25 April 2018 – Travel Day – ANZAC Day – Sydney, Australia to Waikiki, Hawaii – Day 1

Today was going to be a long day. We were going back in time, literally, going back in time. We were leaving Australia and flying to Hawaii. If all goes as planned we will technically land in Honolulu, Hawaii earlier on 25 April than we leave Sydney, Australia on due to crossing the International Date Line.

Our flight to Honolulu isn’t until this evening, so we have most of the day to spend in Sydney. Today in what is known as ANZAC Day in Australia, a day for commemoration and for thanking the veterans. Remembrance Day is soley about remembrance. A statutory holiday here, so a lot of places and work places were closed today.

We headed over to a restaurant that was across the street to grab breakfast. This place was so busy with everything that was going on today. I ordered waffles and Doug had French toast. Even though you don’t tip here in Australia, because they have to pay the staff more to work on statutory holidays, that extra cost is passed on to the customer and there was a 15% service charge added on to all food and beverages today. From what I can see, the minimum wage for a permanent worker over the age of 21 is $18.29 an hour. Apparently casual workers get paid more. And from what I can tell, they seem to get double time on statutory holidays.

As we ate, we watched as motor scooters were towed away. There had been signs up the whole time we have been here in Sydney about NO PARKING on many of the streets for today. They obviously enforce it here. It was priceless to watch them load the scooters onto the tow trucks.

After breakfast, we headed back to the hotel to finish packing and checked out. The hotel would store our bags until it was time for us to leave for the airport. We would be taking the train to the airport since our street was closed and we had no idea how long it would take a taxi to get to us. They could not guarantee anything with the crazy traffic today.

Rydges World Square – the hotel we stayed in while in Sydney, Australia

We still had lots of time, so we decided to walk around and see some more of Sydney.

Here is another one of the faux pas we have seen on our travels. The sign clearly states “Sorry we’re Closed” with the door wide open welcoming patrons.

After stopping back at he hotel to pick up our bags, we made our way over to the train station. We knew exactly where we needed to go as we had checked it out earlier. The station was also only 2 1/2 blocks from the hotel. We purchased our tickets, found the stop and boarded the train. It was so easy.

We arrived at the airport with lots of time to spare, so decided to grab a snack. A couple glasses of wine and a couple orders of french fries. What more could a person want?

We were flying Qantas. First time for us with them. Boarding was supposed to start at 1830 hrs, for a 1915 hrs departure, but didn’t get boarded until 1920 hours. It wasn’t full so that was great, especially since it is approximately a 10 hour 38 minute flight.

Didn’t take them long before they came around offering up drinks and dinner. Both were good.

Since the plane wasn’t full we were able to stretch out. Doug stretched out across our 3 seats and I moved one row back where there was a vacant 2 seat row. Neither of us slept much, but I never do. Doug can usually sleep on flights though. We made up some time for our late departure and landed in Honolulu at 0450 hr, 26 April 2018, Sydney, AU time, but 0750 hrs, 25 April 2018 Honolulu time. There is a 21 hours time difference.

We grabbed a shuttle from the airport to take us to our hotel. We had booked the Aston, Waikiki Beach. Price was reasonable for last minute in Waikiki and it was across the street from the beach. We checked into the hotel around 1045 hrs but our room wasn’t ready. We had figured as much, since we were so early.

We just walked around and ended up sitting in an area around the pool waiting for our room to be ready. What? They have bar service here?

The wait was worth it and they upgraded us to a ocean view. Room 1502. Wasn’t straight on ocean view, but we could still see the ocean from our balcony. From the other side of our room, outside was the view of Diamond Head.

View of Diamond from just outside our hotel room.

We were really tired, so once we got into our room we decided it was nap time. I couldn’t sleep, but Doug certainly did.

Received a free bag of goodies which include sunscreen.

Once Doug woke up from his nap and I had rested up, even though I didn’t sleep, we headed out to walk around and see what was around us. We didn’t go too far, as we were still tired and jet lagged, but I felt like I was in a Hawaii Five-O episode.

Prince Jonah Kuhio Kalanianaole 1871 – 1922

We decided to head back towards the hotel and eat at the Tiki’s Grill & Bar, the restaurant that is attached to the hotel. It has a great view and we were given a great table to view the sunset from. Plus they had live entertainment.

Doug order Fresh Island Fish Sticks & Fries, and I had Chicken Tenders.

Doug had the Six-Layer Chocolate Cake (a bombucha 3/4 pound slice of chocolate cake, raspberry coulis, fresh whipped cream) and I had the Haupia Crepe Cake (twenty layers of crepes, fresh berries, and house-made whipped coconut crème). You could definitely tell we were in the USA now. Even from our bill.

But the sunset certainly made it worth it.

It was going up for 8:00 pm and we were tired!!! It had been a very long 25 April 2018.

5 April, 2018 – Kuta, Bali, Indonesia – Day 2 – Leisure Day

Today was going to be a rest day. We sure needed one of these, as we were getting pretty exhausted. Got up and headed down for our included breakfast. Breakfast was great. The bacon on the buffet left a lot to be desired, as in, I like my bacon cooked. Many places over in SE Asia barely cook their bacon. However, I did ask the cook if I could get some crispy bacon. To my surprise he pulls out a tray of crispy bacon. Guess they keep it hidden so that people don’t take it all.

We checked out the resort a little.

This is our room on the second floor. It had a pretty large balcony.

Did a quick check of the beach area, but the beaches here are not the best we have seen. I don’t think Kuta is really known for spectacular beaches though.

Picked out our loungers for the day. Pool area wasn’t busy which was great for us. Bali is known for having thousands and I mean thousands of Chinese tourists. They come by the bus loads, but tend to go out on full day excursions, which leaves the resort pretty empty, nice and quiet.

We scored one of the few air mattresses for the pool. It did have a slow leak though, which could be challenging at times. We took turns floating around on it.

We enjoyed lunch of a crispy chicken wrap, that we shared and a beverage or two at the swim up bar. Doug had one of his favorites, Mojitos (light rum, fresh lime , mint leaf, sugar syrup, peppermint syrup) and I tried a drink called Blue Frozen Kamikaze (vodka, lime juice and curacao) and an Illusion (vodka, triple sec, melon liqueur, pineapple juice, lime juice and sugar syrup). Both of course were great.

Headed back to the room for an afternoon nap. We would head back down for Happy Hour.

Someone had booked a private dinner on the beach. We watched while they set up the table and a BIG beautiful heart on the grass area made from rose petals. It looked pretty special. Once the staff member had left, 3 Chinese girls went over to the area and were taking turns posing, while their friend took pictures of them in the heart set up. They also sat at the table pretending to be drinking from the glasses, while having their pictures taken. This went on for a good 10 minutes or more until a staff member came and shooed them away. Once the staff member left and was out of sight, the 3 girls went back and continued taking more pictures. Just so disrespectful! They finally left and thankfully a staff member went back to straighten it all up, yet again, before the actual people showed up for their romantic dinner on the beach.

Happy Hour and watching the sunset was just so relaxing and spectacular.

We ordered dinner and dessert. Doug ordered the Prawns in a Thai Green Curry and I had a Mediterranean Salad. I was still full from our lunch and drinks. Our bill came to IDR Rp 575,000 which is approximately Cdn $51.00 Might not seem to high, but was certainly higher than what we had been paying in Thailand and Cambodia. They also automatically add a SVC charge on here.

I had obviously been bitten a few times while enjoying happy hour and dinner. Guess it will be another itchy night.

12 March 2018 – Siem Reap, Cambodia – Day 2 – Sunset over Angkor Wat or should I say Pre Rup

Today we wanted to go to Angkor Wat to see the sun set. Tourists have to buy an admission ticket for $37 US, but Cambodians don’t. If you purchase a ticket between 5:00 pm and 5:30 pm the ticket is good for that evening and the full next day. After a nice buffet breakfast at the hotel we headed to the front desk to set up our Angkor Wat tour this evening and for tomorrow’s tour. We also had to book our bus for Battambang, our next destination.

After getting this all accomplished, the front desk grabbed us a Tuk-Tuk to take us to the market area. I love riding in Tuk-tuks.

He dropped us off right on the corner of Pub Street. This was on my list of places to see.

Mr Kim, our Tuk-tuk driver said he would come back for us so we set that up.

We wandered around the streets and found ourselves in a large covered market area. There was everything in here. If they didn’t have it, you didn’t need it. Some of the ‘food’ items looked pretty gross. They had every part of the chicken for sale. Already cut up and separated. Lots of items I had never seen before and hope to never see again.

After an hour or so we headed back to Pub Street to grab a beverage and a small snack. Dinner would be late tonight due to the sunset trip. Have to say that it was pretty cheap here. The prices are in US$

Not sure about the meat selection. I’ll pass

We settled upon a place, Cafe Latino, a Tex Mex Steak House.

Somebody took one before I had a chance to get a picture. Wasn’t me!

Found our Mr Kim and headed back to our hotel for a rest before our sunset tour.

A new Tuk-Tuk driver for our tour showed up early and so they called us down. All was good as we were ready. Good thing we did leave a little earlier as it was quite a distance. Tuk-Tuks don’t go too fast.

We got our admission tickets. They put our pictures on them.

Off we headed to the temple to watch the sunset. We weren’t going to the main temple, which is Angkor Wat, as the admissions lady said we couldn’t enter the temple, just the grounds. Plus we had been told it would be a zoo with thousands of people. If we really want to see that we can do it tomorrow evening. I never really thought about it, but Angkor Wat is only one temple in the Angkor Archaeological Park, which is in a town call Angkor. We were going to Pre Rup which was much further than I thought, but we got there in plenty of time to see the sunset. We climbed up the first few steps and I knew there was no way I could climb to the top. The steps were high, steep and no handrails. With my bad knees and fear of heights it wasn’t going to happen.

We wandered around the temple and still got some great pictures. When we got to the back of the temple we discovered they had built stairs with a handrail. Rickety stairs, but still stairs. We headed up. Doug only went half way up as he had flip flops on and this wasn’t meant for flip flops. I made it to the top.

Got a few good pictures up top but the sunset was actually better from down below.

Very slowly made my way down the steps. It was so scary for me, but I accomplished it.

A young lady was trying to sell me scarves. I feel so bad for them but I don’t want any, plus we don’t have room for them in our backpacks. She got down to 3 silk scarves for $5.00 US. They are really beautiful but still no room. And I would never wear them.

Took us a while to find our Tuk-Tuk driver amongst the many that were waiting. Didn’t help that we had no idea what his name was or even the colour of the Tuk -Tuk. He spied us. Thank goodness. He took us on a great scenic route back to the hotel. Tree covered roads and by lakes. We even saw some monkeys. The cicadas in the trees were almost deafening they were so loud in places. Don’t want to see them.

Went back to our room to change back into our shorts and headed down to the hotels restaurant for dinner again. Tonight we sat outside by the pool for dinner. Dinner and drinks were great just like last night. Selfie time!

Early to bed as we have to be up at 4:00 am for our 5:00 am pickup.