Thursday, November 29, 2012

Turds in Paradise

28 November 2012

Ilha Grande is an island and state park in the Rio de Janiero state of Brazil. There is very little development in this extremely attractive area that is blessed with some beautiful beaches.

We spent a wonderful few hours in this area today. After our tender ride from the ship we wandered around the tiny town before finding a shady spot under a tree on a beach not too distant from the pier where we had landed.

The water looked so inviting that I stripped down to my costumes and waddled to the water's edge ready to plunge in. There on the wet sand staring at me were two dog turds; I had a 30 second paddle and headed back to my towel, Although the water looked inviting and I was hot I was not going to swim there. To top it off after I had decided to pass on the swim a dog came along and added to the turd tally near us.

In spite of this Ilha Grande is a beautiful place.
Breakfast with a view of Ilha Grande
Pulling in to Ilha Grande
Our tender vessel at the pier
Restaurants line the beach
The policeman on patrol had trouble with his vehicle
View from under our tree
Needed my walking stick to negotiate the pavement
Blooms were everywhere
Flip-flops for every taste
Happy tourists
  

100 not out

For my 100th post to this little blog I am sharing a photo of a fellow cruiser on the Seven Seas Mariner snapped at lunchtime today.



Each day when we visit the pool deck we see some very silly people roasting themselves in the midday sun. These people fall into two categories - pale-skinned people from the UK or northern US states who turn red as a beetroots and wrinkled old folk with tanned skin like old boot leather. In both cases these people must not realise that they are putting themselves at risk of skin cancer or melanoma.

If you are lucky enough to spend a bit of time in the sun please heed the message of the old Australian sun safety campaign and Slip, Slop, Slap. 

Slip, Slop, Slap! Slip on a shirt, slop on sunscreen and slap on a hat,

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Rio

26 November 2012

The pace on our cruise has picked up with several consequetive days in port so time to prepare blog posts has gone out the porthole.

Today we had an amazing day in the beautiful city of Rio de Janiero. When time permits I will add more pictures to this blog. In the interim I am posting a mugshot of the travellers that our guide took from Sugarloaf.


Saturday, November 24, 2012

County Fair

23 October 2012

The ship's crew requested that all passengers leave the pool deck by 2:00 pm so that they could set up for the County Fair. At the appointed time of 3:00 pm the 650 adult kids on board the Seven Seas Mariner were allowed back onto the pool deck to join the fun of the fair.

Gone were the deck chairs, tables and chairs to be replaced by what we in Australia call Fete stalls. Each stall was hosted by a department of the ship: casino, waiters, housekeeping, beauty salon, bar staff, galley etc. At each of these stalls was a different game or challenge; those who were successful at the challenge were awarded a yellow raffle ticket for each "win". At the conclusion of proceedings 15 lucky people won a prize when the captain drew their tickets from a barrel.

Mr Geniaus netted one of the best prizes of the day - he won me a bottle of Vera Wang "Truly Pink".

There was a great carnival atmosphere on board as most of the passengers engaged in the simple activities on offer in the quest of the yellow tickets. It was great fun.

The crew members go to an enormous amount of trouble to entertain the old kids in their charge.

The old girl with white hair won the stewardesses relay

Helmeted for American Football


The beauty salon game required women (while blindfolded) to apply makeup to their men






Friday, November 23, 2012

Confused

I just looked out from our balcony and got a shock. For a moment when I saw this illuminated tower I thought I was in Paris.


I don't need a psychiatrist

Sifting through the photos I took recently in Berlin I found this one. I know why I am so level-headed!



Thursday, November 22, 2012

Big Day Tomorrow

We retreated to our suite straight after this evening's show as it's a bumper day tomorrow and we need our zzzzs
We'll be spending the day in Recife, Brazil -  a new country  and a new  continent for us. The ship has given us supplies of hand sanitiser, warned us about pickpockets and reminded us to remove our jewellery before going ashore!
As we are travelling on an American ship there will be Thanksgiving celebrations on board. A parade before we disembark and a dinner with turkey and pumpkin pie on our return.
The excitement continues.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Report from the Bridge

20 November, 2012

Each day at noon our Captain, Stan, gives a report from the bridge. Today we learnt that we will cross the equator at 5:50 am (we won't be rising to celebrate the event), that the ocean beneath us is 13,000 feet deep and a few other facts about our journey. In case we need an update we can tune our television at any time into the channel that gives the latest news from the people driving the ship.

Here are a couple of screenshots from a few minutes ago (Sorry if they're fuzzy - this boat is rocking).



Monday, November 19, 2012

Cape Verde

19 October 2012

After two days at sea we reeached the Cape Verde Islands. Our port of call was Porto Grande, the only deepwater port in this island group.

The people we met when we wandered around the town were friendly and proud although there is evidence of poverty. I will be looking at Kiva to see if I can find someone in this country that I can help with a loan.

This town is not really set up for tourists so when we took our tour it was in a local public bus that didn't have aircon or a PA system like most of our tourist transport.  .  Our guide was a delightful young university student wo was very proud of  his country and heritage; theis was a refreshing change from some of the swarmy tour guides one someways encounters.

Moored right in town

Shops were shut on Sunday but street vendors were out

The municipal toilets were shut

Robert outside the town hall

Jill outside the library
This little chap played his tin drum  for us

Porto Grande cityscape

Tour bus

Some of the landscape was quite desolate

There were some beautiful beaches
Family enjoying a barbeque at Catfish Bay

We drove along a hairem scarem single lane road to see the vista from the highest peak . The woman in front of me kept saying "Sh*t, sh*t, let me off"



Sunday, November 18, 2012

Fears averted


17 November 2012

It wasn't the crossing of the vast Atlantic Ocean that bothered me most about this cruise it was having to endure "Days at Sea" when we would not set foot on or even see land.

I am pleased to report that both Mr Geniaus and I have survived our first two such days and look forward to three more after our visit to the Cape Verde Islands tomorrow.

Even though the internet connection has been poor (because so many passengers are using it) we have been able to amuse ourselves. I had thought that we might take part in the many organised lectures, games and activities on offer but there was no need. My children will be relieved that their father didn't fritter away their inheritance at the art auction. With books from the ship library and a ton of free inroom movies on offer we were able to amuse ourselves. We emerged from our suite at least three times a day for nourishment where we met even more new people to share our tables and chat with.

Life on board this ship is grand. At last night's reception for returning cruisers on Regent Ships we were surprised to hear that 86% of the passengers on board are returning cruisers. With only 6 Regent cruises under our belt we are relative novices, many of our fellow travellers have taken lots more then us.

No land ahoy

Amusement on deck
Three under plates for a bowl of soup - Pleased I don't have to wash up

At least the dessert servings are dainty 

This is your Captain speaking
Another refuelling stop on Deck 11 Aft

Bruscetta - Regent Style

Julia and Lorraine entertain us in cabaret


Saturday, November 17, 2012

Dogs not birds

15 November 2012

I was always under the impression that the Canary Islands were named for the little birds that were found on the islands but I was wrong again. I discovered during our tour on the island of Gran Canaria that when the Romans came to the islands many years ago they found that the natives had dogs and, as the Latin word for dog is Canis, the name was derived from that.

The island was not at all what we expected. I had visions of palm-fringed white beaches and tropical villages. I was wrong again. My photos give an indication of how wrong I was.


Pilot boarding as ship was rocking

Didn't expect Las Palmas to be so built up

Welcome mat

Sophisticated roads and terraced farms

Stunning coastline

Bright houses

Mist shrouded mountains

Mediterranean style villages

Pebbly beaches - ouch!

Las Palmas at night

Locals came on board to entertain us






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