If dogs run free…

why not me?

One more thing…

I failed to mention that we spotted Dr. Evil’s yacht, the Ocean Pearl:

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It turns out this boat is available for rent by the week. A miserly 113,000 to 128,000 Euros per week and it is ours. It sleeps 12, has a crew of 8. Did I mention it is a luxury yacht? Go to  Superyachts.com and search for Ocean Pearl. Maybe next year?

Captain Ben, etc.

It has come to my attention that not all readers of this fine blog are happy with the frequency of updates. Might I point out that we are, in fact, on vacation. When push comes to shove, blog postings are a distant second to almost everything else. On the other hand, I do want you to all know what we have been up to, so, to the posting.

If you visit Paros you should consider staying at the Argonauta Hotel. Here is the main desk.

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We have been spending a lot of time at the beach. It usually involves a short boat ride across the bay, laps for some, splashing around for others. You have seen beach photos, so I’ll spare you another.

There is a nice produce market in a building near the ancient cemetery along the waterfront. Barb makes stops to stock up on cashews, since one can never have too many cashews, apparently. They also have lovely veggies of various kinds. Too bad we are not cooking for ourselves.

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Barb, by the way, has been using her Greek with good results. She can manage in stores and even engage in light conversation. Amazing to this dedicated monoglot.

Monday was Captain Ben ‘s boat ride around Antiparos. As usual, we reserved the front of the boat.

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The first stop was here on Google maps. Not a bad spot. Small church up top, in case anyone needed to pray. A surprisingly large number of participants needed to make a visit.

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We had a lovely lunch on Despotiko, little island off the tip of Antiparos. There is a  deep inlet with a nice beach where all the tour boats stop.

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Then on to more lovely swimming spots. This is one of the stone arches through which one can swim. At each stop many plastic noodles were tossed overboard so no one would have any trouble staying afloat.

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We then cruised around Antiparos to the Blue Lagoon, which is blue. Below is a wavy panorama. Wavy  due to the rocking of the boat and the unsteady hand of the photographer after several glasses of wine.

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Then back to Paros, and the bus from Pounda to Parikia, hardly photo-worthy.

There have been many sunsets, each nicer than the last.

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Barb and I make our way along the path to Krios beach each morning where she swims a few laps. The path is high and rocky.

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That is Parikia in the distance.

We are here only until Saturday when we leave with Emmett. I’ll try to get in at least one more post before we go.

Around town and beach.

We have a relaxed schedule. Get up and go for a walk and swim, return and shower, eat breakfast, relax. Then around noon or a little after, to be on the safe side, we go to the house to see if anyone is awake. In the picture the house is the one with the grey window, over the walk. The steps just before the motor bike  go up to the second floor.

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If the door is open, we visit for a while. If not, we wander around town. Many small streets and many shops. Where is Barb? Where is the Paros Fish Therapy shop? Fish eat the dead skin on your feet or hands.

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Between three and four we head  over to Martselo beach on the water taxi. We all have a great time.

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Emmett arrives tonight. Monday we go on the Captain Ben’s boat ride around Antiparos. Fun for all.

Nothing to say today.

I have a cold. Don’t get a cold on vacation. Healing rapidly.

Island life is good.

We made it to Paros without trouble. In Istanbul we saw many Turkish flags – small ones on the utility trucks at the airport, large ones on the walls of the airport and gigantic ones draped over ten story buildings. Inside it was just an airport.

We are staying at the Argonauta Hotel, as always. Here is Barb relaxing on the patio.

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We have of course been to the beach several times. This is our favorite.

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The sunsets have been lovely. No ouzo yet, but lots of good food.

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More later. Emmett arrives this weekend. Captain Ben’s boat ride is on Monday!

Paros!

We set off for Paros, Greece, later today. We’ll fly from Montreal to Istanbul, where we have a three hour layover (no, we won’t be leaving the transit lounge), then on to Athens. We’ll stay in Piraeus overnight, and catch the early ferry to Paros. Barb hopes to be on the beach by noon.

I’ll try to post short notes and a few pictures from time to time.

Swimming in a volcano, and animals.

We have been on the road for the past few days. After the party, which was great, we went to the Kyaninga Lodge in the crater area near Fort Portal. The real draw was the opportunity for Barb and Emmett to swim in a dormant volcano cauldron.

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The water is safe to swim in due to the sharp drop off to depth so there is no area for schistosome-bearing snails to live, and the gas emerging from the slightly active volcano keeps the water slightly acidic. Here is Barb enjoying the water.

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We then had the four hour drive back to Kampala. Emmett and I rode with Rebecca, Barb, while Lib and Dennis followed in their car. No unplanned stops, just a long, hot ride. At seven the next morning we we arrived at the Red Chilli Hideaway in Kampala for the start of the trip to Murchison Falls National Park. There we joined by a nice couple from Munich, Eva and Achim, and loaded into a Toyota 4WD Diesel van. Our driver, Sam, seen here next to the machine, proved to be an expert driver. He managed the tedious drive to to the park, and the game rides through it with great skill.

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First we went to Murchison Falls where the Victoria Nile (source Jinja, where the River starts from Lake Victoria, which we saw three years ago) crashes down about 43 meters through a 7-10 meter gap. In the past the entire river went through the gap, but since the 60s there has been a secondary falls, Freedom Falls, to the north that takes some of the flow. It is still rather impressive.
The falls from above:

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With rainbow:

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The falls from below:IMG_4355

The next morning at seven am we took a ferry across the Nile to the north shore of the park, the delta region, for our first game ride. The ferry with twin 150hp engines. That is the Nile:

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We saw many animals.
Elephants:IMG_4418

Buffalo:IMG_4402

Warthogs, both large and small, this at the camp:IMG_4383

Ugandan Kob, of which there were many:IMG_4193

Lion, injured:IMG_4144

Giraffe:IMG_4517

Borassus palm forest, with elephants (iPhone cameras are nice, but aren’t real cameras):IMG_4432

This a great place! The elephants disperse the seeds and palms spring up everywhere. I don’t quite understand why there are only Borassus palms and grasses. To my surprise the elephants also eat the leaves of the palms. Palm leaves, particularly coryphoid palm leaves, are incredibly fibrous, and have loads of silica bodies. I cannot imagine there is much in the way of nutrients in them. Perhaps they are eaten as a long lasting chew. Even after we left the park we saw elephants:IMG_4527

There is a large nature preserve around the park allowing the animals to come and go as they like.

We saw Hyena:IMG_4230

Baboons (they and the warthogs liked to eat food from the tourist cars at the ferry landing):IMG_4268

Hippopotamus:IMG_4275

Then we drove back to Kampala. We are off for home tomorrow night, arriving in Montreal at around 1pm, Sunday, 24 hours after starting. I’m sure I missed lots of stuff, but this is it for now.