The Weekly Photo Challenge is Anticipation.
We were looking forward to our TranzAlpine Train trip across the Southern Alps in New Zealand. It was an overcast and rainy day, but it didn’t stop our enthusiasm for the world’s most scenic train ride.
“There is a is a certain metaphysical comfort in knowing that you can cease to have material form and it doesn’t hurt at all.” ~Bill Bryson
We flew from North America to Fiji on Friday and lost Saturday. Every time one flies from North America to New Zealand, Australia, or the South Pacific, a day is lost. Literally taken away and no one asks how you feel about losing a day in your life.
Where Saturday went, I couldn’t tell you. Time is a strange thing. If I look at time like a little wrinkle in a linear line, then it is easier for me to understand that Saturday is not lost, just in the wrinkle, and to be fair, the lost day will be given back to us on our return flight to the United States, kind of like stretching the wrinkle out of the timeline.
Saturday, we did not exist, yet we were born again on Sunday. So bizarre. It puzzles me and leaves me with many unanswered questions. For example, if someone gives birth crossing the international dateline, what date does she put on the birth certificate?
Or, since we will be in New Zealand for the U.S. Presidential election, will I know who is elected President a day before everyone in the U.S.? Hmmm…I can see many possibilities in this scenario if I was a betting woman.
Seriously though, I do vaguely understand the principles involved in the establishment of an international date line. I see that there has to be some kind of invisible line where one day ends and the next one begins. But, the confounding oddities of a wrinkle in time always trip me up.
Not only is my sleep pattern messed up, but my circadian clock is all confused. What day is it? What time is it? See, I said I wouldn’t post anything while we were traveling, but I am wide awake at 3 am. I’ve had my coffee and toast, and am waiting for the sun to rise to remind me once again that another day exists for me.
There was a certain sense of satisfaction stepping off the plane in Fiji, knowing that I didn’t exist on Saturday. It was like my atoms all rearranged themselves in a transporter while I was watching “My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2” on the screen on the back of the airplane seat.
It was a pleasure, actually a miracle to me, to find myself in Fiji, all reassembled and ready to begin a new adventure. And we get to do it all over again when we return to the United States. But, on our return journey we will cross the dateline in the opposite direction and arrive in LA before we left New Zealand. Incredible!
So, anyway, we are thrilled to be in Fiji, even if we are not sure what day or time it is.
What kind of experiences do you have when crossing the International Dateline?
The Weekly Photo Challenge is: H2O
“It is life, I think, to watch the water. A man can learn so many things.” ― Nicholas Sparks
Living on an island in front of the 11th largest fresh water lake in the world, I have learned so many things.
The ferries are our umbilical cord to the mainland. I have learned to tell time by watching them pass by our front door daily.
“Airplane travel is nature’s way of making you look like your passport photo.” — Al Gore
Isn’t that the truth? Purchasing airline tickets is a complicated digital-aged process. Adding the hours I search for the best routes and the lowest prices for airline tickets online, it totals 200 hours a year. That is over 8 days of searching for airline tickets!
Yes, we travel a lot! So, I thought I would give you some helpful ideas of where and how I buy our round-trip tickets from Nicaragua. I love Google Flights because it gives me more information than other travel search sites.
1. Find the cheapest months to fly.
In Google Flights, it is a breeze. Choose your location and destination and then select “flexible dates.”
Below is a flight from Managua to Los Angeles using a random date.
And flexible dates from Liberia, Costa Rica to Los Angeles.
So far, it looks like Managua has the cheaper flights to Los Angeles than from Liberia, Costa Rica. But, wait!
2. Choose an outbound flight to check the best flights according to the time of departure and the length of the flight. Continue reading
The Weekly Photo Challenge is spare.
Oh! Please! Spare me a trip to the dentist. It isn’t easy when I have a toothache.
It involves catching the early ferry for an hour’s trip to the dentist on the mainland.
The extra boats are lined up at the dock waiting for passengers later in the day.
There is ample room at the beachfront laundromat near the dock for the women to launder their clothes early in the morning.
“You told me once of the plants that lie dormant through the drought, that wait, half-dead, deep in the earth. The plants that wait for the rain. You said they’d wait for years, if they had to; that they’d almost kill themselves before they grew again. But as soon as those first drops of water fall, those plants begin to stretch and spread their roots. They travel up through the soil and sand to reach the surface. There’s a chance for them again.”
Author: Lucy Christopher
I walked along the bed of Lake Cocibolca listening to the exhausted earth groan. Her bed is disheveled, scattered with tiny puddles of what once had been the life force of her grand body.
The exposed lake bed lay panting in the relentless and monotonous burning sun. Spirals of heat rise from the parched ground as if from molten lava from Concepcion Volcano who watches from afar.
“I hear there are people who actually enjoy moving. Sounds like a disease to me – they must be unstable” ~ Jan Neruda,
When Ron and I finally decided to move to Nicaragua, our first question was, “How do we get all of our stuff there?” I had a brilliant-to-me idea. I contacted the cruise ships to see if it was possible to book a one-way trip from Miami to San Juan Del Sur. Then, we could unload all of our stuff from the cruise ship, hire a truck or van to take us to San Jorge, and board the ferry to our new-to-us shack we purchased on Ometepe Island. It was the cheapest option I could find, as well as sounding like a lot of fun. For a few days, we would have a floating storage locker in our stateroom on a giant cruise ship.
“Sure, that is possible,” said the first booking agent. She proceeded to tell me how it could be done and I thought…this is so easy. I am brilliant.
I contacted a second agent to ask about luggage limits. She said there were no restrictions. Again, I told myself, this is genius!
But, the third agent must have had a bad day when I asked her if there were restrictions about what I could pack. “Can I bring a trunk with my pots and pans and is there room in the stateroom for our kayak?” I asked.
“Why would you need to bring pots and pans? You can’t be cookin’ any beans in your stateroom,” she snarled. So, I had to tell her that we were moving to Nicaragua and we wanted to bring several trunks with our possessions.
“This isn’t the Grapes of Wrath and it sure isn’t a moving company, so find another way to move!” and she hung up on me. Back to the drawing board!
The way I see it, there are three options for packing and moving your stuff to Nicaragua. So, for my monthly Let’s Get Real series…
Let’s Get Real About Packing and Moving to Nicaragua
“Every man is an island, and every heart seeks the ferry to cross the main…”
― Mykyta Isagulov
Sunday evening, I was invited to speak with a group of women from Finding My Place, a travel agency for women who want to explore living abroad. It was a lovely gathering with well-traveled women who are exploring Nicaragua as a place to hang their hammocks. Many of the questions they asked revolved around the pros and cons of island life. Below are some of the things we discussed, which may be of interest to you, too.
Islands are slow and far away from many distractions. Ometepe Island, Nicaragua is no exception. Island living is not for the faint of heart, yet the rewards are many, tranquility is abundant, and our lifestyles are simple.
The Weekly Photo Challenge is Careful.
Ron and I planned a 40th wedding anniversary trip to Guatemala. The morning before we left, we both had a relapse of Chikungunya. I won’t go into all the debilitating details. You can read my post on Chikun…What? However, let me say that we both mastered the ‘walk like a zombie’ for Halloween. We tried to change our airline tickets, but it was prohibitively expensive. So, we sucked it up and hobbled to the airport with delicate painful baby steps.
Just sit right back and you’ll hear a tale, a tale of a fateful trip…I hummed that song for three hours on my flight from Ometepe Island to Managua, which was supposed to be a 20 minute flight.
I was a little concerned when I booked my flight online with La Costéna because it is usually $50 plus taxes for a one-way flight. This time it was $83. Why the increase in the cost? The flight schedule said the plane left at 2:45 and arrived in Managua at 3:05.