Error Fare: diving and relaxing on Palau

PALAU, finally!!!

We arrived and it was hooooooooot and humid. Holy moly.

After my friend declared all his cigarettes and paid the horrendous taxes the adventure on the island could begin. But before I start telling my adventure of Palua I have to add one additional comment to the taxes: after the whole procedure, we found out that we did not declare all goods, some of the goods were for free ;).

Anyway Mr. Popeye waited for us; we were surprised due to the unexpected Popeye-person. He was an employee of fish n fins (diving company) who was in charge of the lunch choice for the next day. We both chose our meal and proceed to our bus driver, who was already waiting for us. Also some other travellers / tourists were waiting inside the bus. Some of them also booked the error fare. Anyway after 10 minutes of driving our bus driver started to swear and we did not know then what the reason was. But unfortunately we found it out some minutes later when the bus broke down and stopped on the side of the road… of course as an experienced traveller we took it easy and cheered on it with a good sip out of our whiskey. The incident did not last long and a helpful colleague help our bus driver out. Our new driver picked us up and finally we could check in in our room.

Ps: Mr. Popeye was not his real name but he had a cap on and also his facial hair was similar to the famous cartoon figure.

Early to bed and waking up early our driver from fish n fins waited already (really Swissness: on time) and finally our diving adventures started. After trying out fins, diving computer, goggles, belt and jacket. We had to finish some paperwork with our favourite Japanese dive master Hiro (our hero). First time on the boat some instructions about diving, the boat trip started. Holy shit was that awesome even thou the weather was bad. We had great fun on the trip to our training island. On the way there the rain drops destroyed our whole face. The pain was like a small needle which poked our face with a frequency of 4 Hz. :D. That was a nice experience, long time ago I had such great fun. On that day we had our first dive, uuuuuuu I was excited like a 6 year old boy before Christmas. The whole journey was already worth it!
Ps: that day we got a completely different lunch than we order but still good ;).

Finally at the hotel, we could get some rest. I think, on that night we had one beer and two chicken noodle soups and nothing else was done that evening/night. Also that night I barely slept because we had to change room before going to bed due to a misunderstanding. So we got a double bed with two mattresses above each other.

At this point I have to explain the physics behind our double-bed.

Think of a system that consists of a stable base and two springs connected to each other (in series). Above those two springs was a mass (m). Mass m = body1 + body2. Some of you already know to what this leads therefore I post now the solution for that.

simg488

So anyway in normal non physics language: when my friend moved a little bit I felt a relative displacement up and down, of course also vice versa. This led to an uncomfortable sleep or in my case no sleep at all.

Next morning I was totally destroyed. My friend referred to me as a zombie due to the lack of sleep I could not enjoy the day until we were finally underwater again at -14 meters. That feeling is indescribable and I felt better and more awake than before. Also the awesome task we had to do intense the experience. We had to take off our diving goggles and Hiro took our hand and guided us for about 1 minute around in the deep, during that time our eyes were closed due to the salt water. After the time passed we geared up again and had to clear our mask from water with the help of air and the nose. Simply interesting! The diving trip was awesome and we enjoyed the ride back to fish n fins head quarter where we cleaned everything as usual.

Back at the hotel I took a small nap. This night was night market in Palau. I think this event is the only thing that brings the people from Palau together. A wide variety of food was available there. Also some really nice juices and cocktails were in offer. We shared a strange cocktail with some “strange fruits” in it, Tapioka was it called. At the same time the Tapioka was a strange experience but very delicious. For food we ordered red curry with self-made nan mhhhhhhhh. That night a the night market we would like to have staid longer but the past days drained too much energy and we had still one diving day to pass/survive. The last few days were very draining therefore we headed back to our hotel.

Last day of diving was the top of Palau. First dive that day was a dive with some navigation tasks to do near Ulong sandbar, which was a really nice scenery.

Between the two dives that day I went snorkelling and took some pictures.
Ps: We were not allowed to take the camera with us during the open water course (fully understandable the prohibition).
The location for snorkelling was on point. I could not even jump in due to the corals and the low water level.

Enjoy the pictures!!!

Last dive, the best dive so far in my big diving career ;). We were descending for diving trough the Ulong-Channel. The scenery, the feeling and the force of the current are hard to describe but I want to give my best: We were at 18m depth at the hooking point. From there we dove around the cliffs. Right next to us on the right side you could see the amazing depth of the ocean. It was soooo deep that you just saw the darkness down there. On the left side we experienced the vast variety of the living organisms in the ocean. Green, yellow, blue, grey, red etc. Every colour you can imagine was included in the scenery. Suddenly we could see the entrance to the channel. The current was strong and you had to pay attention to your buoyancy. At that point also we watched a shark hunting a school of fish, it was so intense! The rollercoaster ride started when we let us propel by the strong current. The ride was awesome and also the sleeping shark, which we crossed over, was unbelievable and breath-taking. Also breath-taking was my pressure gauge from my air tank; it indicated 30 bars which are kind of low. I let the instructor know and soon we prepared for the ascending and a safety stop at 5 meter. Was that adventurous and exciting, this will not be my last dive for sure!!!

Next day was a relaxing day and also a raining day. We went to the only place for sunbathing and swimming. It was a public park, despite the rain and the low temperature we had a swim in the water and also tried our new obtained diving gear.

***public park on google maps***

That day was simply necessary for recharging our drained batteries. Also that day we were looking around for renting a car unfortunately we were too spontaneous, no car dealer had any car for renting, they were sold out. But in the end we found a car dealer that had some cars left for renting. It was a Mustang car rent company for a quite high daily rent price.

My friend and I discussed a lot about what we should do. In the end and after an intense discussion we came to a final decision. LETS DO IT rent a fucking Mustang on a fucking small island which is fucking nowhere. Our main reason was that we wanted to see the rest of the island and also that we will not come back the next 10 years therefore we decided to rent the car. So that day we already did the paperwork and paid the fee and the deposit. Also the appointment next morning was set with a private lift from our hotel to the car dealer.

***Click here for the Mustang car trip around the island***

Boquete

Arrived in David we ate in a cantina until we caught our next bus to Boquete. The prize was fair and the food delicous. I just remember that my friend received a broken key from the person, who went before her to the toilet. So she was in a bad situation and had to give back the broken key….. Anyway after that bad incident we regarged our luck and took our ride to Boqeute.

Oh the bus drive was awesome I am not sure anymore how long it tooks us, I did not care because the whole bus was filled with nice regeton music all the way to Boquete.

We arrived, took our laguage and walked to our hostel in the north of Boquete. It was called Hotel Central Boquete and they had their own jacuzzi. It was the 24th of december and we were really hungry and of course we took a speacial dinner that night with good wine and a dessert.

imag2037

I just told you that the hotel had a jacuzzi so before we left the hotel we asked the nicley if they could set up the jacuzzi therefore when we arrived at the hotel we got changed and jumped in “our” jacuzzi……. AWESOME.

After “this dessert”, I rewared myself with the cherry on top and that was a cigarr and good ron with coke.

lower006

Next day, unfortunately it was 25th, everything was closed so we had a small stroll around Boqeute and enjoyed the relaxed calm atmosphere.

 

 

For breakfast we had special oatmeal from our friendly american. The “special” ingredients were following:

  • dried prunes
  • allmonds
  • nuts
  • and last but not least Lurpark butter for a nice taste and
  • one bag of Quaker Instant oatmeal.

I preffered the apple & cinnamon taste… MHMHMHMH.
After that some hot water was added and we let it rest for around 2 minutes, astonishing!!!
Party in my mouth!!!

It was 26th, time to say goodbye to my friend. We started our last bus drive together to David where I said them goodbye and took my bus to Panama City where I enjoyed my last days.

Unfortunately I forgot all prices and duration of the travel…

Travel E-Safety #boardingpass

Never ever post your Boarding pass with all information!!!

 

This is my first article about E-saftety.
I did also some tries with my old pictures of my boarding passes, which I have never posted online (of course) due to safety reasons.
But nevertheless I was interested in the results I got from just a normal screenshot of my barcode on my boardingpass.

img_004481

Just with this small picture I could gather more information.

With the help of:
https://online-barcode-reader.inliteresearch.com/

I found out my booking reference (PNR), my iberia miles gather number and also all the middle names you need for changing your bookings.

img_004482

So my advice to you is never ever post your boardingpass on instagram or other social media without covering important data like PNR, Names and barcode.

Also with the help of checkmytrip.com you could find out all flights which were booked together with the flight above. Also if you know the airway you could change the ticket or chose refund and you get “flight money” for it. More information you will find in the youtube video. It is really an interesting talk.

 

Anyway I made a test with instagram.
Lets look what is online:

#boardingpass on instagram

Oh look here a picture with all information needed:
for private reason I covered all important data.

img_004543

On the picture all relevant data was visible even the PNR, name and airway.
But I tried it out by myself and took a screenshot just of the barcode.

img_004544

Hit. Name was right and even the PNR was correct. Next step was to find more information about the whole flight.

I tried my luck and look what I found:
Maybe this time not that successful but imagine if somebody does it to make a fraud.

img_004545

 

Amsterdam and Taipei

It was Saturday the 5th of November, I was ready for my next adventure!!! Our first destination was AMS. Our plan was to experience AMS for two full nights. On our first night out we went to the rembrandtplein, where we had a huge choice of different clubs. Our choice fell on the PRIME club. At the time the club was not crowded and we had great fun there. Also the hidden storage room incident on the dance floor was amazing. It was a long night, with the first sun rays we went to our beds in the hostel Meeting Point. After some hours of charging I organize two wok to walk and some beers. The whole Sunday we relaxed with playing Jass (a Swiss card game) and enjoying great Dutch beer. For dinner we grant us a huge doner kebab plate due to the future lack of kebab on Palau. We left the really really cold Amsterdam behind us and had a small stay over in Bangkok, as far as I could remember 5h. We enjoyed our holidays to the fullest with local liquor and food until we could board again.

Next destination TPE.

Taipei the capital city of Taiwan was waiting for us. In front of us was a 22 h stay over in TPE. From the airport we took a bus to the city centre (125 NTD) and takes approx. 1h (for further information please click here. For my travel mate we wanted to organize a snorkel and diving glasses due to the low prices in Asia, we thought so. But in the end we realized that diving gear is horrendous expensive in Taiwan (imported from Japan) more expensive then in Switzerland, we could not believe that. With no additional gear we headed to our hostel (Ximen WOW hostel). This hostel was absolutely amazing and affordable (580 NTD or ca. CHF 19.-), I would rate it 10 out of 10 or 9/11….
The same night we took a taxi from Ximen to Taipei 101, normally I take the metro or cheaper transportation but in this case time was more valuable than money.
Was absolutely astonishing, Taipei 101 even just from the ground. What do you do on a Tuesday night in Taipei?
Yeah you are right you go early to bed because next day we had to catch the flight at 13:35.
Of course NOT!!!!! The destination was WAVE club, all you can drink for around 800 NTD or let’ say CHF 25.-. Ouuu was that fun but the queuing system was really strange, you had to queue a line like for waiting for the TSA. And then at the end you had to handle your empty glass or bottle to the barkeeper for getting the next drink, first time you had to handle him/her the coupon you got at the entrance. Also for small really little shots glasses you had to queue 5-7 minutes…… Then no wonder that some people queued and when they got their drink queued again and while waiting in the queue they could enjoy their liquids. Again late in our bed, alarm clock set to 08:00.

You could see the 2-3 h sleep in the eyes of my mate (like wet whatever), no further comments….. We appreciated our nap on our bus trip to the airport…

 

FINAL DESINATION was the next statement!!!

***PALAU***

One night in Bangkok

After a pleasant flight from Cairns to Sydney and an interesting conversation with a gentleman next to me (whose birthday was also on that date). Anyway the gentleman recommended me a lot what to do in Bangkok and the Maitre de Cabine handle him for a small birthday gift, a good champagne for celebrating his day.
Anyway I was the lucky guy due to hi dislike of alcohol I got the champagne which I enjoyed later that day in Sydney.

After another night in Sydney my final destination was in range. Just some hours between me and one night in Bangkok.

Finally I arrived at my hostel near Sala Daeng. The way was pretty easy. The trains were marked very well and you had enough signs to find your way to the right stations. After a shower I went to MBK for having a dinner and a walk around the many floors. Unfortunately I was a little late. Some shops were already closed and the food court was being already cleaned. Fortunately I could get spicy chicken and a red curry. Both were really delicious but still I was a little bit sad due to the missed green curry, which was recommended by the gentleman on the flight to Sydney.

After the dinner I walked around the shop.

Later than I took a scooter from MBK to Sala Daeng where I had a walk around the red light district. Yeah it was a strange experience more chaotic than Amsterdam, I guess Asian vs. Europe, but still fun to watch and to talk with the promoters.

After that walk I had in the district I enjoyed a small snack from a street food cart. It consists of fried chicken with a spicy sauce, really delicious and horrendous cheap. Moreover I still had time and went to the vertigo and moon bar. Anyway there was a dress code and that night I was walking around with my flip flops………. (First time I went out with my flip flops ever)
Bad luck for me. I will visits the bar next time when I am in Bangkok.

Next morning I started little earlier so I could enjoy more from Bangkok.
For breakfast I ate two dough balls with pork inside, how are they called, someone has an idea? And a fresh mango.

Because I did not use a lot of money yet (due to the cancelled vertigo bar trip) I took a tuck tuck to the train (ratchaprarop).

At the airport I bought also mango with sticky rice, really expensive (maybe too expensive) but I had to try it out for fulfilling my Bangkok experience before my in 4 weeks around the world trip ends.

The sticky rice was DELICOUS!!! Also the coconut sauce was awesome.

All in all it was a nice experience and for sure I have to go there another time. I just had a small glimpse of Bangkok but it was still worth it. 😉

 

Recommendations:
MBK for shopping
Sticky rice with mango
try out the food from the food carts during night
take a glimpse of the red light district
try out the green curry dish
enjoy a beer at the vertigo bar (in progress)