Easter Island, Chile Friday January 20, 2017

Another beautiful day begins.

Today we are going to visit Ahu Akivi.

Ahu Akivi is said to represent the seven men who first came to Rapa Nui. It is very interesting to note that the seven are all of equal size and shape. It is also a celestial observatory, that was set up in the 16th century. They exactly face the sunset during the spring equinox and their backs face the sunrise during the autumnal equinox! You can see the cement where the heads were reattached.

Here is a baby pineapple!

Our first hike of the day was to a lava tube, Anu Te Pahu. Have you ever been in a lava tube before? Well come along.

These horses along the path were quite healthy.

With all the recent rains the path was quite muddy.

The cave is hidden by the trees and the banana plants. Bananas do not grow on trees as the plant has no woody tissue!

The cave was used as a dwelling place for the early people. It was also used during the tribal wars and a hiding place during the raiding for slaves.

Down we go! This is the largest cave on the island. There are several interconnected chambers totaling a length of seven kilometers. It was damp. Water was dipping down from the ceiling. Lilli drank the water and said that we could to, as it had been purified by going through so many layers of basalt rock. I didn’t want to risk any indigestion of any kind, and passed on the opportunity. Ah, the end of the tunnel appeared. I was so happy to see the end of the tunnel. We could have gone further through the tunnel and seen the ocean through lava windows, but I knew that we had to return and would have another hike in the afternoon. Yay! Steve came out right behind me. We had to use a flash light on our walk in the cave, and the flash light app on Lilli’s phone. The sharp lava rocks made the hike very difficult. I was hot, tired and sweaty and we still had to hike a long way to get to the van. Lilli found a sweater left by a guide on a previous walk. She was bringing it back to where we had left our van. The path was really muddy and slippery. I never fell completely in the mud, nor partially, but it was tough going in a number of spots. You can see the guava fruit growing on the tree in this picture.

Lilli showed us a guava. The horses love to eat them.

They were easy for Lilli to twist open. My sneakers were a mess, along with my pants of course. Good thing there was a shoe cleaning station back at Explora!

I am wearing one of Elliott’s old fishing shirts, as I left my white one on the white bed in Valparaiso, I was happy to have this one! I felt as bedraggled as I looked!

We got back in the van and traveled to see…More Moai! You were not allowed to go past the markers as the ground is sacred. These guys might have had a story but i forgot what it was.

Here is Steve studying the two Moai. This site was restored in 1974.

This one got really eroded over time.

He is the only Moai on the island with coral eyes. The eyes are a restoration. Don’t the coral eyes make him really seem alive? He also has the top knot. He is called Ahu Ko Te Riku.

Didn’t Lilli take a great picture of us? Someone’s keeping an eye on us!

You can see the crane in the distance unloading goods to be brought to Easter Island.This picture has all the Moai in it. On our way to town we passed by a cemetery. If you didn’t have much money you could go camping. Remember me telling you about the richest man on the island? He owns this car rental agency. He also rents mopeds and motorcycles.

We drove into town and saw this Moai. I had mentioned in a previous post about the festival that was going to be held in a few weeks. Part of the preparations was erecting a painted Moai.

Lilli is explaining to Steve that it is made of concrete. Lilli said he would be painted yellow, the color that the original Moai were painted.

This shows the coloring a little bit better. It will be quite dramatic when it is finished!

I was hoping that I didn’t get the van too dirty. I really was a mess!

Soon we were back at Explora and it was time for lunch.

Minced vegetable tortellini.

Creme anglaise with caramel for our dessert! Yum, yum!

Since our next hike wasn’t until four, we decided to have massages.

Too bad you close your eyes during your massage. The view was really nice. The massage therapist played native music. It was a blissful afternoon!This is the way back to our room where we got ready to go on our afternoon hike.

Now it is time for you to learn about top knots, or pukao. What are those strange things on top of the Moai? They are pukao, the top knots. How did they get up there?

Puna Pau was the quarry where the top knots were from. The stones were cut and then rolled to the site where they were carved and then erected onto the Moai. There are several different viewpoints on how it was done.

A Chinese group joined us at the site. They do love to do the crazy photos!

Here is our guide Stephen telling Steve the story of how the top knots are created. Believe it or not, but Stephen stayed with an uncle in Saugerties for a year. Saugerties is about an hour northwest of us! More information regarding the pukao. This is how some of the archeologists believe how the top knots were placed on top of the Moai. We headed back to the van and passed by many top knots that never made it to the tops of the Moai. Our guide carried a back pack filled with emergency gear, and he always had a walkie talkie with him to contact the hotel.

Then we were off on another short hike to see some pictographs in a grotto.

Unfortunately, going down would mean going back up also!

The pictographs had been very badly damaged by the elements and natural breakage over time. The drawings were on the ceiling and just flake off over time.

My last picture of our hike for the day. I was so tired of walking around. Steve got out of the van at our next stop. 11,000 steps were enough for me! We still have a week left on our vacation in South America! Yikes!

Lovely green salad. I had the duck confit.

Steve had the seafood pasta, hold the octopus. My dessert. It had bananas in it. Steve doesn’t usually care for fruit.

Dessert number two. Which was guava cake. I asked the waitress which dessert was better. She told me to have both. I actually only ate 3 bites of each. That is my story and I am sticking to it.

Do you have an uncle in Saugerties?

Have you ever been to Saugerties?

Do you know where Saugerties is?

Friday March 2, 2018 Luma Casa De Montana and at Tinto Bistro

After our boat excursion Steve and I were dropped of at Luma and followed the path to the hotel. We changed our clothes and put on our swim clothes and the fluffy white bath robes that were on the bed the first day. Not thinking about it I grabbed one, tossed the other to Steve and he put his on. He remarked how short the arms were, and how short the robe was. It turns out that there were his and her robes! We quickly switched robes, sorry, but no picture of Steve looking silly!We descended the stairs to the pool area and lucky for me that I was holding the railing because “Boom, boom, boom”. My legs went out from me and I slid down the stairs! I am very nervous about falling as I was put on Xarelto, a blood thinner last February. I was instructed not to cut myself, ride horses or fall. As I was already holding the hand rail, I just gripped it harder, during my fall, praying that I would not go head over heels. This is a picture of those nasty stairs looking from the bottom to the top.

I sat for awhile until I recovered and then we went outside to the pool area. I did tell you earlier I was going to have an unexcellent adventure on the stairs in a prior posting, well this was it!This was my back. I insisted Steve take a picture of my back so we could compare for when the black and blue marks showed up. I sure do have a lot of freckles. Thank God, I got my back waxed before we left. Ha Ha, just kidding. When Elliot and I went to Israel years ago, I surreptitiously took a picture of this guy’s back. It was so hairy, I couldn’t believe it. Elliott scolded me for taking the picture, but I knew it would come in handy some day! There is a reason for my 19,000 pictures in my iCloud storage!Any way, I rested on my pick of the chaise lounges. They were all free, so I was in heaven!Steve and I both went in the pool. The step outside entry looked a little too steep for me, and after my one tumble for the day I decided on the interior entry. So I got to use the magic door. I’m all for creative entries! Hanging out at the pool was a nice way to rest before dinner. We were trying to decide about bringing bathing suits on the trip, and decided to bring them. I’m glad we did. There was a big motocross event in Villa La Angostura, and we were happy that we had made reservations via our travel agent. We had mentioned to Paulo that we were going to for Tinto Bistro for dinner. He highly recommended it. Paulo, besides being an excellent cook, was the sommelier at Las Balsas, the Relais & Chateaux where we had dinner last night. I must admit that I was dying to take the Relais & Chateaux directory from Las Balsas, but knew Steve would roll my eyes at more book weight in my suitcase. I love looking at pictures of nice hotels, but enjoy staying at them even more! We laughed when we saw who our driver was. He was the same taxi driver as the one who took us to Las Balsas the night before!Steve got to take a picture of me! I am always making snarky comments about Steve not focusing on the camera. Here it looks like I am checking out the incoming guest arrivals at the front door! My scarf, that I had so elegantly draped over both shoulders is all akimbo. Kudos for the great lipstick and the natural eyebrows. Thank heaven those pencil thin eyebrows are out of fashion! That is some bar behind me, I probably should have faced that way and watched the bartender at work. Oh well, I got to make goo goo eyes at Steve all night instead!The waitress brought over some nice rolls. Steve had wanted to order baked Brie for an appetizer, but I put my foot down. I thought he should pick something light. We had just seen Kill Bill 2 before we left home, so when Steve saw “Kill My Bills” on the menu he ordered it. Shrimp and Pork rice paper rolls. Viet mini salad, and rosehip chili sauce. For my entree I chose “Argentina Blue”. Beef Tenderloin in vanilla cardamom Demi glacé. Fig and plum chutney with grilled onions. Quinoa, nuts and blue cheese. Done medium rare.

Steve picked “Absolut Pasta” for his dinner. Homemade fettuccini sautéed with prawns and shrimp in vanilla vodka. Spice mix and arugula. My only comment is that I thought prawns and shrimp were the same thing!Dessert was “Nina’s Secret”. Chocolate tasting, citric curd and berry coulis. After dinner we decided to take a walk about the village before we called a taxi to take us back. Most of the stores were closed, but this fishing store was open! Steve needed a “Croakie” lanyard for his glasses, as he left his at home. Steve was lucky enough to get the last one!

We started laughing when we saw the glass case filled with knives.

We headed back to the restaurant to call a taxi to take us back to the hotel. This was the large group of motocross people that were dining together. We couldn’t figure out if they were officials, riders, supporters, fans, or groupies!

That’s it for Friday March 2, 2018. I had a lot of postings for the day. I hope you enjoyed yourselves reading about my Excellent Adventures as I had having them with Steve.

Thursday March 1, 2018 Luma Casa De Montana, Villa La Angostura

This is the view of where we are staying (lumapatagonia.com.ar) from Nahuel Huapi Lake. Luma is a beautiful Italianate Villa. The story I told you previously about Queen Maxima I think is all bunk. I tried to do some research and found no family connections. So either the story is untrue or the facts are well hidden. We finished lunch and decided it was time to explore the hotel. This is the view from the patio. I could leave you just staring at the picture, but I am sure you want to see more. If not, well just stare at that beautiful picture until you are ready to explore with me. We looked over the railing to see the gorgeous pool below. Looks nice doesn’t it? Here is Steve helpfully pointing out where are room is! He is such a good sport!Off to the side was also the other part of the hotel. These rooms had true balconies and patios, instead of the Juliet Balconies, that we had. I think those rooms had a different price point than ours! Look, many chaise lounges! That seems promising for a layabout. We descend below and I drop my stuff to reserve my chaise lounge and explore.Once more, the beautiful view!This pool has a door so you can go outside, or stay inside! There were Jacuzzi bubbles in the circular area. This pool deserves a closer inspection doesn’t it?Okay, that’s close enough with out going in!

There was a path leading down toward the lake. I looked at it and told Steve “Have Fun!”

When Steve came back up he told me that I definitely wouldn’t have enjoyed the walk to the lake below. He did throw the obligatory stone into the Lake. Isn’t that something guys have to do? Kind of like male dogs peeing on every hydrant that they go by on their walkies?We headed back in to explore the spa area. There was a sauna, and some bathrooms. Steve sure looks like he is in a hurry isn’t he? There was a chair under a fabric canopy. I am not sure what goes on there. I think that this was a price list for spa treatments. Who can interpret it for me? There are 20 Argentinian pesos to the dollar. There was an interesting sculpture on the wall. I behaved. Steve did not have to tell me not to touch it, nor to stare at it longer than oh, ten seconds. We ascended the stairs from the spa to the main floor. Pay attention to these stairs, I will have an unexcellent adventure on them in the future! Steve had a beer on the balcony and then we went back to our room to change for dinner.

More later!

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Tuesday February 27, 2018 Tipiliuke Adventures Continue

Breakfast was a fried egg and bacon for me. No pictures of Steve’s breakfast as he ate earlier. I thought he was only going to get coffee and then come back to get me. Instead, he ate breakfast by himself. Silly Steve!This picture of staff full of smiles is of Adrian, Steve’s fishing guide and Maru and Monica. Monica would love a someone special also. He doesn’t need to live in the mountains full time as Maru’s prospective husband does. Monica will relocate to the city when the estancia is closed. Adrian has a family and children so he is off limits ladies! Adrian was a wonderful guide. He will be on the Argentinian Fly Fishing Team in the World Cup of Fishing. This is a picture of the kitchen at Tipiliuke, this is where all the delicious food comes from. I had some free time before a massage I was scheduled for. Harry took me along with him to see the property. Not sure what this is, but the roses are lovely. There is a chapel on site, but if you would love to have an intimate wedding in Patagonia, this is the place. Remember the web site is tipiliuke.com

The chapel is made of local stone, like all the buildings at Tipiliuke. Harry has found the key and is opening the door for me. We are looking at the front of the chapel here. This is the view of the bride and groom as they exit the chapel. Martin and Sybille were trying to get Maya and Jeraldo to marry here. Maybe next visit!

Here are more beautiful gardens!More rose gardens! We have a busy bee here. This was the room for the massage. My massage by Irene was wonderful. She is camera shy, so no pictures of her! The sauna was just off the masssage room. There is no swimming pool here, but it can be arranged to bring you to a private beach where you can wade and sun. I am too buy blogging to wade and sun!

Steve caught 15 fish again in the morning. Lunch was going to be an asado! That is barbecue. Here we see the meat had just been put on the grill. An hour later and the meat is almost ready!

Lunch was again outside under the pergola. Here we have the setup of the salad fixings. Doesn’t the table look lovely? The pine cones are amazing!This was my salad. First meat course was sausages!

Got to run! I am going out with Steve tonight to fish!

Como Maalisfushi, Tuesday January 16, 2018 A very rainy day!

I am going to start out today by wishing Steve’s and my son, E a very happy birthday. He turned 28 today! That means I am very much middle aged! Steve, is a year younger than I am, but he is catching up to me!

No breakfast pictures today, as you have probably already seen them all. Here is a picture an artfully rolled up towel and my ginger tea that I brought back from the spa. Steve went to the spa today to have a taksu massage. It involved deep tissue and also some stretching. No where near as painful as a Thai massage.

I have decided to post some beautiful pictures from Instagram and the resort’s Facebook pages. This is the sea plane and dock. Look at that beautiful water. I’m not sure if @con_fession uses filters or not, but it is a gorgeous picture!

This is one of the spas treatment rooms. I didn’t have one of the bath treatments, nor did I get to sit in one of the chairs. Guess I’ll have to come back next year.

Our room never had the doors open to the outside like this room. We like air conditioning too much. I wonder if the photographer of this room bumped his head on the light fixture.

Looks like the couple that stayed in this room, opened the doors all the way, and didn’t have junk strewn all over.

I couldn’t take this picture as I would have fallen into the Indian Ocean. I’m not sure how they were able to take it!

Steve and I decided to have lunch at Thia. Here is Steve trying to nab a bread stick before I took the picture! Bad Steve! You know you have to wait until the picture is taken! We shared a pizza and a Caesar salad. The salad was not as good as yesterday’s, as it had Green Goddess dressing, and too many anchovies! And here I was commenting the other day that I didn’t come all the way to the Maldives for pizza! No pictures, as I forgot to take them!

We were going to hang out at the beach by the pool after lunch, but it started to sprinkle. So back to the villa where we watched the rainstorm. It was our only rainy day. We heard some people went in their plunge pool during the storm. We’ll have to do that next time also!

For dinner we were going to join A and S at the Japanese Restaurant. They promised to take us under their wing and choose food that we would enjoy. We started with the bottle of Tattinger that was the gift of our travel agent. Thank you Linaratravel.com

A and S ordered us some canapés. Fried oyster, raw tuna tacos, and endame. They were all very good. Steve doesn’t like oysters so he skipped his. We went inside to watch the chefs in action. I only asked a few questions. I had heard that you are supposed to sit down, shut up and just eat what the chef wants to give you. These guys were very friendly. The gentleman on the left is from Nepal, he speaks many languages.

Here is a little video for you.

A beautiful tuna presentation. Steve and I didn’t eat this at the fish was raw. Not sure why we would eat the tuna taco and not this. Maybe because the tuna taco was more like a ceviche.

All sorts of stuff go into making the sushi. I don’t remember what any of it was besides rice, sea weed and fish.

Let’s watch some more of my movie. Do you think I can get a job in Hollywood? Ha ha! Chef was making an avocado roll. You can hear S in the background asking if Steve and I were getting tempura.

This fish looked like salmon, but it wasn’t. It was Kingfish.

For people who wanted their fish cooked for the Nigori, it was blowtorched. They did this for the beef also.

Presentation all done.

A lot of shaping was involved.

The first course that Steve and I had while A and S had their sashimi was tempura. We love Tempura.

I’m not sure what was in these, we didn’t eat them either.

These were orders all set to go to some of the diners’ tables. We were the only ones at the Sushi Bar, every one else was eating outside.

Our entree was something that looked like chicken fried rice. It was good. I wish I could remember what it was called so I could order it elsewhere. S highly recommended the green tea ice cream. It was light and refreshing. I am going to look for it in the ice cream section at the grocery store when we come back home. I had it in a dish, I also only had one scoop. I was hoping not to gain weight this trip.

Steve and S had it in cones. You could get three flavors of ice cream if you wanted to, or all three of the same flavor.

A had the blueberry dessert. I would have tried some of his if I had known him one more day. We left A and S to go to the bar, Steve and I went back to our room. I think that A subsidized our meal. It was very sweet of them to do so. They wanted us to have a good experience at a Japanese restaurant, and we did!

That’s all for Tuesday. Tomorrow is Wednesday, and that is the day that we leave. Sob!

Como Maalisfushi Sunday January 14, 2018 Just chilling at Como.

What adventures would today bring? We started out with another nice breakfast. I had a cherry danish and white dragon fruit.

We each had two cappuccinos.

Steve had an omelette.

I had the French toast with passion fruit curd, banana and coffee nectar. Have you ever had coffee nectar? I couldn’t really taste the coffee.

Instead of a massage, I decided to explore the fruit plate. I thought the pear shaped ones were interesting.

Unfortunately they were not very tasty. Wet, but no flavor. I have no idea what they were.The little nut one was very goopy, I think that it was past its prime.

Steve went to the spa and had a deep tissue massage and a half hour facial. He had never had a facial before. I told him that he looks ten years younger! Ha ha!

Days that Steve doesn’t fish he gets a little bored. So after his massage we ordered a Caesar salad delivered to the room. Now room service is something that I NEVER do, but Steve did it, so it doesn’t count. I did share it. It was very yummy.

We asked the staff if we could bring out unopened bottle of Tattinger that was left in the room to enjoy while watching the sun set. Here’s Steve lounging already, while I am exploring the best camera angles.

There was a DJ on the beach. He picked some really soothing tracks. The music was not too loud, I complimented him on the volume and choice of songs. I told him he was a blessing, and he was quite touched. He blessed me also.

Hat and Sunglasses off, or hat and sunglasses on. Which do you prefer? I think I like the hat and sunglasses on. I look more like a movie star waiting for my closeup. Steve’s skin looks really good, doesn’t it?Here we are for the presentation of the champagne.

Champagne at sunset, a wonderful end to a lovely day.

Smoked salmon canapés with caviar on cucumber anyone? Yes please, I’ll eat half of Steve’s. A toast to all my friends.May your lives be filled with blessings.

Como Maalifushi Saturday January 13, 2018 Steve fishes, I do a Thai Massage

Good Morning! The posts will probably go faster now that I have covered the details of the grounds, spa and rooms. We won’t have many dinner pictures as they were all al fresco except for the dinner that you will read about on the 16th. I still have four days to cover until then, so hold on!

I had the full English breakfast on Saturday. This time the bacon was extra crispy as requested. We still haven’t gotten a Rosti as good as the ones at Blanket Bay in Glenorchy, New Zealand.

Steve had a dish that you would never get in a diner in the United States for breakfast. Obviously, some people thought this would be a great dish for breakfast as it was on the menu!

I though that you might be amused by these salt and pepper dishes. They crystals were so large, that you couldn’t get your food properly seasoned.

I decided to take a stroll to the gardens to observe. I was a wee bit scared to get too close to the vegetables and decided to head to the beach for a rest. This was the beach at 11:00 a.m. I remember posting on instagram saying “where is everybody?”

Soon 12:45 rolled around and it was time for me to head back to the spa for a Thai Massage. I had a Thai Massage once in Washington D.C.. It was somewhat uncomfortable, but my back and shoulders are still so tight, that I thought the stretching might help me. I was given a beautiful set of Thai pajamas to wear. This is the last time I would look so happy, until my massage was over. How was it? Let’s just say that massage did start with a soothing foot soak. Then we moved to the cushion on the floor. Unfortunately I can not lie face down for longer than five minutes before my neck and shoulders starts rebelling. So I moved to the massage table, where my head could stay cradled. The therapist did a lot of stretching. There are no oils, in a Thai massage, just firm stokes of the hand, wrist, elbows and knees. Then she asked me to flip over and lie on the floor. More stretching of body parts, that didn’t really want to go where she was trying to put them! My 90 minutes of treatment ended and I was free to go. I had originally thought to have another massage on Sunday, but we agreed that my body was going to be really sore the next day and maybe another massge would not be a good idea.

So while I had my spa treatment what was Steve doing. Well, Steve was fishing, while his guide Craig, had what is called mechanicals. Now every boat owner knows that the first day you buy your boat is the best day, and the second best day is when you sell it. There might be some good days in between when you have a great day fishing. The worst are days are mechanicals, when something goes wrong with the boat. Now Steve and the kids used to play a board game when the kids were young called ‘Fishing Time”. Most cards said, “Nice fish, two pounds, throw it in the live well. The greatest was when in you would draw a card that said that you caught the biggest fish of the day, and the game was over. Playing Fishing Time you would draw a card almost every fifth time-Go to Cranky Hank’s, which was the boat repair shop. Steve’s new boat has worked out pretty well so far but his last boat went to Cranky Hank’s too often.

Here is the pipe fish that Steve caught on his second day. Steve likes to see his fish pictures, so to make him happy I will post this one again.

Steve caught two of these yellow lipped Emperor fish. Isn’t this a beautiful fish?

In between Steve catching a fish or two, the boat motor would stall every three to five seconds. Craig surmised that “dirty fuel” was the problem. Steve thought that maybe the octane level was incorrect. No, “dirty fuel’ meant fuel that actually had sticks and grass and other junk in it. This totally screwed up the engine and Steve would not be able to go out the next day.

Steve also got a immature peacock grouper , and and another immature peacock grouper..

This picture of the fish on top is of the immature peacock grouper. The mature peacock grouper is on the bottom. They are mirror images of themselves. The adults are quite territorial and would drive the young away if they had the same colors. By looking differently as young, they are not driven away by the adults. Steve also got a lyretail grouper, but I haven’t gotten a picture of that fish yet.

While Steve fished, I rested under the Sala.

For dinner Saturday night, we decided to have a drink and watch the sunset at the bar in the Japanese restaurant, Tai. I ordered a drink that sounded right up my alley, and that looked delicious. Unfortunately it was the saltiest drink imaginable. The bar tender tried to doctor it up for me by adding sugar, but I don’t think anything would have saved it! We met a lovely couple at the bar, and had fun talking to them. They live in Dubai and also Vancouver. I had asked them about flying Emirates and Etihad, and had they ever flown in the Apartment or Residence. These are the super first class seats of those airlines, you know, the ones with the showers, and cost tens of thousand of dollars to be in. They had! Well by now, you know I was just about vibrating. I was so excited to meet actual people who had flown in these seats. They just about broke my heart when they said that the flights weren’t really that special, and a waste of money. You know me, I was hoping we would be able to see each other again the next day, I wanted to hear more stories. This was Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous in Real Life! I joked with them that Steve would be slipping them a $20 bill for telling me that the seats were not anything special, and that the Business Class seats on Qatar that we were flying were really quite nice.

Here is a picture of the sunset. People were holding the parasols so they wouldn’t be bothered by the glare. Every few minutes they would peak around the parasol and pose for selfies.

The fish were circling under the restaurant and I had to jump up to video them. I did a lot of jumping around this vacation!

I am a little leery of Japanese food. I didn’t enjoy the experience at Gili Lankanfushi at all. I have been to Japanese restaurants where they put on quite the show, with knives flying and food being tossed into pockets, hats and plates. I ordered the tempura udon soup.Steve had fried dumplings as his starter.

For dinner I had the very American grilled lamb chops with mashed potatoes and shaved apple. Have you ever eaten mashed potatoes with chop sticks? I challenge you to do so!

Steve had fried rice with wagyu beef with an egg on top. For dessert we had ice cream cones. Then off to bed, we had a big day of nothing to do but relax as the boat was busted and Steve couldn’t go fishing anymore.

Enough for now. Next post will be Sunday. Maybe you’ll get to explore a beautiful yacht.

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