2023 Adventure ATW

January - July 2023
This is our third attempt to see Africa.
  • 124footprints
  • 34countries
  • 181days
  • 1.0kphotos
  • 37videos
  • 46.1kmiles
  • 13.0kmiles
  • First Step

    December 30, 2022 in the United States ⋅ ⛅ 25 °F

    The luggage is ready and waiting for FedEx to be shipped. We will see it on Insignia January 15.

  • Day 1

    The flight

    January 14, 2023 in the United States ⋅ ⛅ 39 °F

    Thanks to Rachel and Arden, they drove us to the airport with plenty of time to go through check in and to the gate. The flight is on time.
    We landed just on time. It was interesting to see how all fields close to San Francisco are flooded. The clouds are very heavy and low, but when we landed, there were no rain. We are happy!

    We took taxi to the hotel and by 1:00PM we were in our room. We dropped our stuff and while the rain stopped went to find something to eat.
    We quickly discovered that there are no flat streets around Fairmont Hotel. The position of the hotel is on the highest point and everything is steep downhill. We walked about 1/2 a mile, but for Boris it was a very hard walk down. We found a restaurant, had quick lunch and walked up the “mountain” back to the hotel just in time before rain started again. The rain continued through evening, so we decided not to go anywhere.
    Tomorrow we will board the ship.
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  • Day 2

    Boarding Insignia

    January 15, 2023 in the United States ⋅ 🌧 52 °F

    The morning started with a rain. We went outside the hotel to get breakfast. I told Boris to turn around and wait for me to bring breakfast…not the best weather for him to walk. And that was an excellent idea. I googled the breakfast restaurant and it said “mostly flat”. That was a surprise for me. The distance to that place is only 0.2mi, but all the the way steep down. For me it’s no problem, but for Boris would be impossible.
    Got the breakfast to go and on the way back to our hotel it was a 45 degrees climb.
    Had breakfast in our room, then walked around the beautiful area close to hotel.
    At 12:15 our bus came to transfer us to the ship.
    When we got to the check in desk, Boris discover he lost his phone. It took another 20 min to locate his phone on the bus. Luckily it was found on the bus and returned to us.
    Now on the ship we are busy unpacking and organising our cabin.

    After hard work, it was time to meet our friend Erin and Mui for a dinner and Mui’s birthday celebration.

    As usually the food, the company were fantastic with grand finale of birthday cake.
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  • Day 4

    Ensenada, Mexico

    January 17, 2023 in Mexico ⋅ 🌧 54 °F

    After one day at sea, we docked at 8:30, but our wine tour starts at 9:30. We left ship as soon as it docked walked slowly toward tour bus.
    Ensanada greeted us with a rainy cold weather, but we got our new rain jacket when we boarded the ship and now we are not afraid of the rain. Plus we saw multiple rainbows.
    We were first for the tour and other four came shortly after that.
    The city itself is not very interesting. After driving through the city, we continued driving through the country side. The further we drove, the more grapevines we saw. There are 150 wineries in that region. Some are small, but few are very large.

    Our first stop was Cetto winery. It is one of the largest in this region. We tasted four wines, some bread, cheese and olives. In addition to grapes they are growing olives and many fruits and vegetables. The climate in this area is similar to some of Italy places.

    The second stop was small, private winery where we also got to taste four wines, three different kind of bread. One is sweet with fruits, one spicy with pepper and one is normal, also more cheese and garlic infused olive oil.

    The whole tour with driving took close to four hours and around 1:10PM we reached the city (actually touristy street) with lots of shops. Since we are not interested in any of these stuff, we walked back toward the ship. After drinking all these wines, I was pretty wasted. We came back on the ship and I fell asleep for few minutes.
    In the evening we are going to Terrace Cafe. The chef is cooking fish.
    Next two days are at see before we arrive to the next port.
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  • Day 5

    Two Relaxing Days at Sea

    January 18, 2023, North Pacific Ocean ⋅ ⛅ 64 °F

    Tomorrow is another Mexican town, but today and yesterday we are at sea enjoying nice cool weather, painting classes, lectures, friends and food.
    The further south we go, the warmer it gets…. before we cross equator and it will get colder the more south we go.Read more

  • Day 7

    Manzanillo, Mexico

    January 20, 2023 in Mexico ⋅ ⛅ 81 °F

    It is warm and sunny here.
    We docked at 11:00AM and shortly after that got out. There was a pretty long walk out of the port.
    Our plan was to go on the beach. Playa La Audiencia is a calm beach about 25min taxi ride from the port. There are other beaches closer to the port, but as we understood, not as nice.
    I downloaded an app DiDi that works similar to Uber (no Uber in Manzanillo), unfortunately there were no cars available. There were lots of taxis, so we and another couple decided to share it.
    After approximately 25 minutes ride we got to the beach, rented chairs and umbrella and started to enjoy the beautiful beach and warm calm water.
    After few hours on the beach we were ready to go back on the ship. There were no taxis available, but I use the app and the car came two minutes after. The driver had a child in the car and since there were 4 of us, the child had to sit on our laps.
    Back on the ship, and after shower, we went for the afternoon tea.
    Then dinner at 7:30 in specialty restaurant.
    We had truly international table with people from South Africa, Canada, New Zealand and US. Had a great time with wonderful people.
    After dinner went to a show and enjoyed it very much.
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  • Day 8

    Zihuatanejo, Mexico

    January 21, 2023 in Mexico ⋅ ☀️ 79 °F

    Zihuatanejo is a small town adjacent to a bigger resort town of Ixtapa.
    This is tender port. We were on the first tender boat and as soon as we arrived at the pier, we got tickets for water taxi.
    There were singers and dancers on the pier. Nice touch.
    We got into the water taxi and went to Las Gatas Beach.
    It took about 10-15 minutes to reach the beach. When we arrived it was not very busy. We found chairs, table and umbrella at one of the restaurants that lined up the beach and settle there. The water in the ocean was clean, warm but not much for snorkeling. Mui went to investigate and came back saying that we have seen much better. So Boris and I decided not to snorkel.
    It was still very pleasant to be on the beach.
    For lunch we ordered beer, guacamole, chips. I ordered octopus and Boris decided to have hamburger.
    Since it was Saturday, the beach became very busy, so around 2:30PM we took water taxi back to pier and then tender boat back to our ship.
    In the evening we went to Terrace Cafe for a special dinner with a menu from Red Ginger.
    The food was delicious and presentation is superb.
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  • Day 9

    Acapulco, Mexico

    January 22, 2023 in Mexico ⋅ ☀️ 81 °F

    As soon as Insignia docked, we went out. We were met with a orchestra playing. Nice touch!
    We have been in Acapulco in 2017 and at that time had a tour and seen cliff divers.
    So today is an easy day on the beach.
    First thing we had to do is find ATM and get some pesos.
    It took us 15 minutes to walk to ATM. It was inside very nice store. On the way there, local guy by the name Raul started to walk next to us and asked us to go to his store. We told him we do not need anything, but he continue walking and talking. We got to the store and tried to lose him, but could not. By now he got a control of a wheelchair and Boris. The store, more like a market with a lot of trinkets was couple blocks from the ATM. We spent two minutes in the market and our “new friend Raul” pushed the wheelchair with Boris to the beach. We told him goodbye, gave him a tip and continue to the beach.
    Now on the beach, we rented umbrella and chairs and settled.

    I went swimming few times, but Boris was comfortable in the shade.
    Later, a group of 6 people rented a table with chairs next to us and we realised it is our cru from the ship.
    We had a nice conversation with them, but it was getting hot so we decided to go back on the ship.
    After lunch we parked ourself on the deck by the pool to enjoy outside and sea water pool. Also to wait for Mariachi band to perform and what a performance it was! The group of six players and singers and six dancers, gave us very good performances. The group performed together for the last 30 years in 19 countries. And we had a front row seats to this wonderful show.
    It is now time to take shower and dinner. Tomorrow will be a sea day.
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  • Day 10

    Peru is Cancelled

    January 23, 2023, North Pacific Ocean ⋅ ☀️ 81 °F

    Today was a relaxing day at sea. I started day with a 2 miles walk on the deck, then breakfast and a few hours by the pool, lunch, wine tasting and then…the news
    from cruise director. Our three ports in Peru have been cancelled due to the political unrest in the country and been replace with one port in Ecuador 🇪🇨 for two days. It is better to be safe.
    It is our first major change.
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  • Day 11

    Puerto Chiapas. Iztapa and Chocolate

    January 24, 2023 in Mexico ⋅ ☀️ 86 °F

    This is our first visit to Puerto Chiapas, Mexico. Our friends, Erin and Mui visited this port 2 weeks ago and managed to set up a private tour for 4 of us.

    We stopped to see ruins of Izapa. It is an archaeological site dated 2500 years ago. The sites located on land of farmers. These sites are not supported by government since the traffic to see them is not heavy and can not bring big revenue. And it is sad, since the sites will not survive for much longer.
    Our driver/tour guide Fabio was very knowledgeable and explained many traditions and believes. Too many to list here.
    We visited three level pyramids and tried the game Maya people played a game ball ( it weighted 5kg). Our ball was light. We need lots of practice to play that game.

    After the ruins of Izapa, we drove to Tuxtla Chico. The town was preparing for celebration, which will be between January 23 and February 2nd. The streets were colourful with little flags and umbrellas.

    We were looking forward to a performance, but could only take pictures of woman in costumes. Beautiful costumes and ladies.

    Our next stop was in Chocolate La Parra house. The owner, Dona Josefina has an little shop and demonstrates the process of making chocolate. She won competition in Italy and France.

    We had hands on experience on making chocolate. We roasted beans, shell them and then grind them by hand until it forms as a paste. Then we ate our own made chocolate.

    After getting pretty full eating 100 percent bitter chocolate, we were invited to eat traditional meal of quesadillas and tamales. The drink was hot chocolate.
    In addition to hot chocolate it was very hot outside. 92 degrees. We really enjoyed this tour.
    This is our last stop in beautiful Mexico.
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