Tuesday, 26 November 2019

Toronto to Dubai to Mumbai to Capetown to Toronto December 9, 2019 to January 28, 2020

We met a low key but effective cruise salesperson onboard Azamara Pursuit in January, 2019 who wetted our whistle for another ship board adventure. That's this one, or rather two going back to back from Dubai UAE to Mumbai India to Cape Town South Africa in 35 days. We'll spend several days in Dubai and then visit Doha Qatar, Sir Bani Yas, Muscat Oman, Abu Dhabi UAE and dock in Mumbai. We'll be overnight in Mumbai and then visit Cochin India, Victoria Seychelles, Praslin Seychelles, Mombasa Kenya, Zanzibar Tanzania, Maputo Mozambique, Richards Bay South Africa, Durban South Africa, Port Elizabeth South Africa and Cape Town South Africa. In total, if all goes well we will be away from our beloved Port Credit for 50 days.
August 15, 2019 The plan has begun, not the least of this is preparing to pay for it. One third of that is done and we wait for final numbers that may come this month for the second leg from Mumbai to Cape Town. We've looked at hotels in Dubai and believe we'll use Fairmont Dubai at 50% increase to the normal but with plenty to recommend it for the three days pre-cruise from December 14 - 17, 2019. We'll need a visa for anything in India and I have a website for an online purchase. We've selected several shore excursions from Dubai to Mumbai and they are in the basket at this point because Terryl will have some quality advice provided by Tony Taylor, an Air Canada friend, whose knowledge is legendary.
August 27, 2019 I visited three websites to purchase an e-visa for our four days in India. On the first one the application was thorough in that they wanted one's parents detail as well as the traveler. I thought that was a trifle overkill but I proceeded to complete the document and submit it. There's the rub; and I needed to call them if I needed help. After the usual 25 minute wait Mike picked up my call. I thought his manner was rough but he reluctantly walked me through his company's process.  The form didn't reveal the cost so I asked what it was; he didn't know and put me on hold. Another long pause without the elevator music and he reappeared saying $360.00 for my application (he didn't even know about Terryl's) which would have followed. With that information I thanked him and hung up. I looked at the other two companies and went with iVisa.com for $235.00 for the two of us. They tell me that I'll have my visas in two weeks. Additionally the next confirmation came through and the money has been spent.
September 26, 2019 and the Visas are in hand. Azamara Cruise Line has sent the check-in link for the Dubai - Mumbai cruise and we have completed that process (which is decidedly more customer-friendly than some others we've observed on theirs as well as other companies). Terryl's suggestion that the crew hotel in Dubai could be our best bet. She may have a point; so we wait to get the hotel name from friends who have enjoyed that experience. We plan to be in Dubai at least four days before the ship embarks her customers on December 17, 2019.
October 20, 2019 and the dust has settled on our Vienna trip (see it on its own blog post) in which a good time was had by all, as they say. And now we are to concentrate on these final arrangements: flights to and from Dubai, from Capetown to Dubai, and a hotel in Dubai and Capetown.
November 11, 2019 finds me and Terryl dealing with pneumonia for the fifth day. I have it and she cooks and makes me as comfortable as possible. There is a post dealing with this unique (never occurred before) sickness for me. The final plans such as a hotel in Dubai and CapeTown, plus a flight back to Dubai to meet our plane to Toronto from Dubai have not been finalized. The only question is: will I be well enough to do the trip? I hope so, additionally, this possibility has not been mentioned in conversation with Terryl. Full Stop.
On November 26, 2019 the flights from and to Toronto with the hotel in Dubai called Movenpick Jumeirah Beach are reserved. We'll get J class seats (as of this date there are over a hundred seats available with twenty up front), and our hotel for December 10 - 13 is secured in the beach area which is within walking distance of several interesting places to visit. (There will be more on this when we are right in the middle of the action in December.)
It's December 1, 2019 and the final plans are in place. We will be staying at a small hotel in downtown Cape Town from January 21 to January 27 and then fly on Emirates from Cape Town to Dubai on January 27 and on to Toronto on January 28, 2020 with Air Canada. This wraps up the news for this post; we will be creating new posts for the specific aspects of this journey as outlined in the first paragraph. Thank you dear readers.

Friday, 8 November 2019

Pneumonia November 6, 2019 (and a view of a modernized 36 Fernbrook Crescent November 27, 2019)

This is a serious issue in which I thought worthy to post. I had been feeling a very slight tightness in the upper chest area as well as a slight shortness of breath for about two weeks. On November 1, 2019 I was registered to play golf in our BGC's 'Men's Hole In One' Tournament and Banquet. That day was particular cold at around 4 degrees Celsius with a fourty mph wind - a day that I would not normally play - but I teed off anyway because a commitment was a commitment. My foursome consisted of two thirty and two late seventy year olds. We didn't play very well, and I tightened up and just couldn't swing a club around the thirteenth hole. I 'picked up' and finished the round in the golf cart. At the end of the day I was fine; I was also fine on November 2, 3 and 4, but, on the 5th (which began without issues) around 5:00pm I was beginning to cough and feel irritable. That night I couldn't sleep due to the coughing and would decide in the morning to see a doctor in our neighbourhood whose first words were "You should have called 911." With her referral in my pocket Terryl and I drove to Trillium Hospital to begin their exploratory procedures. After blood pressure, blood samples, EKG, chest xrays and a few other examinations the young doctor diagnosed Pneumonia and prescribed 100mg Doxycycline and plenty of liquids for a week. In my medical history there has never been any issues like asthma or allergies that could have caused these symptoms. My knowledge of Pneumonia was weak and could be improved quite easily with Google close at hand: 
"Pneumonia is an infection in one or both lungs. Bacteria, viruses and fungi cause it. The infection causes inflammation in the air sacs in your lungs, which are called alveoli. The alveoli fill with fluid or pus, making it difficult to breathe." There is plenty more on google.ca if you are as curious as I am.  With information as well as the answers to frequent questions I concluded my ill-advised decision to golf in the cold was not the culprit - but to be that uncomfortable for that period of time was not the smartest thing to do for this 78 year old.
After two days of medication I feel better, the cough is still there, and I feel well enough to write this post. Additionally, I will need to be considerably better to continue on our wonderful cruise beginning December 17, 2019 in Dubai and ending January 21, 2020 in CapeTown South Africa. My fingers are crossed.
It's November 11, 2019 and after five days of medication I am better still, I spend the days in my chair with laptop and cozy desk exploring world literary and photographic exploits of which there is no discernible end. Currently it's The Kennedy Men and podcasts on all manner of subjects that lead to extraordinary sights and sounds. I make notes, I wonder if my health will be satisfactory soon enough to make our journey a pleasure, or one that challenges the wisdom of travel that may include medical assistance in unknown countries half way around the world.
It's November 15, 2019 and after two days of a new prescription of antibiotics and two inhalers from a new local doctor the condition continues to improve. The cough continues but the choking reality is practically gone. The easy chair and desk is my place of choice instead of a horizontal position on the couch. This medicine also prescribed for seven days will take me back to see Dr. Wahba on November 20 to get more or less of the same or different medicines. I asked this physician if she thought I'd be okay to fly and cruise by December 12. She said we've got plenty of time to find out.
On November 20 Dr Wahba states that I am doing very well and takes me off the antibiotics and inhalers. She wants a chest X-ray and a follow up visit on November 26 to discuss the results and my current condition. The cruise is looking good, and the possibility of a Mozambique hospital in my future is doubtful if not completely out of mind. On November 26 Dr. Wahba examines the X-ray, shoots a pneumonia injection of Prenar 13 into my left arm and smiles stating that I am fit and ready to go on the cruise. Also, I have chosen to have her as my family doctor after thirty-three years with Dr. Langer in Brampton. I could have stayed with him very easily but his practice has been sold to another Doctor and several pieces of relevant communication to specialists have fallen through the cracks, as they say, on two separate occasions which caused my loyalty to wane. So it's done, my files will be altered to give Dr. Wahba my healthcare. Furthermore I like her and her advice has worked wonders for me. Thank you

Totally off topic but I found something in an old email regarding my residence of 31 years in Brampton from 1986 to 2017. I clicked on a link that was used to sell the home and it revealed photographs both static and moving of the renovated version of my house six months after I sold it. Incredible; please have a look:
http://www.andrewtamburello.com/listings/36-fernbrookcrescent

Dubai people, camels and things December 13, 2019

UAE was nothing but rolling sand dunes.  "Forty-seven years after its establishment in 1972, the UAE has become a shining country...