First day at sea...Pleasure in abundance!...Photos of our cabin and more...

The cabin contained most of what we needed.  We asked our cabin steward for ice twice a day, extra hangers, pillows, and robes which are provided only if requested.
 "Sightings on the Cruise in Australia"

Replicas or original marine equipment from long ago.
Firstly, we apologize for the late post.  This morning after breakfast in the main dining room, a "Meet & Mingle" party for members of CruiseCritic.com at 10:30, working out in the fitness center and figuring our way around this ship, I encountered a Wi-Fi issue.

We'd signed up for the Wi-Fi package allowing two devices online at any given time.  Last night I got online using my phone, thinking when I was done, I'd logged off properly.

By 3 pm we were entirely unpacked although we didn't use every drawer available.  Also, we both usually leave some items in our luggage that would be needed during the cruise.  There's enough space under the bead to store the luggage to ensure more floor space.
Wouldn't you know, I'd hit "disconnect" but was unable to log on with my laptop when an error message indicated I was already logged on another device.  Frustrated, after all this morning's activities, I couldn't get online for the life of me.

View of the Sydney Opera House as the ship sailed away around 6 pm.
Once we were situated at the Schooner Bar around 1pm I was determined to figure out a solution as to why I couldn't log on to new and improved ship's Wi-Fi system, referred to as high speed Voom.  It does in fact have a much better signal when I could get online.

Passengers on the deck watching the ship move out of Sydney Harbour.
I'm not one to read "help" sections.  In most cases, I riffle through various options and find a solution.  In this case, "help" proved to be just what I needed.  I'd logged off incorrectly.

A city scene from the port of Sydney.
Instead of selecting "disconnect" on my phone I should have brought up a webpage and typed in "logoff.com".  Dumb me.  I should have known this.  What was I thinking?

The area where the bridge is located.
I can make excuses for myself and say my brain was foggy from a poor night's sleep.  We didn't get to bed until midnight after watching the late comedy show in the ship's theatre and were awake by 5 am which really was 6 am after a one hour time change.

Instead of excuses, I'm simply stating, we've been so busy these past few days, its been difficult to find the time to get down to doing what we love to do...writing to all of YOU.

The theatre where we watched the late comedy show last night.  There'll be entertainment here each night.
I was concerned we wouldn't have enough to share over this 33 night cruise and at times we may wander from cruise related topics as many have come to mind over these past weeks.  But, in the interim, we're excited to share our photos and experiences aboard and off the ship, as we explore a variety of Australian cities.

As we recently discovered, there are only 140 Americans on the ship. This is a long way to fly for a cruise. The majority of the passengers are from Australia, some the UK, and a handful of Europeans.  The passenger capacity is 2800 and from what we've heard, the ship is fully booked.

As the theatre began to fill in for the entertainment.  There are two or three shows a night.
With 600 passengers on the back-to-back Australian continent circumnavigation, we'll see about 2200 new passengers boarding when we arrive in Perth when we arrive on November 16th, the day the second 17 night leg commences.

When on a back-to-back cruise there isn't much for us to do to become a part of the second leg.  We'll get new SeaPass ID cards, go through immigration in a priority line as we re-board, after spending the day with friends Michelle and Carlo sightseeing in Fremantle.  It should go smoothly.

Display of nautical knots.
We've met so many people its been mind boggling.  Neither of are good at remembering names although we desperately try to recall everyone we've meet, especially after spending considerable time togehter.

At the moment, Tom is in the cabin watching the Minnesota Vikings Game on his laptop while I'm sitting at the bar in the Schooner Bar where I'd hoped for reasonably ergonomic place to sit to avoid bending over my laptop.  So far, so good.  Pain it as a minimum.  Pleasure is in abundance.

Various knots used at sea.
Tomorrow, we'll share the perks we're enjoying as first time Diamond Club (priority club) members which is "keeping me awake at night" but is also too much fun! More on that later!

Happy day!
_________________________________________

Photo from one year ago today, November 1, 2015

Inside the reception building at Namale Resort & Spa we celebrated our three year anniversary of traveling the world with a tour and lunch at the world renowned resort. For more details, please click here.

Today is our 4 year anniversary of traveling the world...We're boarding the cruise shortly!


Our ship is shown behind us from atop the hotel's roof.
The red eye wasn't as bad as I'd anticipated although neither of us slept for more than 20 minutes during the flight, other than nodding off from time to time for five minutes or so.  It wasn't possible to get comfortable.

Finally, we arrived in Sydney and within 45 minutes we breezed through immigration, customs and baggage and were on our way by taxi to the Old Sydney Holiday Inn the Rocks hotel, a 20 minute ride.


Seeing that the ship has arrived at the port is always exciting to us.  This will be our 15th and 16th cruises since we booked the first and second leg as a back-to-back considered to be two separate cruises.
We were tired but neither of us slept for more than 30 minutes once tucked under the covers in our darkened hotel room.  By 4 pm, we decided to forget about trying to sleep and head down to the bar for a cocktail.  The hotel has a two for one drink special during happy hour for priority club members.

Since I'd decided to start drinking a little white wine from time to time, I wasted no time ordering a delightful glass of Pinot Gris.  The first sip made my tongue crinkle with pure pleasure.  Then again, so did the second and third.  By the end of the evening, I had two glasses of wine and was totally drunk since I hadn't had a glass of wine in six months since our last cruise.  Guess one needs to build up a tolerance to the stuff.


From our vantage point I couldn't get the entire ship in the photos.  Notice the blue sky, perfect day in Sydney.
Oh well, it was time to celebrate!  While sipping our drinks in the bar we met a wonderful couple from Canberra, not cruise passengers but visiting Sydney for a short holiday.  Our conversation was lively and we all decided to have dinner together in the hotel's restaurant.

By the time 9 pm came around, we were both fading and knew bedtime was neigh. I could hardly get undressed and under the comfy covers quickly enough, never reading a word on my phone or watching a smidgen of the repetitive news. 

The Sydney Harbour Bridge.
I awoke once during the night and found myself with a bit of a hangover.  One 500 mg aspirin later and I was back to sleep in minutes, not awakening until 8 am.  Tom had an equally good night's sleep which we hadn't had in quite awhile.

This morning was busy with the late wake up.  We needed to take photos from the hotel's rooftop to post today and with a bit of luck we met another fine Australian couple, who are passenger on the ship with whom we chatted for quite some time.  They offered to take these photos of us which we were thrilled to have on this special day.

The second half of the ship, Royal Caribbean Radiance of the Seas.
After the enjoyable visit, it was time to head to the pharmacy, the same chemist we'd visited a few times in past visits to Sydney in order to load up on Vitamin C, pro biotics and an array of toiletries we'd waited to purchase after the flight to keep the weight under control.  Cruise lines don't charge for baggage, regardless of the weight.

The pharmacist remembered us and we had a fine time chatting with him as we made our purchases.  We'll need to find a market when we go ashore during the cruise to find coconut oil and baking soda both of which we use for dental and health care.

Once back at the hotel, we packed the bags with the few items we'd used overnight. Tom ran them across the street during two trips down a steep flight of steps to check them in at the port.  All we'll carry in hand is the yellow Costco bag and the computer backpack.  

Us with the Harbour Bridge in the background.
By 2 or 3 pm, we'll be able to get into our cabin and unload those two bags so we can relax, maybe get a bite to eat and begin more of the festivities.  Good grief, the cruise hasn't even started and we've already having a great time. 

I'd like to get into more details of our anniversary but time doesn't allow it right now.  We've decided to celebrate tomorrow since it will be hectic on the cruise tonight.  I plan to ask the dining room captain to order a cake for our celebration in the main dining room tomorrow evening.  I won't eat cake but Tom will certainly enjoy my share.  I'll take a photo and give it a sniff.

Tom's finished showering.  As I write this its 11:53 am.  We due to check in at noon when each deck is given a designated boarding time.  Here we come, 33 nights at sea, a first for us!

We'll be back tomorrow with more photos of our ship, cabin, meals and a new equivalent of "Sightings on the Beach in Bali" which we'll figure out in the next 24 hours when we write again.

Have a beautiful day! 
________________________________________

Photo from one year ago today, October 31, 2015:
Us in Hawaii, one year ago.  The next day we posted a new photo of us together from Namale Resort.  Here's a link to our two year anniversary.  Here's the link to the one year ago post, our third anniversary.


From the Ngurah Rai Airport in Bali...One hour to boarding...


Bali was wonderful.  We're grateful for the experience.
If one doesn't usually travel internationally, there's a litany of processes to finally result in a boarding pass in hand. 

On this particular flight with Virgin Australia online check in and baggage fees cannot be processed until arrival at the airport.  As soon as we exited the hotel shuttle we decided to use a skycap/porter to assist with our bags. 

Over the last several flights, we decided it made no sense trying to maneuver three bags weight 23 kg each plus our three carry on bags.  For the tips its become worth it to us.  Besides, its a good way to use any leftover foreign currency we'd yet to spend.

First our two porters (the trolleys were small) escorted us though the first of two security checkpoints while police used a drug detecting device  to"sniff" our bags. We waited for no less than 30 minutes to make our way through security.

Once we made it through security our two porters found the queue for Virgin Australia as we all waited until we reached the counter.  With no boarding pass as usual we only had to show our passports to begin the check in and pay for our bags.

Searching online, the baggage fees for international flights was vague.  We had no idea how much we'd have to pay.  Our two checked bags sailed through with the 23 kg limited avoiding any fees or even excess baggage fees.  It was the third bag for which they charged us at IDR 1,250,000, US $95.73. 

So it goes.  No matter how hard we've tried, we simply can't travel the world without the third bag.  After all, these bags contain all of our belongings, everything we physically own in the world.

After paying the fees, obtaining our boarding passes, tipping the two porters we proceeded with our three carry on bags to immigration and the second security checkpoint.  This time, no device sniffed our bags since they had stickers on them indicated the process had been completed.  Again, a long queue.

Safari luck prevailed and we ended up in a newly opened line spending no more than 10 minutes waiting.  We were finally on our way to sit down, grab a beverage and wait for our boarding time of 11:25 pm.  I can't believe I'm up so late and not tired yet.  Over these past many months, I've fallen asleep by 10 pm most nights awakening by 5 am at the latest. 

Tom's doing well today with only a tinge of travel day anxiety. My back is a bit stiff due to standing all this time but overall, I'm good, anxious to arrive in Sydney and get some rest and then, the excitement will begin.

That's all folks!  Next time we write, it will be from Sydney.  Expect another post with photos within 24 hours.

Bye, bye, Bali!  We enjoyed our stay!

Have a great day or night wherever you may be!
_________________________________________

Photo from one year ago today, October 29, 2015:
A friendly man in Fiji on his horse after a hard morning's work took time to say "bula!"  For more photos, please click here.


We made a booking error!...Final hotel expenses...Tonight's the night!...We're off to Sydney on the red eye...



The hotel chef made a special spicy sauce to go with my skewers.
Gee, this week whizzed by considering how little we did hanging out in our hotel room for days, content as we could be in air conditioned comfort with nary a fly in sight. 

As a matter of fact having meals without having to bat off the flies was rather pleasant for a change. But, we know this cool comfort and fly free zone won't last forever. 

Once the 33 night cruise ends on December 3rd, we'll spend a total of three months in two locations in Tasmania which is rife with wildlife and insects of all sorts, a fact that attracted us to this Australian island. 

Tom had another bowl of fries not shown in this photo.
Luckily, we're become accustomed to the creepy crawlies we've encountered otherwise we wouldn't have chosen to visit Costa Rica, South America and again Africa in the future.

As for our stay here at the Hilton Garden Inn Ngurah Rai Airport a most peculiar thing happened yesterday...we discovered we'd made an error when booking this hotel.  Here how it went:

1.  First, we'd booked the hotel for Saturday, October 29th to Sunday, October 30th, although we're checking out tonight at 9:45 pm when it will still be October 29th.  With this late flight we preferred not to spend hours waiting at the airport so we booked the hotel for the one night with the very early checkout.  With the low rate of US $50, IDR 652,874 it was better than the alternative.
2.  When we decided to leave the villa early due to the poor Wi-Fi signal, we created an additional booking at the same hotel from Monday, October 24th to Friday, October 28th.

Is my booking error obvious? 

Each morning Tom had a few of the doughnuts shown on the right.
Based on how I booked this we'd be without a room between Friday and Saturday.  I should have booked the added nights from Monday, October 24th through Saturday, October 29th and then...our extra night would kick in. 

Yesterday at noon, staff at the front desk called our room (we were wondering why our room hadn't been cleaned) kindly explaining we needed to clear out of the room (duh) and return today for the 2:00 pm check in time.  That would have been some predicament!

We wondered what the huge red pot contained.  Was it decorative or a buffet item?
Well, safari luck kicked in, we rebooked yesterday's one night at Hotels.com on our site for which rates, last minute had escalated but the hotel was able to let us stay in the same room.  Thank goodness.

We apologized profusely for our error, had our Wi-Fi and key cards updated and continued on with our day.  We finished and packed our clean laundry and once again I worked out.  Later we closed and weighed our bags to see if we'd be charged for overweight luggage. 

The gym was nicely chilled and spacious.  This guy of the left was the only person I'd seen in the gym in five days.
Virgin Australia charges per piece for economy (that's us) and also for overweight fees.  Each of our two clothing bags are within a kilo and of the 23 kg max with our third bags well under without an extra inch of space to stuff the slight overages.  We'll see how it goes.  On this particular international flight paying online in advance for baggage isn't allowed.

After a good breakfast, by dinnertime, we both felt hungry and decided to head down to the restaurant for a meal.  The menu was tricky with many items that wouldn't work for me. 

I ended up ordering a specially prepared satay dish without sugary peanut sauce which consisted of two small skewer of chicken, one small skewer of beef and a skewered medium sized prawn.  Knowing this would be ultra small, I also ordered two fried eggs and a half of avocado.  It all worked for me.

It felt good to get on the cardio equipment.  Over the six days I improved my endurance more than expected.
Tom, prepping for his "cruise diet," ordered a bacon cheeseburger (with bun) with fries and extra fries.  Here he goes!  He'll be dining to his hearts content while I've promised (as usual on cruises) not to say "boo" about what he eats until we're settled in our next vacation home when I'll start cooking again.

We'll forego dinner tonight and grab a little something at the airport if we're hungry or we may use our remaining IDRs to purchase nuts for the flight.  After all, we'll be awake all night, a little munching might be in order.

As for the hotel bill for these six nights including meals, tips and taxes:

Room rate for six nights:   IDR 4,989,658,  US $382
Meals not included:           IDR    806,242,  US $ 62
Total for six nights:        IDR  5,795,900, US $444
Average cost per night:      IDR    965,983   US $ 74


Flower blooming on a tree by the pool.
Wow!  This was reasonable, less than our average cost per night when living in vacation homes.  Sure, we forfeited six nights at the villa but we'd already factored those costs into our budget and certainly received our money's worth.

Tomorrow, as mentioned, we'll be in Sydney staying overnight in the hotel.  Our post may be late if we didn't sleep on the plane.  If we were able to get some sleep on the plane and feeling alert in the morning, we'll post at our usual time.
These are interesting flowers blooming on a tree by the pool..
See you from Sydney, one of our favorite cities in the world!  Bear with us once again, since we'll be posting photos of the amazing scenery of the Sydney Harbour.

Happy day!
_________________________________________

Photo from one year ago today, October 29, 2015:
We could only imagine how beautiful our photos would have been in Fiji had it been a sunny day when we went sightseeing.  That's life in the tropics!  For more details, please click here.



Time flies...Soon, we fly...Three days until we board the cruise...Regaining fitness and health...


Beautiful fresh flower arrangements in the hotel lobby.
This week has flown by quickly. Tomorrow evening, we'll leave for the airport at 9:45 pm using the already booked free hotel shuttle.  As the week as progressed, I've had less and less angst about the red eye and plan to take it in my stride.  Its only one day of being tired and out of sorts.

This morning we're doing two loads of laundry in the spotless hotel laundry room. The cost to do wash and dry two loads is IDR 200,000, US $15.33, pricey for a self serve laundry but a lot less than we'd have paid to send it out.  We'll board the cruise with clean clothing except for the few items we'll wear in the next few days. 

As its turned out, since Tuesday we've only eaten the included breakfast in the hotel as our one meal a day.  The first day we arrived, Monday, we'd left the villa without anything to eat planning to have dinner in the evening in the hotel restaurant.

Hotel pool.
The dinner was mediocre with my dietary restrictions and Tom's fish and chips were good.  In both cases, we left the table still hungry after the smallish portions. 

Instead, we decided to load up on the buffet breakfast, ordering omelets, bacon and a few sides, enough to get us through the next 24 hours until we'd eat again.  If we felt hungry in the evenings, we'd go have dinner.

Not surprisingly, eating very low carb, neither of us have been hungry at any time during the remainder of the day and evening.  We felt satisfied and comfortable never once thinking about eating or snacking. 

As we've mentioned in the past, eating one meal per day is considered intermittent fasting.  If medical studies appeal to you there are countless studies revolving around the benefits of fasting, as least for a part of each day. 

Flowers blooming on the hotel grounds.
The old theory of eating every few hours will soon be discredited as a foolhardy means of maintaining health, weight and fitness.  It hasn't been working for most people with rampant Type 2 diabetes and obesity prevalent in almost every part of the world.

Then again, what do I know except what seems to work for us as we continue to strive to maintain a level of health and fitness that hopefully will see us through many more years of world travel  Everyone has the option to choose a health plan that works best for them.

None of this makes us exempt from illness, injuries and generally not feeling 100% every day.  Like many of you on certain days, we don't feel up to par, energetic and ready to tackle the world. 


Artwork in the pool area.
After months of being relatively inactive during recovery from the June 1st injury I'm struggling a little to regain my strength.  Working out everyday at the hotel has been helpful but like physical therapy, its a slow process. 

Expecting overnight results  isn't realistic.  I'll continue to exercise over the next two days and then daily on the upcoming cruise, adding to the time and difficulty of my routine a little each day.  Hopefully, by the end of the 33 night cruise, I'll have returned to my former level of fitness and energy.

At that point, we'll be ready to resume preparing meals which we haven't had to do in over three months, since we were in Phuket ending on September 1st.  In both locations in Tasmania we'll have bi weekly house cleaners so we won't have to do more than tidy up, laundry and cooking. 

Balinese style abounds in the hotel, the Hilton Garden Inn Ngurah Rai Airport.
Tomorrow, we'll be back with our final post from Bali including the total expenses for our the six nights at this hotel.  At 12:10 am Sunday we'll fly overnight to Sydney, arriving in the morning. 

Later in the day we'll post again after we've hopefully taken a nap after the red eye flight.  As a result, the post from Sydney on the 30th (29th for those in other parts of the world) will be posted late.  Please keep an eye out.  We'll be back!

Have a beautiful day filled with sunshine!
________________________________________

Photo from one year ago today, October 28, 2015:
These Fijian women were sitting on the floor while one gave the other a massage while working at the farmers market in Savusavu, Fiji.   For more photos, please click here.

Today, Tom talks...To mustache or not to mustache?


Tom with the beard and mustache.
When I asked Tom if he'd write a post, he declined. Its just not his thing.  Oh sure, he writes wordy quips at Cruise Critic asking and answering questions about particular cruises, having built himself quite a reputation as an active contributor on their boards.

Clean shaven for the first time since we were in Barcelona Spain, sitting in a café across from Segrada Familia.  See photo below.
Then, of course, he spews endless comments and observations on Facebook, often keeping him busy for hours.  But, write a post?  That's not so much in his wheelhouse, so he says.

Tom, the last time he didn't have a mustache in May, 2013.  We were at a café across the street from Segrada Familia in Barcelona, Spain. 
Oh, don't get me wrong, he's an active participant in what I have to say in our daily posts by  researching, fact checking and proof reading each post immediately after its uploaded.  Then, upon his suggestions, I edit each inconsistency he catches to reload the post once again. 

Its a good system.  Writing a post every day, at times rushing through it to get on with our plans, is a breeding ground for errors and I certainly make my fair share.  Its a rare occasion that he doesn't catch at least one mistake. 
We dined in a traditional Italian restaurant in the walled city of Lucca in July, 2013.  Note Tom's Fu Manchu mustache.  I still laugh over this photo when I know this look was all about the fact that he wasn't thrilled about the pizza menu that didn't have all of his favorite toppings.
There are numerous situations when neither of us has noticed an error and a year later one of us stumbles across it.  Immediately, I take action to make the corrections.  Its an ongoing process that will never end as long as we continue with our story.

As for Tom's story, in person, you'd have no trouble getting it out of him as any of his/our friends out there can attest.  He's a great conversationalist and fun to engage in conversation.  He's well read with an opinion on almost any topic that comes to light.

After unsuccessfully prodding him to tell me what he'd like to say here, I decided my only option would be to interview him and post his answers, in his words, exactly as he responded.  Here we go:

Pretty carvings in the hotel in Kuta.
Are you enjoying traveling the world? 
"Yes, it's even better than I'd anticipated"

What is your least favorite aspect of traveling?
"Airports; arriving many hours early, the long lines, the schedules with layovers, the delays and all the other BS."

What part of traveling the world do you enjoy the most?
"The weather...being away from ice and snow."

When you look back over the experiences of these past four years, what has been your favorite?
"The next one."

Of your upcoming plans, which do look forward with the greatest enthusiasm?
"Of course, seeing family and friends in Minnesota.  As for our continuing journey, experiencing places we've never seen and, meeting the locals."


Flower arrangement in the hotel in Kuta.
You often mention how much you love cruising?  What is it about cruising that appeals to you?
"Relaxing.  Its a greats means of transportation.  Meeting new people , making new friends and the bread.  I can eat like a normal person on a cruise!"

What do you like least about cruising?
"The muster drill on embarkation day."

How do you feel when getting settled into a new vacation home?
"Pleasantly surprised when there's comfortable furniture and bed.  Happy if we don't have to purchase bottled water.  Looking forward to checking out the area."

What food concerns do you have in a new location?
"Will they have the ingredients to make our pizza?  Do they have streaky pork bacon?"

Flowers in standing bowl in hotel.
What items do you find lacking in a vacation home that you wished were always available?
"Good Wi-Fi, an electric coffee maker and a flat screen TV we can use to plug in the HDMI cord."

How long does it take you to pack?
"It takes about 20 to 30 minutes to pack.  I seldom unpack my entire suitcase.  I take out underwear, shorts, tee shirts and swimming trunks.  The rest stays in the bag."

How do you feel about renting cars and driving in other countries?
"The turn signal and wipers are on the opposite side of the steering column than I'm used to.  Every time I go to use the turn signal, I turn on the wipers.  We laugh every time!"

What booked plans for the future are the most exciting to you?
"The upcoming Alaskan cruise in May, 2017; a cruise from Fort Lauderdale to Chile in November, 2017 when we'll traverse the Panama Canal, a second time (since 2013) to see the new locks; a cruise we've booked that sails around the southern tip of South America (Cape Horn) in December, 2017: and of course, the Antarctica cruise in January, 2018.
Precious statue near the hotel pool.
Is there anywhere you've lived in these past four years that you didn't enjoy?
"Marrakech, Morocco, two weeks would have been plenty, not two and a half months.  The house and staff were great but we felt trapped living inside the souks.  Didn't like the spicy food."

Do you ever think about stopping this year's long journey?..
"No, it never enters my mind.  In this crazy world, we'd better hurry to see everything we want to see.  Who knows what the future holds?"

Why did you shave the beard and the mustache?
"The beard was just a fluke to see if I could grow one. I found out I could.  At night it was irritating on the pillow. When it needed a trim it was too difficult to do so I shaved off the beard and also the mustache. Jess likes me either way."

There it is folks, all Tom has to say for now.  Perhaps we can do this more often.  I know many of our readers are curious as to what he thinks about living this peculiar life.  Feel free to inquire by email or via comments at the end of any post.

Have a great day!
_________________________________________

Photo from one year ago today, October 27, 2015:

Rasnesh took this photo of us in from of the Vuadomo Waterfall.  We were hot and sweaty but the long trek was worth it!  For more photos, please click here.

 

News overload...Dreaded "red eye" flight upcoming...A cultural dining experience with photos and amazing prices continue...


This fish soup looked delicious but contained a small amount of flour for thickening.
Finally, we have access to US and world news.  Although by no means have we been out of the loop as to what's transpiring in the US and around the globe.  Voraciously, we read online news daily to stay abreast of what's transpiring worldwide that may have an impact on our lives as we continue to travel.


This fried soy appetizer was served at our table.  Tom didn't like it and I don't eat batter fried foods or any soy.
Some may assume that our lifestyle may dictate an "out of sight, out of mind" philosophy. But, we're definitely not living "off the grid." We may have been living outside North America for almost four years, except for a three day stay in Boston to see family two years ago, although we've never been out of touch with the state of affairs in the US and many other parts of the world.


Coconut water is served in the coconut with its soft flesh.  Not a fan of the liquid neither Tom nor I ordered one.
S
ettled in at this comfortable hotel in Kuta, Bali, we've busied ourselves online while watching English speaking news on the TV running in the background.  After an hour or two, we'll flip the channel to Nat Geo Wild, or another of National Geographic series, many depicting places we have been thus far in our travels.  Less stress inducing, by far.

As the days quickly dwindle to our departure in three nights, I must admit I've had a little angst about the red eye flight which departs around midnight Saturday (actually Sunday, at 12:05 am).


Tom's and Egon's lunch consisted of fried rice topped with bits of chicken, a fried egg and a few bite of vegetables. 
We'll have to leave the hotel prior to 10 pm Saturday (we paid for an extra night for the late check out) to ensure we're at the airport two hours in advance as required for international flights.  At times, getting through immigration can result in long delays.



Francoise's grilled fish.
I suppose I wouldn't feel any angst about the red eye flight if we could sleep well on a plane.  Its just doesn't happen easily for either of us.  We may dose for short periods.  With my recent injury, sitting for long periods is most challenging at this time, as I experienced on the four hour drive from Sumbersari to Kuta. 

Searching online I found a few tips that may be helpful from this site.  Regardless of tips and suggestions, the reality is, its only a six hour flight.  In no time at all, we'll arrive in Sydney, so I keep telling myself. 


Pioni and I shared this platter of boiled crabs, a little tricky to get out of the shells due to their small size but the flavor was good.
We've certainly experienced longer and more difficult flights including many hours of layovers.  At least Sunday's flight will be nonstop making it a whole lot easier.

Continuing to think positive thoughts and focusing on the enthusiasm for the arrival in Sydney on Sunday morning with one hotel night in the hotel which is conveniently located across the street from the pier where our ship will await boarding passengers. 


Watermelon, a hearty crop in Bali was served at our table.
Most likely, we'll arrive at the hotel  in Sydney by 10:30 or 11 am (a two hour time difference), hoping for an early check in. As "regulars" at this hotel and members of their priority club, I feel confident they'll accommodate us.

From there, we'll get a good night's sleep and be ready to board the ship for our scheduled time at noon on Monday, October 31st, the day of our four year anniversary, certainly a day to celebrate.


Thanks Francoise and Egon for hosting our lunch.  I asked to take a photo of the bill to post here.  It was shocking to see the five person lunch was only IDR 198,000, US $15.22!
We'd hope to use this hotel's pool over these several days.  The weather has yet to cooperate.  Soon, I'll head to the hotel's gym for my third workout, increasing intensity a little each day. 

Sure, its quiet and low key for us over these several days but we're doing well, feeling cool and enjoying getting caught up on a number of tasks we weren't able to accomplish over these past many months.

Be patient, dear readers. The action will pick up in only a few days!  Take care!
_________________________________________

Photo from one year ago today, October 26, 2015:

Typically in rainforests, we've observed insects and birds as more colorful than in less dense areas of vegetation. Tima, our guide to Vuodomo Falls, spotted this caterpillar we easily could have missed.  For more details, please click here.