ElderGypsies.com Photos a limited collection of our travel photos.
Either Ellen or I was behind the lens for every one of the photographs presented on this website. We have not and will not purloin photos. We have four cameras: a Canon IXY 800 IS, a Canon 40D with a 100-400mm zoom lens, a Canon 6D with a 24-70 zoom lens, and a sony HD video cam. The point and shoot takes amazing photos. A point-and-shoot will out perform a DSLR every time if you don't know what you're doing; and most of us don't! It takes critical review of photos, planning, awareness, knowledge of the capabilities and controls of the camera, and just a touch of luck to take outstanding photos with an SLR camera. I hope some of the photos we display here qualify. How many times have I not accounted for depth of field or when shooting video, how the camera will focus with the enabled focal elements. So here is a small collection of the thousands of photos we've taken on some of our past trips.
Whidbey Island, Washington State, Summer 2015
We took Li'l Beast to Washington State to visit Jerry and Michelle whom we had not seen since 2008. They own a raspberry farm that they purchased three years ago and own two properties on Penn Cove. We've parked our RV on their farm and are staying with them on Penn Cove. We've been crabbing and clamming with them, though poachers took Jerry's two crab pots, crabs and all. Bummer that. The weather here in early August has been fabulous and the crabs and clams were the best I've ever had. Whidbey island is a gateway to the San Juan's. I would love to return to lease a sailboat and "just sail away". Perhaps one day we will. I've added some of our photos from this trip below.
Europe: Rome, Istanbul, Greek Island Cruise, Venice, and Florence, Spring 2015
After saving and investing over the years, our investment planner said a few months ago, "Congratulations, you've reached the finish line!". Ellen and I have retired. A retirement gift to ourselves is a two week Seabourn Luxury cruise of a sampling of the Greek Islands starting in Istanbul and arriving in Venice. We tacked on four days in Rome and four in Istanbul prior to the cruise and four days in Venice and five days in Florence before heading home. This is not the "vacation of a lifetime", we have a lifetime to vacation now that we've retired. Below you will find pictures from our 2015 European trip. These are organized chronologically. See if you can identify the locations as we go along. When we get home, I will subdivide the photos. We are now in Florence with our return home staring us in the face. Ellen had wondered if two months away from California and her daughters was too long. Now we're considering three months as possible. Adventure and enjoy in your life if you can, keep an open mind and find those special moments, thrive on those...
Whale Watching Loreto, Mexico Spring 2015
We went to Loreto for a fantastic whale watching trip. We had to cut our drive back from Connecticut to be sure to get back in time to plan and pack for this trip. The photos were taken over a number of days of boat charters to view gray whales then blue whales. I skipped the blue whale excursion as Montezuma had his way with me.
The Beast, 2015 Winnebago 24J, Winter 2015
I had been looking at RVs for some time and had settled on a Winnebago View 24J. I liked the price on the 2011-2013s, but recognized that the interior style of the 2015 marked that year as more desirable. I figured dealers would be bargaining on the overstock 2015s when the 16s started arriving in September, but I kept checking for sale adds to keep current on pricing. In early February, a used 2015 24J with 100 miles on it came up for sale at an incredible price. <100 miles over the delivery miles driven from Ia to Ct.> I convinced Ellen we had to move on this, got the OK from our financial planner, sealed the deal with the salesman, and we flew to Bristol, Ct to drive back our nearly brand new 24J. At first Ellen thought this was too big and we named her/it "The Beast". After a parking beside true monstrosities, her name became "Little Beast". Still a beast, but Ellen has warmed to the interior space. The sprinter chassis drives quite well. Not like a car to be sure, but not like a large truck either. With some thought about height and overhang past the rear wheels, it is very easy to maneuver.
I've added compressed video of our drive back from Connecticut. I find it interesting, probably because I know where we drove, stopped, and stayed. The GPS tags in the video can be displayed in google maps. Simply enter the lat/long in the address field. The photo for the clips is taken from The Pledge, a Jack Nicholson movie. It is not one of our own.
Hawaii, Maui, Oahu
On the big island, we chartered a helicopter for the afternoon. For the most part and if you can afford it, don't take a tourist helicopter flight. You will be disappointed. In the photo below, the pilot is flying into a box canyon on the north shore of Hawaii. There's a dramatic waterfall ahead. Kirsten, my wife's second daughter, watches transfixed as we approach the waterfall. We flew quite close-in then performed a "drop turn" (there's probably a technical term for this). What a wonderful time we had. We flew the saddle between Mauna Loa and Mauna Kea, we overflew lava flows on the south east side of the island, flew into box canyon waterfalls on the north east quadrant and overflew knife ridges. Did you know that Mauna Kea stands 13,796 feet above mean sea level and Mauna Loa stands 13,676 feet above msl?
Our pilot took us on one amazing flight.
Good friends Jim and Cynthia built a home overlooking Angels Landing, Zion, Utah. Here are some of our photos of the narrows and the cottonwoods in the fall. New Englanders, eat your hearts out.
Africa is a huge continent, we have only visited Zamba and Mozambique leaving much to be discovered. Safaris in Zambia; these were the most rewarding experiences of a lifetime. We visited Zambia on two occasions, both with Cynthia and Jim. Cyn convinced my wife that we should go "on safari". I thought "what the heck, we'll go". I had always wanted to visit africa as a "knee-biter", but I did not think a wild-life "zoo" held much to offer for me. Was I wrong, dead wrong. We safari'd in 2006 and 2009, and if plans hold two more times in the future. With the Chinese middle and upper class expanding and the availability of automatic weapons, poaching in Africa is at an all time high. Rhinos in the wild are nearly extinct. Elephants are under pressure. One example here. We support conservation in Africa: save what is left! (and it is beneficial for the locals)
What a great way to decompress after a few weeks on safari. I love the ocean and all water sports. Benguerra is a small island off the coast of Mozambique. As you can see from the photos, there are shallow sandbars on the leeward side of the island. It's a sleepy island with one resort, one under construction (in 2006), and one local indigenous tribe (for lack of a better word). The fishing was amazing and I saw a whale broach twice. My fishing guide had just returned from an excursion to hook albino marlin. He was quite the accomplished fisherman. All fishing is in a national park and is catch and release. We tagged and released the sailfish I caught.
Benguerra is more a relaxed honeymoon location than an adventurer's dream. The local water sports are pretty tame. That said, you can see and do quite a bit on and off the island, if you're inclined to get out of bed!
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