USA

16th February
2011
written by Tellus

So I’ve finally found a place I’m going to stay for at least a month to settle down after all the recent travelling.

It will give me time to catch up on all things put aside while on the road, as well as really focus on my mobile phone application creations πŸ™‚

More to come in this post as well, right now is just a quick summary day and outling the posts I’ll be writing soon.

Cheers!

13th February
2011
written by Tellus

My last days in LA, travel up north for crazy fun and cold nights..

While I was getting my Norwegian skydiving certificate and insurance in order for 2011, I decided to just hang around in LA and get up to date on my blogging and get some work done.

On the 2nd of February my laptop was stolen from my room, while I was out across the street for ten minutes, so in stead of getting up to date I lost everything I’d done since receiving my laptop in November and photos I’d unloaded from my camera to the laptop. I was finally in a situation where I could spend some time sorting out all I’d been doing and get some backups done – but I should have had some basic backup set up from the get go in spite of less than optimal connection speeds and constantly on the run, there’s just no excuse – only thing I can say: Never again!

 

So after losing my computer I went on a tilt, where it felt like my world was falling apart. Two days later I had ordered a new laptop (even slightly more expensive than the one lost) and was on my way north to Lodi, in a rented Ford Mustang, for some sorely needed skydiving.

To make a long story short, I got two days of skydiving (from full hight right off the bat), with an instructor for the first three jumps.Β  Then I got the “Lodi Flu” (Tonsilitis?) which put me out for a week and took me even longer to fully recoup from..

After a week in bed I had to go back to LA to return my rental car.

So I still have two qualifying jumps left before my A certificate is a go!

There will be another trip to Lodi before this tour in the US is over πŸ˜‰

 

From Lodi I drove all the way to San Diego the day before my rental return, to meet up with some potential room mates. The meeting went good and house was great, so in hopes of skipping the drive to LA I went by Avis Car Rental at the San Diego airport to check what it would cost to return the car there instead. The lady behind the counter shockingly uttered the number: $1300!! – I drove the car to LA the next morning and took the Amtrak (train) back to San Diego..

 

 

Bottom note: There are quite a few posts between this and the last one shown, but they’re still just drafts awaiting some photos etc after I lost them all when my laptop was stolen early February.

Posts that will suddenly appear:
On my own again …
Road Trip with old friends – making new friends..
Back from the Islands – Off to the Islands
New Island – New impressions..
Escaping the jungle – and change in plans..
Jungle life – Events & Activites

3rd February
2011
written by Tellus

The arrival
After being picked up at the airport, made a stop by walmart and a guy named Slippy, to check out his PA and listen in to a little jam session, taking over the wheel for the drive Β«homeΒ» and driving almost 2 miles on a dirt road into the jungle in pitch black, I was welcomed by flash lights, a bunch of friendly people and coconut bliss – which became my new acciles heal and addiction – my reintroduction to ice cream after a 5+ year separation.

The cause and expectations
GY is a permaculture community located on the Big Island of Hawaii. My primary reason for visiting here was to eat healthy foods in a supportive environment in an effort to improve my western medicine (read antibiotics) wrecked body. I quit my last job in April feeling I couldn’t deal with the constant food poisoning issue anymore, and after some research – in an act of last resort and desperation – I eventually got in contact and started planning my stay with GY.

The setting
During my stay I have been living in the men’s dorm, which is basically an open area with mosquito tented matresses and a tarp ceiling. The idea and first impression of it seems alright and livable, and the coqui frogs make for great evening music. The less appealing sides to this are the mosquitos, various bugs, sometimes damp & cold bed and last but not least rats rummaging around the camp at various times during the day and throughout the night! – I needed headset for that, so no more coqui frog music either..

The entire site is solar powered, meaning we could run low on power at times – this was however only a real problem when it came to washing clothes, which had to be performed on the sunny days, which I never really found to be much of an issue.

Showers area were outdoors, with surrounding bamboo walls, passively heated water and unisex. I quite liked the spacious feeling of the showers and the rain water, in contrast to foul chlorine smelling water, was great. The very basic composting toilet buckets with melikoi leaves for TP and swirling mosquitos I never got quite comfortable with however.

The Landing, which is the communal building, is where we prepared our foods, had our morning meetings, connected to the world wide web and just hung out in community. Coming from a sterilized western society the change can be quite drastic, but most of it I felt right in tune with, bacteria and all – although I must admit the constant running around of the pets, especially the cats climbing around on the counter at any hour of the day, was a bit disturbing.

And lastly, my favourite place (except for it’s sometimes denseness of mosquitos and fruit flies) which made the more uncomfortable parts worth it, the CocoBar!
Every saturday was cocoing day, and sometimes wednesday if supply was running short.

On my first Saturday here I came along for the cocoing with the guru cocoer, Mr A, who free climbs 10-15 coconut trees a week. I was mostly ground crew, lowering down the branches he strapped on and cut loose, but after seeing him in action on a couple of trees I went off on my first coconut climb – which also became the last for a while, leaving me a couple inches from the top, flesh wounded on both palms and a big hickie on the chest πŸ™‚

I never got to master coconut climbing during my 7 weeks at the Big Island, but I will eventually. I did climb for a small coconut during my later travels, but that tree was too short to count. Maybe I’ll find a suitable tree in the US or British Virgin Islands.

The CocoBar gave me so many goods – juices young and mature, young jelly meat and older hard meats, coconut sprouts and of course the mixture used for juicing to cream or blending for ice cream and pure heaven πŸ˜€

The foods
As my main reason for visiting was to improve my health by diet, it makes sense to have a short review of my foods throughout the stay. My primary foods have been Coconut in the form of young jelly meat, older meat and sprout, as well as all the various coconut juices contained within.. Once a week we made our meat order, and except for some heart, liver and top sirloin my main meat has been Beef cut for BBQ. It is very thin slices of beef that are very easy to handle and tear apart when eating with my hands only – with a few exceptions (bon fire, thanks giving dinner..) I ate all my meats raw for my one month stay, which felt really easy and natural in this setting. I also kept eating raw meats initially after leaving GY to explore the island, keeping fresh meat in a glass jar, but over the weeks (and as my quality of supply got worse) I ended up cooking most of my meat again. Just a few weeks after going back to cooked meats I can feel the lack of nourishment satisfaction and will look at getting back to raw meats after my January travels (More on that later).

Except for the coconut and meat I ended up eating a lot more fruit during my stay than initially imagined. There might be a short post about the various fruits I got to taste while on the Island, but for now I’ll just let you know some of the fruits I ate were papaya, mango, soursop, jack fruit, atemoya, lilikoi and even bananas (the tiny kind).

Check back soon for a compilation of activities and events during my Big Island experience πŸ™‚

22nd December
2010
written by Tellus

November 8th, the day was finally here.

After an early morning in Bergen w/smooth domestic flyin’ things had to go downward from there.

Waiting for my Frankfurt flight to board I checked my e-mail on the cell for the last time ’till I’d be at the hostel in LA.

“Supersaver suck!”

My travel agency for the wednesday LAX to Hawaii flight had sent me an e-mail during my first domestic flight this morning:
“…not getting a hold of you on phone, your ticket purchase has been canceled due to technical problems issuing the ticket”.
Ehm, I was on a plane you goons! Can they really just cancel tickets I’ve paid and received the e-tickets for?!
After another 20 minutes trying to get through on phone support I had to hang up for another flight take-off..

The flight to Frankfurt was good and quick, me not remembering how I disliked the airport from my 2008 departure..
First the bus shuttle to the terminal is almost as long as the flight there, then after a brisk walk to my departure terminal I’m met by a new passport & security check-point.
I’m “randomly” picked for a security check which almost make me feel like Lumen in dexter Season 4.
That guard’s either overly paranoid or he just really liked me :-s
Either way, it’s what I call “too close for comfort”.
Finally at my gate I’m met by a new general boarding, requiring my destination address after a series of hysterical paranoia-questions.
Through the gate and down some stairs – I’m greated by another bus – goodbye Frankfurt!

Arriving at LAX I had pre-booked a two night hostel stay with H.I. LA/Santa Monica, but hadn’t really thought much through how to get there, since their direction description on hostelworld made it sound like it was easy to find a bus that would take me close to the hostel. After getting my bag, looking and asking around for the buses, I finally decided to go for one of the shuttle buses. “$15 please”, but that also brought me on the doorstep of the hostel with my oversized backpack – some downsizing will happen throughout my trip for sure – but at the same time I’ll be adding on a notebook and probably lots of “junk” I pick up along the way. After checking in, getting a key lock for the locker and walking ’round the nearby shops like a zombie I finally hit bed. Checking for new tickets the next day (tuesday) showed the ticket price had skyrocketed for the wednesday flights, so I figured I would just have to wait and see if they dropped right before departure (like the tuesday tickets already had) or possibly try stand by – not knowing if that was even a posibility.

Walking around the Santa Monica area can be interesting, but not overly exciting in any way. As we don’t have Carl’s Jr. in Norway, and me falling in love with their lettuce wrap superstar during last summer’s U.S West Coast Road trip, I had to track down their nearest burger joint for some of the good stuff!

And of course I had to take a stroll on the Santa Monica pier

Still suffering from jet lag and spending quite a bit of ime with ticket research thanks to Supersaver.com, there’s not much more to report on for tuesday.

Being a bit diet damaged I of course also searched out and visited the WholeFoodsMarket and accidentally found the Co-operative store which was also pretty good.
Also managed to drop by a T-Mobile store for a pay-as-you-go phone plan.

In the evening I hooked up with some Australians in my dorm and ended up sharing a shuttle with them to the airport early (7 am) Β next morning.
The tickets hadn’t dropped in price when I got up at around 5 am wednesday morning – Hawaiian airlines were fully booked :-/
So I went to the airport hoping to be set up for a stand-by ticket, but turned out they didn’t do that anymore, so I took the bus to Continental’s terminal, and after a long talk with a helpful woman at the counter there I was set up with a return ticket to Honolulu, and a one way ticket to the Big Island. The return from Honolulu had to be before the 15th December or after 11th of January though if I didn’t want to end up with extreme price first class tickets. She told me however that the return date could possibly be changed by calling closer to departure and paying a $150 fee – more about that at a later time.

Finally I had my ticket and was checked in all the way to Hilo on The Big Island!

Check back for next post about my first impressions of the Big Island, and then my one month review of my initial eco-rental there πŸ˜€
(This is posted about 1+ month late due to not having a computer on arrival and poor internet access in the Pahoa Jungle πŸ˜‰ ).