John and Jane in Thailand

J and J have escaped the hurly-burly of life in the USA.

Catching Up

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Let’s see, where was I . . . oh yes . . . September . . . Indonesia . . . diving.  That was a long time ago and so much has happened since, or so it seems to me.  I think it best if I write one blog covering everything to catch you up.  I will support the narrative with photographs when possible. Unfortunately this program doesn’t allow me to intersperse the photos throughout the text so you will find them all together at the end.

In late October, John and I were getting ready for another big diving adventure in Indonesia but this time to Bali.  We had been there the year before and were so taken with it that we were inspired to move to Thailand. This time we stayed at three different locations on the island.  The first was a wonderful resort at Tulamben right in front of a remarkable dive location – USS Liberty. A torpedo sunk the ship off the coast of Bali in 1942; it languished on the beach for twenty-one years until tremors from the eruption of Mount Agung in 1962 caused it to slip into the water where she now lies in 30 to 100 feet of water. Non divers might think a wreck like this is a bad thing, garbaging up the water but it is quite the opposite.  The wreck makes a perfect environment for coral and reef fish to thrive.  In fact, last May an old Thai navy ship was purposely sunk off of our beach at Thung Wua Laen and we have had the pleasure of watching it come to life. It was naked (for lack of a better word) the first time we dove it and now it is teeming with life – growing on it, in it, around it; quite a remarkable transformation.  But, back to Bali.  The resort we stayed in was small, beautiful, and right on the water in front of the USS Liberty.  We actually walked from our bungalow into the water instead of having to take a boat out.

After three days at Tulamben we were driven to our next stop, in the mountains now. This location was even more isolated than the one we just left.  Words won’t really do this area or Great Mountain View Resort justice so I will leave it to the photographs except to say that it was not only exceptionally beautiful, but peaceful as well.

Our final stop was back to the water, but in the city.  Hotel La Taverna itself was old, in a good way, with lots of Bali character and charm.  While on the grounds, it was peaceful and felt isolated but step out of the perimeter and it was the hustle and bustle of a major tourist center. To go diving we had to take a crowded minivan for 20 minutes or more to get to the dive shop where we were thrown together with a zillion people to get equipment and such sorted; then another twenty minute ride to where the boats were docked; then the boat ride of 30 minutes to an hour before reaching the dive sites. I’ve become a bit spoiled, obviously.  Nico and Vero from Waters of Asia did a great job putting the whole package together allowing us to experience three very different environments on one small island.

Shortly before leaving for Bali I found out my mom, Alice, needed to have hip replacement surgery.  The timing worked out perfectly.  Instead of flying back to Bangkok I was able to get a flight out of Bali back to Seattle through Taipei and San Francisco and arrived with time to spare before the scheduled surgery.  While I was doing that, John changed his flight to Phuket in southern Thailand because the flooding of Bangkok would have made it nearly impossible to get home once there.  John was able to take advantage of being in Phuket to take a four day live-aboard dive trip in the Similan Islands and the Andaman Sea.

I was in “The States” for five weeks.  Most of that time I spent with my mom, first in the hospital and then in the rehab center.  We had some really good time together.  She especially enjoyed my reading her All Creatures Great and Small by James Harriet. With my acting background I have a hard time reading anything without giving voices to all the characters.  I was with her during most of her physical therapy and occupational therapy session which turned out to be fortuitous for me. Two months later I was the one in the orthopedic surgical suite. More about that later, maybe.  I did find time to visit with some friends and take care of some banking business.  Other than being able to help my mom, I had three special advantages to this unscheduled trip back.  I was able to spend some quality time with Jennifer and Nathan, I was able to stay at the home of our good friends Lynn and Jane and thus got to spend time with them, and I had Thanksgiving with all my favorite relatives.

I’ve changed my mind – it is hard to get five months worth of news into one reasonable size blog so I’m going to stop for now and will pick up the tread later, not too much later – I have lots to tell and show you.



Written by Jane Estes

March 30, 2012 at 1:16 pm

One Response

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  1. So good to receive the latest post Jane. It has been a while, too long. You left the readers hanging at the end there. Tell us more pls. I love that you and John are exploring the world and enjoying life. Keep it going. Corrie and I are heading off on April 15 for two weeks, on a riverboat cruise. We start in Budapest, end in Prague. The tour/trip was a great sell off deal, and suits our needs and wants. Corrie’s knee is ok but not up for a lot of tramping about and I have been busy at work and at home and am ready for someone to organize everything, feed me, pour me wine and beer, tell me what to do and when to do it. The boat looks amazing, makes the Grace look shoddy. Just hope no one gets sick! It’s a new part of the world and a new way of travel for me. New is always good.

    Just back from a few days in Point Pelee area. It is the southern most point of land in Canada. The birders love it. We got there ahead of the hoards of birders and had lovely long walks in the forests and along the Lake Erie shore line and had the park more or less to ourselves. Just as we were getting into the car to leave the park we heard an owl calling out, several times over the course of 5 minutes. I love owls. Magical. Almost as much as blue footed boobies.

    The camping/hiking/sailing season has arrived. Spring has come very early to S. Ont this year. I have to cut my grass this wknd. The good news, bad news.

    There is always space in TO if needed. For you, family or friends. I like company. I am talking to a friend about a trip to the Philippines next year. Also Israel and Jordon in the fall is a possibility.

    Safe travels through life. Cheers, Kathy


    April 6, 2012 at 7:27 pm

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