Its a better day…Yesterday can easily be forgotten…Power outage adding to the frustration level…

This scary looking carving is located on the iron fence of the house next door.

“Sightings on the Beach in Bali”

We did a double take when we saw these two young guys walking their inner tube type boats along the beach. Later, we saw them fishing from these tiny watercraft.

Let’s face it, living in less developed countries presents issues many don’t find in their home country. We accepted this reality long ago when the first country in which we lived outside the US, Belize in Central America, formerly known as British Honduras, taught us that lesson hard and fast.

It’s not as if we expected a life of world travel to be as easy as life in the US. We knew there’d be challenges, and sacrifices and we’ve faced them with as much grace and dignity as we’ve been able.

The house next door to us is at the end of this narrow road of this private villa neighborhood.

Sure, we’ve whined a bit and sure, we still cringe when there’s flies on our food as we dine (in excess amounts over these past few days) and, sure, we gave each other “the look” when the power went out shortly after dinner last night. You know, the look that says, “Here we go again.”

But we didn’t say much about it.  Instead, we made a plan. The two Ketuts found candles but no candle holders. We opted for saucers. There were no flashlights or torches, in the house, no screens on the bedroom windows if the outage lasted through the night as we’d be without AC or a fan to keep us cool.

We easily both recalled living in Kenya almost three years ago (for a full three months) when there was no AC and the power would often be out all night. It happened over and over again. We had no living room, only a veranda where we sat in the dark by candlelight, bugs swarming around us until we gave up and went to bed to the protection of the mosquitos netting. We survived. 

Spiky branches of this flowering plant.

Not only did we survive, we became tougher, more resilient, more tolerant. But all of that doesn’t mean the sting of a fly bite or other insect or, the heat of a breeze-less night doesn’t impact our comfort level. We’re human, after all.

In part, the frustration level during outages revolves around the fact that we don’t know how long it will last.  Will it be hours? Days? What about the food? What about being out of touch without Skype or a working phone when the WiFi signal is also non-existent during a power outage? (We’ve yet to find SIM cards for our phones in this remote location).

Pretty flowers growing along the wall lining the neighborhood.

What about a medical emergency? The next door neighbor died 18 months ago when he couldn’t get to a proper hospital in time for treatment when he was having a heart attack. The doctor “was out” not returning for several hours. He lay on a gurney and passed away without treatment. (Tomorrow, when we head to Negara, we’ll find a SIM card).

The two Ketuts left after bringing us the candles, saucers and matches. At least we’d already had dinner. At least, my laptop was fully charged and we could watch shows until the battery died. At least, we had already cooled down the bedroom a little for after dinner lounging where we now go to relax in the evening, free from the flies and mozzies. 

Hindu statue along the wall in the neighborhood.

Luckily, it wasn’t a all night affair. A few hours later, shortly before total darkness, the power came back on.  “Whew,” we both said simultaneously. We’ve said this many times in the past. And, we have no doubt, we’ll say it many times in the future, not only here in Bali but in many other countries along the way.

Now, as we bat off about half as many flies as yesterday, with a clear blue sky, power back on and the humidity a touch lower, we look forward to the later part of the morning when the sun and the day reduces the flies dive bombing antics and once again we can experience another sunny day in Paradise.

May your day be sunny and bright!

Photo from one year ago today, May 13, 2015:

The morning view from our lanai in Kauai as it rained off and on. We were counting off the day until our departure after a blissful four month stay. For more details, please click here.

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 challengingconditions may not present themselves during the shorter period. Today, is aday, 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.

It’s too hot to shoot the wall of glass doors, but, with the many flies already in the house, even that would do little good. The only safe respite is 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.  om, 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. 

It’s 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.