A Travellerspoint blog

Feb 20, 2016 RTW day 48

West Africa heading south.


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Feb 1 Sao Tome We had a tour to a banana plantation. This was a Monday and it looked like it was national wash the clothes day. Every stream we went past the ladies and kids were in the water washing and laying the clothes on rocks to dry.
2-1.1 Sao Tome Monday wash day

2-1.1 Sao Tome Monday wash day

Went to a blowhole site on the shore for a taste of coconut water. The blow hole was very small but the coast was beautiful.
2-1.7 Sao Tome shore

2-1.7 Sao Tome shore

Visited the cocoa production ware house to see the bean drying process. This was in the main village which also had a small school.
2-1.19 Cocoa beans

2-1.19 Cocoa beans


2-1.24 plantation girls

2-1.24 plantation girls

Then went to the Sao Joao plantation house. After a tour of the site we headed into the house for lunch. The house has been converted to a B&B and is known for its Santomean cuisine. The chef (and owner) prepared local fish, meats and vegetables over wood burning stoves. The lunch was fantastic!!
2-1.25 San Joao plantation hotel

2-1.25 San Joao plantation hotel


2-1.38 plantation cooking stoves

2-1.38 plantation cooking stoves

Feb 3 Luanda, Angola Did not have a tour but took a shuttle into town.
2-3.2 Luanda, Angola

2-3.2 Luanda, Angola

Feb 6 Walvis Bay, Namibia ROGER'S 70TH BIRTHDAY!!!! Roger did an off-road excursion of the Namib desert. I went into town for shopping
2-6.6 Rog's birthday at the Polo Grill

2-6.6 Rog's birthday at the Polo Grill


2-6.13 Roger Birthday

2-6.13 Roger Birthday

Feb 7 Luderitz, Namibia Took a tour of the Kolmanskop Ghost Town. In 1908, a railway worker found a diamond laying on the sand surface and started a diamond rush. The town had hospital, ballroom, casino and bowling alley. The town was abandoned after WW1 when diamond sales plummeted. It was difficult to see much of the town because there was a huge sand storm blowing.

Feb 9-10 Cape Town On the 9th, Did a tour to Table Mtn via Cable Car. Very scenic.
2-8.2 Cape Town Table Mtn

2-8.2 Cape Town Table Mtn


2-9.14 Cable car

2-9.14 Cable car


2-9.11 Cape Town from cable car

2-9.11 Cape Town from cable car

Roger was able to find a geo cache on top of the mountain. Happy guy
2-9.24 Table Mtn geo cache

2-9.24 Table Mtn geo cache


Back at the port, we went to the Victoria & Albert Waterfront Shopping Mall. It was very nice. Had a swinging bridge for crossing an inlet. Had dinner at a KFC. Tasted good.

On the 10th we did a tour to Stellabosch college town. A very quiet, pleasant place away from the ship. Had coffee at a street cafe. We then went to Neethlingshof Estate Winery for tastings. Tasted 2 whites and 3 reds. They were OK but not good enough to buy.

Feb 12 Port Elizabeth, S. Africa We had signed up for an Elephant ride but was cancelled. Instead, went to the Addo Elephant Park 4X4 tour. Saw many zebras, wart hogs, 3 kinds of antelope and many elephants.
2-12.15 Addo park wart hog

2-12.15 Addo park wart hog


2-12.19 Addo park elepnant parade

2-12.19 Addo park elepnant parade


2-12.40 Addo park zebra's

2-12.40 Addo park zebra's

Feb 13 East London, S. Africa No tour scheduled. Took the shuttle to a large mall for some shopping. This evening and all night, had a major storm with 80K winds, rain and high seas. The captain had to do some route changes to keep us stable which caused a 2 hour delay into Durban.

Durban is the port that starts the safari which will be the next entry.

Happy Sailing!!

Linda & Roger

Posted by pointslj 23:31 Archived in South Africa Comments (0)

February 13, 2016 RTW #41

West Africa


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Very sorry about the weeks with no updates. The ships internet in very slow and having problems uploading pics again. Looks like I have to resize all of them. This post will catch up to the end of January.

Since arriving in W. Africa, I can't believe the difference in living conditions there are. Especially going inland away from the pier, we are the ones that are the minority. The little kids look at us like we are from another planet but they wave and smile back at us.

We did have a couple at sea days during the 5 day crossing that are worthy of some pics......

Jan 26, the ship held what they called the County Fair. The different departments of the ship staff created games for the guests to play and win points. The housekeeping had a stuff the pillow contest, the destination services had pictures of places to guess, the bartenders had a wine cup to fill with water and carry to an ice bucket to fill it. My 2 favorites was the entertainment had human slot machine that was a hoot and the other was an egg cracking game by the restaurant staff.

1-26.11 Country Fair human slot machine

1-26.11 Country Fair human slot machine


1-26.12 country fair break the egg game

1-26.12 country fair break the egg game

Jan 28, we received our Platinum pins on stage and had dinner and drinks with the officers afterward.

1-28  Receiving platinum pin

1-28 Receiving platinum pin

Jan 29, Lome, Togo OK here we go to W. Africa. This area is heavy into Voodoo. We took an African Traditions tour that stopped at a Fetish market that had skulls and bodies of a great many animals. there were ladies and children selling hand make voodoo dolls. You may not want to look at the pics but it was real.

1-29.5 Togo fetish market

1-29.5 Togo fetish market


1-29.8  Fetish mkt

1-29.8 Fetish mkt

We then went further inland to a traditional village. We first visited the school and they sang and dance for us and showed us their class work. They loved having their picture taken a to see what they looked like. We were encouraged to NOT give the kids anything directly but to place items and money in a donation box. Of course, a few ladies did not comply and they were mobbed by the kids.

1-29.14 Togolese village school

1-29.14 Togolese village school


1-29.19 village school

1-29.19 village school

After the school, we went to the village and was greeted by the King, Queen and the royal court. The King gave a talk about the origin of the tribe and was translated by the guide. We were entertained with folkdance.

1-29.29 Village dancers

1-29.29 Village dancers


1-29.29d Village King & Queen b

1-29.29d Village King & Queen b


1-29.c Village water carrier b

1-29.c Village water carrier b

On the drive back to the pier, there were rows and rows of "shops". Most of the sell spare parts and tires for the thousands of motor bike there.

1-29.e Lome shops b

1-29.e Lome shops b


1-29.25 rural Lome home

1-29.25 rural Lome home


1-30.a Benin motor bikes b

1-30.a Benin motor bikes b


1-30.1 Contonou, Benin Craft market mask purchase b

1-30.1 Contonou, Benin Craft market mask purchase b

The last photo is just a funny. when the ship was done loading provisions, folks would come and see what they could salvage. This fellow could not resist alll the pallets and he insisted on taking them all and some other stuff!!!!!

1-30.b Collecting leftovers from ships cargo b

1-30.b Collecting leftovers from ships cargo b

Next update very soon

Linda & Roger HAPPY SAILING

Posted by pointslj 09:03 Comments (0)

January 24, 2016 - RTW day 21

Good bye to South America


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(I have updated the previous 2 blog entries to include pictures)

Jan 15 (Fri) we were in docked Scarborough, Tobago. We did not have a tour scheduled so we walked from the pier into town and visited some markets. Not an interesting place.

Jan 16 was a day at sea so I had another art class and played Mah Jongg again.

Jan 17 was a stop at Devils Island, Frence Guiana. The island was a French penal colony from 1852 to 1946. The prison was featured in the movie Papillon starring Steve McQueen. Many ruins of the old buildings remain.
1-17.2 Devil's Island, French Guiana

1-17.2 Devil's Island, French Guiana


1-17.9 Geocache find on Devil's Island

1-17.9 Geocache find on Devil's Island

Jan 18 was another day at sea. Since we were crossing the Equator this day, the ship held an "Order of the Shellback" Ceremony. Those sailors that have already crossed the line are called Shellbacks and those that have not are called Pollywogs. The wogs are required to preform any and all embarrassing orders from the Shellbacks. This trip, they were required to kiss a fish and have ice water poured on their heads. Lots of laughs.
1-18.5 Equator Crossing Ceremony

1-18.5 Equator Crossing Ceremony

Jan 19 (Tues) we were anchored at Belem, Brazil. No tours scheduled so we walked into town. It was a large port and a lot of police presence and people. There was a very large outdoor market that sold everything and a hand-craft market. We were warned about thieves and pick pockets. We saw a lady that had a necklace ripped from her neck then ran off. The sea was very rough and the ride from the ship to dock was extreme. My art teacher and about 30 others were on an afternoon return to ship and was bouncing so bad they could not get off the tender onto the ship. They returned to the dock but could not get off there either. They spent over 3 hours on the tender and a few folks were injured being tossed around. Glad we came back earlier.
1-19.20 Belem, Brazil Shrimp at market

1-19.20 Belem, Brazil Shrimp at market


1-19.25 Belem Geese & Chickens at market

1-19.25 Belem Geese & Chickens at market

Jan 20 another day at sea. Art class and M J

Jan 21 Docked at Fortaleza, Brazil. Heavy rain today so we did not leave ship. Finished Seasons 1-5 Downton Abby!!

Jan 22 Fri Docked at Natal, Brazil. We went under a very tall bridge and sailed 3 miles up river to the dock. Almost felt like a river boat cruise. The city skyline from the ship is covered with skyscapers and sand dunes. We did not have a tour today so we visited the old town Natal with turn-of-the century buildings. There was a shuttle bus from the pier to the Centro de Turismo. This former prison was converted into a handicraft market. The cells housing the prisoners have been transformed into small shops.
1-22.10 Natal, Brazil Beach & sand dunes

1-22.10 Natal, Brazil Beach & sand dunes

Jan 23, Sat Docked in Recife, Brazil. The location is called the Venice of Brazil. There are 3 islands that make up the area and are connected by 40 bridges. We did a catamaran boat tour of the Capibaribe river and viewed buildings ranging from skyscrapers to colonial mansions to slums. It was low tide so there were mud flats fishermen collecting and cleaning mussels from the river. We were then taken to another prison converted into shopping stalls.
1-23.3 Recife, Brazil boat tour on rivers

1-23.3 Recife, Brazil boat tour on rivers


1-23.12 Fishing for mussels at low tide

1-23.12 Fishing for mussels at low tide


1-23.22 Prison converted to craft stalls

1-23.22 Prison converted to craft stalls

Jan 24 thru Jan 28 are at sea days heading to Lome, Togo Will be attending more art classes and lectures.

We are still doing well, doing a lot of walking in port and taking the ship stairs instead of elevators. But we are also eating very well, everything is so good. I think I mentioned that there are 244 folks going the 180 days. We have had at least 3 folks and their partners leave the ship for medical issues. Also, a couple have had broken limbs from falling including one of my MJ partners. Meeting a lot of interesting folks with many stories to tell. A few have made major lifestyle changes and sold their house to come on the cruise and will settle elsewhere afterward. Roger is finding his caches in at lot of the countries and is happy. The weather has been mostly sunny and in the mid 80 degrees but humid.

Jan 28 we will be attending a special captains party and dinner to reveive our Oceania Club Platinum status pin.

So for now.... Goodby to the Americas and hello West Africa now the fun begins!!!!

Linda

Posted by pointslj 14:53 Comments (0)

January 14, 2016 Segment 2, day 1 RTW day 11

Bridgetown, Barbados


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Segment 2 is 27 days long going to Cape Town S. Africa. 13 days are at sea. This is when it gets exciting for me. Still finding some cubby holes to put things. Almost done unpacking. Have a large open bag under the bed that is proving to be a good place for overflow things.

Jan 9, Kralendijk, Bonaire we went on a 2 hour ATV ride along a desert like landscape by the coastline. We visited an old but still working light house and toured a large limestone cave. I did another art class using water active oil paint sticks. Roger did a photography lecture. Went to the captains party where he said there were 244 on board for all 180 days. Meeting lots of folks that will be our neighbors for 6 months.
1-9_13_Kra..re_ATV_ride.jpg

Sunday, 1/10 was a day at sea so I watched more Downton Abby.

Monday, 1/11 port St. George Grenada , known for its spices. We did a 4 hour tour that included a family owned company that produces jams, jellies and nutmeg syrup, and, of course, a liqueur made of nutmeg. We did a photo stop that had vendors selling a nutmeg catsup, but I declined to buy some. Then we had a stop at a Herb and Spice Garden. The guide took us on a stroll through the gardens describing the plants and the medicinal values of each. The final stop was a Rum distillery called Westerhall Estates. After a tour of the estate, there was tasting the 8 flavors they produce, Including one that is 160 proof. We did purchase a small bottle of 10 year old dark rum.
1-11_2_St_.._in_Grenada.jpg

Tues 1/12 port Castries, St Lucia. Did a "Land and Sea to Soufriere" tour for 7 1/2 hours. Most of the tour was very steep, very windy mountain roads on a 30 passenger bus going from one side of the island to the other. However, the views down to the bays and ocean were grand. We passed many banana plantations and fishing villages. Arriving in Soufriere, we had a guided tour of the Diamond Botanical Gardens. There was a very tall water fall that, due to the nearby volcano, had a lot of mineral deposits making the falls very colorful. Next, we visited the Morne Coubaril estate. There was a replica village of stick huts similar to those used 2 centuries ago. We also had a demo of coconut being shelled and the coconut meat being dryed. Also saw the process of processing cocoa beans and tasting one from the bean pod. Had a buffet lunch at the estate then headed back to the shore, passing several fishing villages and getting on a catamaran for the trip back to the boat. Dancing a rum punch was involved.
1-12_12_St.._pinion_mts.jpg
90_1-12_27_Ra..eans_in_pod.jpg
1-12_29__Cocoa_bean_dance.jpg
1-12_31_St..lside_hotel.jpg
1-12_34_Us..n_St__Lucia.jpg

Wed, 1/13 port Fort-de-France. Had a tour "St. Pierre & Rum Distillery" This 4 hour tour was to a Church, rum We had the same 2 lane, hilly, windy roads as in St. Lucia but in a 45 passenger bus, not so much fun. The church was a small version of the Sacre-Couer Basilica in Paris, very nice. The Rum was from the Chateau Depaz Estate that produces rum from fresh-cut blue sugar cane produced on the own estate since 1651. Of course, there was tasting involved. We then drove to the costal town of St. Pierre that was devastated by a 1902 Mt. Pelee volcanic eruption, killing 33,000 folks leaving one fellow alive, who was in prison at the time.
1-13_4_Bal.._Martinique.jpg
1-13_8_Dep.._Distillery.jpg
90_1-13_16_St..902_volcano.jpg
1-13_22_Ru..ring_sticks.jpg
1-13_22_Ru..ring_sticks.jpg

we are doing well and having fun. Still trying to be good on our eating but more bread and desserts are sneaking in. We will be having our second life boat drill in a few minutes so...
See ya next time.

Posted by pointslj 13:00 Comments (1)

January 8th Segment 1 Day 5

Curacao


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January 3, got to Miami with no problems and the Epic Hotel was very nice. Transferred to the ship on Monday and headed straight for the roast turkey lunch. Good but not as great as home made. Started unpacking our 7 suit cases.
1-4.5 Leaving Miami

1-4.5 Leaving Miami

Tuesday was a day at sea. I took 2 art classes, one was a colored pencil dragon fly and the other was an acrylic copper pot. Also found some ladies to play American Mah Jongg There was also a group that played Chinese brand. Roger went to a photography lecture.

Wednesday was another at sea day. I played MJ again and did another art class. This one was a tropical fish using water color pencils. I was very surprised how easy they were to use. Started watching Downton Abby from the beginning.

Thursday, Jan 7, we arrived in Aruba. Roger did a city tour to look for geocaches and I stayed on board to do some more unpacking and finished the tropical fish. After dinner, we took an evening walk into town.

Today we are in Curacao. The houses are very "Bermuda" looking. Lots of gables and bright colors. There is a floating pedestrian bridge that crosses the ships entry way. When a ship needs to enter the port, the whole bridge swings sideways, sometimes people are standing in the middle of the span. Tonight we are heading for Bonaire
1-8.6 Willmestad, Curacao

1-8.6 Willmestad, Curacao


1-8_13_Floating_bridge.jpg
1-8_5_Curacao_port.jpg

I'm having trouble uploading photos but will keep trying

See ya, Linda & Roger

Posted by pointslj 12:11 Comments (2)

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