Updated April 20, 2013
This trip started when I shut my apartment door for the last time
in Taroudant, Morocco, the last week of july 2012
To Rabat, for last medical check ups, good-byes , and signing out
of Peace Corps - 3 days
Train to Tangier and took the ferry to Algeciras 2 days
Bus to Seville - 7days
Travelogue - Seville - .have been is Seville, in Southern Spain
this week. Over 100 operas have been inspired by. or take place in
this city - once home to Monarchs Fernando and Isabel, and now
epicenter for Flamenco. Reminds me, I´ve never seen an opera and
confess this visit conjures no desire to see one now. I´ll further
confess that I hated ¨Tommy´ (apparently one of the few operas that
did not take place here). I thought the premise stupid - There! I
said it. It´s hot here - the city does not notice, buzzing its own
cool vibe. The beer is cold, though, and bacon and ham are
celebrated, as they should be. Maybe I´ll write an opera about
Bus to Malaga - 5 days Bus to Nerja - 7 days Bus to Benidorm - 13
days I will describe this wacky place later - great beach with
strange English /Spanish mix - I had a great hotel and didn't feel
like moving for a while, but not a destination I will return to,
but nice while here...
Bus to Barcelona - 5 days
Flight to Italy - Brindisi - Lecce - 3 days Train to Bari - 1
Ferry to Montenegro - bus from Bar to Budva, - 4 days Bus to Kotor
- 3 days
Bus to Dubrovnik, Croatia - 7 days
Decided to not continue north due to the season changing and wanted
to visit Greece before things closed up for the year on Corfu. To
get to Greece from Croatia I had to backtrack to Bari to catch
Ferry back to Bari - 1day Bari to Corfu ferry - Paliokostritsa - 30
days rest watching the sea and relaxing.. Perfect weather and
Looked for freighter to make big move eastward... no options, since
many carrier's insurance wont allow passengers travelling through
pirate-infested zones.... Decided to catch a repositioning cruise
on a luxury cruise line instead for the experience.... Celebrity
Solstice.... womb of luxury with a 1300 retired couples for 12
days...... As I discovered later, about 30% I think were on
vacation and had saved and planned this as their yearly getaway -
lots of small business owners, and. since internet access was slow
and cost 75 cents per minute, it forced some to relax... So now I
needed to get to Dubai to catch the ship...
Took flight from Corfu to Dubai via Athens and Cairo airport
Dubai - 4 days ...had to shop for "country-club casual" clothes so
I wouldn''t feel like an idiot on the cruise... didn't have time to
get visa for India, so I was notified I would be trapped on ship
till Malaysia -yikes.
Boarded ship - biggest mass of English speakers I have been in
since 2009 -very strange I could understand everyone - I had never
taken a cruise, and after poverty-living in Morocco, this was wacky
overkill luxury.... a silly display of overabundance..... But at
the same time I really enjoyed the spectacular menus of foods I had
not eaten in several years.... I had my first steak (Morocco has
meat, but since the animals hang in the open air at the butcher
shops - and was more expensive than in the US) - first sushi -first
great martini - etc... and enjoyed talking to folks .... The cruise
was weird to me - I was never bored or lonely, yet I think I will
not repeat the experience unless I was going with a partner who
REALLY loved taking cruises...
The trip was 12 days - Oman was the first stop on day 2 - I elected
to relax on ship rather than buying a visa a pending a few hours in
a part of the world I felt already a bit fatigued with...and after
6 days at sea, we got to Cochin, India. I would have liked to
visit, but India visas require time and planning...at least a week,
and since I was in Dubai only 4 days, I d
idn't have time to get one. Apparently, the Indian government
thinks all Americans want to move there or sneak in, so they make
it difficult - The US must have gotten them mad at us for some
reason.....Anyway, 2 more days on ship while it parked there
-actually, not a problem - the ship was more like a city, so no
lack of things to do - I just relaxed, ate like a piggy, and took
it easy.... Then about 3 more days at sea to Malaysia.
Malaysia stop 1day - Kuala Lampour . Took my first "excursion" by
mistake... wanted to take the self guided tour so I could connect
to internet and find hotel in Singapore - tomorrows final cruise
destination for me.... but instead was loaded on a bus with 60
fellow cruisers to "experience" Malaysia in 6 hours.... OK, I
thought - lets see what happens.... 30 minutes at Batu caves .
famous Hindu shrine ... not much time to climb the 285 stairs
dodging thieving monkeys in the crazy heat with tropical humidity,
but hey - I had a look at something I wouldn't probably have spent
hours visiting... I just missed the highpoint of the excursion when
a monkey grabbed a lady's iPad out of her hand and apparently
ripped the device up with its very strong little hands...
disappointed I missed it. Later, 30 minutes at world's tallest
tower - another thing I would have passed on, had I been on my
own....a few minor sites later and a 2 hour traffic jam on the bus
back to the boat.....giving passengers the the full rights to crow
about travelling to the Batu caves "when we ravelled to Malaysia"
in their cocktail party conversations from now on..... By the way,
have I told you about the time I was in Malaysia, doing some
travel?...... yikes,but it gave me insights to a style of travel I
had not seen from this perspective. So, I ask myself - and you -
just what IS travel?
The last stop was Singapore for me - the ship continued on to
Australia via China...
Singapore - 2 days in the "little India" part of town.
Flight to Phuket, Thailand -I think nov 25.
So - since Thanksgiving time to April I have been in Thailand,
mostly in Koh Samui in a bungalow on the beach. My days are
non-productive, save for reading the stash of books on my Kindle,
doing some email snd following news - I am a bit of a news junky
and the most informed non-voter you will meet. Daily beach time,
massages, Thai street food, I must return to visit my brother in NY
state soon - We plan some road trips and time together, since his
cancer recently returned and his treatment ends soon - hopefully.