Renae & Dwayne Knowles

Renae and Dwayne Knowles

Renae & Dwayne Knowles

Obviously we love to travel - who doesn't?!!.

Each traveller has their own style and I describe them in three styles - McDonalds, Cafe & Degustation.
1) McDonald's - country hopping in a drive thru fashion
2) Cafe - choosing a smaller region to linger and explore
3) Degustation - choosing a town and living like a local

Our travel style is Cafe - choosing a smaller region to explore and soak up the atmosphere in. I like to journal my experiences and thoughts and share them with friends and family. And I like to revisit the memories once we're home, reading and reminiscing on what we shared.

I hope you enjoy reading our tales as much as I enjoy writing them, and the ultimate joy for us would be that you find inspiration and ideas for your own trip.



Oceania » Australia April 13th 2020

Tuesday 7 April - Detention We touched down in Melbourne and there is applause from the cabin. Dwayne and I refrain. We are know what is coming with the Federal and Victorian Governments. Within 10 seconds of exiting the plane, police and Federal agents are telling us to keep 1.5m and in frustration I say “We’ve just been crammed shoulder-to-shoulder for 16 hours. You do realise that spacing now is of no consequence, right?” Of course, they don’t care. They have arbitrary rules to follow, whether they are reasonable or not. And given the amount of people they see coming through the airport, they are way more of a threat to my health than I am to them! We move through the factory line – first the health check, then the passports, then the hotel details, ... read more
Day 2 dinner - Dwayne got beef, I got veggies
Day 3 breakfast - muesli bar, nutrigrain, muffin, apple
Day 4 lunch - not exactly great portions for an adult male


Wednesday 1 April – at sea We were off the coast of Cuba, so I changed my Facebook profile to reflect that I was in Havana. April Fool’s Day joke. We were back to being served non-vegetarian regular meals, which means variety and vegetables. Thank you Jesus. Florida continues to argue that we shouldn’t dock because the 14 sick people on board the Zaandam might overwhelm the hospital system and take away beds from the locals. Maybe they should build hospitals for more than 20 people. Clearly, we are the biggest threat to their state. Never mind the 7000 thousand infected locals who are moving amongst the communities. Trump gave a press conference saying the ships need to be accepted because “it’s the right thing to do” and he said he’d speak with the Florida Governor. ... read more

Central America Caribbean March 31st 2020

Monday 30 March – at sea Whilst we did peek through the curtains last night at the start of the canal, it was difficult to do with an army escort, drone and lit-up-as-a-Christmas-tree tugboat following close behind us. We eventually went to bed at 12.30am. 5.37am and the 1.5m swell rolling from port to starboard indicated we’d exited the canal into the Atlantic, a lot sooner than we’d expected. However, I guess it was 6.30pm yesterday that we were asked to go inside and draw the curtains like the unclean lepers that we are. I guess that is almost 12 hours. A single silent tear moistened my face on its way down, dampening the pillow under my eye. An opportunity lost. A simple gesture of vision would have cost the Panamanians nothing yet meant the world ... read more
Sunset over the Caribbean (San Andres)

Central America Caribbean » Panama March 30th 2020

Sabbath 28 March – Panama We passed the temperate check – yay! We were given an afternoon slot for transfer and made our way across. We arrived at the Rotterdam and expected to be in our same room but were told we were given another room. It was still a balcony but it was a downgrade on what we had. For those in the know about cruise categories, we were in an A category and moved to a B category. This meant a smaller room at the back of the ship under the outdoor pool, as opposed to a lower deck in the middle. The thing I miss the most? The dividing curtain between the lounge area and bed is missing, and the bathroom is smaller and shorter, meaning Dwayne’s head sits on the bathroom roof ... read more

South America March 27th 2020

Monday 23 March – Thursday 26 March - at Sea I’ve decided to group all these days together, given we were confined to our cabins with not much to tell. We follow a repetitive rhythm of eating, playing cards, watching movies and tv series, browsing the web, responding to email, the odd phone call and an exercise or trivia class on the ship’s activity channel. I look at the Southern Cross every night, wondering if it will instantly disappear the night we cross the equator from the southern into the northern hemisphere. We watch for dolphins, whales and flying fish. There are always flying fish, rarely there are dolphins and we’ve not seen any whales in the Pacific. The news articles say the majority of the illness is in the crew, with some guests affected. I ... read more
First vessel we've seen in 3 days
A different sunset
Hello Panama!!

South America » Chile March 23rd 2020

Sunday 15 March – Punta Arenas harbour We woke at 6.45am in order to be ready for cruising glacier alley at 7.30am, where it was planned that we’d pass 5 glaciers before 9am. I opened the curtains, saw a plethora of lights on the shore and my first thought was “Glacier Alley is a lot more populated than I expected.” At this point, my hubby used a couple of choice swear words as he read out a statement that had been popped under our door during the night. It said “ As we were sailing down to Glacier Alley late last night, we were informed that Chile would be following Argentina in closing its ports at 8am due to Covid. We decided to turn the ship around and we anchored in Punta Arenas harbour at 2.30am ... read more
Sarmiento Channel, Chilean Fjords
Torres del Paine NP in the background
60mph cross winds

South America March 15th 2020

Sabbath 7 March - Embarkation I briefly contemplated going to a local church today, but decided against it because I didn’t want to haul our luggage around and it was over 30 minutes away by taxi, not to mention $30 one way for the ride. So, we slept in, finished off our tomato, cheese and crackers for breakfast, repacked our suitcases for cruise embarkation and streamed Hope 103.2, so I had some resemblance of peace and holiness among the busyness. At 12.30pm we checked out and made our way to the BA cruise terminal. It was a busy terminal with 3 cruises boarding that day – MSC Musica, Hanseatic Inspiration and Holland America Zaandam. Given the mass of bodies, checking in was like a well-oiled machine. Upon arrival we were greeted by a smiling Holland America ... read more
IMG_5609
IMG_5602
Vista Suite #6162 (6th floor, port side)

South America » Argentina » Buenos Aires March 6th 2020

Wednesday 4 March, 2020 - Buenos Aires Our 12.40pm flight was delayed back to 2.45pm, which was inconvenient to say the least because it meant we missed our Air Canada connection in Santiago. We were rerouted to a flight 2hrs later but we had to scramble with communications to our driver in Buenos Aires, as well as our Airbnb host. The flight itself was completely packed and Dwayne was bumped out of his aisle seat into the middle, so that was not fun. Same happened on our Latam connection. On a positive note, we flew over the South Island of NZ and had a bird’s eye view of the southern alps, from Mt Cook to Milford Sound. Very pretty. Finally arrived in BA at our apartment at 7pm, did the handover and made our way out ... read more
BA - Parisien influences
Parisien influences
The view from our apartment

South America » Argentina » Buenos Aires March 2nd 2020

Hi friends We're about to head off on our South American jaunt in a day or two, so I thought I'd get an itinerary out to you before we leave: Wed 4 March - Depart Sydney, arrive Buenos Aires Thu 5 March - BA Fri 6 Mar - BA Sat 7 Mar - embark on Holland America's Zaandam Sun 8 Mar - BA Mon 9 Mar - Montevideo, Uruguay Tue 10 Mar - at sea Wed 11Mar - at sea Thu 12 Mar - Stanley, Falkland Islands Fri 13 Mar - Strait of Magellan Sat 14 Mar - Punta Arenas, Chile, + Cockburn Channel, Beagle Channel & Glacier Alley Sun 15 Mar - Ushuaia, Argentina Mon 16 Mar - Cape Horn Tue 17 Mar - Sarmiento Channel Wed 18 Mar - Chilean Fjords Thu 19 Mar ... read more

Asia » Hong Kong June 6th 2018

Wednesday, 30 May – Hong Kong via Doha The abominable flight from Athens to Doha, which left at 01:15 in the morning and landed 6 hours later, was mostly bearable thanks to the lie flat seats on Qatar. Their business seat is definitely the best of the airlines we’ve sampled. We only wish it had been a longer flight because 3hrs sleep isn’t long enough for anyone and due to the lateness of the flight, neither of us felt interested in sampling the dining menu. Regardless, we landed at Doha and relaxed in the absolutely massive lounge, was disappointed in the quality of the restaurant, loved the showers and set off for Hong Kong. Flight to Hong Kong was 7.5hrs so we ate and again was not really that impressed with the breakfast and lunch menu ... read more
Peak tram to Victoria Peak
Hong Kong
Interesting cloud formation




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