Ports of Call

I dedicate this post to Paul Bolstad with his World Atlas.

Day 1, December 21: Cape Town, South Africa

We arrive finally at our desitnation after two long flights and layover: Depart Seattle to London Heathrow on Monday evening, Eight-hour layover in the Heathrow airport on Tuesday, then London to Cape Town–another long overnight flight. Arrive early morning on Wednesday in Cape Town.

By the way, we flew Virgin Atlantic for the first time. The crew was attentive and efficient. The female flight attendendants wore classy red suits with matching red leather handbags and pumps (I’m still drooling over the red handbags.) Made me want to become a flight attendent for the attire. The downside, Economy Plus is the same amount of leg room that we were used to with US coach seats. For tall people like Larry and I, when the people in front of us reclined their seats to sleep, their heads were in our laps and my kneecaps have bruises on them (literally).

Day 2, December 22: Cape Town, South Africa

Cape Town is a city on South Africa’s coast that is known for its harbor and pituresque landmarks, such as Cape Point and Table Mountain. The vibrant city is the most popular tourist desitnation in Africa, thanks to the Mediterranean climate, the cosmmopolitan culture, and its charming natural setting. Cape Town is literally sandwiched between the Atlantic Ocean and the Indian Ocean. In addition to the incredible scenery, there’s a bounty of great wine and food in Cape Town with a unique and distinct flavor. Polularly known as the “Mother City,” the city has some of Soiuth Africa’s most important history and culture. The city’s beauty is complemented by Table Mountain, which sits majetically in the background. A cab driver told us when the clouds sit on top of Table Mountain they call it the tablecloth.

Day 3, December 23: Mossel Bay, South Africa

Mossel Bay is a harbor town of approximately 99,000 people on the Southern Cape of South Africa. It is important tourism and farming region of the Western Cape Province. Mossel Bay lies between Cape Town and Port Eliazabeth. The older parts of the town occupy the north-facing side of the Cape St. Blaize Penninsula, while the newer suburbs straddle the Penninsula and have spread eastwards along the sandy shore of the Bay.

It is from Mossel Bay that we travel to the first of three safari excursions. We visited the Botlierskop Private Game Reserve. (See post Hatari!)

NCL’s Tip of the Day: Be diligent to not draw attention to your personal effects and handle your cash discreetly.

Day 4, December 24: Port Elizabeth, South Africa

Gqeberha formerly Port Elizabeth and colloquially ofter referred to as P.E., is a major seaport. It is the seat of the Nelson Mandela Bay Metropolitan Municipality. The city’s warm oceanic climate ranks it among the top cities in the world for pleasant year-roud weather. The city is known for many blue-flag beaches alsong the the city’s urban coastline; its popularity as an intrnational and local holiday destination; and its rich and diverse cultureal heritage. It is the gateway city for the Eastern Cape’s African big five game safari tourism.

From here we traveled to our second safari at Schotia Private Reserve. (See posts Through the Eye of the Beholder and Safari!)

Day 5, December 25: Day at Sea

Day 6, December 26: Richards Bay, South Africa

Richards Bay is a town in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. Itis situated on a large bay of the Indian Ocean. The town is a leading port and industrial center. It is also a popular tourist desstination. Ricchards Bay is located on the Eastern Cape’s coast, close to both Umhlanga and Kosi Bay. The name Porto da Barra (Point of the Bay) was given to it by Portuiguese traders inn the sixteenth century after the harbor’s sheltered anchorage. Richards Bay was named after the Dutch East India Company’s governor, Simon van der Stel, in 1642, when the Dutch first explored the area.

From Richards Bay we travel into Zululand to the Umhlanga River for our final safari at  Hluhluwe Imfolozi Game Reserve. (Post to come)

Day 7, December 27: Durban, South Africa

Known most by its Zulu name eThekweni. Durban is a city unlike any other in South Africa. It is a spiced-and-diced-together seafront metropolitan concoction of the Orient, Occident, and Africa, with a vast spectrum of cultures religions and people.

Located on the east coast of South Afria. Durban is one of the largest cities in KwaZulu Natal province. It is situated at the mouth of the Umgeni River and overlooks the Indian Ocean. It also has a natural harbor, which makes Durban one of the busiest ports in South Africa.

Day 8, December 28: Day at Sea

Day 9, December 29: Day at Sea

Day 10, December 30: Luderitz, Namibia

Luderitz is a town in the southern Namibia. It lies on one of the least hospitable coasts in Africa. It is a port developed around Robert Harbour and Shark Island. The town is kown for it colonial archetecture, including some Art Nouveau, and for wildlife inluding seals, penguins, flamingos, and ostriches. It is also home to a museum, and lies at the end of a currently decomissioned railway line to Keetmanshoop. The town is named after Adolf Luderitz, founder of the German South West Africa colony.

With its unquite setting, interesting history and friedly people, Luderitz is a coast holiday town with a difference Not onlyu does the town’s architecture have a story to tell, but the nearby ghost towns of Kolmanskop and Elizabeth Bay, as well as the wild horses at Gerub, all contritbue to the mystery and bizarreness conected to Luderitz.

Larry goes on a desert hike (while I, yep, elevate). Post to come.

Day 11, December 31: Walvis Bay, Namibia

Walvis Bay is a city in Namibia and the name of the bay on shih it liese. it is the second largest city in Namibia and the largest coastal city in the country. The bay is a safe haven for sea vessels because of its natural deepwater harbor, protected by the Pelican Point sand spit, being the only natural harbor of any size aong the country’s coast.

The bay is rich in plankton and marine life, these waters also drew larger numbers of Southern Right Whales, attracting whalers and fishing vessels.

We were scheduled to visits pelicans and seals but had to “sit it out” and elevate my leg.

NCL’s Tip of the day: This year, be true to yoursef, only make resolutions that you are going to keep. (Be sure to let me know how this works for you…)

Countdown to 2023: A Ship-wide Celebration

NCL loves a grand party so they pulled out all the stops for New Year’s Eve. The ship-wide New Year’s Eve Celebration commnces in all the lounges. Dance the night away Poolside.

New Year’s Even Countdown Party continues by invitation by the Captain, Cruise Director, and the entire Jade entertainment team for a toast to the new Year. Dance and party under the stars and ring in the New Year with a bang! Witness the smashing of the 2022 ice sculpture. 2023 here we come! Day 12, January 1: A Day at Sea

The next day, most of the rooms had their do not disturb signs out until the afternoon. We rang in the New Year–yep, elevating my leg.

Day 13, January 2: Cape Town

Disembarkation from the Jade.

From the Port we were taken by NCL to the hospital for further diagnostics and treatment (IV antibiotics).

We checked into the Marriott until we left for our 11 PM flight back to Atlanta. (See An Unexpected Adventure post)

Day 14, January 3: Cape Town

We had an entire day to kill at the Marriott until it was time to head for the airport. I had to get a little retail therapy in before we left–doctor’s orders, or so I told Larry. We visited a open-air matket in the city center. I lasted long enough to buy a couple of scarves and then my ankle said enough of walking on cobblestones.

We return to the Marriott where I happily was able to finally get some writing done about our trip.

We board our Delta flight to Atlanta at 11 PM and settled in for a sixteen hour flight. I pass the time as best I can working on my laptop. Never, ever do I want to do this long of a flight again. Well maybe if I can snag one of those beds onboard. We’re flying the next highest premium which equates to free alcohol–maybe it would have helped the pain.

I’ll drive to Africa next time. Anyone up for a road trip?

Day 15, January 4: Atlanta, Georgia

Our flight arrives late and it’s a mad dash through customs, picking up our luggage, moving it to the next drop off point, and then hurry for the flight to Seattle. Now mind you, mad dash is relative with me in a wheel chair. We would have missed it had it not been for a weather delay. Flying against headwinds, our flight to Seattle will be another six hours. We’re flying “Premium Comfort” — on this Delta flight we’re packed in like sardines just like the old days only we paid a premium price for nadda in the way of service. It’s the biggest first class section I’ve seen on a domestic flight. Do I smell gouge?

I’m passing the time writing this post. I hope when you next hear from me, I’m back safe and sound on Whidbey Island in front on my computer facing the straight.

Debora Ragland Buerk
The Write Stuff
Looking at life from a different POV.