The Travels which never happened 2020

When we departed on our annual 6 months visit to the USA in 2019, we decided to do a stopover for 3 weeks, in the Greek islands (We had been to Greece before but not the Islands). This was very enjoyable, so we decided to visit Spain again in 2020. We still had valid Schengen visas and wanted to spend 3 weeks in Spain’s Central North West region, which is least visited by tourists.

Also, during all our travels we had only once been on a cruise ship (in the Galapagos Islands), so we decided to take the Alaska Inner Passage cruise, from Vancouver, British Columbia to Skagway, Alaska and back (We still had valid Canadian visas).

Jan made all the necessary bookings (and paid for them). This included 6 flights, 2 car hires, 6 hotels, 5 busses, 1 cruise, travel insurance and UK airport transit visas (at R2400 for 2 hours at Heathrow airport, on the ‘air side’).

Our departure date from South Africa was 28 March 2020. In SA the full lockdown for Covid 19 started on 26 March 2020. Fortunately, about 10 days before, Jan could see what was coming and started canceling everything. This is easier said than done. It took many emails and telephone calls but eventually we got about 80% of our pre-payments back. The last was from Air Canada, 15 months later.

Having re-activated our dsTV and Wi-Fi, we settled in to a new experience: being ‘under house arrest’. This has now lasted for over 18 months (with varying degrees of strictness) but with new Covid variants developing, no end in sight yet. Fortunately Dipli, our camper, is safely parked with our good friends David and Jody in Flagstaff, Arizona.

Jan keeps busy with a variety of things: getting the Family Tree up to date (complete with about 200 photos); converting (under non-optional pressure from Google) our website to a new (much less user-friendly = worse) format; doing as much as possible to prepare our Estate documentation to make it easier for the children one day; working on vehicles which have accumulated over 55 years and then selling them. (Have sold 5 so far with one more to go: the Citroen 2CV which we bought in France in 1969); sorting and organising “stuff”.

Leoné enjoys her twice-a-week tennis and shopping in familiar places.

We saw very little of the children and grandchildren; 3 of the 8 recovered from Covid. Not having had a winter in 15 years; we found being home really very cold. However, planting flowers in the garden is a great delight. Also to watch, pick and process apricots, figs and gooseberries.

A huge photo project to mark our 50th wedding anniversary (on 20 November 2020) was to assemble photos for an album spanning our lives and featuring our immediate ancestors.

We had our Pfizer vaccinations 6 weeks apart and are now waiting the required 6 months to get the third inoculation.

We are gradually seeing a bit more of family and friends, but only in outside settings such as Country Restaurants with tables very far apart (preferbly next to a burbling brook).

Time will tell if this will be our “Last Chapter”.

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