Tag Archives: Cruising

We hopped on a cruise…

We were “COVID-ed out” of a large portion of our African itinerary 18 months ago. Remarkably, Paige hooked us up with a three week stint on an Oceania world cruise (600 passengers) which got us most of what we had been denied in addition to some island countries and a surprise, ending in Dubai, a perfect gateway to Central Asia.

First stop – Mossel Bay, South Africa. According to Lonely Planet it’s the ugly sister of the Garden Route.

The Garden Route is on South Africa’s “must see” list for its natural beauty – from Mossel Bay to Port Elizabeth – offering lagoons, lakes, mountains, forests and beaches.

*** click on photos to enlarge

Since cruise excursions are not our style we ventured off on our own hoofing it uphill to Marsh Street – the main thoroughfare. Our mending calves still remind us of our downhill hike. We stopped for a brief time to listen to the Stations of the Cross being recited at the Anglican church then off to look for a lunch spot. Most places were closed because it was Good Friday. Thank goodness because the one restaurant that was open served the most delicious chicken and leek quiche.

Continuing on to the lighthouse we stumbled upon hundreds of campers in tarp covered tents and RVs smooshed in like sardines on Easter holiday. A treasure trove of ocean tide pools had children and adults scouring for a golden nugget.

Durban – South Africa’s third largest city and claims the largest concentration of Indians living outside of India.

Archaeologists have evidence that Durban has been inhabited by hunter gatherers since 100,000 BC.

We stuck to the beach area walking along the shore and the rambling promenade known as the Golden Mile that stretches for over two miles. It was lengthened leading up to the 2010 FIFA World Cup. Perhaps they should rename it the Golden Miles…

The faintest coastal haze painted the horizon but that didn’t stop the sun from beating down. It was the warmest temperature we’ve experienced since last October in Charleston. The breeze off the Indian Ocean made it tolerable.

Lifeguards cordon off areas to indicate safe swimming zones keeping people away from the strong riptides. Beyond the break a net protects the area from the great white shark population.

Our last stop was Richard’s Bay – the busiest port in South Africa. We have nothing interesting to report other than we bought toothpaste and toothbrushes!

Upon recommendation from a gentleman that we met in Lesotho I took time to read Invictus: Nelson Mandela and the Game That Made a Nation. A fabulous read!

We say goodbye to South Africa after three weeks.

Bienvenidos. Welcome to the Southern Hemisphere

But first – I’ll digress.

Unplugged – that’s what we are.  The first day was hard – a few anxious moments – a nagging urge to connect – a smoker without a cigarette – a singer without a voice – okay a person without a cell phone but hey it could be “that” bad.

“I’ll be damned to pay caviar prices for ship time wifi.” “Let the the withdrawals begin.” or NOT!

Reading, playing cards, sunbathing, watching movies under the stars, yoga, gym time and copious treks around the boats occupy our time.

Cabo Arch

The boat’s first stop was Cabo San Lucas where we chose to stay on board – nothing like stopping in your own backyard. Images of shopping lists danced in our heads – Home Depot, Costco and Mega – that’s the only reason one goes to Cabo. Right?

SarchiOxCartIn Puntarenas, Costa Rica we hired a driver to take us to the small town of Sarchi – home to colorful handcrafted oxen carts. To our dismay the craftsman opened a huge store and filled it with tourist….


The highlight of the day was a field of delicious blooming sugar cane.

Crossing the Equator at 7:50 am December 11th was cause for a big cruise celebration or so we’ve heard.

Today we go in search for the best pisco sour in Lima, Peru…

Pisco Sours