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Stykkisholmur Hotel

My Fictioneer’s post this week really is fiction, but there’s an element of the autobiographical. Marge and Jane, two of my regularly reoccurring characters, are entirely made up. The person who fell off the bed was me.

It happened at the Hilton in Reykjavik. I got wedged with my feet on the bed and my back on the wall, laughing so hard I couldn’t get up. This was probably quite dangerous with my total hip replacement having happened a mere four and a half months earlier. I was a bit stiff, but otherwise suffered no damage.

All the beds we stayed in for the whole trip were a bit on the small side. Not really short, but a bit narrow. The narrowest was in Greenland, where the accommodations were all very humble. At one point I looked around our room and realized that I’d been in yurts that were more luxurious.

As to the bathtub issue – that is also real. There was one in our room in Reykjavik, but all the rest of the trip were only showers. We were directed to a public bath across the street at one point. You have to pay for it – about what you’d expect for using a public swimming pool.

The accommodation I found most intriguing was this shower in Stykkisholmur. It doesn’t show in the picture very well, but there’s an arching glass door that swings across the wall out of the way, and acts as a shower stall wall when swung away from the fixtures. Otherwise it’s like one of those wet shower bathrooms in a camper.

This might all sound like our rooms were uniformly unimpressive. This was not so. What they might have lacked in size or bathroom fixtures, they made up for in interesting and luxurious details. Get a load of the lamp to the right. It’s made of Eiderdown. It was our ceiling fixture in our room in Stykkisholmur.



Toward the end of the day we hiked up Holy Mountain – also known as Helgafell. I didn’t get my act together fast enough. I missed whatever the guide might have said on the hike up and down the mountain. Just as well, as my pen was out of juice. So this is all based on memory.

Continue reading Helgafell


Snorri Sturluson

After the lava falls, we stopped off to visit some land Snorri Surluson owned.

Snorri Sturluson was a poet/historian/politician. Back in his day (1179-1241) it was kind of all one role. History was kept in the form of poetry. Lawmakers referred to history in their decision making. And Snorri was in the thick of it.

He was a major land holder with seven chieftainships, five profitable estates, and an harbor. His first wife was an heiress.

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Hraunfossar Waterfalls

Continue reading Hraunfossar Waterfalls


Random Pictures of Iceland

I was originally planning on posting about Reykjavik today, as that’s where the tour started, but it looks like I will have to wade through several hours of recordings first. I ran out of time. So instead, I bring you a random assortment of pictures from the first few days of the trip.

Continue reading Random Pictures of Iceland


On the Way to Iceland

Typically, my trip begins a day earlier than my mother’s. I have to drive from my place to hers. This is a 500 mile trip that typically takes me most of a day driving. Since I’m doing it alone, I generally get pretty bored.

This year I got smart. I finally succeeded in setting up the app for my public library. I was able to download a combination of five ebooks and audio books.

I listened to Fifty Shades of Grey on the way there. I enjoyed to book, but didn’t want to drag it on, so set it for 1.5 reading speed and fast forwarded through some of the more repetitious sex scenes.

The picture above was taken in Idaho, about half way from home to Mother’s place.

Continue reading On the Way to Iceland


Post Op Week 4

I’m doing fine. Still not real comfortable sitting at my desk for long periods of time, and no where near ready to crawl around on the floor for craft projects, but sleeping through the night and not hurting much.

I find it a bit ironic that my handicap parking permit should arrive just as I’m reaching the point where I’m fairly confident about shopping on my own two feet. Pr-op, when I could barely stand to stand because of all the pain I had to walk the extra distance because I didn’t have the permit.

in physical therapy I’m doing stuff like several minutes of sidesteps while trying to keep my hips level. I stood on one leg in a particular position until I started shaking. I did deep knee bends while holding a balance bar. And I rode the exercise bicycle for ten minutes. Go me!

After an extensive search, I gave up on the trekking poles. At least temporarily. I went for a walk around the block. Only did it once, but I’m counting it as a break through. Yesterday it snowed again, leaving the pavement slick; so it will probably be a while before I try it again.

I’ve got parts for a couple of exercise oriented projects, and the green light to use my Norktrak. Now it’s just a matter of using them.

Totally Random Picture – Western Montana on the way to Yellowstone.



Taken right after Thanksgiving while on the way to Yellowstone.


Cabo San Lucas Pix

I’m trying to organize my travel posts for easier access. Right now I’m working on my two trips to Cabo San Lucas. When I did the posts, I was participating in a blog challenge called 365. You were supposed to post a photo every day. A lot of my Cabo posts were nothing more than a photo. Here I’m bringing some of them together so people interested in the trip don’t have to click on a dozen posts just to see them.

13/365 Find the Boat

Continue reading Cabo San Lucas Pix


The Fish Market


150817n-563 Right before we left Flores to return to Bali, we stopped off at a fish market. This is, apparently, a regular part of the tour that some of the tourists have complained about. The market in question is not for tourists. There are a lot of fish. And it can be a bit odoriferous. It wasn’t any worse than I would expect, but not something you want to be smelling in an enclosed airplane a little later.

The variety was rather extensive. I have no idea what most of the fish were. Some even the local tour guide couldn’t identify. Most of it was dried. Much was intended for consumption in the whole region – not just that one town.

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A Look Back at Indonesia

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After the expedition to Rinca Island, the rest of the trip was about going home. We stopped off at a couple of places on Flores, like the fish market, but they were just short stops. We spent one last night in Denpasar but mostly to accommodate the airline schedules. The big event there was a last dinner together and an expedition to a large mall.

Then it was a race around the rim of the Pacific to outrun a typhoon, a night in an actual hotel in Los Angeles, and a short, domestic flight home.

In other words, this will be my last Thursday post about Indonesia. I’ve got a short post scheduled for Monday, then I’ll be moving on to other topics.

Continue reading A Look Back at Indonesia


A Cemetery in Bali

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There was a cemetery down the street from our hotel in Denpasar. We wandered down for a look.

The first thing I noticed was that they don’t bother to manicure it the way we expect in the US. No lawn. What grass might be found seemed to be of the vacant-lot variety. Lots of the kind of trash that quickly builds up when people put out fifty or more offerings a day. Tombstones shaped a bit differently than I’m used to. And a very high fence all the way around.

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Rinca Island

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If Komodo Island had not already put its name into the name for a certain monitor lizard, then Rinca should have. They had more, and more active, Komodo dragons than Komodo.

It’s a longer boat ride from Flores, but not by too much. We arrived to find the docks surrounded by boats. Apparently in Indonesia they don’t have anything like a polite or reserved system of using docks. No authorities check the right to moorings. When we arrived, we had to squeeze in as close as we could, then step from boat to boat until we reached the walkway.

Continue reading Rinca Island


Dragon Bones


We stopped off at the Komodo Office in Labuan Bajo on Flores Island. In there lobby is a glassed in display of a dragon’s fossilized bones. This one died of old age – over thirty years old. It lived between fifty and sixty million years ago. it had osteoporosis.

Though nineteen bones are missing, we can easily see that Komodo dragons haven’t changed much in a long, long time.

The display includes a clutch of fossilized eggs. I have no idea if the bones are even female. Seems to me they said something about them being male. It’s not like the female takes care of the eggs once laid anyway.


Cecer Village

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Our guide for the the Komodo portion of the trip – I mean everything from Bali until we left – comes from the Manggarai tribe. He took us home to visit with his people. This was a day long excursion that involved a drive along the twisty roads of Flores.

Flores is only 220 miles long from tip to tip. Back home that would be about three and a half hours. We only went about ten miles along the spine of the island, and it took over an hour. It wasn’t unusual to hit a curve that felt fast at five miles an hour.

We were greeted by a dozen women playing gongs, drums, etc. It was such beautiful music. I really wish I could have bought a recording of it. The men shook hands with us and guided us into the town’s central hut. There we faced off – our group and the men of the village.

Continue reading Cecer Village