a work in progress

panorama of Vancouver/English Bay in summer

Category: Travel

ok, I think I have the media thing sussed

Media upload from the iphone app just fails. Period. There are some other reports of it and all the advice on how to fix it involves gradually disabling then uninstalling plugins and the full app and I don’t feel like doing that.

But uploads work via browser so my solution will be to pick which images I want to post and to upload those that way and then include them in posts I compose on the phone (because for some reason creating new posts on the browser is interminably slow. At least this will force some advance planning of what I want to post)

In the meantime, have an orangutan.

Still North

I just realized that we haven’t crossed the equator yet. In fact, Lake Toba is a bunch north of Singapore, even.

Off to Sidikalang

After being assured that there is no way to get from Tuk Tuk to Sidikalang other than by a shared tourist bus that would pick us up at 7:30am at our penginapan (150,000 rph pp) did a bit more digging and instead walked 4km to the main road to catch a local Damri (20,000 rph pp) to Pangururan. Before the Damri got there an unregulated minibus came by and offered us the same fare. Since that was 30 min less waiting, we took it.

It was picking up people ad hoc instead of only at bus stops so that was more fun.

Once we got to Pangururan (dropped at a local transport spot operating in front of a small resto) we were able to book another minibus to Sidikalang for 40,000 rph each. AND we get to talk to locals instead of tourists.

Also, despite the fact that the minibus drivers are invariably, continuously smoking, because the windows are open on the minibuses, I think our covid infection risk is significantly lower than on the sealed, air conditioned tourist buses. AND many of the locals wear masks (no tourists that I’ve seen are) CO2 on this bus is 501.

(I sure wish I could figure out a photo solution but haven’t yet. I’ll get there.)

Danau Toba – laundry day

It’s been a while since I did this kind of laundry by hand so I put in too much soap powder – buying myself a lot more rinsing than I would otherwise have had to do.

But it was a nice rhythm to get back into.

We stayed at a different place last night ( we arrived at Parapat at 2:20 but hadn’t eaten so skipped the 2:30 ferry in favour of the 3:30. when we went to the dock at 3:20, they told us the 3:30 had left 15 minutes ago. which… ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

So we took the 4:30 and only got to Samosir island about 5pm. The ferry was supposed to drop us at our place’s dock but probably because it is low season and there were so few passengers, they called ahead to have someone come get us.

A 12 yr old boy driving a scooter came 🙂 I decided to walk 😉

The place was nice enough but the other guests were louder than we are totally comfortable with (our neighbour was having a VERY loud phone call in German until about 11pm (possibly in his tile bathroom because he sounded amplified) and we had planned to look around once we got here anyway.

We found a place with no other guests and a fantastic view! At a good price! they were a bit concerned that we opted to walk back to the first place and get our bags and walk back instead of borrowing their scooter but we and bags wouldn’t have fit anyway (see yesterday’s ferry arrival) and I need the exercise anyway 🙂

I don’t have photo uploading sorted out (we have mobile data but the images are too big and I don’t want to use it all up trying. I might see about an iCloud photo link instead or uploading when we’re on wifi.

We’re going to stay here a couple more nights and then move on somewhere else Hopefully to see either tigers or orangutans!

I’ll update this with images later – possibly from the small computer. I’ve never tried to do his from a phone before and I am not my sure I care for it. Or maybe I just need reading glasses.

Where’s Kara Been (So Far)?

I don’t travel as much as I’d like (given that I’d like to always be travelling) but I have done a decent amount of it. Bill & I sat down a few weekends ago and dug through our travel folders full of tickets, maps, journals, receipts, and non-digital photos to catalogue where we’ve been (so far).

I do plan to flesh out posts for each of these trips, with photos and stories (and hoo-boy, do some of them have stories!) but this list is a great start for me – it serves as an outline for what I need to write and backfill as well as reminding me of how lucky I am to have had these opportunities and acting as a ‘gratitude’ prompt.

Here’s a list of the places (other than regular trips to cities within Canada*) that I’ve been (mostly with Bill, a few without), since 1996.

Feb 2015 Cozumel, Mexico; Ambergris Caye, Belize
Apr 2014 Roatan, Honduras; Ambergris Caye, Belize
Nov 2013 Playa del Carmen, Mexico
Oct 2013 Minneapolis, Minnesota
Jun 2013 Kawartha Lakes, Ontario
May 2013 Placencia, Belize; Ambergris Caye, Belize
Feb 2013 Laguna Beach, California
Dec 2012 Laguna Beach, California
Feb 2012 Placencia, Belize; Ambergris Caye, Belize
Nov 2011 Papagayo, Costa Rica
Feb 2011 Turks & Caicos
Nov 2010 Varadero, Cuba
Feb-Mar 2010 Lembeh Strait, Indonesia; West Papua, Indonesia
Jan 2010 New York City, New York
Jul 2009 San Francisco, California
Jun 2009 Honolulu, Hawaii
Apr 2009 New York City, New York
Nov 2008 Puerto Aventuras, Mexico
Oct 2008 New York City, New York
Dec 2007 St. Lucia
Jul 2007 San Francisco, California
Mar 2007 Cozumel, Mexico
Sep 2006 Chicago, Illinois
Aug 2006 Washington, DC
Feb 2006 Cayo Santa Maria, Cuba
Nov 2005 Cozumel, Mexico
June 2005 New York City, New York
Feb 2005 Cayo Largo, Cuba
Jan-Mar 2004 Malaysia; Thailand; Burma
Apr 2003 Cozumel, Mexico
?? Missing data – will seek further. I’m sure there was a trip in here
Jan-Jul 1999 Indonesia; Malaysia Thailand; Singapore; Hong Kong
Feb 1997 Barbados

* I’ve done the North-American-centric thing of using states & provinces as the ‘qualifier’ in NA locations but countries in other ones (except Mexico). My apologies – I’m assuming that most of my readers will know that California is in the US and Ontario is in Canada, and it keeps the line lengths shorter.

Iberostar Cozumel - 2003

Creating a ‘Travel’ page

I’m going on vacation next month so it feels like the perfect time to start building out the ‘Travel’ section of this site. Since this site runs on WordPress.com rather than personal hosting, I’m limited to their functionality around how to build dynamic pages. I’ll be using WordPress’s ‘Category Pages’ instruction to build the travel section.

We’re going to be going to Belize for a few days (to pay some property taxes and chat with our delightful realtor Kyle Thomas) and then we’re headed to the Iberostar Cozumel for 10 days, to laze about and dive with the almost unbelievably highly rated BLUE Project shop (for the record, all our contact with them so far lives up to those amazing reviews).

We’ve been to the Iberostar Cozumel twice before, once as part of a 2-week/2-hotel deal that the Iberostars offered (1 week at a resort in Playa del Carmen, then 1 week at the one on Cozumel), then we stayed there again in 2003 (the featured image on this post is the pool bar in 2003. Bill is doing lengths in the very shallow pool, but is currently underwater).

[I’ll also figure out what it takes to only post snippets of Travel posts to the home page, so as to not overload this primary. My initial guess is that it’ll require creating a ‘Main Page’ category page & making that the home page. But I’ll describe the process when I figure it out]

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