Hey supersecdd- What trip in Aug 2015 are you booked on, my wife and I are on the Aug 14 departure.
I am getting rather tired of people asking me if I am worried because I was in East Africa in July. I am also concerned for all the wonderful local guides we met who's families rely on them doing safari drives for Tauck but will probably have no work because people are canceling, so right now I want to express my frustration at yet another media panic.
Anyone nervous? ANDY
Our Elegant Adventure trip starts Aug. 28, 2015.
After a lengthy vacation from this site, I have come in a couple of times to see if there is any information on the two tours I am taking in January/February 2015. I ran across this thread just being nosy and this post in particular. I have had some issues with British's "sense of humor/advice/irony/sarcasm" a couple of times, but after reading this one and couple of others where people have also been upset by British's comments, I thought I would give her some advice. I did that once before when she gave me some directions steeped "I know how you should travel." I was verbally circumcised (see I have a sense of humor/advice/irony/sarcasm too). I haven't been on as many Tauck adventures as she has, but I do travel frequently inside and outside of Tauck and plan on doing more of both.
If you are "getting rather tired of people asking me" this or that, you should:
1. stop reading this forum (which I doubt is likely or necessary since much of the information and advice you give is very helpful). But just remember it isn't always WHAT you say, but HOW you say it. Your advice, again, is usually on point and worthwhile but camouflaged with your tone which makes the reader think they are putting you out. If you don't want to answer a question, just ignore it. If you do, then give an answer that is appropriate for THAT person, since it is the FIRST time they have asked the question. One of the great perks of this room is getting information, no matter how trivial or massive, to questions people have when traveling around the world.
2. take on the "Disney Philosophy" in their training of people who work in their parks. They tell their employees that although they will be asked for directions to rides, restaurants, bathrooms, etc. 100s of time a day, that they should remember it is that particular person's FIRST time asking and the answer should be polite and correct--not demeaning, short, or abject.
I, too, am worried about the local economic effects of cancellations to Africa, but do understand peoples' concerns about their safety. A disease that they have no control over can be quite disconcerting. I probably wouldn't cancel my trip (I made it in July, 2014) unless I thought the disease was "geographically" closer to where I am traveling. I certainly wouldn't chastise someone's geographical skills or knowledge publicly, but then again this forum, like the internet you say you don't like, is very anonymous.
Although some seem to have jumped to some conclusions and lumped Jan and you together in your responses in here, I do find Jan's responses to be less critical and filled with humor....or would that be humour? She answers questions with information without degrading people and being critical of their choices (although I do enjoy her "humour).
British, just tone things down and keep giving people some solid advice without rebuking them by sending them to other places ("Before you go") or criticize their personal skills (geography). You are appreciated once we get through the side bars.
I, too, don't do Facebook or any other social media sites and find this one to be very useful for the choosing and preparing for Tauck tours. They certainly do a good job and as an ambassador for them you should show the same courtesy toward their customers they do. Thanks.
I did have a great time and took lots and lots of pictures and videos. I have already given a number of photos out for birthdays and such. One particular print was my favorite...it went to an expectant mother who is decorating her child's room with black and white photos of animals. I had one with an elephant calf nursing. It was a great shot and worked out great in black and white.
I am currently getting a photo of a leopard we saw in a tree with a fresh kill (blood dripping from its nose) enlarged and printed on aluminum. I actually am having a couple of large aluminum prints made. I haven't seen them yet, but I have seen other people's prints in that format and they look fantastic. I also am having some printed on glass...another fantastic medium.
OK, the trip...hotels were very good at worst and fantastic at best. The food was better than I expected, but it isn't a culinary tour. I did avoid fresh fruits and veggies, even though we were told they are rinsed in filtered water. Several people did get a little "loose in the caboose" during the trip. I assume that was from the fresh stuff. However, I wasn't real bright...I ate a salad on board the flight home. I guess I wasn't think that these veggies were still made in Kenya and probably not rinsed in filtered water and had some issues when I got home. Live and learn. I still think it is wise to avoid the fresh fruits and veggies, unless you peel them yourself, but again, that is your choice. It isn't like you'll never have another salad or piece of watermelon in your life.
The game drives were unbelievable. We saw all of the Big Nine and Little Ten....and more. We saw eight cheetahs, which Seth said was very unusual. We also saw a Serval cat, which according to Seth and the guides, is a rarity since they don't usually come out during the day. It is funny how quickly we were jaded on the game drives, "No don't stop, it is just more (fill in the blank)." I was lucky enough to be in Toyotas with people who wanted to spend as much time possible in the field. We had a great time. We even took an extra trip off road (actually back trails that were still considered ok to drive on). That was the only time we had any issues with tsetse flies and that was minimal.
The tour guides were great, especially in Tanzania. Fabulous personalities with a lot of knowledge. Kenyan guides were very good too...we just didn't spend as much time with them to get to know them.
As to the rides, many were bumpy but that didn't bother me. I lived in Colorado for ten years and went off roading and rock crawling a lot. Most of these roads were tame compared to those.
The people on the trip got along well. Not one pain in the ass in the entire group...maybe they won't say that about me.
As a solo traveler I was invited to sit with people for dinner every night and got to ride and eat with everyone on the trip. One group was special though....it was a group of five family members. Since I was a solo and enjoyed their company, Seth put me with them several times. They were so funny and enjoyable to be with. They weren't the only people who were enjoyable to be with. I liked all of my groups.
This was a trip of a lifetime and one that will never be forgotten, at least until I get dementia (which might be next week).
I am looking forward to the trips to Yellowstone in Winter and Antarctica in January and February. In between the two I will be privileged to visit with friends in Denver and Phoenix. On my return I will head back here (Florida) for a couple of months and in June and July I'll be living in London. Two months in London will allow me to enjoy one of my favorite cities at a slow pace. Besides, I understand 85% of the language. That'll get Jan and British going....hahahaha. I'll be there during Wimbledon and plan on taking that event in. Friends and family say they are coming over to visit. We'll see if that really happens.
OK, there is my review....nothing really new for anyone. If anyone has specific questions, please ask them.
You seem to make a habit of combining opposite climactic activities, if not actual hemispheres! Good thing you don't need to pack cosmetics and other bulky potions! Well, I am only assuming here … what do I know. What ever works for you, I say! )
When you are in London, see if you can manage a visit to the Chelsea Flower Show. Even if you aren't a mad gardener, it's a stunning spectacle. And that's only the people! )
I've been to London many times and it always seems as though things were rushed, even with a couple of weeks to look around. With a two months stay there I can see the sights at a slower pace. I also plan to visit other UK and European cities while there. I have friends and relatives in many of them and it will be great to visit with them. I guess that will all depend on how many people actually show up in London to visit. I know my youngest daughter and her family are coming. It is their 10th anniversary and they are using the trip to celebrate. My son-in-law is a sports reporter and wants to go to Wimbledon. Tickets are hard to come by, but we are signing up for the lottery and hope we can at least get one day's entry. Two of my sisters are talking about coming with their husbands, but who knows if that will happen. Other friends say they are coming......?????
No cosmetics, unless toothpaste counts.
At least for the two Tauck tours my clothes will be the same...it is the trip to Phoenix that will present a problem with clothing. I will ship some summer clothes there and ship them home when I leave for Argentina, although I am not sure what the weather will be like there in February. I know it is their summer, but I am not sure what summer means that far south. That is what the internet is for....I am sure someone in here will respond also.
Try these sites for the photo media.
Hope that helps.
PS: I have to keep you on your toes as regards Australian idiom. It's the least I can do. Plus, it might come in handy one day.