The hotel and the gallery Prodigal, Bethel Maine

What possessed Hotel Tom and Marcy White to move from Texas to Betyl, Maine, to discover the most unique restaurant, "Pradygal Inn and Gallery" – a question that I recently put in front of this charming couple.

For those of you who are not familiar with Betylem, this tiny village is located in the western mountains of Maine 70 miles from Portland. Since its settlement in 1768 it had a population of about 2360, including communities surrounding school districts, remained fairly stable. However, during peak seasons he nabravae to 6000.

What is remarkable in this beautiful area in the heart of western Maine, is its convenient location to the popular ski resort of Sunday River, as well as snowmobile, hunting, tubing, snowboarding, fishing, hiking, antiques, kayaking, canoeing, golf, historical research and not to forget the brilliance of autumn foliage.

Marcy showed me that when she and Tom moved to Maine, they tried to find the way that Tom would leave the building / carpentry field and concentrate solely on his creative car & # 39; EASURES. Apparently, about ten years ago, Tom discovered that he has an innate artistic talent to sculpture and painting. Oddly enough, Tom – self-taught artist – is unlikely to take a lesson!

Their goal was to find a property that would be the restaurant and at the same time a place to display the artwork of Tom.

This resulted in the acquisition of historic real estate in 1813 that Tom unbelievably once remade into a beautiful restaurant with an adjacent art studio. Before operate the tavern, Marcy had experience in the food and service, and therefore it is easily transmitted.

The most unusual name of the tavern exemplary after the parable of the prodigal son and exquisite bronze sculpture of Tom. The hosts hope that guests will receive the same welcome as in sculpture.

Initially, the property belonged to one of the founding fathers of the Bethel family Tvitchelav, who were the owners of about 150 years. For twenty years, which were previously owned by Marcy and Tom's Tavern it was exhibited as the first "Easter and breakfast in Western Maine." However, it consisted of only six rooms with a joint bathroom and kitchen.

Today, six rooms tavern deserves the highest evaluation of its prastornastsyu and taste in decor, each with a private bathroom, and some even jacuzzi. The rooms are named after the children and grandchildren of hotels. According to Marcy, she took the personalities of each of them to reflect your favorite colors.

Prevailing in the whole tavern with & # 39 is its serenity and tranquility. We also found the room lacking uniformity and emit a lot of heat and elegance.

Entering the living room of the hotel, we immediately took the original unique bronze sculpture of Tom. Marcy, we pointed out that we invite you to look at this "world-class sculptor," when he is engaged in the creation of their magnificent works of art. We do not take long to take it for the offer, and we visited a nearby studio, located in a renovated barn nearby.

Undoubtedly, the artistic inspiration Tom was strengthened spectacular landscapes that surround the hotel, with its meadows, the nearest rivers and ponds (tavern opposite Androskaggin rivers) and mountains.

It is also no wonder why this tavern was popular for couples celebrating intimate weddings in the gazebo, located in the country of perennial gardens.

By the way, to the door of the tavern are private walking trails, and has access to the cross-country and snowmobile.

During the autumn foliage and winter seasons, when the weather & # 39; e is getting a little picky, there is nothing that can beat sitting in front of a fireplace that burns with wood, enjoy afternoon tea and delicious cookies that Marcy prepares and arranges for its guests .

If the weather allows it & # 39; ie, you can sit under the gazebo in the garden after an exciting walk through the woods, and perhaps notice a deer or collect berries.

Marcy serves a delicious breakfast in the dining room with a wide range of goodies from juices, cereals, breads, eggs to almost everything that you can wish for.


During our travels we have seen with his wife, that every town has one restaurant, which, as the inhabitants of the town thought to "cut above" than others. This happens in one of the dining establishments to choose from Bethel, The Sudbury Inn. The restaurant is located at the inn, which dates back to about 1873.

You know that you will really enjoy, if you look at the menu with lots of options: veal Pikaty the only Florentine, chicken-Sicilian, Maine lobster cooked, red sniper al-Pomodro to beef turnada.

The owners Bill and Nancy White have established its reputation by providing the highest possible personal service, combined with a creative menu.

Another choice Bethel residents – "The Bethel Inn & Country Club", where after a game of golf, you can treat yourself to lunch or dinner, which is served in the dining room of the club.


Insider's Guide on Key Largo

As a resident of Central Florida, I go to Key Largo every chance I get. Since 1972, I have been more than fifty times. In this article, paddle knowledge that I have received from happy discoveries, mistakes and changing landscape of the best places in the United States dives. Recommendations – this is strictly my opinion.

1. Travel – If you go down, go down to I-95 as soon as possible to park dabyarytsesya Sunshine. Two roads are located within a mile of Fort Pierce. Parkway – toll road, but I-95 in South Florida Var & # 39; Jacek … incredibly difficult traffic and traffic rules only to the wild, wild west. If you are flying down, consider Fort. Laderdeyl as an alternative to Miami International. This is a longer journey, but you will have your rental car and be closer to Key Largo before the passenger even the Interior Ministry took the bag. When they reached Florida City, you leave the Parkway and begin the journey to the south of the USA 1. There are two options. 1 American Way is going to Key West and a & # 39 is the most direct route. However, if he is somewhere closer to the dinner, turn left onto Card Sound. It will bring you a little bit on the road, but you have to stop at Alabama Jack. Fresh fish sandwiches and cold cold beer – a great way to get rid of the groove.

2. Accommodation -If you are looking for luxury, stay at the Marriott Key Largo. The hotel is a five-star resort on the shores of the Gulf of (Mile Marker 103). Another luxury option – to rent a house. One hotel has 7 bedrooms, 8 bathrooms and a pool. Many are on the channels that lead directly to the Atlantic Ocean and have amenities that will rival any resort. Lovely area for rent Search – a community of Port Largo. A more reasonable price with a 39 & # Florida club Bay (MM 103 – South of Marryota). It offers weekly rental condominium with a limited number of boats. There are two and three bedroom units. The decor is dated, but in the majority of rooms offer great views of the Florida Bay and its beautiful sunsets. Florida Bay Club is located on Adams Cut, about fifteen minutes by boat to the Atlantic.

If you are looking for something less expensive, does not exclude the rental home. A number of houses available at reasonable weekly rates. Another economical option – many private resorts on the coast of the United States 1. As an example, in The Bay Cove Motel has a cottage on the beach, which sleeps 6 with two bathrooms. The decor is primitive, but there is a white sandy beach and beautiful views of the Florida Bay. If you bring your boat, I highly recommend Marina del Mar (near MM 100). Room prices acceptable and the Atlantic Ocean is 5 minutes. They also have lockers for your programs right on the boat. Running water is included in the fee for docking. If you really want to save money, you can spend a camp in a state park Coral Reef John Pennekamp (MM 102). Bring plenty of spray with errors. Mosquitoes come out exactly at dusk, and you will need to be completely covered, either in your tent.

3. Food – My buddies to dive, and I do not get in the way of delicious dishes. I'm sure Marriott offers a possible way to dress and to practice using the right silverware. But if you want to eat Concha Republic, try Hobo & # 39; s (MM 101), kitchen Mrs. Mak (MM 99) and a fish house of Islamorada (MM 81). The atmosphere of 100% of Florida. My son said that Mrs. Mack with lime pie – it was the best he had ever eaten, and we & # 39; ate a lot of lemon pie. But I'm partial to the cake with peanut butter.

4. Diving – There are many charter boats serving diving. Make sure that you will fall into the abyss of Christ. Statue of Christ is in 30 feet of water and has a good growth of corals. In recent years, people began to leave kremavanyya residues at the base. Other great spots for snorkeling – Greek rock, mosquito coast and a dozen shallow reefs. You will see fan coral, colorful shallow coral formations and thousands of brightly colored fish.

5. Diving – The main attraction in Key Largo with a & # 39 is a SCUBA diving. There are many sites, and prices among the charter boats are very consistent. You can go shopping, but the difference in price you will not find. My favorite charter company – Ocean Divers, which is close to the MM 100. In these two boats, and each of them will be a different route, which gives you more options. USS Spiegel Grove, USCG Duane and French Reef – it's my dive »Must Do". Here are a few more details about all three.

Located in a marine sanctuary, Spiegel Grove – is a ship that has been deliberately patapleny in 2002. She sits upright in 134 feet of water, and loaded on the deck – deep, 50 feet. This is not a dive site. I went down to the grove of nearly 50 times, and it continues to amaze me. As a rule, the status will take you to a short tour to get a view of the hole (where the landing ships were kept) and around the superstructure to the bridge. You will also see two huge cranes that load and unload landing. Corals grow abundantly, and there are quite a few very large groupers who lived. Make sure that the arrival of and discussion with the charter, which parts of the ship you will see. Different trips, see the different sections.

French reef with & # Also in the marine sanctuary 39 is a great alternative molasses reef, which is often overcrowded. This is a smaller site, but, in my opinion, it's better dive than Melyasa. Since reef Loo (near Key West) has deteriorated so badly, I believe that the French language – one of the most spectacular reef areas in the key. Cornices, tunnels and caves; The biggest to swim there in abundance. Here are some of my favorite places on the reef. To be able to reveal hidden marine life try Hourglass Cave (50 feet from the shore by a buoy F1) or the cave of the Christmas tree (50 feet from the shore buoy F3). Bui F5 denotes a sand-side with coral ridges, and F6 – coral heads. On shore F7 protrusion is near the old anchor. Cave with white sand, the largest cave in the area, is located near the center of the reef. The depth varies from 15 to 100 feet. If you have your own boat, it's a great reef, which helps you to snorkeling and diving. There really is for everyone.

Near the sea sanctuary, USCG Duane – 327-foot section of the Coast Guard, who drowned in 1987 in 120 feet of water. It sits vertically and Crows Nest is 60 feet below the surface. Rich in coral growth, and thousands of fish live. Other frequent visitors include the bull shark and dozens of barracudas. This deeper dive and surface current can sometimes be treacherous. He entered in the books as the most advanced diving dive. On the day when the current breaks and state of the sea is from 3 to 5 & # 39; it is definitely true. However, in more peaceful days diver with moderate experience is not difficult. One way to find out what it is, it's a double check website NOAA ( on two things. First you need to determine the state of the sea within the boundaries Melases, as it is located approximately 2 miles from Duan. Secondly, on the same site determine the location of the Gulf Stream. If it is within a couple of marine molasses flows at current chaperone gives shvartuyuchyya buoys and do not allow diving. As Duan is outside the marine park, you can compete with the fisherman pier for large spaces. Despite these potential drawbacks, with Duan & # 39 is the best diving in the area. If you're really lucky, you can see the resident Goliath Hooper. He has the size of a "Volkswagen Beetle", but really shy.

6. Things that should be avoided – Fast-food … come on you in the way, surrounded by water! Fresh fish you will not find anywhere else. If you are not interested to catch yourself and avoid the lobster season. This is a full fever, and the thousands of people in rented boats, who have no idea what they are doing. Someone is killed almost every year. Specific dates Var & # 39; iruyutstsa from year to year, so Google it to get the exact dates. Bad weather can certainly ruin your trip. So check the NOAA website that I've listed in paragraph Duan. Charter boats on the streets will go to any all-weather & # 39; e, but they do not come back, if we can seasickness. Make sure you know what you enter.

7. Day Trips – You are in an ideal vacation spot. Why go anywhere else? If the weather is & # 39; e on the street scary, you can try some of these suggestions. A really cool thing to do on a windy day is to visit Dolphins Plus (near MM 100). They have several immersion programs, and I highly recommend them. If you've never been and I do not believe that it does not really need, you can go two hours down to Key West. In addition to T-shirts and spirits your options are limited. Museum treasures Had Fisher interesting and worth the time. Malory pier at sunset has a carnival atmosphere. However, if a cruise ship is in port, it can be very crowded. If you really do sea fishing, then Islamarada – this place. And if you've never seen the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico at the same time, bridge seven miles – a worthy destination. On the north side of the bridge there is a park with a large shop in the south of the street.

I hope in this article you will find some useful ideas. If you are a diver or SCUBA diving or just interesting the largest coral reef in North America, visit Key Largo. You can fall in love with the place as I did. If you have any questions, please send me an email. I'll be glad to answer.


Electrifying experience Yosemite

Yosemite – an example of a national park, which loves to death. Most park visitors typed in the same valley, which imee park. Pollution of all these cars, trucks and buses falls into the trap, because the valley is mostly located in these colorful 2,000-meter cliffs. To combat this problem, the Park Service has introduced a hybrid free shuttle bus to visitors traveled to the valley and encourage visitors to park the car outside the park and take the bus. But there is a third option for people like me. who want to visit Yosemite Valley, while reducing air pollution – driving an electric vehicle without emissions as Toyota Rav4 EV, which I go.

Electrical tools have never been more affordable and practical than they are now, and they are constantly growing. Of course, they still do not have the range of vehicles that run on gasoline or diesel diesel diesel engines, but the range that they are, making them able to handle about 90% of all driver's needs on average. And the greater the availability of charging stations, the more long trips in Yosemite even more feasible.

There are three types of charging stations. Level 1 & # 39 is a standard household AC current at 110 or 120 volts. Level 2 – 208 or 240 VAC, the current electric clothes dryer takes. Then there DCFC (DC rapid charging) or sometimes called DCQC (constant current fast charge), which may reach 500 VDC instead of the AC current.

In this last level, there are also three different types or protocols. Firstly, it superzapravki the Tesla, which are only available for electric cars from Tesla Motors. Then there is the combination charger system (CCS) or stationary DC charger. And finally, there is one called CHAdeMO. Unlike the first and second levels, a constant current, and it goes directly to the battery instead of through the charger as alternating current. The key concept is that the higher power (volt-amperes times), the faster the electric vehicle battery can be conceived. The result is that the level of 1 is the slowest, and Level 3 – the fastest.

To find out where these various charging stations, you can go on the Internet at Or, if you have the port fast EV charging type the CHAdeMO, then you will want to check out the site In the village there are three Yosemitsi battery level station 2, including one in the parking lot for the village shop.

Thanks to the quick order, which added to our car called JdeMO company, which calls itself the rapid power, we can use the fast-charge stations such as CHAdeMO. Initially our RAV4 was not the fast charging port, and Toyota did not offer it as an option. In many of today's electric vehicles already have fast charging port, or it can be added by the manufacturer option.

This year I have twice been to Yosemite on your electric car, from my home in Sacramento. The first visit was before we added the quick charging port. In my first visit, I went along the highway 16 and 49 to 120 to get to the Valley since MapQuest has shown that it is the most direct, shortest way to the park. This is due to charging about in the middle of my trip – recreation area in the reservoir Tutltaun New Meloni. In the area of ​​daily use have electric charging station 2 level. I stopped for lunch and read several newspapers and other materials that I had in mind for a long time to read.

After two and a half to three-hour break, I'm back on the road headed for Osemity and soon took Highway 120. The famous or, depending on your perspective, the infamous stretch of highway 120 is called the road of the old priests. . Modern Highway 120 bypass it, but for those who are so arranged that the steep, narrow, winding strip of asphalt, provided a shortcut to the park. I was sure that the Rav4 will be no problems during the ascent to him, but to make sure I pressed the button that turned on the engine in the "Sport" mode. This option increases the car's acceleration and top speed, so I would have a little more strength to this recovery. I went up to him with a limited speed of accommodation with no problems, except that some motorist honking behind me, because I wanted to go faster.

Sew! What he was waiting for! I told her shoulders, but slightly increased the pace. When I reached the top of the class, I was under the & # 39; went to a nearby road, a guy passed me. I turned off the "Sport Mode" and turned his back on the highway, continuing your own pace.

By the time I reached the north-western entrance to Yosemitsi, flat entrance to the Great Oak, I was very concerned by the question, if I can get to the charging stations in the valley. Dalokamer on my dash pointed to a mile in less than a sign at the entrance, which said it was to Yosemitsi Valley. Yikes! I kept hoping for the best. I must tell you that I was sweating through every curve and every upward tendency in the road. Oh, God, I'm not going to do it, while continuing to run through your head. When I got to Crane Flat, I knew it was not going to do it unless my EV was unable to recover sufficient amounts of electricity on the descent into the valley.

And then it happened. After Crane Flat road bent to a steady decline. Beauty lies not only in the fact that the car does not pull out electricity from the battery to move, since gravity does all the work, but also the fact that the motor vehicle operated as a generator and charge the battery. I'm getting closer and closer to the valley, while meter radius increases.

I did not know, or do not have enough I have to pay to get to the charge, but it was better and better at least get to the Wali floor. I even & # 39; driving, if the first type of the Valley opened a magnificent view of El Capitan and Half. I then continued to the coast in the valley.

By the time I finally reached the junction with Highway 140, I showed a flight of 19 miles and was sure that I get to the charging station. Slow speed in the valley – it is very effective to control the speed of any vehicle, including electric vehicles. It has helped me to achieve that when I finally made it to the charging station, I was shown about 11 miles at a distance. Hardly even exciting, really!

And, again, because a great thing that the park offers a free shuttle service, is in a valley. While my Rav4 connected to the charging station, I could use the buses to get along in different points of view and paths to enjoy the park. In fact, pitch a tent in the camp 4 in the Valley, I drove up to the charge to connect at night, and then took a bus back to camp to spend the night. After breakfast the next morning I got on another bus back to the charging station, and I was waiting for a full charge that drove me out of the 131 miles.

On the way home, so I went mostly downhill from Yosemite back to Sacramento, I was able to go far beyond the half-way and did not stop until I reached the city of Jackson, and I had to pay for an hour before continuing home.

My second visit took place after we have established rapid charging ChaDEMO port, and it has changed a lot in the trip. Instead of taking the most direct route, I instead of the planned route, which will help me to make a quick charger, which means that the highway from 99 to 140. It is actually made faster route, since I was on the freeway longer. My only stop at this time was in the town Atuoter, near Merced, and stop was only about an hour. It gave me time for lunch on the subway. Quick charger, I was connected to only charge for 30 minutes, so I had to restart charging the middle. Then back on the road for 89 miles into the valley with a 32 miles range, when I arrived there. Nice cushion.

When I got home, I was 134 miles, which showed the range indicator, when I was disconnected from the battery. As you might expect, I, when I was heading out of the valley, pulled range, but then there was interesting. After passing through the Arch Rock entrance station, the road took a fairly steady descent down to the pores of the crossings over the river Mercedes, and my range of EV scored along the way. At one point I saw displayed 135 miles on the dashboard, so I got more potential than when I came away from the valley. Pretty cool!

Thus, if you like Yosemite and want to do your part to you not capture the smoke over the valley, then think about going electric. I never had so many models to choose and conveniently located charging stations in the valley and on the way to connect you.

The website, which lists the different charging stations are available:

Another website, which refers to a quick charging station, and where they are located, is


Word otters – the flagship of South Africa

This hike is located along a garden path Buri river on the Eastern Cape, one of the most beautiful areas of South Africa. If hiking in the fresh air – your passion, then this is one of the best hiking trails in South Africa, you can not afford to miss.

This famous trail runs 42 km from the rugged coastline, from one side of the Indian Ocean explosions, and on the other – finbosy and indigenous rain forest, crossing 11 rivers on the way to the valley of nature. The six-day trip with a five-day trail with four stops nachovnymi runs from the camps to the Valley River storm Nature.

The trail is clearly marked and painted blue otter otters in the rocky edges.

Vydravyya trails pass through the Tsitsikamma National Park, which stretches for 80 km along the picturesque southern Cape, and 5.5 km from the sea. Holiday Camp "Storm Storm River" at the very beginning provides accommodation and a shop and a restaurant, information center, a swimming pool for the visitors, caravans and camps. Accommodation for the night before and after the completion of the path is included in the booking path.

The path begins to the west of the western end of akiyanetav camps Storms River and are clearly marked with blue signs of otter otters and painted on the rocky areas.

Usually there are two huts for the night on each of the overnight stops. Each bedroom has a bunk with a mattress for six people. There are barbecue and chemical toilets. Firewood left side of the road, where it is necessary to convey to the huts. Water is in the huts nearby streams.

Pahodniki advised to fill their bottles with water in the streams, which they cross. They need to carry essentials such as gas stoves, utensils, crockery, cutlery and sleeping bags. Tourists should be well suited as an otter trail goes along the coastline with steep slopes.

Several rivers and estuaries also have to cross. No man should not walk alone. It is recommended at least four people. The weather conditions should always be considered, as they can change rapidly.

The path begins at approximately 2 km west from the restaurant and the parking lot at the Storm River and continues past Godgeyta and early claims Millwood. Follow the white arrows and signs of otters, if you climb on the rocks near the cave Hoysanskay to the pool and waterfall near Hut Ngubu.

On the second day you padymaetsesya on the coastal plateau indigenous forests and finbosav and maybe lucky enough to see a whale or a dolphin on Skildekranse. Ascents and descents make this site stsyazhy very demanding, although distant covered is only about 8 km.

Travel down to Blubaya worth the effort. After spending the night at Scott's house, the third day of the campaign is on the glorious course and a & # 39 is one of the most picturesque on the trail. Swimming in the river Elandsbos fine. The dwelling Oakherst misses in the field after the river crossing Loteryng or swimming, or a jump from boulder to boulder.

Hike on the fourth day, although it is longer than the other, less demanding. Time your Bloukrans Bridge crossing the river to flow. Nevertheless, you might have to cross some distance into the ground and you will need to return to the House of André. The trail passes through the wooded grounds and finbosy between Andre and Nature Valley, to the top of the cliff at this point. Be careful to cross the river after heavy rains.

Previous and next news: Reservations must be made well in advance, because the popularity of this way – a real winner, and reservations need to be considered about a year in advance.

Note that while the path is limited to 12 people.


Opening Bintan – Perfect order

Quick bust before we hit the books again. What is the ideal way to start the semester? With a tan of course! We had to take advantage of the fact that Singapore is surrounded by numerous natural beaches that belong to our neighbors in South-East Asia. Buttons dozen places us intelligence. But it was the decision of the eleventh hour, and when we were low, our pockets are not as deep. So we went to the Var & # 39; yatski search destination, quite economical, but still offer a decent beach to frolic. Bintan came up to the top. Firstly, we did not have to fly. There was no rush to look for tickets at the last minute. Bintan is located just 55 minutes by ferry from Singapore. Secondly, and most importantly, we did not have to get Rupee. Prices in Bintan are listed in Sing dollars.

When they reached the ferry terminal Bintan, we were directed to an additional shuttle bus that took us to the resort directly. The trip took about 30 minutes.

Upon arrival at the resort, we were very impressed by the reception, which briefly wept in Japanese to a group of visitors. Their English was also nearly flawless. The resort itself is provided a relaxed mood, because he was created in the style of the individual houses of wood as a room for guests. Inter & # 39; er the room exceeded our expectations. Despite the fairly large bed with bed and day sofa, the toilet was also clean and fresh.

After lunch it's time suras & # 39; ozna fun. We zashpililisya on the beach, just in time for excursions to scuba diving. Without any accessories, we jumped on the boat with our gear, ready-to-whale of a time. We are instructed and booklets that indicate the type of fish and coral that we can see when the water passed around. Indeed, it was an open eye (literally) experience when we keep your eyes to detect the range of coral and fish. It ended with a dramatic note when I panicked and reached to see jellyfish half a meter.

After a trip to the diving with adrenaline, our stomachs were growling again for a meal. This time we took the recommendation of staff at reception and went to the local "kolong" (Malay for a fishing village on the sea). Dinner costs on the hour ride back and forth. A total of 6 dishes including snails, mussels, crayfish, fish, crab, con Kong, drinks and steamed rice, worth $ 65.

We had snails steamed as recommended and dipped them into a delicious sweet and spicy sauce. They were so juicy and crunchy, I was pleasantly surprised at how much they bounced when we pulled them out of the shells. Mussels were big and juicy and tastes like oysters and well fed with spicy sauce in which it is roasted. Our favorite had to be cancers. On the palate, it resembles its close relative – lobsters, and divinity amplified melted butter and salted spring onions, generously strewn on top. This fish came close to me, because I always love a good plate of fish couples in the Chinese style with teachzhov feature superior soy sauce and generous chopped coriander and bows. Crab was disappointing stale. Rescue affection became good field plate belachan-Kang (vegetables, fried shrimp with chili). It was a truly memorable dinner on a simple background, combined with an atmosphere of light tidal waves, even though I wanted to mosquitoes were not included in the package.

After leaving we were able to leave luggage at the front desk, still other events from before the & # 39 entrance to the terminal. We can also change our original ferry paromki to a later slot for the card with concierge staff. We decided to do just that and headed to Pasar Oleh Oleh, Bintan resort's own market.

He can get to a bus that takes guests from various resorts. The market offers local snacks such as kerapok (prawn or fish crackers) and dried seafood, such as ikan bilis (anchovies) and shrimps. Also, there was a shop that sold supposedly real-Shirts Polo Ralph Lauren among others that sell local arts and crafts. I captured a particular shop which sold nostalgic paraphernalia so I bought this to satisfy their curiosity, and also to support the dying trade. For more local color, you get it from a local artist who sells paintings reflecting the lifestyle of Bintan as a fishing village. His works of art – great souvenirs or Deco, if you have a penchant for Indonesian rustic charm.

Idyllic and carefree lifestyle of locals seemed to worked on healing the body raid, spirit and soul.


Please correct the disability system!

It should inform the people in our country about the nightmare that people face when it becomes invalid on the fault. I can not tell you the history of all, so I can only share my story, though such as my; all occurring in the presence of their own circumstances, but with similar results when trying to get disability benefits.

I am a single mother of two children 38 years of age. At one time I considered myself to those who survived the terrible childhood, filled with emotional negligence, physical and sexual abuse and terrible unfinished system receiving aid. All my life I had to fight for the achievement of each goal, and most times, if I achieved the goal I could hardly. It was not a lack of attempts, but in the best case, my emotional state before reaching adulthood collapsed. I have not been able to birth parents, foster care system and the agency which is responsible for ensuring that adopted me a woman who did not hesitate to disturb me the most cruel and possible private means. Now I just exist, struggling like never before struggled to just get through the day, and sometimes even one hour.

Immediately after graduation, I tried in college, but failed and quit after one year. Then I enlisted in the army, having arranged for the post of air traffic controller. In connection with my emotional problems and my lack of ability to maintain any control, I was forced to get a dismissal from the army. I just got married and had two children, but in their attempts to become a wife and mother could not, and as a result lost her husband and two children for another woman.

I went to the depths of the end, I had two more children – now, my children with me, but their parents are absent due to my poor choice. I, too, threatens to lose these children due to my inability to care for them as they deserve, and my mental instability, which increases.

I was able to hold a job for ten years, and it was a great job. Unfortunately, I have struggled with major depression for many years, and in 2005 he was diagnosed with bipolar disorder and some other mental problems. I had to quit work, but I did try to work, could not, when my health forced me to miss too many days of work, and I was fired in my son's birthday, after only three months back at work. I evicted a month before I got fired from the house in which we lived for ten years because I could no longer pay the rent and lost his first ever new car – the car on which I really worked. We have since we live in a sanatorium, and I, too, three months behind on this lease.

The last two years I was completely useless. My children are very much missed at school, and last year they missed so much that we had to go to court, and my daughter is in fact not yet been rated, she repeats this year. We got some help through the DHR, but it was noticeable group assistance. This school year we have a whole lot better, although we still have some improvements, but we are working on it.

Due to the very hectic close family friend, we shied away from what remained homeless, although this risk is still being close, because this one can not continue to pay, and I do not want someone to weigh our weight. I have worked since I was 17 and always taking care of myself, but two years since I was married.

Basically, my life fell apart before my eyes. All I have ever worked with, and financially and personally, all but disappeared. I consulted on and off most of my life, because I know that in my head so many problems that I am not within my ability to disassemble them at their own discretion – no longer exists. The damage caused to me as a child, is still strong, and in conjunction with bipolar disorder, she continues to hinder my ability to operate anywhere near to what would be a normal person. Every day I wish it was not so, but yes.

I have fought all my life. I struggled with the receiving system, very tough foster mother, my husband, my problems caused by reckless and tough choices and actions of others, and now I'm struggling with disability system for a small monthly check, which I half I have worked all my life.

We call for a disability, immediately deny file an appeal and wait for many long months and years. When we finally learn that we have adopted, we will have to wait any longer small amount of money, while our lawyers are often paid promptly. At the same time, we are dealing with our disease, we try to keep our seven & # 39; and; we expect to work, home, property, and sometimes life.

No one can never predict the disease, and many of us were not able to take a job that would allow us to save enough money that can last for years. Most people live paycheck to paycheck, and if this salary is suddenly out of things that we can not control, we suffer so many ways. We feel a lot of emotion, when faced with a disease that changes lives, and to deal with the disability system, fear, frustration, anger, disgust, sadness, when our life as we knew it is gone.

I was told that I approve, but I'm still waiting for something to come, so I can pay the rent, buy the right clothes for the children, buy a new toothbrush more than once a year, to buy toilet paper, buy a second pair of jeans.

At the time, all I could do if I was able to work and take care of himself and his family & # 39; S. It is no longer possible for me. My choice – to work, but my mind and my body refused to go along with my desire to continue to be self-sufficient and productive member of this country.

I ask those who are able to change the situation, to fix the disability system, so that people do not lose it like we do. Please correct the system, because one day you may be in our shoes, and it's a long, painful and very difficult walk, I would not want any of this world soul.


Once in a lifetime fly fishing on the river Tsymarron

Two of my favorite rivers of New Mexico, where to fish, – it is the river San Juan and Tsymarron cancer. This story is about tsymarrona. River Tsymaron located in northeastern New Mexico and flows out of Lake Eagle Nest. Located on the eastern edge of the mountains of the Sangre de Cristo, the stone with a dry fly is flowing east through the state park Cimarron Canyon along US Hwy 64. After the confluence of several other rivers, this water eventually reaches the Mississippi River. New Mexico Game and Fish estimates nearly 4,000 wild brown size on the miles, it is undoubtedly a healthy production of wild brown trout in the state and one of the healthiest in the southern Rocky Mountains. Most of the wild brown shades – 10-14 inches with the occasional big boy. This fishing little known, but still can be a bit crowded roads in the middle of summer.

I can easily get to the Cimarron for one day the hard drive from my store near Tyler, Texas, and the fish late in the evening or early the next morning. Landscape of high mountain beautiful, and fishing – excellent.

My story begins in mid-June 2002. During June-hatch cuts in full swing on Kimarron, and big brown will look regularly attack stimulator size 14 or 16. This is my favorite time of the year fishing the river. This dry fishing at best.

Unfortunately, if you remember it while wild fires covered many areas of New Mexico, Colorado and Arizona. Canyon State Park, Cimarron was surrounded by a couple of such fires.

At the end of Monday, I arrived at the Pine Ridge hotel is only about a mile from the fishing water quality. This quaint little four-room hotel, located at the entrance to the state park. After arrival, the hotel owner told me that the park is closed and has been since Friday. Because of the danger of fire has been closed everything, including camping, hiking, picnicking and so … fishing. Every departure from the park was blocked in a bright yellow color. It seems every other tree was nailed a sign "Closed Park". I could not believe it. I chased 12:00 Strait to spend some private time to go fishing on dry flies and … I do not know whether you do … no fishing. I was sick. If you ever wanted to see the great man wept, it would be a great opportunity.

Nearby there were other places where I could catch fish, if I did not have guidelines for private fishing waters that were nearby. I called my good friend, dock Thompson, fisherman high country. Doc – the best guide for fishing in small streams of Northeast New Mexico, including some private areas Tsymarrona. He was booked. there is no chance for me to catch fish.

I considered the possibility to cut my loss, packed gear and went home with his tail between me, when I saw the ranger of the park turns into a parking lot in the sanatorium. I look up to him, I explained my predicament and begged him to be merciful to this Texas zabludelaga. He noted that there is little that can be done. He was ordered to a higher age to close the park. The area was very dry, and the fear of the spread of forest fires has been consistently high. He finally gave me a small window of hope when he said that, if the wind is not lift and does not change during the night, he asks if he can open the park the next day. There are no guarantees. The possibility of things seemed to me a little, but I decided to wait and see.

The next day, early and early, I went to the desk of hotels with crossed fingers and toes. "Great news," the owner said, "you can fish." Ranger in the park called the hotel and ordered the owner to go to say the text that he can fish. Huntsman opened the park just for fishing. No one could camp, hike and picnic. Fishing only. Best of all, he left all the barricades and the park is closed. My head started to buzz in this scenario. Could this be true? Is it possible that somewhere in this country there is a creek full of large brown stones, full of fish, which tend to click with dry flies, do not catch a fish for five days, there is a park closed signs on every other tree and has a bright yellow barricades at each contraction? Is this really happening? And most of all … it's really happening to me? Yes it was !!!

I almost broke my leg and a rod that is so quickly made it to the river. I was the only one who caught this 12-miles of kilometers of quality trout. ONLY people. For five days the river was no fishing pressure. No. Notta. Absolutely zero. What a great opportunity. I hit the water at 8 am. Knowing that stoneflies hatch will start at 9 o'clock in the morning, I tied a stimulant yellow size 16 Copper John dropper on my rods 2 wool. For the next hour the catch was 50/50 on a dry and nymph. If the door began, I took the nymph to concentrate on dry. My promoter has repeatedly Demolition hungry trout. Luke began at about 9:00 am, and in the end, the day decreased. During this time I dropped more than 40 earthy dry. Most were in the range of 10 to 12 inches. Some a little less, and some a little more. All the time I saw no other river in the river. I was in complete bliss flies. Then in the afternoon, when the temperature began to fall, they again began to beat strongly and did so before nightfall. I lost count of the total number of fish I caught that day. After a while, you just throw the bill. Fishing has been phenomenal, and loneliness was even better.

On the day when I would have slowed down to parked his jeep for a shot Joe or something, people will go, buying, causing me disgusted. I could see how their lips mumble something like, "this idiot Texas … he can not read the signs?" I am in no way interested in establishing their passage. I want the entire state of New Mexico, as well as the whole world thought that the park is completely closed, and perhaps never will.

That night, in my room, the harsh realities of the summer were bright. I sat on the front porch and watched the helicopters and other large aircraft drop loads of water on forest fires that were scattered along the mountainside. Huge wall of smoke drapiravali horizon. I could not feel the pain because of the destruction that unfolded before my eyes. When it was dark, that I saw, I went to the borders of my room.

Later that night, as I lay packed in your cozy bed, I found it difficult to sleep. When my mind drifted from the fire on the street and danced at the thought of my fishing day, I giggled feeling how to gain pleasure. My experience fishing continued to work in the head. I could not help but wonder what the next day will bring. Does loneliness will end at gunpoint? Guess what … did not work.

I got to the park early the next morning to be faced with the same scenario. Signs and barricades remained in place and were never seen again. Using the same techniques and flies, I enjoyed the same success as yesterday. It was only in the afternoon, I did not see a single car in the park. Word finally came out. By the time everything was normal. I enjoyed a few hours of good fishing the next morning, before heading to Tyler.

There is moral? I do not know. I will never forget fishing. But, from the point of view of the retrospective, it seems a shame that my unforgettable fishing has been at the expense of so many. In this terrible time Southwest lost a lot of good wood and helpless wildlife. It was not at home, and live kapyushony were destroyed. I believe that the saying remains true: "someone's luck is usually at someone else's expense."


Aromatychnyya sticks

The aroma of incense incense filled the air and my mind. I was back in my childhood. Most mornings I wake up with a mild scent of incense. My mother, after taking an early bath and dressed in a cotton sari would have sat for her "puja" in front of his small head. Under the small temple, I mean a small closet in my bedroom closet. In this study were its miniature idols of gods and goddesses to whom she placed a small bronze plates, which were tiny cubes of sugar, "Mishra," as we know it. Then with pious pious look on her face she moved incense incense in a circle in front of idols and ends shell blowing session. Often, after prayers, I often felt the scent of her sari for a sweet smell, which is spread throughout the house. Today, when I walk through the streets of the historic city, Asakusa, my nose tickled by the same smell. The city lived on the west bank of the Sumida River and had a lot of old houses, and hand-rickshaw, relics of the past. Some of the iron shutters of the shops was on her colorful paintings of the popular folklore, which I was interested.

I got to the main gate of the temple Sensozhy – the oldest Buddhist shrines of Tokyo, which dates from the year 645. According to legend, two brothers in time fishing in the river Sumida found a statue of the Canon, the goddess of mercy, and even though they put the statue back into the river, she returned again and again to them. Thus, the village chief Sensozhy was built next to the goddess Canon. It is said that the statue was so radiant that after she was buried deep in the temple, and since then it has not been seen.

Entering through Kaminarymon or gromnoe gate (large main gate), I got to the shopping street Nakamise, which led me to the other gate of the temple, Hazomon. Some stores for hundreds of years and were built in the Edo period. Here you can find the typical Japanese souvenirs such as folding fans. On the walls of the temple were beautiful paintings of ancient folklore with images of ascetics and kimono-clad women. After walking a bit, I found a great torch, which were planted hundreds of lighted incense.

Next to the main temple is a five-story pagoda, the structure is very similar to the Buddhist stupa, which is supposed to be a "reliquary", or store the real saints balances, items related to them as articles of clothing, etc. Entrance to the pagoda is prohibited, so I could take pictures only from the outside. The only thing that catches the eye – it is bright colors, which are used to decorate the temples, and a huge red lantern with inscriptions before the temple deity.

Inside the temple, there was a priest in a blue dress. On a golden throne, he chanted prayers to the symbol of the swastika. As you already know, this character comes from Sanskrit and spread to several religions and continents. Adoration – is "good to all," one of the main ideologies of Buddhism. Ceiling temple was covered Sensozhy greatest works. Heard intermittent calls and blows on the drums. A huge crowd of believers with folded hands and solemn faces, as well as tourists with stunning eyes and all natsiskayuchymi cameras filled the room with a high ceiling. In my opinion, the above picture with the & # 39 is a constant factor for any historical religious places. And I'm no different. I continued to press on and on. Outside the temple was the place where you can link to a wooden board desires in Japanese under the name "Emma". This ancient custom sintoistav, but in Japan, Shinto and Buddhism mixed lot, so you can find them in most of the temples and shrines. This is the card you want to make your wishes come true, but, like everyone else in the world, has a price tag, though nominal.

Near the temple is Sensozhy "Asakusa shrine", who & # 39 is a Shinto shrine, where the founders of the temple Sensozhy, two fishermen and Ataman worship. Temple crest symbolizes network to which fishing goddess statue.

While I was fascinated watching the huge bell, set in the Edo period I.e in the 1600s, came the old Japanese man and asked my name and the country where I belonged. He said that the six-hour bell was commonplace in the Edo period and it can be seen next to each shrine. Although now he hit only at 6 am. He offered to put pressure on my photos and my husband, and told me that the festival "Sanjay Matsuri" is held in the month of May, when the three founders shrines spend underclothes sickbed on every street corner and Asakusa to bring prosperity. success. I told him that he was very similar to the "Rath yatra" in India, where the three deities, Jaganath, Balram and Subhadra in this way are transported in chariots on giant wooden wheels, elongated devotees through the streets.

After the man left, we went for a walk along the Sumida River. Brilliant sunshine and a slow breeze was quite refreshing after a crowded temple room. On the other side of the river was Skaytra Tokyo, the highest tower in the world.

Sumida River in different directions went different cruise boats. Since it was equally crowded, we opted for a tour. Instead, we sat on the beach and enjoy the beautiful west. Upon returning home, I was feeling tired and at the same time made to collect so many wonderful memories.


Repairing cars in Okinawa, Japan: mechanic who speaks English

Recently, I visited Okinawa, Japan, and found the people there very friendly and nice. The problem, however, is that most of them do not speak English. The first morning I was all the time looking for the man who would be in English told me where to find a bank. I needed to exchange US dollars for Japanese yen.

In the district where I was staying, I visited the grocery store, walk the streets, and finally found a small police station near Kadena Air Base. They did not understand English, but they had a map. I said I was looking for a bank, and they said, "Ginko". I thought they said "Banko". So I said, "yes, yes!" They gratefully directed me to the bank.

Now that it is difficult to discuss the bank's location, imagine how hard the US military or the woman to talk to a mechanic to repair your car. Fortunately, I know of two American engineers who are retired, who live and work in Okinawa near Kadena Air Base. My own eyes I saw the relief on the faces of customers who came to drop or pick up their cars.

Bill Sickert – owner and chief mechanic of B & M Okinawa. Bill explained that some car services provided on the base, located nearby, are a little higher, because they are under contract and, frankly, they have little monopoly.

In Okinawa, some parts are hard to find. Bill grinned and said: "One of the ways that we could help our customers, is to go to the local junk yard in the area and find the needed parts." Pay to have local connections. Bill speaks Japanese and has a connection with the local experts on the body. Bill can organize all kinds of automotive work, to be done.

If you are in Okinawa, Japan, you may contact Bill Zikertam of its services on car repairs, or you can use this card with the instructions to repair his car.


East Crete – a snack?

Crete – a favorite place in the winter, and this is the best route to the isolated plateau Katharo, which is almost always – the best chance of seeing snow in Crete. Single kafenion laden with posters of Che Guevara – the only available place to warm up with a hot coffee and the local 4×4 club race along rastapilay riverbed. But today Katharo remain in perfect isolation, at least from us. My friend Kostas Argirapulos, a local engineer mining, gave me tips on the new road, which was recently held, which I wanted to explore. Prior to the main street in Crete, we turned left to climb on the way to Christ. With panoramic views of the bay and Mirabelski church that goes on the road at one of the corners, there is an interesting and entertaining drive. The village itself – one of the few places that stretches sometimes krananym. Old men sit in coffee shops with sports leather boots and dressed in a traditional black suit inhabitants of Crete village. The women of the village prepare a greyhound, a variety of wild plants including dandelion leaves, either plucked Fava before making them pudding to feed onions and sprinkle with fresh olive oil.

The road down from Kryshtasa to a wooded area, with ribbons of sunlight viewed through autumn deciduous trees. Already the first rains damaged the newly paved road, but several areas have been washed, that requires caution. Roughly painted sign on the left sent Istron, bumpy trail that leads to Piraeus, which many times I went. But Kostas told me to continue further in Prina village near Kalamafki, the only place in this part of the island, where you can see the Cretan and Libyan Sea simultaneously. Since we went to take a new road to the picturesque village of Meselery and & # 39; riding through the winding streets of the village itself before re-join the new road. The matter in the pond glistening reservoir Vramiyane. The area with the & # 39; is the main market area of ​​horticulture and permanent water supply is necessary to ensure the quality and quantity of cucumbers, tomatoes and fruit produced there, most of which falls on tables in Northern Europe.

Pavindustryyalny landscape, which is Ierapetra was some shock to the system after the very natural beauty, which we felt before in his journey, but the economy of the city presented a rich way of life of residents and large luxury villas and testify to the house. We went to the north of the main city and were on their way to Saki.

We already feel hungry and turned left into the village Kutsunary, only to discover it nowhere. We could go back to Ierapetra but decided to continue east through the farm and Ahli. We arrived in Kutsuras, where there is a well-known restaurant called "Robinson", but this, too, was closed. The desire for food or even coffee has become urgent. We found a place open in Makryzhalase, but the most well-known reasons, we continued to move to the socio.

The road from Makryzhalasa grows gradually to the north, with spectacular views of the fertile valley to the west. Church on monolithic hilltops open landscape, many of them built on ancient shrines to the pagan sun god. In the tavern in Litin it was parked tourist train. In winter Sunday coach trips to religious of the & # 39; sites and monasteries – a popular pastime for the older ladies, which is sometimes accompanied by flattering songs on the way back, which make rugby player blush. Near the village there is a turn to Zhyrosa, which in turn leads to a spectacular Xerokampos. Achieved a spiral road, this is one of Crete's values. Some say it resembles the Seychelles, clear water and calm in this bay are now being violated almost inevitable JCB sound and concrete mixers as the developers snatch another piece of paradise with our understanding to sell them to the highest bidder.

Continuing north to sow, I slowed the car to be a few meters from migrating Eleonora's falcon (Falco eleonorae), who was sitting on the bar & # 39; EASURES on the roadside. Naturally, it flew by before we had time to truly appreciate it, but it was another magical moment in our unplanned day. Through Agios Georgios and Maron we slowly descended to Setsiya, another industrial center and the town with a large and respected winery and one of the best olive oil in Crete. For the first time, despite numerous visits to the city, I saw an old Venetian fortress, called Barracks from the Italian word "barracks". This fortress was built to resist the invasion of the Turks and three years of steady siege (1648 – one thousand six hundred fifty-one). Recently, the city has experienced extensive renovation work, currently the city hosts concerts and other events.

It has long been rumored that Siteia airport will be accepting incoming charter flights so we went to the airport on neadmechanay road to investigate. The airport is still more like a military airfield strip, which it has always been, and flights in this particular area, it seems, such as distant as ever. Perhaps a good idea to save the area from mass tourism, although developers have bought an area of ​​about Palm Beach Vai and plan to build a huge complex of golf courses, villas and hotels.

The new road, just 3 km away, took us home, before returning to the old road. Work on this project is continuing, and we spent the projects on construction of the bridge, which, together with other improvements of roads and detours have reduced travel 72 km to the capital regions of Agios-Nikalaos to 45 minutes. Sea and mountains glowed red when the sun began to go over the mountain elk, and when in desperation, we turned towards Sfakia coastal village of Mochlos. We parked and walked past kafeneonav where every head was turned to the TV at a football match. When we turned the corner to the harbor, with the pickup sounded loud music. As we approached, we found the door wide open and there was a driver and understand that this is the background music for later kafeniona. No one seems to perceive music. They also captured the football games.

The tiny village gave us a choice of two tavernas, both went to Agios-Nikalaos island with the Minoan city of Ruino. We decided to sit in the evening now, cool and turned to the menu. Lamb with artichokes and a mixed grill came out of the menu, so we went on stage and baked feta cheese and tomatoes, and then the chicken souvlaki (kebab) and a huge pork chops, both with chips, zapityya old diet cola. As usual, half-loaf of bread and a Cretan rusk with & # 39 appeared to keep going for as long as the food has been prepared, as well as some excellent pickled anchovies and a rich brown olive pate. Since we were hungry at this point, we still could not finish everything, especially a free plate of fruit received from the account in the amount of EUR 23,00 (£ 16,00, $ 32,00).

It was dark when we left the tavern and riding along with a very full stomach, left me feeling a little tired. The sign in Paxia Ammos written "Agios Nikalaos 19 km." Half an hour later we were back at home. Perhaps it was the long journey that we have taken a bite, but it is quite justified surprised that this East Crete.