Easter Island

We were fortunate to spend a fabulous sunny day on this island. You know how some places you have heard about and your expectations build and then you hear more and more and you build such expectations that you don’t think anything could live up to it. Well after hearing about this place and reading about it with all the history I was ready to be let down by our visit.  I can tell you that you can believe all the hype! This is an amazing place and one that we will not soon forget.

They told us that sea swells can be problematic and not many ships can tender into the island. You see there is no dock on the island. So the only way to get ashore is by tendering in. Look in this next picture at the Tender boat coming back to the ship. Where we went ashore was just past that first row of rocks and just before the second row of rocks. One tender (boat) lost its front corner window and another one lost the front door. They had to stop bring people to shore for a while after we were ashore. Even some of the afternoon ship tours were not able to get ashore and had to be canceled. We counted ourselves lucky, for sure.


Once ashore we found our guide and headed off for a private tour of Easter Island. Along the way we heard about the history of the island and what it is like to live there. There are a total of around 8,000 people that live on Easter Island, according to the last census. The place has been growing as the previous census recorded 4,000 people.

It had rained for several days before our arrival and this day was a beautiful partly cloudy day. Everything was clear and bright. You will notice the bright fresh green in some of the pictures.

Yes for us the island lived up to all the hype. It is a very special place that we are very lucky to have spent some time on.

Donations in Peru

From our tour guide (Spring 2011) donation suggestions for spring 2012 as we are touring once again with Paul at Peru Inca Wonders.

We will ship a box with our luggage of things that are not going to come back (that way no storage on board).

Dear Patrice:

I have attached a file where you will find a possible list of some important things for the children. It is just an alternative list but please send what you think they could wear and use.

Thank you and your group of friends for your helpful because our children need a lot of help. You saw part of the poorest areas in Lima and it can give you an idea of the conditions how they live.

It´s nice to hear that there are more people who want to donate things.

Thanks a lot and god bless you


Cafe Nikki – Santorini Greece

After traveling from Seattle and checking into Villa Rose, we wanted something to eat and traditional Greek was what we had in mind. The hotel recommended a small place a couple blocks away named Cafe Nikki. What a treat it was to a couple travel weary people.

The restaurant has about 10 tables inside and a few more outside, we ate inside. I think we were the only non locals in the place; this is nearing the end of the tourist season though. We do like to do more local things than spend our time in totally tourist areas and businesses. So the place seemed perfect to us.

The Menu was traditional Greek all the way. We ordered the following, (I posted recipes for these dishes in Cook with Dave, so look them up):

Tzatziki – had carrots in it
Tomato Balls – A Santorini specialty
Calamari with Orzo – from my experience this is a tricky dish not to over cook the Calamari, but it was done to perfection for us.

We split the dishes and it was more than plenty for the two of us. We didn’t order dessert but Nikki brought us each a plate of Greek Yogurt with honey on it. Might sound strange but it was amazing. You get the sweet of honey and the tart of Greek Yogurt at the same time. Try it you will like it you can trust me on this. Just simple and amazing at the same time. I should say a bit more about Nikki.

This is Nikki’s restaurant and she runs the show. What a character she is too. Everyone there is really busy and very attentive too. We really enjoyed tasting REAL Greek food once again and this was a perfect place to experience it again.

If we can fit it in we will be back there before we leave. If not…we will on our next trip for sure.

Amici Cannis Foundation

The Amici Cannis (Friends of the Dog) Foundation is pleased to announce the granting of full legal status, according to Ecuadorian and International Treaty Law ( Acuerdo No. 129-MIES- I/2011) of the equivalent of a 501c(3), non-profit corporation, complete with RUC/Tax I.D. number for tax-deductible donations.

After 1 ½ years of laying the legal, logistical and practical groundwork, The Foundation is now poised to begin preliminary operations. Getting born was a lengthy process because it was done correctly in all aspects and will prove worthwhile in the future to have constructed the foundation slowly-but- correctly.

Our ‘mission’ is to rescue, heal, rehabilitate and adopt-out as many as possible of the countless dogs on the streets of the city and canton of Cotacachi. In addition, we hope to ‘ raise the consciousness ’ of our local neighbors in this county regarding the treatment, propagation and maintenance of ‘ man’s best friend ’.

The Foundation’s first grant and financial asset has been an anonymous and very generous donation of approximately 10 acres of land, located 15 minutes from the heart of Cotacachi. There, The Foundation will construct a shelter consisting of kennels, dog runs, a medical / veterinary facility and a canine rehab training center.

The Foundation’s second gift is a substantial cash donation from the newly-appointed Ambassador from Ecuador to El Salvador, His Excellency Segundo Anrango, the brother of His Honor, Mayor Anrango, of Cotacachi.

While waiting for the legal status of the Foundation to be completed, Directors and friends of The Foundation have been preliminarily ( and at their own expense, combined with small donations) rescuing, treating, neutering and adopting-out approximately 20 dogs to-date.

The Foundation’s initial Board of Directors is comprised of the following members, listed in alphabetical order: Maria del Carmen Romero Anda; Pablo Arpi ( Secretary); Maria Jose Burbano ( Treasurer); Peggy and Lee Carper (Honorary Board Members); Michael d’Addio ( Founding President); Andres Jara Dominguez; Marco Antonio Proano; Rick Serafino (Honorary Board Member and Chief of Public Relations); Jennifer Phillips Rios.

Best wishes,
Michael d’Addio, President
Amici Cannis Foundation (Fundacion 062011)
contact us: amicicannis@yahoo.com

HAL Rotterdam Private Tour Israel – 3 days 2 nights 10-29-11 through 10-31-11

Cruise Critic Roll Call – 27 days Athens to Ft Lauderdale

Sailing on HAL Rotterdam in October? We have a private tour organized.

Current cost is $990 for three days per couple – cost will go down based on our group (currently we are three couples)

hotels/entrance fees/meals/tips are in addition but should be reasonable

we have a private driver, van and guide for the entire three days and will be staying in town (off the ship) for two nights.

About our guide:

Adrian Wolf
two university degrees in addition to the official tour guide license (two year academic course).
served in the IDF (army) for six years, rank major and another 20 years of 40 days active reserve duty.
Lecture to various organizations and groups Member of the Israel Military History Association Have an intimate knowledge of the infra-structure and workings of the country.
Wrote a book A Chronology of Israel which is the standard English text-book used by tour guide students the tour guide who takes tour-guide students on a professional tour to show what/what not to do and say both a licensed guide’ and lecturer

the tour (as of now) – we are seeing quite a bit more than what HAL Is offering and of course being smaller group we are flex in what we do:

Day 1 29 October
Meet on the quay at Haifa port. Drive to view the Bahai’i Gardens in Haifa from the top and bottom of the Carmel mountain. We drive passed Megiddo where according to Christian theology the final battle will take place (Revelations 16:16). In Nazareth visit the Church of the Annunciation constructed over the site where the Angel Gabriel told the Virgin Mother she will give birth to the Messiah (Christos).
Drive passed Cana where the First Miracle took place (turning water into wine).

At the Sea of Galilee we visit the home of Simon/Peter, Church of the Multiplication, Church of the Primacy (where Jesus walked on the water), and Mt. of Beatitudes (where Jesus preached to the masses). Optional Baptism in the Jordan River.

Head along the Jordan Valley to visit one of the prime sites in Israel, Beit She’an, a magnificent Roman city. Learn of its importance in history, the bathhouse, cardo, theater and amphitheater where gladiator fights actually took place- the cages and tunnels have been exposed.

Drive along the Jordan Valley and learn about Israeli agriculture in the desert.

Jerusalem overnight.

Day 2 30 October
Jerusalem in detail
Get brief background to the history of the passed 4000 years. Learn about the basis of all three monotheistic religions.
Enter the Old City. Visit the Armenian, Jewish, Muslim and Christian quarters. This will include the Western Wall, via Dolorosa and Church of the Holy Sepulchre, homes of Jews before the destruction of the Temple in AD70. See remnants of the original Byzantine Church (4th century) and the gate of Jerusalem, where Jesus exited before arriving at Golgotha.
Options. Explore the tunnels in the City of David. Mt. Zion churches.

Drive around the city to see the various suburbs and learn about the political, economic and social problems.


A private tour of Yad Vashem, the Holocaust Museum.

Evening – walk downtown Jerusalem, see the Walls of the Old City.

Day 3 31 October
Drive to the Dead Sea, visit Masada and learn of the Jewish War against the Romans. Swim at the Dead Sea. Time permitting we can drive to Tel Aviv and then to the port at Ashdod.


My history with this company isn’t very good. This is the only delivery service that has asked me for directions to their next stop. They are also the only one that chewed me out of not having my address on the house. Then I pointed out that it is on the light pillar in the middle of the front yard. Then he told me that was to hard to see I needed it on the house. I said if you look around, most of the houses here have the address on a pillar in the front yard. Very strange, but that isn’t the point to my post. I can now say they have topped my previous experience with them.

We were leaving for a trip to Canada when we saw some charges we didn’t make appear on one of the Credit Cards. We called the Credit card people and they were going to send us a replacement card in Canada. We called the Hotel and made sure both of our names were on the registration, so there wouldn’t be a question about if we were there or not.

The day they were due to deliver the card I went to the front desk and told them what I was expecting and they made sure everyone knew. They even called the other Hotel of theirs in town in case they tried to deliver it there. Late in the day we still didn’t have the card and I kept checking with the front desk checking on it. We called the company to find out what was going on. DHL told them we were not registered at the hotel. Further they told us it would be delivered that evening. So we stayed in that night and nothing happened.

In the morning we called and all they knew was that the hotel said we were not there. I talked with the front desk and a manager wanting them to tell me why they said we were not there. They all said they didn’t and that everyone was aware of the delivery. There was no one from DHL that had been to either of the hotels it seems. So we had the company redirect the delivery to our home address here in Seattle. It didn’t show up at home.

We called the company again and they said that they would issue us yet another card and would send it regular mail. We received that card just fine but that isn’t the end of the story.

I called DHL and had them check for the package and they had no record. I called DHL Canada and they had no record of it. They looked at every package delivered to that zip-code in Canada – nothing showed. I called the company and said, are you sure you even sent us a package? They assured me they did but couldn’t give me the tracking number for security reasons. I didn’t get that, but that is ok.

After almost 3 weeks from the start of this there was a knock at the door and there was a DHL person with a package for me. You guessed it I am sure, it was the package that should have been delivered in Canada to us at the hotel. It had written on it that we were not registered at the hotel. Now that I had the tracking number I went online to see what this package had been through. I couldn’t believe the results.

There was an entry that showed it leaving for delivery in Canada. The next entry said “address information needed; contact DHL”. It said that same entry for 3 days in a row then it goes back to the Canadian DHL facility. The package sat in that facility for 8 days before it was delivered to me. And it shouldn’t have been delivered to me. They were told by the Company to return it to them 10 days before it was delivered to me.

That poor little package was in DHL’s hands for 17 days and, based on what I saw, they didn’t even try to deliver it to the hotel they just wrote on the package that we weren’t there.

I called the company one more time and told them what I had found out and recommended they get there money back from DHL and never use them again. I know I won’t use them EVER!

Remember even when I called DHL they couldn’t find any record of the package. It is no wonder that they had to pull out of USA and focus on International is it.