Tuesday, 22 January 2019

Larnaca, Cyprus (Nicolaides Sea View City) 

I’ve been finding myself following a daily routine now that I’ve been here a couple of weeks. Wake up before the sunrise, watch the sunrise and take a few pictures, eat breakfast, then go back to sleep for a few hours. After waking up again, taking a shower, maybe have lunch, go out for a walk and perhaps do some shopping. Another nap, make dinner, and watch something on Netflix before going to bed. 

As of today my skin treatment is complete (Efudix lotion applied twice daily) and I’m in the recovery stage. I still need to stay out of the sun, but I have plenty of travel planning to do while I recuperate. I still have a medicine taste in my mouth but that will go away in the next few days. My skin should return to normal by next week. 

As for travel planning, I’ve completed all reservations for my trip to Israel, Jordan and Lebanon. Also booked my flight from Beirut to Cairo where I’ll meet up with Hussein, then leave there for Rome on the 27th of February. I’ve also been planning my trip through the southern part of France, but that won’t happen until the first part of May. I should be planning and making reservations for my southern Italy trip before I meet up with Barb on Malta on March 23rd. 

My flight to Tel Aviv will be easy and quick. The flight leaves Larnaca at 13:00 and arrives in Tel Aviv at 13:55 on Friday the 8th of February. It occurred to me after I made my flight reservation that Friday begins the start of the Jewish sabbath. Oops. My Airbnb host assured me that even though public transportation will not be in service Friday afternoon, there are shuttle buses that are available to bring travelers into Jerusalem. My Airbnb flat is close to the old city so walking around to the various historical sites will be easy. I may take a couple of side trips outside of Jerusalem, but I’ll figure out that later.

I’m actually flying to Jordan from Tel Aviv rather than trying to navigate through the border between the Israel and Jordan. It will be an early flight and will expect to leave my Jerusalem flat by 4:00 a.m. to make sure I get to Tel Aviv for my 7:35 flight. It will be a 45 minute flight. I’m staying at a Hilton resort on the Dead Sea, an hour away from the airport. But I will get to see the countryside along the way from the airport to the hotel. (Thinking positive.) I also made arrangements to stay overnight in Petra, then return to the Hilton resort for another couple of nights before leaving for Beirut on the 20th.

I was making the final reservations this morning between 5:00 and 6:00. During this time I was also receiving and sending texts with a few U.S. folks. I honestly wouldn’t get any sleep if I didn’t mute my phone at night. Making the actual reservations for me has to be done in batches, once I feel that I’m making the right travel planning decisions. I somehow know the time is right to commit to the plan when I actually make the reservations. 

Yesterday I spoke with my insurance agent to discuss medical coverage options now that I’m eligible for Medicare in March. Another round of decision-making on top of making travel plans. I’ll probably opt for basic coverage while I’m still outside the U.S., but before I return to the U.S. I’ll select a Medicare Advantage plan. My agent is sending me various plans for consideration. 

I has been nice to have a fully equipped kitchen. The last place, as it is with many Airbnb flats, was almost like camping out. Just a few pots and pans to work with and a stove (or “cooker”). Yesterday I made a tuna dish with a recipe that I made up. It was a cross between tuna noodle casserole and fettuccine with tuna. It tasted pretty good and will make it again. I just need to remember how I made it. 

I’m thinking about returning here for another month long visit later in the year, perhaps in November. By then the new building that is going up a block away will be done with their noisy pile driving work. Thankfully my ear plugs allow me to sleep right through the construction noise.  

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