Are you tired of the frosty nights, cold weather, blustery winds, snow, ice, drab landscape and leafless trees associated with the long winter season in this general area?
Do you desperately long for bright green grass, colorful flower displays, graceful trees with leaves, hot weather and bright sunshine?
Have you been daydreaming of leaving here for somewhere that offers those features at this time of the year?
Well, me too!
But there is one major difference between you and Donnie Q.
I'm no longer daydreaming.
I'm leaving next week for a fabulous vacation destination.
About now, you're probably asking yourself, "Geez, where's he going now?"
I'm glad that you asked.
On Monday, my cute female companion and I will begin a memorable 2.5 week vacation trip. And for darn sure, it won't be north to places like Alaska, British Columbia, the Northwest Territories or the Yukon.
Our trip will begin with a flight from Reno to San Francisco. Then at midnight in San Francisco, we will board an Air Singapore jet and fly non-stop to Singapore, Malaysia.
Then after a short two-hour layover, we will board another Air Singapore jet and fly non-stop to the airport at Denpasar on the island of Bali, Indonesia.
That's the Bali of the musical "South Pacific" fame.
For those of you unfamiliar with Bali, it is part of the Indonesian Archipelago, a 5,000 kilometer-long string of more than 13,000 islands, stretching between Malaysia in the west and Australia to the east. No kidding, 13,000 islands!
Bali is located just east of the island of Java and it stretches less than 150 kilometers (93 miles) at its longest point.
Bali is a relatively small-sized island, volcanic and graced with swathes of extremely fertile land, much of it sculpted into terraced rice-paddies. Sandy beaches punctuate its dramatically rugged coastlines and world-class surf pounds the island's shorelines.
While in Bali, we will spend 12 days and nights in the city of Nusa Dua at a "five star" hotel, the Melia Bali.
Most impressively, that five-star hotel is just one part of a unbelievable vacation package. That package includes all of the following features:
The roundtrip between Reno and Bali.
A two-day, two-night stopover in Singapore for sightseeing on the return home.
Our two days and nights in Singapore will be at a "four-star" hotel.
A total of 12 nights at our hotel in Bali, complete with air-conditioning, pool, bar, restaurant, etc. It includes breakfast each morning.
Three full-day (8-9 hours) guided tours while at the Melia Bali Hotel.
Two half-day guided tours while at the Meli Bali.
All necessary airport-hotel travel transfers.
And, many fun outdoor things like snorkeling, swimming, biking, etc.
Not too shabby!
Most impressively, that entire vacation package will only cost each of us $1,699. That's correct, $1,699!
By comparison, my four-day fishing trips to the Kenai Peninsula in Alaska cost me more than $2,500.
Heck, there's no comparison: $1,699 for a 2.5 week vacation trip to Bali vs. $2,500 for four-days of fishing in Alaska.
Here's something else that you might enjoy about our trip:
One of the first things that I plan to do when we arrive in Bali is to exchange $200 American dollars for the equivalent in the Balinese currency known as Rupiahs. Because you see, the current exchange rate is $1 American dollar for 7,750 Rupiahs.
So some quick math will show you that my $200 American dollars will convert to just over 1.5 million Rupiahs!
Wow, I'll be a millionaire!
For the first time in my life, I'll be a millionaire! Hey, Bill Gates, eat your heart out! Donnie Q will be breathing down your billionaire neck.
On the more serious side, we plan to spend our time in Bali doing a variety of fun-filled things such as bartering for souvenirs, sightseeing, hiking, biking, sunning, swimming, snorkeling, etc. When I recently checked the weather in Bali, it had a consistent daily high of 90 degrees, lows of 70 degrees and short, warm tropical showers each afternoon.
Several weeks ago, I talked to Rick Gunn, a photographer for the Nevada Appeal. He had just returned from a month-long stay in Bali.
His basic advice to me was:
Go prepared for hot, humid weather. Leave your sweaters and coats at home.
Everything you purchase requires bartering by you and the merchant. Be advised to take the opening offer by the merchant and divide that number in half to get a reasonable cost for that item. Then take that amount and divide by 7,000 to get the equivalent American dollars. Geez, 7,000! In addition to being a millionaire, I'll have to be a math wizard.
No matter, that 2.5 week period should be a blast. It will sure beat staying home in Carson City and doing my normal month of March things like:
Ice fishing at Caples Lake near Kit Carson Pass.
Cross country skiing in the Red Lake area of California S.R. 88.
Snowmobiling in the mountains, west and north of Bridgeport, Calif.
Getting up at "Oh Dark Thirty" to go Mackinaw trout fishing at Lake Tahoe.
Spending the day getting "skunked" fishing for cutthroat at Walker Lake.
Needing four-wheel drive to travel across our mountain passes.
Shoveling snow off the sidewalk and driveway at my house.
Having to wear a heavy coat and gloves in the early morning hours.
To heck with all of that winter jazz!
I'll be in Bali working on my tan.
Soon, Nevada's miserable winter weather will be a distant memory.
- Bet Your Favorite Pigeon
Bet your favorite pigeon that he can't tell you the population of Bali.
If he grins and says, "The island of Bali has a population of three million," he could have been a recent visitor to that exotic location and you lose.