The USTA has announced the teams it has selected to represent the USTA in the ITF Super Senior World Team Championships in October. (Fingers crossed that this event happens as scheduled, October 11-16 in Mallorca, Spain with individuals to follow October 17-24).
The players selected are listed below; players whose names are in bold font are the playing captains. The players are listed alphabetically by first name.
ITF Statement regarding ITF Seniors (50-55-60) World Team & Individual Championships
In response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the ITF has suspended all Tours, including the ITF Seniors Tour until 13 July 2020, aligning with the ATP and WTA Tours respectively. This includes the postponement of the ITF Seniors (50-55-60 years) World Team & Individual Championships which had been scheduled to take place In Boca Raton and Palm Beach Gardens, USA from 26 April to 9 May 2020.
The ITF has been working with the host organiser, venues, event partners and independent travel advisors in recent weeks to identify a safe and viable date to reschedule the event in 2020. Protecting the health and well-being of players, officials, guests, club members and local communities has remained the priority.
Due to the ongoing global impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, it has not been possible to achieve the criteria set for the event to be rescheduled in 2020, and as such the ITF Seniors (50-55-60 years) World Team & Individual Championships will not be held in 2020.
The 2021 ITF Seniors (50-55-60 years) World Team & Individual Championships will therefore take place in Boca Raton & Palm Beach Gardens, with the precise dates to be announced in due course. The ITF will continue to closely monitor the COVID-19 situation alongside tournament hosts and partners, with the aim of resuming ITF tournaments as soon as it is safe to do so.
The ITF Young Seniors (35-40-45 years) World Championships scheduled for 13-26 September 2020 in Umag, Croatia and the ITF Super-Seniors (65-70-75-80-85 years) World Championships scheduled for 11- 24 October 2020 in Mallorca, Spain both remain on the 2020 calendar.
If you have any queries, please contact the ITF Seniors Department by email – email@example.com
The ITF has cancelled all tournaments including all seniors tournaments till April 20th
The notice today on the Houston website is: New tournament dates!! Due to the COVID-19 virus and with an abundance of caution, we have made the difficult decision to postpone this event. All entree fees will be refunded. Our new tournament dates will be September 19-25 2020. NOTE NEW DATES! We will celebrate the 50th year then!! Wash you hands and stay safe!
To get a refund of your entry fee for the original dates go to the website and withdraw. You will need the email (which I’m sure everyone saved) which has your confirmation numbers. If you didn’t save the email their are instructions on how to withdraw. You will get a refund of the entry fee minus the USTA tennislink fee.
The last day of the Fort Lauderdale tournament was played under sunny skies. It was very windy, at least by the time I played singles at 10:30. I beat Wendy McColskey 63 62. It was a tough match, with lots of running, and so very windy…I’d swing at a ball only for it to move several feet as I was swinging forward…and of course that happened to Wendy as well. Bunnie Jackson beat Kathy Foulk to place third.
In the 55s, Jenny Klitch played a perfect match to beat Shelly Works 61 60 in about an hour, which is not easy to do. Shelly said Jenny was great at turning defense into offense nearly perfectly. Yvette Kruger placed third when Simone Vasconcellas didn’t play the 3/4 playoff due to injury.
Wendy McColskey, playing with her sister Dale won the 65 doubles 26 64 64 over Cindy LePrevost/Betsy Savitt. Tina Karwasky/Jan Kirkland-Cochran finished third.
The 55 doubles took place between Rainy Miller/Shelly Works and Anne Frautschi/Susanne Zuniga. Frautschi/Zuniga, who upset the #1 seeds in the first round went up 5/0 in the doubles final….only to lose the next 10 games! Then they rallied to tie the set at 3-3 and 4-4 before Miller/Works closed out the match 75 64. They had a lot of long and varied points…it wasn’t easy to win a point out there. I saw Works miss one ball into the net…she must have been really frustrated when she yelled “fiddlesticks”, a Shelly Works epithet if there ever was one. Mariana Hollman/Stacey Williams edged Susan Boyer/Susan Love 64 in the third; Susan Love’s legs finally gave out after an awful lot of matches in the past 3 days.
Betty Wachob/Sue Kimball won the 75 doubles beating tournament director Margy Edmunds/Kay Britt in the final.
On a beautiful day for tennis (mid-70s, moderate breeze, thin cloud cover), play resumed in earnest at the Lauderdale Tennis Club.
The 75s final started off the day with Carolann Castell continuing where she left off in upsetting Susan Kimball…ie playing great tennis. She took on Betty Wachob, the top seed and beat her 62 64, moving very well and playing solid all-court tennis.
The 85s final between Burnett Herrick, a multiple world champion, and local favorite Lucille Kyvallos was next up. The match went the distance (yes, the 85s played a full two out of three sets) with Herrick winning 61 57 61. Kyvallos cramped in the third which tells you something about how much these ladies were running.
The 35s winner is Kristine Kraujina (three person round robin) and the 45s Ann Clark (2 entrants)\
In the 55s, Jenny Klitch played another great match, beating Yvette Kruger 2,1 and Shelly Works took out Simone Vasconcellos of Brazil 75 63.
I didn’t see the 55s (or 85s) matches because I was getting my money’s worth of tennis playing Bunnie (Allare) Jackson. I won 61 67 (5) 62. I think I wore her out but she played a great second set. We both had chances to finish off the set before it reached a tiebreaker but it wasn’t to be. I play Wendy McColskey, a 62 62 winner over Kathy Foulk…that match was played earlier and was done before we took the court. Wendy is the 2019 ITF World Champion in 65 singles…not a typical Grade 1 final, that’s for sure.
In doubles, the top seeds in the 55s and 65s are gone. Yesterday the team of Anne Frautschi/Susanne Zuniga beat Kris McDonald/Kathy Zanon 76 in the third and today they took out unseeded Susan Boyer/Susan Love in the semis 75 64. The face the #3 seeds (and Hard Court champions) Rainy Miller/Shelly Works who edged #2 seeded Mariana Hollman/Stacey Williams in two tight sets.
In the 65s, Cindy LePrevost/Betsy Savitt, unseeded, took out Tina Karwasky/Jan Kirkland-Cochran 26 76 (5) 62; they play Dale and Wendy McColskey in the final; Dale and Wendy received a walkover into the doubles final due to an injury from one of their opponents.
In the 75s, Kimball/Wachob, the top seeds did advance to the final; they face tournament director Margy Edmunds and Kay Britt who were leading Castell/Lee Delfausse when they retired due to injury.
The forecast for today was for rain and the prediction was correct…it poured most of the morning in Fort Lauderdale. An hour north it also rained hard but stopped an hour or two earlier. All the rain meant no matches started till 3:30pm.
I warmed up in Palm Beach Gardens and then drove down, arriving just as the tournament decided to postpone the 65 singles till tomorrow, which, given that we were in the semis and the tournament ends on Friday was a good decision. It did mean I drove about 2.5 hours unnecessarily, but it wasn’t rush hour either way, it happens. The 85s final was also postponed, as were (I believe) the 55 semis.
But there was tennis. The 55 singles quarters were all played and in a “Groundhog Day” match, Jenny Klitch beat Susan Love 64 62 in a match that was very similar to their second round encounter from last week. Same opponents, same score. All four seeds advanced, Klitch to play Yvette Kruger and Shelly Works to play Simone Vasconcellas of Brazil.
The 75s did play their semis, with Betty Wachob beating Sheila Weinstock and Carolann Castell upsetting #2 seeded Sue Kimball.
On a warm (80s), windy, humid day, most players were in action in the 55/65/75 & 85 divisions. In singles the upsets were hard to come by but in 55 doubles, Susan Boyer (back from a two year hiatus) and Susan Love (back from a hiatus as well) combined perfectly to pick off the #4 seeds, Tina Karwasky and Jan Kirkland-Cochran in the round of 16. Karwasky/Kirkland-Cochran though had no problems advancing in the 65s, where they are in the quarters.
All the singles seeds advanced in the 55 & 65s without drama. In the 75s, Ann Hunt defaulted to Sheila Weinstock, her doubles partner, the other three seeds advanced. Sue Kimball and Betty Wachob are the 2nd and 1st seeds, age ups this year.
The 85s final is set between Lucille Kyvallos (who fell, tweaked her ankle and skinned her elbow…and won nonetheless over Esther Williams; she faces Burnett Herrick who weathered a stern test from Judy Smith in the second set but prevailed 62 75.
In 65 doubles, Kathy Foulk/Lil Pelt-Petow had to default due to injury; the remaining seeds progressed. The seeds in the grass 75s also advanced.
In 2020 the USTA scheduled the Palm Beach Gardens (for even age divisions) and Fort Lauderdale (for odd age divisions) back to back. The Fort Lauderdale tournament began today at the Lauderdale Tennis Club, an old fashioned, tennis-centric club surrounded by condominium buildings named for historic tennis players (Lenglen, Tildon etc.).
This week I’m playing my first 65s tournament. Last year I played the 55s, so I keep looking for my name in the 55s…it’s not there this year, though Shelly Works, the woman I played in the final is the second seed again this year. (Jenny Klitch is the top seed.)
I played Miriam Morey from North Carolina. She’s a professor at Duke in NC ( From the Duke website: “The general focus of Dr. Morey’s work is exercise and aging. All of her research examines how physical activity, exercise training, or physical fitness influence”). Miram plays at the same club where Wendy McColskey, the #2 seed here is a member. She’s a quick counterpuncher, and after adjusting to the wind we had some good rallies but I came out ahead. I play Helga Immerfall next in the quarters.
There were no close matches in the 65s and all the seeds won. The seeds in other singles divisions had byes and in doubles, the seeds are playing tomorrow for the most part.
The 85s draw, though only 6 players, is quite strong with Burnett Herrick, Judy Smith, Lucille Kyvallos, Margaret Canby, Esther Williams and Laurie Leach all playing. Smith beat Canby and Williams beat Leach today. All are enthusiastic about the thought of the ITF holding the Women’s 85 Cup in Mallorca this fall.
Jenny Klitch went three for three in Palm Beach Gardens, winning the 50 singles & doubles (with Lisa Bonder-Kerkorian) on Friday and adding the 40 doubles title (with Andi Pliski) on Saturday, beating the impending rain. The 40s final was a three-setter with the Palm Beach Gardens Tennis Center pro Tara Pressley and Julie Axlerod giving the defending champions a strong challenge, taking the second set 62 before Klitch/Pliski won the third 62. There were a lot of spectators cheering despite the overcast skies.
Susanne Clark, unseeded, won the 80 singles without dropping a set, beating her doubles partner, Grace Woo in the final. Clark/Woo finished second in doubles, beating the #2 seeds, Carol Wood/Burnett Herrick in two tight sets. The top seeds, Inge Weber/Dorothy Wasser, won the 80 doubles title, winning all three matches in straight sets.
Kathy Zanon/Ann Jacobs were tied at 2-2 in the third with top seeds Abbi Neuthaler/Kim Jones when the rain stopped the match under the Friday night lights. When they returned Saturday Jacobs/Zanon won the third set 63 and advanced to the final against #2 seeds Aimee Norris/Anne Frautschi. Frautschi/Norris came out of the gates strong, winning the first set 63, but Jacobs/Zanon played a nearly perfect final two sets winning 62 in the third to claim the 60 doubles title. Jones/Neuthaler finished third.
Friday was a long and busy day at the Palm Beach Gardens Tennis Center. Matches started early and were only halted after 7pm by a downpour.
Lisa Bonder-Kerkorian started off the singles with a win in the 40 singles over Kristine Kraujina 61 62.
Erin Boynton and I started at the same time; Bonder-Kerkorian finished their match about the same time we finished the first set! It was a very close match, with a lot of momentum changes. I won 64 63, but the finish was in doubt till the last point finished. Wendy McColskey beat Terri Thomson 61 64 to finish third.
Jenny Klitch played after her doubles partner Bonder-Kerkorian on the same court and we just managed to finish before Klitch beat Julie Dybenthal 60 61. However Dybenthal was happy with her play and said she played much better than she had last time against Klitch. Laurie Capra beat Jill Sickle 61 61 to finish third.
Judy Dixon edged Toni Novack 76 76 in a repeat of last year’s 70 clay court final. Toni said Judy played great. I watched a bit of that match and Judy moves really well and was able to get to many of Novack’s deadly drop shots. Brenda Carter received a default from Molly Hahn, so finished third.
In the 80s, Susanne Clark beat Burnett Herrick and Grace Woo edged Carol Wood 76 in the third; the doubles partners face each other in the final today (weather permitting).
The 30s is a round robin; however Elizabeth Kobak of NY has won the division winning all three of her matches including a 63 63 win over Bonder-Kerkorian.
The 30s had only two teams but Kristen Charlton/Grace Haggerty got their money’s worth in one match, winning 61 36 76 over Kobak/Jennifer Einhorn.
The 40s final is today (weather permitting) and pits Klitch/Andi Piski agains Tara Pressley/Julie Axelrod.
The 50s was won by Klitch/Bonder-Kerkorian over Boynton/Abbi Neuthaler 61 63. Karen Rembert /Alice Stubbs beat Daniella Esswein/Dybenthal in three sets to place third.
The 60s semis have Aimee Norris/Anne Frautschi against the winner of the rain interrupted match between Neuthaler/Kim Jones and Anne Jacobs/Kathy Zanon which is tied at 22 in the third.
Carter/Dixon won the 70s over Sue Kimball/Pam Simons (who upset #2 seeds Sue Bramlette/Hahn). Carol Clay/Ellen Goodman won the 3/4 playoff by default.
Carter/Dixon; Weber/Wood; Simons/Kimball; Ellen Markowitz, Weber/Boynton, Clark/Woo
So in the 80s all the seeds are gone; Inge Weber (CAN) the top seed and reigning world champion fell in her first match to Susanne Clark of NY 63 64. Clark is new to the division, four years younger than Weber and an excellent player who has played on may USA Cup teams, so it wasn’t as big a surprise as it may seem. Carol Wood had her dropshots in full force against #2 seed Dorothy (I don’t like singles) Wasser today (but Dorothy can really move) and edged her in three sets. Wood plays Grace Woo (another age up) and Weber takes on Burnett Herrick (who edged Irma De Marco in two tight sets).
In contrast to the 80s, the top two seeds have reached the final of the 70s. Toni Novack beat Brenda Carter while Judy Dixon beat Molly Hahn, by identical 62 62 scores.
Another current world champion, Wendy McColskey, the #2 seed, fell in the 60s. However McColskey is the defending 65 world champion and lost to the top Canadian 60s player Erin Boynton 62 63in a well played match by both players. Boynton, a rangy 6 footer, served great, moved well and didn’t make many errors in victory. I beat #4 seeded Terri Thomson 60 62, so face Boynton tomorrow.
In the 50s, the top seeds made it to the final; Jenny Klitch (1) beat Laurie Capra of TX 61 60 and Julie Dybenthal (2) beat Jill Sickle 2,3.
The results for the 40s have the #2 seed Kristine Kraujina advancing to the final while the result for the other semi between top seeded Lisa Bonder-Kerkorkian and TereTennis Stowell (great name for a player) have yet to be posted.
On another sunny, beautiful, breezy Florida day, there was lots of good tennis at the Palm Beach Gardens Tennis Center.
I warmed up early and played at 10:30 against Mary Colonna from Michigan, our first meeting in 30 years. I won, and play Terri Thomson, the 4th seed, who ended Grace Hagerty’s run to the quarters 62 64, hitting deep, and mixing in angles and drop shots. Wendy McColskey blanked Suzanne Siegler and Erin Boynton beat Terri Thyssen 64 61.
There are a lot of Canadians here including Irwin Tobias, Rudy & MJ Pachl (who are USA citizens too) and Erin Boynton. See photos below of Terri Thomson, Erin Boynton & Thomson; Rudy Pachl and Irwin Tobias; Kathy Foulk and Frances O’Sullivan, Thomson, Grace Hagerty
In the 50s, #3 seed Danielle Esswein fell to Laurie Capra in straight sets. Other winners were Jill Sickle and Julie Dybenthal. The match of the day though was that between Susan Love and top seeded Jenny Klitch. I saw most of the second set; they were playing amazing points and Susan seemed to have to hit a line to win a point. Klitch won 64 62, displaying her great movement and court position while Love whacked her forehand and hit some nice volleys.
In the 70s, Molly Hahn edged Rosie Fortna and the three remaining seeds advanced, including Brenda Carter who beat Carol Clay 64 64.
The 40s got started and the top seeds advanced with ease.
The doubles so far is going according to form in all divisions.
Tomorrow are the semis in the 50, 60 & 70 singles and quarters in the 40s & 50s. 30 singles round robin singles play begins.
Hopefully the weather holds; there’s thunder, lightning and rain at 9:15pm!
This week there is a strong tournament going on at the Palm Beach Gardens Tennis Center for women 30-80 (even divisions only). The courts are great, though the new and improved clubhouse is under construction (so facilities are located in temporary trailers). Fortunately the weather is great and there are large tents where the players can relax or eat.
I’m playing in the 60s, which has a very large (25) and strong field. Wendy McColskey, #1 in the world in W65 held off a determined attack from Aimee Norris, winning in three sets, though you’d never know by watching that she was threatened, she’s very calm. Also in the 60s, only one of the 5-8 seeds (Suzanne Siegler) survived. The others fell as follows: 1: Grace Haggerty of Vero Beach took out Kathy Foulk, 62 62 and followed it up later in the day with a victory over Cori Reese by the same score; 2: Terri Thyssen of TX took out Janet Mosely, in straight sets; 3: Mary Colonna, MI, also beat Tami Bass, VT in a long three setter.
In the 50s, Jill Sickle of Chicago and Palm Beach Gardens upset #4 seed Andrea Wohlschlaeger. Julie Dybenthal of Tallahassee escaped in three sets against Andrea Hines but won the third set 61.
The third seed in the women’s 70s, Brenda Winstead of VA had to withdraw with an injury but the remaining three seeds advanced including Brenda Carter of SC who is making a singles comeback after an ACL injury. She faces Carol Clay, Ft Lauderdale who is making her way back after knee and shoulder injuries.
It’s a wonderful, addictive and often painful sport, tennis.
The 80s start tomorrow. There are current and former singles and/or doubles world champions in the 80s including Burnett Herrick, Inge Weber, Dorothy Wasser and Carol Wood. Six out of the nine entrants have played on USA or Canadian cup teams!
Also playing this week in 30 & 40 singles and 50 doubles is Lisa Bonner a former top 10 player.
It was 42 hours door to door to get from Torres del Paine, Chile to Palm Desert, CA for Thanksgiving. It was a pretty morning in Patagonia. I took a two hour or so ride to Puerto Natales, changed vehicles and driver. We then took the “Ruta del Fin del Mundo” to Punta Arenas airport, where arrived two hours in advance of my flight.
The Punta Arenas airport is pretty small, though the plane was pretty big. There’s a very small lounge and a couple of coffee places that also sell sandwiches and a gift/snack/drinks shop.
Three hours after leaving Punta Arenas, I was in Santiago where the temperature was nearly 80. Chile is VERY long and narrow, with huge climate changes from north to south. At the Santiago airport I retrieved a bag I had stored there, thinking I could then check in my bags and relax…alas that was not the case. Check in is only three hours in advance of a flight and I was there five hours early. So my luggage cart became my lounging area in a relatively deserted part of the busy airport. Having not had internet access for a week time passed pretty quickly. The Santiago airport before security though is pretty basic anyway, not enough room for all the people entering it.
I finally was able to check in, got past security and wandered around the airport a bit. Pro tip: Don’t buy any drinks before boarding the plane to the USA in Santiago, as there is a secondary security check just before boarding and they will confiscate any liquids exceeding 3 ounces/100 ml. On the other hand my laptop never had to be removed and my shoes and hat stayed on my head and feet respectively at all times.
I had a long flight, about 10 hours, to Houston, a three hour flight to LAX, another three hour layover home, a Lyft ride to my house, then a three hour drive to Palm Desert…left at 7am, arrived in PD around 9pm.
Getting home for Thanksgiving Day with my parents and cousins was worth it though.
It takes a long time to reach or return from Patagonia, plan accordingly. It took me 42 hours without any issues. I could have saved some time not flying via LAX (but it was much less expensive doing it that way)
Do not buy liquids before boarding the plane to the US in Santiago (other than Duty Free which is delivered to the plane in sealed bags)
Do not wait too long to go to Patagonia. You can see much of the park without rigorous physical activity, including Grey Glacier but to see some of the best views, hiking is really necessary
Today and tomorrow will be marathon travel days: two different 2+hour drives to get to the airport in Punta Arenas, a two hour wait for a three hour flight, followed by five hours in Santiago (and I can’t check my bags till 3 hours before the flight…😡…then three flights home followed by a three hour drive to visit my parents for Thanksgiving! However, the trip was worth it.
Yesterday we did the hike to the base of the Torres del Paine, about a 16 mile hike (I had over 40,000 steps by day’s end). We gained about 4000 feet overall in elevation even though our peak was around 700-800 meters…we did a lot of up and down.
Yesterday was the first day we had rain in Torres del Paine, which is amazing but unfortunate, as the view at the top, instead of the towers was of…clouds, though we could see the unnamed lagoon at the top.
We started early, 7:30am. I wore rain pants over shorts and a rain jacket (over a t-shirt and long sleeved shirt). It wasn’t freezing, but wasn’t warm either. Our fearless leader Claudio wore shorts, no rain pants and a rain jacket…he’s a native Patagonian and used to the weather.
The walk up, though lacking clear views, had its beauty. We walked through a beautiful forest for quite a while, across too many small streams to count, over several small wooden bridges, some with rails…some without. The moss covered tree trunks were so beautiful. After exiting the forest we walked down windy point, which luckily for us wasn’t really windy. Then the last 8/10 of a mile was rock climbing basically…..not the kind where you need handholds, more like doing step ups of various heights and stability. I didn’t mind the ascent. At the top we added a layer or two of clothing and had lunch by the aqua colored lagoon. The towers were covered with clouds but the weather kept a lot of people away and it was still beautiful. It was snowing very lightly at the top…brrr!
It was amazing how many people we encountered hiking in jeans, hiking in sneakers, hiking without any rain protection…(that was not us). I can’t imagine they’d woke up today feeling very good and their jeans and sneakers were pretty much trashed, mud covered up to the knees, and feet soaked and dirty.
So…after the ascent there was the descent…through that rock forest. I was pretty slow at that part of the walk. We all got down and then it was up and down again. We stopped halfway down at a refugio, a hostel with flush toilets. :-).
The rain had pretty much stopped by then and the views opened up some, though at that point the towers weren’t visible. We made it down around 5:30 pm, tired but happy to have survived and seen another beautiful area.
Of course, by the time we were down the towers were somewhat visible again and this morning it was sunny again (but really cold).
Things I learned:
1: Claudio Silva is a superb guide for anything Patagonia. Energetic, speaks English and Spanish well, patient, extremely knowledgeable and always upbeat. Loves what he does and loves where he lives.
2: You can go to Patagonia and just stay at a hotel and walk up to the base of the Torres del Paine, and take the boat ride to Grey lake to see the glaciers, but you won’t learn as much as if you use an experienced guide and you won’t see the less populated areas we saw
3: The standard domes at Ecocamp…great beds, but it’s really cold in the mornings! Really good dinners too.
4: This was an REI Adventure trip. It was a good experience, my first but Claudio made it wonderful.
5: Don’t wait to do this, you can take buses around the park and see beautiful places, but the hike to the base of the Torres is not super easy. And it’s 16 miles…
Photos aren’t loading well…I posted the ones that go with this post also on FB and Instagram (@seniortennisblog)
So while we had no internet, how was Davis Cup? (I did read today that Rafa beat Canada).
Sunday afternoon we had “Kayaking Take 2” and it went much better than “Take 1), which you may recall ended up with us dressing in the kayaking gear only to end up taking a hike (too windy to kayak).
Dressing consists of donning a base layer, a neoprene suit and booties, then a jacket and a “skirt” (something that goes around first one’s midsection to the ribs, then attaches to the kayak’s opening to keep water out and feet and body warm), a helmet, and putting one’s phone (photos you know) in a wet sack which is hooked to the kayak’s hood).
Sunday it was quite calm so we were able to start at Grey Lake (where we boated on Thursday to see Grey Glacier). I was, to say the least, apprehensive. The only kayaking I’ve ever done was at Lake Tahoe as a kid, where our goal was to tip over our friends’ kayaks and dump them in that cold water. But it was not bad…we were pushed into the water. The back person (Zahid), was the driver, and both of us were to paddle. I don’t think I paddled too well, but I tried. In the one day we got to 1: Kayak on a glacier lake among icebergs 2: Touch and iceberg 3: Kayak on a glacier river and 4: Drink the water from a glacier lake and river. No one was tipped over and everyone finished the ride. There were six of us plus two guides. The river portion was about 20 miles and took a while. There were some rapids…several, but not heavy duty ones.
I’m lucky I could do the kayaking this time because the company does not let anyone 65 or over do this activity.
On the way home we had one last stop to see this view:
And in the evening there was a pretty special sunset.
This morning we had a drive with stops for photos and at a lovely waterfall, before a hike up above condors’ nests. There we had a 360 degree view of Lake Sarmiento and another lake and beautiful mountains of Torres sel Paine.
Last night I took a walk towards the start of the clime to the towers of the park, over a stream and through the campgrounds, & past a nice hotel. I saw gauchos returning for the night leading their horses.
Next we are trying kayaking, if not too windy, then tomorrow there’s a 14-16 mile trek to the towers.
Today, Saturday was the mountain biking day, which I did try, but flunked. So I walked the same route, which was lovely. We went through moss covered forests, past cattle and horses, and saw beautiful vistas. I waded through streams, my shoes and socks are soaked and muddy.
We had a lamb barbecue on a working ranch, with sopadillas, and salsa for lunch. The lamb was barbecued over an open fire.
Patagonia is amazingly beautiful. From the high peaks to the green valleys, blue lakes and glaciers.
We saw dwarf owls, called Pygmy owls (really tiny), a mammal related to Llamas called guanaco (and it’s baby), a condor and a miniature orchid, Palo it’s, or dog orchid.
We are staying at the eco amp in Patagonia in the standard domes..beds but no bathrooms or heating, very comfortable. It’s a complex without cell service or WiFi , but with a beautiful view and great food. I had eel for dinner (did NOT taste like chicken!)
Today we drove to Grey Lake to see the glacier. It was cold but beautiful. We saw pieces of glacier, floating in the lake. The pieces had this bluish glow and they were so pretty. The glacier itself at the edge has a really interesting texture and has been receding in recent years.
Our drinks on the boat were served with glacier ice.
Torres Del Paine park, which we are exploring translates to Blue Towers more or less.
From the bottom of the world (where no one seemed to be worrying about how to watch Davis Cup/World Cup tennis).
Note: I have put photos into this blog post but the internet is very slow…they may load eventually…otherwise, check instagram, @seniortennisblog for photos.
Q`1First thing in the morning (6:15am) I went to see if the penguin tour was a go today…it was, starting around 7pm. We were bused to a boat (about 30 minutes), then had a smooth, hour long trip to Magdalena Island where the magellanic penguins were. We had about an hour on the island to view the penguins. They seemed to be mostly in their burrows, probably taking care of recently hatched offspring, but some were frolicking in the water. There were tons of seagulls, way more than penguins. It’s always fun to see penguins, they look so funny walking and have great facial expressions.
After seeing the penguins, we boated over to Magda Island where there were lots of sea lions. However, there are also lots of sea lions where I live in the States and it’s easy to view them up close, so that wasn’t too exciting. The Chilean sea lions though are just as noisy as the California ones.
We returned back to Punta Arenas around noon. We had to be dropped off at a different spot because of another group of demonstrators. There is a lot of graffiti everywhere in Chile, some pretty and artistic, but now, some is just angry.
I walked up to the highest spot in Punta Arenas, where one can see the entire city. Then I went to another tourist attraction, the cemetery, which is large, with some huge mausoleums. It also had an area of small graves of babies and children which was pretty sobering, and some nice monuments to soldiers. There were lots of crosses, some vertical, some angled (which apparently is called a Portate Cross or cross of St. Gilbert), of various materials from metal to granite.
I wandered back to the main square, then down to the waterfront, where there’s a promenade, complete with concrete chairs, though it’s hard to imagine the weather being warm enough to sit and watch the water.
This may be the last blog for a week…off to Patagonia and Torres del Paine where we won’t have internet access unless we walk a mile or so to access it. I’ll write my blog but may end up publishing them all next Wednesday. Have a great week!
I flew from Santiago today where it was going to be in the 90s, to Punta Arenas (via Puerto Montt). It’s around 50 and breezy (for a high) in Punta Arenas, which is right on the Straight of Magellan…closest land mass is Antarctica.
Puerto Montt is a port city about 1000 km (600 or so miles) south of Santiago, which has a population of over 200,000. I booked a direct flight…just not the nonstop I thought I’d booked, but it was fine, the flight wasn’t full and the stop was short. Most of the people exited the plan at Port Montt.
We flew first over Santiago, then over the lake country (Port Montt is the capital of the lake or Lagos region of Chile, the entrance to Patagonia). It was another 2+ hours after leaving the port city till we reached Punta Arenas. The weather wasn’t bad today but it’s supposed to rain tomorrow. Hopefully the penguin tour won’t be cancelled.
I saw my first group of people marching and chanting today in Chile, walking along the waterfront. The taxi driver had to make several turns to avoid them. I didn’t really expect to see problems here and the march appeared spirited but peaceful.
Today I went hiking in Cajon del Maipo in Chile. Cajon means canyon. There are a lot of hikes in the area. I went on a small group tour…there were 8 of us and 2 guides for part of the tour; then 2 people split off with a guide to go to hot springs and the rest of us continued the hike.
The area we were in was about 2500 meters above sea level; around 8000 feet. It was pretty cold and windy up that high. The area is rocky and pretty dry…this part of Chile has a Mediterranean climate, so not much rain in late spring to mid-fall. We could see the snow on the glaciers. We walked up first to a small stream for lunch (basic sandwiches) and then split off and went towards a big meadow. We saw horses and their foals, and lots of mountains.
At one point I stopped to take photos for a moment and when I looked up I couldn’t see anyone…they had turned to the left and out of sight. I didn’t know if they’d gone down towards the river or to the left…the “trail” wasn’t much of one. I eventually saw them and caught up but it was a bit eerie being out there all alone.
The main industries of Chile are mining and agriculture. The red in the mountains is iron, the white is gypsum and there is also copper mining. There was silver mining but a large earthquake in the 1950s pretty much destroyed the industry.
The trip took all day, from a 7am pickup to a 7pm drop off. It wasn’t all hiking; we stopped for breakfast and at the end again for a snack and the drive each was was a couple of hours.
It was really nice to get out of Santiago and see some of the countryside. There are lots of other hikes to do and I’d recommend going to this area if you are in Santiago.
Tomorrow…off to Punta Arenas on the Straight of Magellan!
The final day was a big letdown. I got to the club early for my 10:30 match (8:30) to warm up because there was only one warm up court after 8:30 and I hadn’t reserved it. I warmed up, then went to check in…and saw I had won by walkover (no one told me). Apparently Fritteli had a pain in her shoulder and decided she wasn’t fit to play today, though I saw her practicing a lot yesterday.
So I practiced some with Shirley Friedl and Marc Pepin and a little more later with Shirley, and waited for the awards ceremony. I also watched some of the women’s 35 final, which was very interesting in a crash waiting to happen way. Rous Lorca is a club member or local anyway. She moved well and hit deep topspin strokes, never came voluntarily to the net and wasn’t able to flatten out the ball to finish a point but had a nice dropshot at times and a good slice and 2 handed on the backhand side. She pummeled her opponent’s backhand. Loreto Painmill, her opponent had a more well rounded game but by the time I started watching, deep in the second set (about 2.5 hours into the match), Loreto was cramping after points frequently. Loreto would grind, then play a short point (which was frequently successful). Rous won the first set 75 and then 76 (7). Loreto had at least one set point, and I think she was way up in the breaker. But Rous just kept grinding…oh, and she only served underhanded, a big topspin underhanded serve, which wasn’t too attackable. Anyway, it passed a lot of time.
Around 1:30 they started putting out some food, small sandwiches, and a big paella was being prepared, and was ready around 2pm. There was also an open bar and champagne. Then there was a pretty long awards ceremony, with trophies for first and second and for the singles winners, a bottle of wine and a box of knives (for the women) and a big knife, for the men, and quite nice knives.
I found new areas of the club today I hadn’t seen…the gym, racquetball courts and some other racquet sports court which used a small ball and tennis racquets and playing off the wall. I watched a lesson but don’t know exactly what they were doing.
And that’s a wrap on the tennis portion of this trip. I have a hike in the Andes tomorrow and am off to very southern Chile on Monday where instead of 90 it’s going to be in the 50s and windy.
Today was a pretty mellow day. I practiced with Andrew M and Marc P in the morning, ran a few errands…got a little currency, hit the Unimarc supermarket, and did some tennis writing.
Tomorrow I play the final around 10:30 and there’s a paella party after, which is fun.
I heard rumors of protestors marching in this area, but didn’t see any. However, walking back from the club I saw two policemen who were standing at the rear of the car with the trunk opened. One of them bashed his head on the trunk lid, which doesn’t bode well for their ability to protect citizens.
A couple more photos from the club. You can see how near the tall buildings are to the club. The jacaranda trees are in full bloom.
It was another beautiful day in Santiago, perfect for playing tennis. I played Graciela Donoso early and won 60 62. Afterwards I watched some tennis and warmed up my opponent from yesterday for her mixed doubles match. There is a kiosk here for tennis clothes and now I have a new Chilean skirt at a very reasonable price, a good souvenir.
The score cards here are interesting…the cards swivel so the score is always showing who is ahead correctly, and instead of having a marker showing which player won the first set, in the middle are numbers I-V, indicating which set is being played, 1st, 2nd, or 3rd.
Today the club was making good use of their multipurpose covered area. Tennis was being taught on one court; girls were doing gymnastics in the middle and basketball practices were on the front court, with music (for the gymnastics), shouts and whistles (basketball).
I walked back to the club after dinner and matches were running about an hour late, with the lights coming on as the sun was setting.
Potted plants on walls is a very Spanish way of displaying flowers…I found a couple of walls of potted geraniums today. The flowers and trees in general are very pretty here.
I have a day off tomorrow since the other round robin group didn’t start till Wednesday. We could have played the final tomorrow…the #2 seed won both her matches so has won her group, but they have an awards ceremony on Saturday and play most finals then.
Today I played my first match, against Austria’s Shirley Friedl. She is a nice lefty player, but I played pretty well and the altitude helped my high balls jump a bit and I won 60 60. It’s always an enjoyable, fair match. We played on Court 1 and again, the courts this year are playing much much better than five years ago. I don’t know what they’ve done but kudos to the grounds people for making them so nice to play on.
After the match (and a short massage, $8 for 15 minutes and the guys working in the massage area are good and seem to be pretty knowledgeable physical therapy.
After lunch I decided to see if the app I downloaded to pay for the laundry machine worked. What one does is open the app, give it access to your camera and then point it at the QR code on the machine you want to use. The laundry is in the basement, but there was some cell service there (this wouldn’t work without it), but it was slow. It took a few minutes but I managed to get both machines working, so I will have no more issues with a lack of coins for the machines.
While I was waiting for my laundry to finish, I went to the Unimarc for some food and sunscreen. The packaging all has warnings (not the carrots I bought of course)…the chocolate says high in calories, saturated fat and sugar. As a result it’s quite good.
I think I figured out why the stores were all closed early yesterday…buses stopped running at 5pm, and the metro shortened its hours, and there were more demonstrations at the Plaza Italia, and also in other cities in Chile. But there’s not much in the English language newspapers I can find. In Las Condes today, it was business as usual, and calm. But downtown, in the center, it’s a different environment.