We are grateful to all our family members who take on different responsibilities to take care of our house, cleaning the pool, watering my wife's plants and paying bills. In today's technological world it's much easier to stay connected by our phones and Internet. We will miss everyone but it's time to get on board and get going.
A question I am frequently asked is how can we be on a cruise ship for two months. I share that a cruse ship is in general terms a modern floating luxury hotel, a mall and a small town all in one. The ship companies offer many different and varied forms of entertainment for all ages and are included in the boarding price. We do multiple sports, take classes, go to the movies, listen to live music, go dancing, visit the library, go for walks, meet new people or simply go to a quiet area to read and look into the beautiful ocean.
There is Internet connection on the ship but most passengers use it sparingly. We are all on vacation! Many seasoned travelers still get sea sick but they take over-the-counter medicines and keep going. Personally, the more the boat rocks the better I sleep!
So what can we expect in South America? What I have learned in general terms is that only 10% of the world's population lives in the Southern Hemisphere. There are two continents in this area and one is empty (Antarctica). Approximately 70% of South America land mass is in this region of the planet. Since most of the Southern Hemisphere is primarily oceans, the weather overall is mild. South America has its jungles (Brazil), its desert (Atacama desert), and glaciers (Patagonia region, lower Chile).
I understand that many of the main cities we will visit are design architecturally with a mixture of European cities. I am informed that culturally speaking, it is a combination of Spanish, French, Italian and German influences. Europeans frequently travel here at this time to escape their brutal winters. The Andes mountain areas provides for world class winter sports during the summer months in Europe. World professionals in winter sports come to this region to keep practicing from April through October. Training is thus year round.
Traveling always disrupts my comfort zone. Well, it's time to board.
We will miss everyone but its time to set sails to the northern winds and head Southward. My next report will be from Manta, Ecuador.