Worrall Travel R's

Worrall Travel R's
Roz and Russ

Worrall Travel R's - Kicking the Bucket List

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We are the Worrall Travel R's Roz and Russ Worrall. Our goal before we "kick the bucket" is to see as much of the world as we are able, learn about world cultures, experience making friends around the world, and share goodwill and what we learn with others. WE HOPE YOU JOIN US VIA THE BLOG ON OUR TRAVELS.

We started our world travels in 1969 in VW camper van in the USA, Canada, and Europe, but didn't actively blog about our travels until 2009 aboard our sailing vessel SV Worrall Wind, a 44 ft Nauticat Ketch.  On September 5, 2009 we left San Francisco and took a left at the Golden Gate to Explore the World.

From to Sea to Land
After almost 4 years of cruising Mexico and the South Pacific, we sold our beloved boat in Australia, 2013. The Worrall Travel R's are continuing our travels around by many other means of conveyance -boats,trains, planes, sometimes camels, elephants, rickshaws, and hot air balloons.. 

Russ is a retired engineer, optometrist, professor from U.C. Berkeley. Roz is a retired computer programmer/analyst, educator, (teacher, administrator, professional developer). 

Our Mantra:
“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”
~ Mark Twain

Monday, April 25, 2016

From the Galapagos with Love - Part 2 - Delivered

Sunday, April 25, 2016 - From the Galapagos with Love!

We have been home now in California for twelve days, and yesterday afternoon we had the opportunity to make our delightful delivery of a postcard to "Mom" in Cameron Park from the Galapagos Islands.

You may recall from our April 5, 2016 From the Galapagos with Love, Part 1 , we picked up a post card from the informal "post office" on Floreana Island in the Galapagos, penned from a newlywed couple to "Mom" in Cameron Park.  It was dated April 1, 2016.

We had nothing to go by except for the recipients name and address, no phone number or email address.  Yesterday, after a great day of playing golf with my brother at Rancho Murieta, Russ and I made our way home to Colfax with a delivery stop in Cameron Park about 6:00 pm,  hoping to find "Mom" at home.  This delivery would arrive from the Galapagos 23 days after being "posted", faster than an actual "posted" delivery of postcards we made from Antarctica

We located the address.  A car was in the driveway.  I knocked on the door and "Mom" opened the door a bit warily.  Russ stayed in the car, primarily not to scare the recipient, as I looked less threatening as an unexpected visitor on the doorstep.  I identified my self and told her I was making a special delivery from the Galapagos Islands.

At first, I think she thought it was some sort of a scam, but was kind enough to listen to the story and then was as thrilled with delivery as if I were delivering a prize from Publishers Clearing House.  We had a nice little chat, exchanged email addresses, and a hug.  I know "Mom" was delighted and I was too!

Loved this experience of delivering and receiving random happiness!  Thank you Diane, Steven, and "Mom".

All is Well With the Worrall Travel R's at Home in California


Sunday, April 17, 2016

Last Two Days in South America-Goodbye, Galapagos, Goodbye Quito, Ecuador

Sunday, April 10, 2016, WTRD 92

Today is our last day on the Galapagos Islands.  We disembark after breakfast and saying goodbye to the crew in San Cristabol where we will catch our plane later this afternoon. We carry only our day bags and will catchup with our luggage at the airport.  Once we arrive in the city of San Cristabol with 22,000 inhabitants, we are transported to the Galapagos National Park  Interpretive Center.  Seems a bit counter intuitive to  come here last as it would have made more sense to come here first.  But given the scheduling of boats in different ports and prescribed routes, here we are.

A pictorial island chart showing what flora and fauna are on each island.

Graphic of the tectonic plate movement  that lifts the Andes and creates the volcanic islands of the Galapagos

Three major currents push temperature, nutrients, flora, and fauna to the Galapagos

Three dimensional exhibit shows the islands and the depth of surround sea bed.

The original artifacts of the first cruiser message center in the Galapagos

Good Bye San Cristabol...Good Bye Galapagos.  We are off to the Airport.

Monday, April 11, 2016, WTRD 93

By the time, this blog is posted  we will no doubt be home and planning the next adventures in our lives. Bur let me concentrate on our last day in Ecuador.

We arrived late yesterday afternoon from the Galapagos Islands, ate dinner with friends, said goodbyes to those leaving before dawn Monday morning, and carried ourselves off to bed.

We made an accommodation reservation mistake in our original planning.  We knew our departure date was April 13, so reserved Monday and Tuesday nights in Quito.  When we checked in and needed to make arrangements for a transfer to the airport with the reservation desk, we needed to plan to arrive at the airport three hours in advance of flight time.  We knew we had a red eye, but thought it was Wednesday night on the 13th.  Turns out we were leaving at 12:50 am on Tuesday the 13th just after midnight on the 12th,!  We had one day less than we thought and booked one more night than we needed.

The bad news, we couldn't get a refund, but the good news was we would have the room until we checked out at 8:30 pm.  Once we realized we would only have Monday ro see Quito, we booked a private morning tour.  Our guide, a young single mom in her early 30's picked us up on Monday morning at 9:00 am.  Unlike many of her clients, we weren't terribly interested in visiting all of the Catholic churches, so she was at a loss as to how to fill up our time.

But it all turned out well, as she spoke excellent English and could answer a lot of our questions.  We leisurely strolled through the old Colonial section of Quito discussing a a variety of topics (public and private education, child rearing practices, salaries $370 a month on average (tops - doctors and university professors around $1200/month), currency, politics, corruption, impact of child sexual abuse by Catholic priests and those who kidnap children for ransom and/or sex trade, poverty, health care, and American expats retiring in Ecuador-one can live comfortably (Ecuadoran style) for $1200 a month.

Tasty fruit

Food at restaurants was expensive, but open markets the food was cheap, 4 large avocados for a dollar.

The meat was probably cheap, too, but somehow unrefrigerated meat with flies just didn't look appetizing.

Ecuador, of all the countries we have visited  in South America, seems to be the most modern, clean, and well maintained countries.  However, I think the standard of living is so much higher in the US, that living "well" in Ecuador wouldn't come close to lower middle class living in America.

After three months in South America We are culturally fatigued by so many things  we take for granted in America.

I am fatigued by not being able to flush toilet paper down the toilet, overflowing soiled paper baskets,  and the condition of public toilets, not being able to use tap water to drink or brush my teeth, not having hot water plumbed to bathroom and kitchen sinks,  not having confidence in restaurant food preparation or non-refrigerated perishables, by over the top wealth in rich churches

and the bone grinding poverty of the people that support the church with nothing returned except the promise of salvation (seems scamful),

humidity so high that it takes days to line dry clothes (even those coming out of a dryer feel damp),  disruptive demonstrations protesting corrupt governments, and politicians making bogus promises (a little bit like home, though).  We have enjoyed our adventure especially the people we have met, but are looking forward to coming home.

Every Monday, in the main government square at 11:00 am there is a changing of the guard ceremony.  The President or Vice President of Ecuador, makes an appearance (today it is the VP), school children get front row seats,




waving officials,

and marching band in colonial uniforms create the weekly spectacle.

The square is filled with young and old,

but our guide who never comes to this weekly event says it is only attended by supporters of the current administration.  Guess that tells you her sentiments of the current administration.  We enjoy the show of power.

Just after 1:00 pm our guide drops us off at the hotel.    We immediately go out for lunch in the poring rain and find a local geocache, return to the hotel, finish packing, cleanup, nap, go out for dinner with last of our traveling group, checkout of the hotel at 8:30 pm, take our transfer to the airport, and do all the preflight routine, board our plane and head home to America.  It's been a great trip.

Best of all, we have enjoyed the people we have met and with whom we have made friendships.

Until our next adventure, all is well with the Worrall Travel R's heading home.

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Red Footed Boobies, Magnificent Frigate Birds

Saturday, April 9, 2016, WTRD 91

We were out the starting gate at 7:30 this morning on the hunt for Red Footeed Boobies.

Unlike the Blue Footed Boobies that nest on the ground, the Red Footed Boobies have shorter legs that inhibit walking, so their nests are in trees.  There are far fewer Red Footed Boobies, and looking for them in trees is more difficult.

We landed on a lovely beach where sea lions bathed in the waves. and then began our ascent upwards where we would find some trees.

However, we were successful and got some pretty good photographs, even though we had to hike up a steep trail on San Cristobal to get to the nests of the Red Foot.

Anybody see a tree yet?

Finally we spot a tree in the distance, and it looks like there may be a Red Foot Up there.  But surely, there have to be more trees.  Please, please let there be more trees.
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Beautiful vistas, but no trees.

Nesting Blue Footed Bobbies, but no trees.

Finally, we see some trees and a few red foots present.

Reed Foot, Blue Billed Booby shading her egg...doesn't need to keep it warm here.

Red Foot in flight

We had to hunt, and play peek-a-boo, but were successful in seeing quite a few of these Red Footed Boobies.

After two hours of walking, we made our way back

Seemed steeper going back down

to the boat where we showered, relaxed, and had a terrific lunch on the fan tail while we circled the huge rock where we will be snorkeling later this afternoon.

Gill and Julie

Mick and Peter

Brendan, Dylan, and Julie

Julie, Peter, and Leslye

Russ, Nathan, Leon, and Bev

But before we snorkel,  we go for another walk-about to spy the nesting sight of the Magnificent Frigate Bird.  The frigate birds were plentiful and beginning their nesting season.  Unfortunately for us, none of them had their nests close to the paths and in good camera shot.

The terrain is rocky, and we have to concentrate more on our footfall than skyward as we pick our way across the island.

Females looking for a handsome male.
The pictures and video I took of the frigates nesting on Isla Isabela of the coast of Mexico in 2009 are still the best.  I was able to capture a couple of the males from quite a distance in the nest and in the sky.

In the late afternoon, we went for a deep water snorkel at Split Rock.  Andres tells us this is one of the favorite dive spots in the Galapagos.  Today when we get there, the current is strong and the water clarity is not so good.

The bottom is deep, and we can not see the bottom.  We were fortunate to see a beautiful eagle ray with leopard spots and a large turtle.  Photos courtesy of our guide Andres and his Go-Pro.

We looked but couldn't find a hammer head shark.  I think I was relieved actually not see one.  It was sad to think this was our last snorkel.

After an evening of exchanging addresses, drinking wine, and a nice dinner, we retired one last time on the Queen Beatrice.

We leave in the morning for Quito and will arrive late in the afternoon.
We will have one full day in Quito on Monday where we will do a morning city tour, do some shopping and resting in the afternoon, have one last dinner with new friends, and leave for the airport by 9:30 pm.  We take the red eye home early Tuesday morning.

All is Well with the Worrall Travel R's in Ecuador