Our new European motorhome Max, at the dealer in Dulmen, Germany.
Where are Kevin and Ruth now? Dulmen, Germany.

Where are Kevin and Ruth going next? Not sure yet.

Wednesday, February 17, 2021

If you are going to travel during these times

I've said it before... if you are going to travel during these times, you need to be flexible. Fortunately, we are totally flexible!

We have tickets to fly from Dar es Salaam, Tanzania through Amsterdam to Dusseldorf, Germany on March 21st. The plan when we booked them back in December was to pick up our new motorhome towards the end of March.

That flight date is now four and a half weeks away. Close enough that we can pretty much tell that Germany is not going to happen for us quite yet. Several of Germany's Covid travel restrictions are set to expire between today and February 25th, but the way things are I would be surprised if there isn't another extension of those restrictions. 

In the meantime, we are watching the circus that is going on in Canada. We had planned on returning to Canada for three weeks or so towards the end of May, but we don't see that happening either. We were fully prepared to do the obligatory two week house arrest (14 day quarantine), but there is no way we are going to play their silly game regarding a $2,000 three day hotel stay as well. And we don't see them getting rid of that requirement by May, but of course time will tell.

So given those events, we are likely going to institute Plan B.

Plan B would see us changing our Dusseldorf flight tickets to arrive in Tirana, Albania instead where we would have three months to further wait things out. Albania will be starting to warm up by then, and my research says that we will enjoy that country! We may even bump the flight date a little closer. We are enjoying our time in Tanzania, but we think we would like Albania more.

Yesterday was mostly a day of rest. We did end up going out for an hour in the afternoon just to wander around town a bit and pick up a few things.

The local cathedral is nicely maintained.




Pretty flower.

Except there is a fair bit of plastic trash lying around.

Tanzania has banned single use plastic bags since June 2019, but there is still a lot of other plastic trash lying around. The energy drinks pictured above are a real problem. Other drinks, like sodas produced by Coca Cola (Fanta, Sprite etc) don't seem to be as much of a problem because they use refillable glass bottles the same way beer does.

Today, we are headed out for another long hike! Temperatures here in Lushoto are highs of 27C (81F) and lows of 15C (60F). A bit humid during the day.

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And in Canada...



29 comments:

  1. I think instituting a costly hotel stay for returning travelers is a good way to limit the spread, especially with new variants around.

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    1. I disagree with you. It will do nothing to limit the spread, since the spread is 98% community based, and the new variants are already in the community. It's a reaction from a government that's grasping at straws. However, our opinion doesn't matter. Fortunately, we can still chose not to return to Canada at this time.

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    2. We will likely get stuck with the costly 3 day stay when we return to Canada in early May. I agree this measure is too little too late and punitive rather than helpful. Requirements for Covid tests before flights and upon arrival should have been in place a long time ago. I have no problem with quaratine either. In the end our safe, warm, healthy winter in Mazatlan is worth it.

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    3. Hmm, strange that the infectious disease experts would advise the government to put this in place if it does nothing to limit the spread.

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    4. I don't believe that is what happened. This had nothing to do with the "experts". The masses were in an uproar because of the number of people going south to escape winter, and this was the governments way of doing something about it. The masses are now satisfied.

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  2. I have alot of friends that have travelled to Australia and Thailand recently and they have all been asked to quarantine for 14 days in a hotel at their expense. Not sure this is a new thing around the world, just for Canada I suppose. I believe they tried the whole "quarantine somewhere safe and let us know where you are so we can monitor" idea but that crashed and burned as most people didn't adhere to the rules and were caught venturing out from their "safe place" too many times (or having people over) so this was the alternative to ensure that this is managed better.

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    1. Interesting. I am under the impression that Australia is totally closed to visitors, and has been since last March 20th.

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  3. Here in the states, they will start requiring you to show you were vaccinated via a card. Some think it will be required globally on passports. I've travel to Alaska and had to be tested before and after flight and go directly to my hotel...which I did last September. Again, I will be traveling to Alaska in June but I now have my vaccination card completed with two Pfitzer shots. I agree countries need to ensure that the virus is managed better. Too many folks who were asymptomatic gave the virus to others including my own family and friends.

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    1. Why weren't your family and friends practicing social distancing?

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  4. Those are the new rules in Canada and many other countries. I do believe more countries will apply similiar rules as the new variants are spreading rapidly worldwide. These are unprecedented times. Stay safe.

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    1. And we will follow the rules, but we don't necessarily agree with them.

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  5. Yes I think having proof of 2 vaccine inoculations might be sufficient to avoid a quarantine situation upon returning to Canada or elsewhere . I saw in a previous comment a day or 2 ago that you would not want to get a vaccine. You might want to reconsider this option if you are able to get them at some point .

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    1. And if your first sentence were true, then it might be worth it. But so far, that's not the case. We are in no rush to get the vaccine. But if we have to in order to travel somewhere that we otherwise can't, then we will reconsider.

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  6. I’m just thinking about Ruth’s laptop. Some laptops are more susceptible to voltage fluctuations and especially a low voltage range.

    I’m just wondering that the service capacity at your location is too small and the additional electric load required for your accommodation is resulting in low voltage or low voltage spikes.

    If that is the case, Kevin’s laptop may be at risk over time.

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    1. Could be. Most laptops have a pretty wide input range, but surges or low voltage could certainly happen here. Unfortunately I don't have access to a volt meter to test the voltage, and I'm not sure what I would do if that were the case anyhow.

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    2. Totally understand!

      I would guess there are pocket sized multi meters out there that would give you some self assurance of the power quality 24/7. But, if the quality is poor you would have to upload in a more secure area.

      There are also power bars out there that may address (curb) this concern.

      Being your life line to the blog and given your travels to the special remote locations that we all love it is a suggestion.

      However, when you get into your new ride; it will be a non factor!

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    3. Carrying around a volt meter really won't help the situation much if the voltage is good most of the time but could drop or surge at any point during the day without our knowing and that is definitely a possiblity.

      In this little town/village, I am not sure that we would be able to find a power bar that could curb a surge or drop in power but it is something we could definitely look at.

      We are so looking forward to getting into our new motorhome, the question will be when?

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  7. I am thrilled about the possibility of seeing Albania - I see pictures on an IG photo feed all the time and it's a beautiful country.

    If I understood you, Canada would not change the need for quarantine even if you had been vaccinated with both shots? Craziest thing I've read today, but it sounds like government to me.

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    1. We are thrilled to, we were hoping that we would be able to visit Albania in our new motorhome home sometime over the next couple of years but we are also ok with exploring the country the same way we have been doing things these last 4 or 5 months using Airbnb's and either public transportation or renting a car.

      Yes, you understood us correctly, at the moment even if you are vaccinated you will still have to quarantine if you enter Canada and we would expect that you would still have to do the 3 day government hotel stay at your own expense as well as getting the necessary PCR tests. Definitely crazy!

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  8. Purely a personal opinion.

    Yes the powers that be have failed us all. Yes again, people (all of us) haven’t been Covid or Covid 19 friendly to each other. But, the travel abroad caused the initial spread of the virus. Having said that, the government’s continual allowance of non-essential travel abroad has created more and advanced cases of the virus being introduced to the world. NOW, the government is at least putting in barriers to quench this travel and only the wealthy will continue in a controlled manner. I could be totally wrong but for some reason the numbers are starting to improve and the barriers are having SOME effect?

    Last, I will say; Kevin and Ruth are the one of’s that their travels are totally Covid friendly, just not heading South to the grove of people for sun and relaxation.

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    1. We totally agree that the initial spread of the virus was brought in from people being abroad but studies have proven now that only 2% of the cases are coming from people returning to Canada from aboard and that was before Canada implemented the mandatory PCR test before entering so chances are the numbers are even lower than that now. This is something that Canada should have started long ago when other countries started doing it. Also in amongst those traveling they don't factor in the people returning to Canada that are essential workers who are not having to quarantine! We personally know a person that can come in as an essential worker and can continue to do everything that everyone else can do, such as go shopping for groceries but those that are non-essential have to quarantine, plus this person is in and out of the country on a fairly regular basis.

      The majority of cases are community spread! Anyways, we really aren't complaining about the new rules, we will just continue to stay away from Canada for the time being.

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  9. First, let me clear something up. The reason the government asks us not to travel unnecessarily rather than ban it is because our Constitution guarantees us the right to come and go. The hotel stay is a deterrent to keep people from leaving, but if you don't mind the extra cost to your March Break, fill your boots. The quarantine is sensible, because travellers brought the disease in, and continue to. Here in the Maritimes, on our updates, most of the cases are caught during quarantine, and unfortunately for you, you get lumped in with the rest of travellers, so everybody gets the same set of conditions.
    I enjoy reading about your travels, and wish you the best, but about 750,000 people in North America have died from Covid, and those of us who want to enjoy their remaining years appreciate attempts to keep us safe. I don't like cold weather either, but staying home in a warm house won't kill me. Covid probably would.

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    1. Are you kidding me!

      Trudeau from the beginning has killed love ones. The Canadian public knew of Covid 19 before Trudeau!

      Sorry my friend!!!!

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    2. We agree, the new rules with the extra PCR tests and the 3 day government hotel stay at your expense are in fact a deterrent to keep people from traveling and as you said if people have the money and don't mind spending the extra money as part of the their "vacation" then yes, people will still travel.

      What we find strange with the Maritimes, is that their numbers were almost zero in the summer, as the province was basically closed and those that entered had to quarantine yet their numbers spiked when the rest of Canada's numbers spiked and it wasn't from people coming in from aboard, it was community spread.

      As we said, we are OK with doing the quarantine time but we aren't going to do the 3 day mandatory hotel stay, so we will just continue to avoid Canada. If Canada would accept us with proof of vaccine and no quarantine or 3 day hotel stay we would definitely consider going that route.

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    3. The Maritimes have several places of contagion. There are a lot of rotational workers shuffling back and forth from Alberta and Saskatchewan. They are tested, but unfortunately, self-isolation for a parent on rotation isn't always observed. Also, in Northern NB, there is a lot of cross-border traffic with nursing staff and even school students crossing back and forth each day. In Southern NB, we have essential workers on both sides of the border crossing every day for work. We recently had a nurse, working in the US, living in Canada, infect her daughter, a high school student. Over 70 people had to quarantine. Luckily, no-one else was infected, but anyone else that was infected would have been considered community spread.
      I'm not trying to pick a fight here, and I understand you living your lifestyle, and have no criticism of that. My entire point is that the virus doesn't travel by itself, and being strict about border crossing is important. If I had my way, people who choose to work in the US, or Alberta should live where they work until at least everybody can be vaccinated.
      Enjoy your travels, I enjoy reading about them.

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    4. And that is precisely our point we think more of the infections are coming from these people and from the community itself than it is from travelers coming in from aboard. As we said we don't see a problem with the 14 day quarantine or even an extra PCR test over and above the one you have when you

      fly/drive into the country but doing this 3 day hotel stay at $2,000 per person has just been set up as a deterrent to stop people from traveling, plus it makes no sense to have it just apply to people who are flying in and not to those that are crossing at a land border!

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  10. The removal of plastic bags has only led to the use of other substitutes. All plastics should be banned although I know it won't happen. Even if they did, before I die I doubt I will ever find a place free of the trash.

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    1. Yes, it does lead to other substitutes but generally those substitutes are more eco friendly. There is no way that all plastics will be banned but all one time use plastics should be, and I believe that Mexico City just put a ban on all single use plastics at the beginning of the year. I would love to see how that works out, and I wish more places/countries would follow suit.

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