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Silversea Water Cooler: Welcome! Part Five


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Ok so the pre-release of DaveyWavey in the Caribbean is out there. Please don’t think I’ve defected from SS, but I had the most amazing time on my Pirates of the Caribbean adventure on another line.I enjoyed amazing food, met beautiful new friends and relished in visiting places I never thought I’d be seen dead in.  I’m so glad to be out there exploring this beautiful world in which we live in again 

 

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10 hours ago, Daveywavey70 said:

Ok so the pre-release of DaveyWavey in the Caribbean is out there. Please don’t think I’ve defected from SS, but I had the most amazing time on my Pirates of the Caribbean adventure on another line.I enjoyed amazing food, met beautiful new friends and relished in visiting places I never thought I’d be seen dead in.  I’m so glad to be out there exploring this beautiful world in which we live in again 

 

Thanks for this splendid video, DW.  I followed your very entertaining and informative thread in the Crystal Board.  I was only able to enjoy two Crystal cruises before the pandemic...and now maybe nevermore.  Silversea was my first cruise ever and I plan to return as Covid relents a bit more.  Hope to meet you someday!

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Rental cars recommended in the Virgin Islands, but this time we decided no.  Walk and take taxis or "safaris" (open air taxis).  This worked out fine for us.  Got to have some great conversations, & hear some new, to us, reggae songs.  Had to share this remix of Pink Floyd's Wish You Were Here

 

 

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4 minutes ago, QueSeraSera said:

Rental cars recommended in the Virgin Islands, but this time we decided no.  Walk and take taxis or "safaris" (open air taxis).  This worked out fine for us.  Got to have some great conversations, & hear some new, to us, reggae songs.  Had to share this remix of Pink Floyd's Wish You Were Here

 

 

 

Awesome Que!  Thank you!

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New Mexico, Thursday January 13th. 

 

Today the main goal was to get to White Sands. We had a few other ideas for additional stops but hadn't really fleshed out an organized plan for the rest of the day. We'll see how it goes.

 

We got a decent start from our hotel by 8:00, but the local Starbucks was crowded so we didn't get quite the early start that we'd hoped for. Still, we made it to White Sands National Park by 9:15. We started driving the loop and stopped for a few trails.

 

The Playa Trail, nearest the entrance. The sands were a bit off-white here. But the mountains were pretty, and the sky a deep blue. I love the western sky when it's cold...and it was about 30 degrees this morning!

 

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Further on, the Dune Life Nature Trail. A bit of climbing but also nice views. Distant mountains, whiter sands, scrub vegetation, and a dramatic piece of driftwood.

 

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A little viewpoint at the end of a boardwalk. Cropped, so as to not show the idiots who can't read, and had hopped the rails, and were tromping all over the delicate desertscape. People! They drive us nuts.

 

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Further out in the park, where there isn't a biofilm coating the surface, it's OK to walk on the dunes. So we took a few short excursions. 

 

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The sun warmed the landscape quickly. But the view remained spectacular. There were a few other cars here and there but it never seemed crowded.

 

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The coats didn't last long. Hope this dose of Vitamin D can last us the rest of the winter!

 

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There was one more 5-mile trail to hike. Nope. We hadn't brought enough water... The desert is beautiful but this was a good amount for us to see. We had a few other places that we could try to visit.

 

So we continued eastward on NM-70, to Alamogordo. Where else could you have the opportunity to pose with the world's largest pistachio? The plaque where Chris is standing confirms this great honor.

 

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We bought some pistachios for good measure. And pressed onward, to our next stop at Fort Stanton. It was built in the 1850s as an Army Fort. But it's had numerous other purposes since then.

 

A reproduction of a barracks. I suspect the original version was substantially less bright and cheery.

 

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The fort was occupied by Confederate forces during the Civil War, who burned it as they left. It was rebuilt, abandoned, then reclaimed, then turned into a TB sanitorium in 1899! It kept that role until 1953 - this makes sense to me, since that's the time when anti-TB drugs first became available, and sanitoriums were no longer in such demand.

 

Some images from the part of the exhibit about the TB hospital:

 

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The medical equipment looks so antique. I wonder what they will say about our medical equipment in 50-100 years?

 

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A luxury outdoor cabin, where TB patients lived if they were well enough to do so. Open sides for fresh air. Ah, the luxury! We tried to book one for tonight; alas, they had no occupancy. Onward!

 

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The TB history was interesting. But the fort served another purpose. During WWII, a few Japanese and German POWs were housed here.

 

There is a very interesting exhibit about the occupants of a German luxury cruise ship, Columbus, who lived here from 1939 until the end of WWII. The story was fascinating!

 

The Columbus was a luxury cruise ship which was cruising in the Med, when Germany went to war and called the ship back. The captain did not want to risk the trip by Great Britain, so fled to a neutral port (Cuba) for a while, then tried to get to Mexico. The US followed them but a British ship caught them in neutral waters, and the German captain scuttled Columbus rather than let it fall into enemy hands. A US ship picked up the Germans and brought them to New York. (We were not yet at war with Germany).

 

Now what? The US couldn't get the German men home via the Atlantic route due to the British blockade. They sent them to San Francisco to try a Transpacific route, with only limited success. So they housed them at Fort Stanton! Initially the situation seemed somewhat amiable, but when the US declared war on Germany, they became POWs. Many stayed there until 1945.

 

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So, Fort Stanton was nothing like we expected. It was way more interesting, and unexpected!

 

We turned back towards Las Cruces and stopped for a very late lunch in Ruidoso. We went to a local brew pub for wings and fish & chips. Very traditional New Mexican fare.

 

Then we headed back, with the setting sun providing a nice backdrop for the desert landscape.

 

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Along the way we stopped for a quick wine tasting outside Alamogorda. We grabbed a bottle that we thought might go well with Mexican food, which we were planning to order from a place in Las Cruces.

 

It was a 2-hour drive home but we made it in time to get take-out for dinner, which we enjoyed in our beautiful hotel suite. The food was only OK, unfortunately. There wasn't much flavor and hardly any heat. The wine was so-so as well. That was not a problem - we've eaten quite well this trip, so we're in no danger of going hungry.

 

Tomorrow, we hope to visit the highlight of the trip - Carlsbad Caverns! Tomorrow night, we stay at an airport hotel in El Paso before flying home very early Saturday AM.

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