Monday, December 10, 2007

Touch down

Originally uploaded by gr8wendini

This must be the place. I’m writing now from the bale pronounced bal-lay) where I slept last night outdoors with a island roof and nested under a mosquito net. My view right now is the Carrie’s beautiful island home. It’s indoor/outdoor nature. The bathrooms, the pool, the spaciousness...

Here's a view from Carrie's(above). The sounds of creatures the forest the beauty of being completely immersed in nature—I’m in it—except this isn’t a nature sounds alarm tone-it’s real!

So far we’ve only come from the airport at night. My initial “hit” is like what I felt upon reaching India—hot/humid (we arrived at 10 p.m.), lots of motor bikes, cars, traffic and Hindu art along the roadside. Even from the airport, I knew I’ve landed someplace special. Kind of like the type of salsa & chips you are served at a Mexican restaurant is your key to knowing if it’s going to be a good meal.

Some back story of getting here via Guam:

We have arrived in tropical weather after a push of time zone and sleep deprivation. Cheryl stayed up the entire night packing until Blue Van picked us up at 5:15 a.m. on Friday morning. We experienced a 41/2 hour delay in Houston as our plane had a mechanical malfunction and we were stalled waiting for a new aircraft—so much for avoiding the George Bush International Airport…

We flew directly to Narita, Japan and were there for a NY minute. Not even time to pee! All passengers headed to Guam got rock star treatment and were whisked away to make our connecting flight, which was boarding. Cheryl and I hoped we could skip Guam altogether and catch a Saturday night in Tokyo. No such luck.

No matter how you slice it, on Continental Airlines, you must go through Guam before landing in Bali. Yes Guam. Honestly, I never gave much thought to Guam aside from using it in Mad Libs when asked for “a place”.

Guam, although tropical and beautiful in places, proved to be just as we anticipated: underwhelming. Aside from being a U.S. territory military base, it is a honeymoon hotspot for young Japanese couples as it is inexpensive and a quick flight into Miami-like humid temperatures. It is strip mall America all the way with chain food like Pizza Hut and stores like Ross. Disconcerting how one can travel so far to land in a place that is so straight up American, you feel like you never left the USA.

Our Hotel, chosen from the internet, priced for the “budget traveler”, The Tamuning Plaza Hotel was disappointing to say the least. We would have been better off to pony up the extra $30-40 and having 5-star treatment at a generic beach resort like the Hilton, which we will do on the way home. We walked and spoke with the locals, and weren’t in the safe womb of a resort so we had to be resourceful on our own—like finding a place for breakfast and a taxi back to the airport—pick up service only!

No comments: