship, a few boat rides, multiple trains, lots of car rides,  one tram – 34 beds and 18 Countries: South Africa, Eswatini, Lesotho, Mozambique, Madagascar, Comoros, French Comoros, Seychelles, Omán, EAU, Armenia, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and Spain.

I wore everything that I packed, left one shirt (on purpose) and threw out 2 that I ruined.  I way overpacked even though we just had carry on.  Another lesson learned (again).  Way less is even more!

Thanks for following along!


Mayotte, Comoros

A French territory located in northern part of the Mozambique Channel in the Indian Ocean. Most people are Muslim, but interestingly…..when independence was offered, the Mayotte trio of the Comoros Islands opted to remain a French possession. Thus French is spoken, the euro is the currency and baguettes are the National starch. Somewhat like the Falklands and Britain.

*click on photos to enlarge

We docked in Grande-Terre (large island) and walked around the main part of town. It is an endless market of mostly homemade, new items from China or used “stuff”.

It’s getting hotter and the humidity is high. Dressing conservatively – knees and elbows covered – make for a sweaty day. I can’t imagine wearing a hijab in this climate.  The good news is that it is lush with green goodness.

After exploring Grande-Terre we hopped on a car ferry to Petite-Terre. We used sign language to purchase our tickets (hoping we were in the correct boat) as English is not spoken.

The mass of beautiful woman dressed in a rainbow of bright colors was eye candy for my camera lens.

On Petite-Terre we walked to a beach area to cool down, relax and sip Pernod and beer.