Not a perfect day in Paradise..."Keeping it real"...

This bird appears to be a Blue Kingfisher.  Please correct me if I'm wrong.

"Sightings on the Beach in Bali"
Yesterday, Tom took this distant photo when he spotted this peculiar boat which appears "sunken" in the middle.  We had no idea what type of boat this is.  Any comments from our Indonesian (or other) readers who may know?
As previously mentioned in other posts, most tourists traveling to Bali (and other countries we visit) are staying in a resort or hotel of some sort, not a private single family home.  The conditions for comfort are very different. 

Also, they may ony stay only one or two weeks and challenging conditions may not present themselves during the shorter period.  Today, is a day, where weather and other conditions are challenging, to say the least. 

The heat and humidity is as high as we ever experienced in Africa on the worst of days. On these hot and humid days and nights especially after its rained there are lots of flies.

Its too hot to shut the wall of glass doors but, with the many flies already in the house, even that would do little good.  The only safe refuse in the master bedroom where we keep the door shut constantly, where’s there’s AC if we finally decide to hide away for an hour or two. 

At the moment, I am sitting outdoors, unable to get online due to the poor signal and there are dozens of flies hovering around me. I am covered with 30% DEET, the only possible product I can use to keep me from getting many fly bites.

And yet they still find a way to attack any unreached spot on my back or behind my legs.  None of the “natural” repellents (I’ve tried many) actually repel flies or mosquitoes from biting me.  Tom, on the other hand, seldom gets bit.

With mountains in Java obstructing the final setting of the sun, we relish every sunset photo we see.
Since we couldn't get online as I wrote this, I'm using “Live Writer,” a MS app that enables me to write and then, once able to attain a signal, I can upload it to the Internet.  Thank goodness for this option.  Otherwise, I could spend the entire day trying to get a decent signal.  We'll have only a few photos today due to the poor signal.

When the sun comes out, we’ll have a reprieve from the flies.  They seem less bothersome on sunny days.  We imagine the number of flies is certainly due to the rain we've experienced over these past several days.

We continue to spend time figuring out the visa situation for July’s upcoming cruise.  It appears we can get a visa for Cambodia online.  But, on Viking’s Mekong River cruise documents, it states we cannot get and use an e-visa for this particular cruise.  We must use a service to apply which requires snail mailing our passports which we will not do. 

In the past 24 hours we’d been attempting to reach Viking but with the huge time difference and poor signal it had been difficult. There’s a 15 hour time difference. Finally this morning, we got through on Skype before they closed for the day. 

Explaining our situation they agreed we could apply for the Cambodia visa online.  Only a few online services offer this option, one we’ve used in the past, which is located in Washington, DC and is safe to use. 

I asked Viking to send us an email confirming they’ll accept the e-visa for Cambodia so we won’t experience any issues when we present the e-visa at the time of boarding in Hanoi.  We’ve since received this confirmation email which, if necessary we’ll present at boarding.

There are many visa companies out there in cyberspace that are scams.  One could easily be giving their personal passport information to a scamming visa app company.  Please beware in doing so and feel free to contact us for names of valid companies we’ve used.

The reflection on the sea is particularly appealing.
Today, we’ll apply for the Cambodia visa and once we arrive in Singapore we’ll only have to apply for the visa for Vietnam (not available as an e-visa), a plan we can easily accommodate.  If we’d had to apply in person for both visas while in Singapore it could have taken a significant amount of time during the one week stay.  Most likely, in this case we won’t lose more than a single day.

Enough about flies and visas.  We share these details not only to express that at times, traveling the world is not as easy as it may seem but also for those who may consider this lifestyle, to use a little of which we’ve learned in the process. 

Its easy to become stressed on hot, humid, fly infested days such as today when there are tasks we need to accomplish in the background that add to the frustration.  Surprisingly, both of us remain calm and determined to figure out solutions.

Now, as the sun begins to peek out at almost noon, I’ve begun to feel confident that we may have comfortable day after all. 

May your day be comfortable and relatively easy.

Photo from one year ago today, May 12, 2015:

Locomotive and coach formerly used for tours at the Kilauea Sugar Plantation, now closed for many years.  For more sugar plantation photos, please click here.



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