Linda

Never too old

Linda

I am a very senior scuba diver and I am finishing up a five month scuba diving trip in SE Asia. I just finished my one hundredth dive since the start of the trip in April. I was certified in 1986 but didn't dive regularly until after my last child was born, when I was forty (I have seven). This is not my first trip to Asia; I dove in Palawan - Philippines, Thailand and Indonesia, and have taken dive trips to Cozumel, Canada, Malta, Bonaire, Honduras and Bahama, and have done dives in the Black Sea - Bulgaria, and Epcot Center in Florida. I tell people we dive where ever there is a puddle.



Asia » Burma » Mandalay Region » Bagan August 12th 2018

BAGAN Although the bus to Bagan was a large coach with recliner type seats, I could not reach the foot rests and kept slipping off the seat. Thanks to the chilly air conditioner I shivered through most of the evening. I transferred to a small van when we reached Bagan. We passed a dozen lit pagodas in the next fifteen minutes. I arrived at my hotel after midnight. I was so happy to have a bed to stretch out on. I slept late, had a good breakfast and sat outside under an awning to use the computer and skype. A driver took me to a small settlement to find an ATM and buy some fruit and bread. On our way I saw tourists on bicycles, motor scooters and on foot. There were sprawling fenced hotels rubbing ... read more
STUPA ON THE SIDEWALK
STUNNING VIEWS
TEMPLE RISING FROM SURROUNDING GARDEN

Asia » Burma » Mandalay Region » Mandalay August 11th 2018

MANDALAY One of the great things about being back at home in Washington State, between trips to “…those faraway places with strange sounding names…” is checking my memory from childhood, and often discovering my memories are completely faulty, or mixed up. I thought the phrase, “On the Way to Mandalay” was one of those “Road” musicals with Bing Crosby and Bob Hope, like “The Road to Bali.” Instead it is the title of a poem by Rudyard Kipling, and is a reminiscence by a British soldier who served in Mandalay. Not so romantic now. Still…I was looking forward to seeing Mandalay because of the beauty of Burmese pagodas, and its history of royalty. I had been told that there wasn’t much of the colonial era left to see in the city, but I found plenty of ... read more
ROYAL PALACE
THRONE ROOM
GILDED BED

Asia » Burma » Yangon Region » Yangon August 8th 2018

RANGOON IN THE RAIN I loved my hotel in Rangoon, The Great Feel Hotel. I shared my photos with Mo Mo (pronounced with long o’s – it means rain) the young lady at the desk. She introduced me to Ko To, her boyfriend. The door to my room on the third floor is carved wood. There is no elevator. I made seven or eight trips a day up and down those stairs. The room has a very attractive walnut bedroom set with a cute vanity and mirror. The bathroom is spacious and I loved to soak in the deep bathtub which I filled to the brim. It was such a luxury. I sent my clothes to the laundry and I took a teapot to my room after meals. I enjoyed pampering myself. When I asked about ... read more
SULE PAGODA
SULE PRAYER SPACE
THE WALK THROUGH THE SULE PAGODA

Asia » Burma » Yangon Region » Yangon August 7th 2018

RANGOON 2 I knew I wanted to go to an entertainment featuring Burmese dancers, and I wanted to ride the oldest train in Rangoon. I also needed to buy a fast charger for my cell phone and a SB port for my computer. I managed to do all these things in one day. As it turned out, the highlight of the day was visiting the electronic street in the city. People often ask me if I am ever frightened when I am out there in foreign lands on my own. I answer them by saying I am usually too busy trying to figure out what to do next to feel fear. However, on this trip I took a taxi to the Yangon Circular train. This one hundred fifty year old city train takes about three hours ... read more
YANGON CITY TRAIN
TODDLER WITH PROUD PAPA
TAKING A BREAK

Asia » Burma » Yangon Region » Yangon August 4th 2018

MYANMAR Myanmar is the country that was still on my bucket list after being turned away in 2014 because I had failed to get a visa. I made sure I had the proper forms this time and I passed through immigration without a hitch. I didn’t have much in the way of expectations. I knew nothing about the country except that the names had all changed with a new government some years back. The old names were like magic to me…Burma, Rangoon and Mandalay. From the movies I thought of smoke filled drawing rooms, billiard tables, artistic exotically dressed dancers, porters and travel trunks. But there was also a long sea coast so I was excited about diving, too. I read that it was best to take a liveaboard because dive sites were far apart. Reality ... read more
FABRIC STORE
HIGH TEA AT THE STRAND HOTEL
BRITISH PRESENTATION

Asia » Malaysia » Sabah » Sipadan August 1st 2018

DIVE DAY THREE - SIPADAN Feeling Better After dives one and two on Sipadan I had a day of rest, and moved back into the Cube Station. What a relief. The other women are so friendly and we have such fun sharing. I also found out there was tea available all day in the common room and every morning there was a really complete breakfast, as well. On my third dive day I grabbed fruit, toast and tea at the Cube Station and then caught my cab to the dive center. I got there ten minutes later than usual and the divemaster gruffly said I should go to the boat, which I did. And I waited, and waited and waited for the rest of the divers, so I hadn’t been holding them up. I was dreading ... read more
SAILING
SEA ANEMONE
DIVE MASTER AND CHILD

Asia » Malaysia July 29th 2018

SEMPORNA - IT FEELS LIKE HOME When I got to Semporna I checked in with Scuba Junkies. I dived with them before, on both trips. They were full up, no space on the boat and no Sipadan ticket, but Dave did allow me to leave my luggage in the extra room till I found a hotel and a dive store with space for me. The problem was this was really “High Season.” Everyone was full up. For a minute it looked like I might get a space with Seaventures…the Dive Rig located in the middle of the sea off Mabul Island. Wow! That would have been awesome. But they also were completely booked. I checked with at least five dive operations with no success. Finally I decided to cross the bridge to the other side of ... read more
THIS IS DIVING?
BARRICUDA POINT
AMAZING SCHOOL OF BUMPHEAD PARROT FISH

Asia » Malaysia » Sabah » Tawau July 26th 2018

TAWAU BORNEO I stayed at City Garden Hotel in Tawau. I have been to Borneo three times, once in 2013 and again in 2014, but I never spent any time in Tawau. During the first trip I had some diver’s ear problems that caused me to miss my reservation to climb Mount Kota Kinabalu, but only temporarily. My hiking guide was a fourteen year old boy who could do the climb twice in one day. I am sure he was fed up with this slow old lady. I did a couple of other tours and then went to Semporna to dive at Sipadan, one of the top ten dive sites in the world. The second time I took a taxi straight to Semporna and dived with several dive shops so I could dive more than once ... read more
SHOPPING AT THE MALL
MALAYSIAN BREAKFAST
BREAKFAST 101 RESTAURANT

Asia » Brunei » Bandar Seri Begawan July 18th 2018

BEAUTIFUL, HOT BRUNEI Will I ever feel strong and capable again? Brunei was a bad dream. It is a beautiful country but I caught a bug and I am still under the weather. I will have to return another time to see its splendor. I think I read that the King's Palace is the most expensive in the world but it is only open to the public three days a year. In fact, it is so secluded only the roof is visible. In order to catch a glimpse of it you must take a water taxi. I was feeling good when I arrived in the airport at Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei. I had a hotel already booked, The Jubilee, some plans for sightseeing and diving, and the hotel had free shuttle service. I checked at the ... read more
WRECK STRUCTURE
OUTER DECK
LADDERS MAKE INTERESTING PHOTOS

Asia » China » Shanghai » Pudong July 7th 2018

My flight from Seattle to Shanghai was three hours late, so I missed my first connection, Shanghai to Denpasar, Bali. It had been a long flight and my legs were really aching and I was a little rummy; you know...a little fuzzy headed. I Arrived in Shanghai and went to Immigration. Oops! By accident…I meant to go to Transit. From there things got a lot more interesting. You remember that time four years ago when I got punished in Beijing? Well…don’t mess with the rules, Folks. I was told to step off to the side. A few more officials arrived...lots of head shaking and talking. The gentleman holding my passport asked me if I had overstayed my transit visa four years ago? I answered yes, right up front. I still wasn't alarmed, but getting a little ... read more
FIRST ENCOUNTERS
THE BLUSHING BRIDE
MOTHER AND SON




Tot: 1.428s; Tpl: 0.045s; cc: 21; qc: 146; dbt: 0.078s; 1; m:saturn w:www (104.131.125.221); sld: 1; ; mem: 1.7mb