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.



Europe » Croatia » Dalmatia » Cavtat June 6th 2019

DIVE DESTINATION CROATIA It wasn’t easy. I bought a ticket on Veuling Air to fly to Croatia from Sicily. I had to pay extra to avoid a full day layover in Rome, then I had to pay one hundred euros for my check-in bag, at the airport. Although I had been the second person in line three hours early, by the time I paid for the luggage and got through security the information board said my plane was boarding. It wasn’t. I ran to the gate where people were milling around in no particular order like a pen full of sheep, and almost as crowded. After a lengthy wait, we finally boarded the plane. What a relief. I booked an Airbnb in Cavtat; Bacan Serviced Apartments. It was charming and in such a convenient location I ... read more
VIEW FROM MY WINDOW
A SMALL ROCK FISH
SCHOOLING FISH OUTSIDE THE CAGE

Europe » Italy » Sicily » Taormina May 30th 2019

INTRODUCTION TO 2019 MEDITERRANEAN DIVE TRIP Hello Readers…it is sunny and warm here in the Mediterranean. I am fifteen days into my 2019 dive trip. The holidays were over, ski season was finished, and the school year was winding down, and I was wondering when and where I would go this year. Then a Turkish friend at my Monday dance (recreational ballroom) extolled her beautiful summer home in Bodrum, Turkey. When she said she swam every morning in the sea, and often went to the opera, and plays I said, “OK…I think I will visit you this summer.” She was gracious and didn’t say she didn’t want company. I was half kidding, but soon I was seriously thinking about going. Gulen invited me to lunch and we talked a bit more about me visiting her in ... read more
JELLY FISH
TWO JELLY FISH
THE OCTOPUS

Asia » Thailand » Central Thailand » Bangkok August 30th 2018

PIECE DE RESISTANCE THAILAND When I extended my vacation I knew two weeks was not enough time to do two dive locations, so I decided to spend my last four days in Thailand, on land. I’ve been there before, once in Pataya and once in Phuket; the diving was great. This time I wanted to embrace the tourist in me. Searching for a place to stay, I was intrigued by the reviews of the Phranakorn Nornlen Hotel…a hard name to remember, but I will never forget the charm of this boutique hotel. The entrance to the hotel is less than appealing. It looks like a hole in the wall off a narrow side road. But it took me fifteen minutes to move to the reception desk, I was so busy taking photos of the charming little ... read more
TAILOR SHOP
POLITICS? AND BEAUTY SHOP
AMAZING WHAT NOT? SHELF

Asia » East Timor » Dili August 22nd 2018

LET’S DIVE EAST TIMOR As I wrapped up my vacation I realized I needed a little more diving since the weather had interrupted my plans to dive Burma. I decided I should dive East Timor. Now it would have made sense to dive Timor when I was in Bali, because you fly from Bali to get to Timor…but hindsight is 20 – 20. I decided to tack this dive destination onto my trip because a fellow diver I met in Brunei wrote me an email extolling the diving on Atauro Island in East Timor. “The best diving ever,” he raved. I extended my trip by two weeks and flew back to Bali. It took a lot of persuasion to get the agent at immigration control to allow me to go to East Timor. I might still ... read more
AMAZING COLOR AND SHAPES
VIBRANT SOFT CORAL
HUGE TABLE CORAL

Asia » Burma » Mandalay Region » Inle Lake August 15th 2018

SURPRISING LAKE INLE MYANMAR The bus was cold and uncomfortable and the trip was long. I endured. When we were close to our destination I had to change vehicles. Now I was traveling in the early dawn in an open tuk tuk…a small bus with the sides and back cut away…I was even colder, and I had to find a toilet. I was the only passenger so the driver kindly took me to his home and allowed me to use the facilities, kind of like a primitive sani-can. The rest of the drive to my hotel took about 45 minutes, with me huddled against the cab, wrapped in my trusty scarf/shawl (never leave home without it). We arrived. Except there was no hotel in sight. Soon several people gathered, my luggage was unloaded and we walked ... read more
A ROOM FIT FOR A PRINCESS
BOAT TOUR
SUN PROTECTION

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




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