Star Date:  March 2008
Sri Lanka (Ceylon), Hawaii & Kerala S. India:


Hello Dear Family & Friends!

Aayu boo van!       

(Hello - Sinhalese -Sri Lanka)


A sea of tea plantations.


"It's easier to wear slippers than try carpeting the whole world!" 

The accounts of 'Sinbad the Sailor', from the Arabian tales, "A Thousand and One Nights, told of Sinbad's adventures in Lanka or Serendib, as the Arabs knew it.  He traveled in search of gems and jewels and spent time with the King, on a mountain top filled with gems, exotic plants and animals where "Adam was banished from Paradise."  When returning to Lanka Sinbad was captured by pirates, made a slave, and sent in search of the hidden cemetery of elephants, or so goes the ancient Sri Lankan tale.  With the help of a wise old elephant he found the ivory, returned to his master and together they sold as much of the ivory as they could carry.  Sinbad returned to Baghdad a wealthy man.

Sri Lanka has a rich, colorful history with references made in the Hindu classic, the Ramayana, dating back to the 3rd century B.C.  From then Theravada Buddhism was developed and flourished over the next 1500 years, until invading Hindus from the Indian continent to the north took over.  Seafaring Muslims (7th century) followed by the Portuguese, Dutch, then British all had their influence on this island.  Ceylon, as named by the British, was finally granted independence in 1948.  Sri or 'auspicious' was added to the old name of Lanka in the 1970's.  Whatever the name, the island of Sri Lanka is a fascinating place to visit.  

My Month in Sri Lanka - by Joseph
"Flying into Colombo, Sri Lanka, from Bangkok I found a good room in the central part of the city at the YMCA.  All the budget rooms were snatched up due to a public holiday.  Colombo is a busy and interesting city on the seashore with temples and many old government buildings, plus the home of Arthur C. Clarke, author of the classic book, "2001 - A Space Odyssey".  Because of the Tamil rebel problem and recent bombings there were army security sandbagged stations everywhere, but I found little problem with this.  Good food and smiling faces were the norm.  I enjoyed the many Muslim and Hindu temples and peoples in close communities downtown.
I took the bus to Kandy some 4 hours away.  A mountain capital city on a beautiful lake, there are many great walks around the hills.

North were Sri Lanka's 3 top ancient city sites (for $20 US each or a day pass to all for $40).  I found that these archeological sights were not very exciting as many consisted of only stone posts, the wooden buildings having rotted away long ago.   Looking forward to spending the next year in old India where temples haven't been destroyed and in fact many are still working temples, made the competition tough.  A climb up to the top of the massive 600 ft. high stone hill, (monadnock or inselberg) site of the 5th century palace at Sigiriya afforded royal views of the surrounding area.  As legend has it in 477 King Dhatusena was overthrown and in fact walled in alive by his less than loving son.  Kasyapa fled and decided to build an impregnable fortress atop the large rock.  When revenge finally came 14 years later, Kasyapa mounted his elephant and tried to outflank his half brother's troops.  Instead he took a wrong turn, got bogged down in a swamp, and when his troops deserted him he took his own life.  Karma?   Sigiriya later became a monastic refuge before it was abandoned and only rediscovered by the British in the last century.  The many beautiful caves, frescoes and the stunning view over the countryside from the temple complex on the top was definitely a highlight. 

Back to Kandy via a picturesque train trip amongst the green tea covered hills and through many tunnels brought me to the mountain village of Ella.  After two cold nights, and no wife to keep me warm, I headed to the warmer coastal area of Arugam Bay on the SW coast.  I decided to not stay at the Tsunami Guesthouse for obvious reasons and instead stayed with a wonderful family at their guesthouse for several days. The father at this home stay sadly told me he and his family was gone shopping the day of the big tsunami in 2004, but when he returned everything was flat and over a hundred of his family and friends in this small town were dead. Despite this sad tale the family were very happy and a joy to be around. 

I moved south and west  encountering wild elephants and crocodiles along the way.  There were many small towns on the southern coast, home to clean, warm watered, white sand beaches that reminded me exactly of Hawaii, but far less developed.  Then back to Colombo for a couple days before flying off to Trivandrum in SW India to rendezvous with Nancy and start our next year long adventure in India."  ('Visiting author')

In Bangkok, we had flown in opposite directions around the planet, and as Joseph explored Sri Lanka for 1 month, I flew back to Hawaii to spend time with family and friends.  Really the only thing I miss in our unique but exciting lifestyle on the road is time with family and visits with girlfriends. In the last year my Mom, Laverne had visited us in Vietnam and our daughter Mariah and husband Shane had explored S. Laos with us.  We missed the much hoped for overseas reunion with son Kevin.   Excited but tired after 28 hours flying, I was welcomed to Honolulu with loving arms by Mariah, Shane and my Mom.  We picked up Kevin, our son, who flew in from Colorado the following day.  Hanging out together in Mariah's apartment, up at the top of St. Louis Heights, we spent time doing what we missed, just chilling and catching up on each other's lives.  We also threw a combination Christmas and birthday celebration complete with gifts and dancing, topped off with home baked goodies from 'Gami'.  We cooked up international cuisine, laughed as we shared funny video clips on the internet, exchanged music and loaded Ipods.  Aloha!  Hawaii is an amazing one of a kind place and it will always hold a special place in our hearts.  We spent hours each day tearing around Oahu stopping at beaches, fishing and kayaking at Chinaman's Hat Park and watching the enormous breakers pound the north shore, as surfers caught waves.  We made an effort to share as many sunsets together as possible.  After Kevin flew home my Mom & I spent a heartwarming week visiting friends on the Big Island, the first time back to our home island in almost 5 years.  Mariah joined us for the weekend and we retraced steps visiting our friends and favorite old haunts.   It was as if no time had passed and we were treated royally by all our dear friends.  Feeling a bit between worlds with our life overseas I am thankful everyday for the constant of having all these loving people in my life.  Lunches and catching up with girlfriends in Kona and on Oahu, plus quality time with family totally recharged my battery.  As everyone went back to their busy lives I flew to Bangkok.  Standing at the Royal Bhutanese ticket counter I was surrounded by Nepalese Airlines, Turkish Air, Uzbekistan Airways and Ethiopian Air.  I knew I wasn't in Kansas anymore.  On to Kalcutta, then Trivandrum, in Kerala, South India where I met my dear Joseph once again.  It was my favorite Valentine's Day present to date!

We always go through our annual cleanse after I return from the U. S. hauling the necessary herbs, giving our immune systems a flush and charge.  We are motivated to maintain good health, as poor health would mean the end to our travels as we know them.   We don't worry about how long we will live, we just want to be as healthy and active as possible before passing on to that next exciting destination beyond.  Pulling off our 6 day cleanse in India was a real hoot and if we can do it here - what is your excuse??  Click here to check out our health page for some ideas. 

A good way to ease into India is through the backdoor of Kerala.  A laid back state, one always feels that you are treated with the hospitality and smiles of a rural village.  Joseph has visited India 6 times, including a monumental 6 month, 15,000 km on a public bus trip throughout the country in 1994.  What a great tour guide to be traveling with.  Only my 3rd visit I was happy to see that toilets and streets are now better cleaned, and the standard of living has improved to the point that many of the poorest beggars now have a pair of rubber slippers.  Can you imagine 1.2 billion pairs of slippers, in an area the size of the western U.S.?

From the West we can't even begin to understand the Indian mind set.  It is really important not to set foot on India's shores with our high and mighty western ideals.  That was done for centuries with imperialism, and yet the basic fabric of life here remains unchanged.  The checklist of needed changes, in the opinion of many western tourists would be long, but aren't we traveling as guests to observe the culture of this country?  (Besides we really can't change anyone - only ourselves and our
perceptions).  Instead let's read about India's culture, religions, their belief in reincarnation, study Ayurvedic principles ("Training Your Mind, Healing Your Body" - Deepak Chopra is an excellent introduction).  Savor Indian food, travel light , take a deep breath and jump into the exotic river of life known as India.  In the west we spend a large portion of our energy keeping things clean and organized, but often we are stressed and our minds are cluttered.  India cities are admittedly dirty and disorganized in places, but one look at the laid back, genuine smiles of these beautiful people radiates that their minds may be freer from this internal clutter we often have roaring through our heads.   Who are we to say what is more important in life?   India is "in your face" and it is interesting to see how we each react.  We are forced to examine ourselves.  Modernization is occurring, but unlike other Asian countries, is overshadowed by their vibrant, persistent ancient culture.  We always say, "You just never know what you are going to see in India".   We are never disappointed.       

Exploring the 900 km. network of backwaters is the main drawing card to Kerala.   These waterways lace their way from the coast for miles inland.  Long before roads, the people of Kerala used hand paddled boats to navigate from village to village.  Narrow palm fringed canals open up to lakes where fishermen still use cantilevered Chinese fishing nets, remnants of earlier days of international trade along the coast.  Long boats laden with coir (coconut fiber), copra (dried coconut meat), fruit, vegetables, fish or dried cashew nuts coast along.  Villages of all sizes line the banks, some homesteads no more than 12-15 feet across, literally molded out of the river's mud.  Deciding to catch a public ferry in the morning from Alleppey we cruised with locals past mosques, schools, temples, churches, farms and fishermen during the 1.5 hours to Nedumudi.  When we jumped off we followed the river banks and walked the shady dirt paths lining the small canals behind town.   Water hyacinth, a growing problem, had created a picturesque canal of solid lilac.  This tenacious, choking weed is rapidly changing life along the backwaters; almost as fast as the endless rows of Christian churches.  Only after jumping on a passing ferry did we discover that the first and last boat back to Alleppey from Edathwa  was at 4:30.  We ate a thali plate at a local cafe after being attracted to a loud Christian church service, complete with rousing music and rows of faithful women on woven mats in a colorful sea of silk sarees.  The flashing lights surrounding Jesus on the alter, loud music, microphones and enthusiastic sermons were definitely adapted to local tastes.  Back at the dock we made friends with a couple of 'packs' of  children fooling around on their way home from school.  After riding their "ferry school bus" home they would jump off the boat in the middle of nowhere.  We can still see them yelling "Good Bye!", waving and running the 100 yard dash along the bank with our boat, as we dropped each one off the ferry.  We watched the sun slowly set and light up the sky as stars emerged through the purple and crimson clouds.  Back after dark we were really hungry and stopped by for a tasty mixed vegetable curry and naan at the "Hot Kitchen" before heading home.  We passed a row of luxurious houseboats with generators and TV's blaring; groups of westerners enjoying a meal on deck.  If you decide to take this expensive tourist route make sure your houseboat is a certified operator following proper environmental measures.  Pollution threatens the very existence of these tranquil backwaters.  What took centuries to create is being destroyed in just over a decade.  The wild waterfowl and friendly villagers need our help.  Taking a hand powered canoe is an eco friendly, serene way to explore the smaller back canals.

After a stop at the tourist filled but fun beach resort town of Varkala, we relaxed in the shady tree lined city of historic Ft. Cochin.  The highlight of our daily explorations of the island sights was a sunset stroll along the oceanfront promenade, joining throngs of locals enjoying the vibrant colors and silhouettes of the massive Chinese fishing nets lining the shore.  We spent Joseph's birthday exploring the historical sights of Ft. Cochin from Jew Town to 15th century Christian churches to Mattancherry Palace, the highlight there being a mural depicting a smiling Krishna keeping 8 milkmaids happy with his 6 hands and 2 feet.  The evening was spent watching the unique and colorful Kerala Kathakali Theater.  It was a fun start to a new year for Joseph.

It was here that we serendipitously met up with a long time dear friend, Geri, from our home on the Big Island of Hawaii. While in Hawaii I found out that she had moved overseas 4 years earlier, spending summers in Turkey & Greece and winters in Southern India.  The wonder of email connected us and we spent many joyful hours with her at her Ayurvedic home stay, up along Cherai Beach on neighboring Vypeen Island and meetings for lunch back in Ft. Cochin.  As our travel plans change we may even see her again in Tamil Nadu or Turkey following a journey through the Middle East.  We are only an email away and are open to a rendezvous with family and old or new friends at the drop of a hat!  What are you waiting for?  Where will our orbits collide?   See you then!

Climbing up into the verdant, green mountains of Munnar was a welcome relief from the coastal heat.  Awakening to glorious, sunny mornings we were inspired to walk back into the green tea-lined hills beyond our guesthouse.  We were soon enveloped in silence, awed by the spectacle of mile after mile of rich, lush tea plantations.  Not a tourist in sight during our more than 10 mile loop, we got lost in another world, sharing our time and smiles with the tea workers and their families in this endless sea of tea.  Demand for the brew, mainly from the U.K. and Canada, keeps these Keralans housed and fed.  Although they live in spartan rooms and attend meager company schools, etc the fresh air and dazzling surroundings create an undeniably delightful, wholesome place in which to grow up and live.  We were invited in for tea several times, a grand occasion involving changing into new sarees, heating the brew, dusting off 'best' tea cups, and explaining who everyone was in each photo gracing their walls; everyone including Grandpa, "me 40 years ago", and even Krishna or Jesus.  The women or family groups loved having their picture taken and we promised to print and mail photos to several homes, especially Mary and her Mom, Mother Mary.  They got a kick out of the fact that they had invited Saint Joseph in for a visit and a photo of the blessed couple, Mother Mary and Joseph was requested.  Back at our guesthouse we cooked downstairs nightly with the helpful visiting daughter, Saraswathy and 10 mo. old baby Aathira.  We had lots of fun bathing the baby and learning how to massage her with perfumed oil, and finally putting the cosmetic black dots on her little face, setting them with talcum powder to prevent smearing.  The black make up, often used around the baby's eyes and eyebrows is one of those curious beauty habits that are fun to observe.  Once used to ward off evil spirits, Saraswathy said it was now simply for cosmetic reasons  All the girl babies also wear a silver or gold chain around their tummies, earrings, and matching anklets.   Amid great protest a new bright yellow dress covered Aathira's wriggling body.  Mom's bright sari made for a gorgeous photo, a copy of which we just had to send to them.  The friendliness of the people around Munnar was heartwarming and we hardly noticed cold hill-station nights.


And so it goes.........................................Next month the Southern Indian State of Tamil Nadu.   Until then we can remember to observe those around us and allow them their path - different as it may be from our own.  And don't forget to "pack those slippers!" 

This website started off in 2004 as a notice to family and friends interested in our travels.  Last month, with Burma or Myanmar featured, we had 12,000 hits and rising, from over 30 countries (excluding spiders).  Glad to see that the word has gotten out and so many people are along on our trip.  Our aim is to simply ‘Share the World’ and let everyone know how amazing people and cultures are worldwide.  Also getting the word out that not only is it interesting out here in the far corners of the planet but inexpensive and safe.  We feel every country or place has 95% good people and 5% ‘having problems’.  Once the fear of the unknown is dissolved, it is possible for ANYONE to travel or live overseas for less than it costs back home.  We offer ideas on how this can be done and great destinations to consider.    

So if you feel inspired (and want good luck for the next 7 years, haha) feel free to send this notice to all your friends and colleagues on your email list.  They may enjoy our writings and photos or may know of someone on their list that is in the mood for globetrotting.  Help spread the word or as Louie Armstrong would sing – “What a Wonderful World”.  Thanks.

We are glad you stopped by.  Thanks for remembering us and keeping in touch.   Take care & Keep smiling!


Love, Light & Laughter, 
xoxoox  Nancy & Joseph


Travel notes:

$1.00US = 108 Sri Lankan Rupee.

$1.00US = 38 Indian Rupee.

$1.00US = in Hawaii buys less and less each year!

Sri Lanka:

The Old Empire Inn: A great guesthouse downtown overlooking the lake.

Mandilla Beach, Tangelle:
Green Jewel Cabanas, Tel # 047 2240827  cell: 0714227262  Incredible place and view  500 a night for a week or longer and you will want to stay that long!

India:  Kerala State

Hotel B. G. Plaza, Sangeeth Nagar Model School Jn., phone # 0471-2322524. (350r)  Most places in the capitol are around 400r and up.  This newish place is clean and they provide filtered water.  The street noise is bearable with earplugs.  A small internet across the alley.  Avoid the city during the big noisy mid Feb ceremony.  There is No Sleeping with hundreds of enormous speakers lining the streets.

Vaishakham Beach Resort, Cliff helipad, Roshini and boys Telephone # 9846168634, towards the beach on the left from Rubybleu Guesthouse (a backpacker hangout),   There are many reasonably priced places along the backstreets - just walk around and you will find something good.

We found the friendly folks, Naomi and Ken, at the African Village Guesthouse, interesting and welcoming.  A great place to hang out, especially if you like drumming.  They give classes and have a fun Reggae Sat night party with drumming and authentic African food prepared by Ken.  Worth checking out.  phone # 9895160615,  more info:  or (Down the road from Rubybleu - away from the beach).

A good route, if heading north up the west coast would be from Allepey, by ferry inland Through Kottayam, bus to Kumily (mainly for the scenery) and after a stay near the Periyar Wildlife Sactuary continue by bus on to Munnar and back to the coast at Ft Cochin.  The hill stations are a cool change from the hot coastal weather and worth the trip up if you have the time.


Ice Home stay:  opposite the KSRTC Bus Station, across the canal, Punnamada Rd.  Phone # 91 93884 41862,  200-300r for the only quiet room in the back.  Let Sajith and his brother eagerly help you with any of your needs.  They can tell you which villages to visit by backwater public ferry or hire a canoe for a quiet backwater experience (100-150r per hour).  Anywhere can arrange one of the expensive overnight houseboat trips (starting at $60).

If the quiet room is full try the Palmy Residency (300r) for a quiet back alley room.  Both hotels are near the jetty and the canal.

Villages to visit by ferry for 5-8r each.  Just ask at the jetty. 1 hr - Nedumudi;  2 1/2 hours connect there for Edathwa another 1 1/2 hours.  Last boat back at 4:30. Another good destination is Kainakari.

Fort Cochin:
Be good to yourself and stay out on Ft. Cochin Island.  Avoid the busy mainland cities.  Large shade trees and ocean walks are pleasant here and there are many, many guesthouses.  We stayed at Rosa - Rio Homestay, 1/313 Parade Rd,  Phone # 091 484 2215495,  Quiet, friendly basic but cleaned with white gloves by Sakeer and his wife.  Bigger bathrooms than many bedrooms we have stayed in.  Refill water (5-10r) - a big bonus.  5 min walk to the ocean. (350r low season).

Kerala Kathakali Centre:  Near Vypin Boat Jetty,  phone # 2217552, a one of a kind performance.  Go early to watch the intricate face painting (paint made of minerals ground with coconut oil).  Each actor requires a minimum of 1 1/2 hours to complete his makeup.  Quite fascinating.  Makeup starts at 5pm - show 6:30 till 8pm.  150r per person.

New Ananda Bhavan - A Vegetarian Hotel:  Left from the Vypeen Island ferry - on the right side.  Thali plate 25r at lunch, served on banana leaf  with the locals if you want  and masala dosai 15r, etc. other times.  They run a tight ship but the food is good.

Arches Hotel: Rooftop dining and free traditional dancing from 7:30 - 8:30 nightly.  Really tasty food starting at only 40r for mixed vegetable curry & naan. 

The classy restaurant next to Harbour House Restaurant serves excellent curries and rice with entrees for 100-120r.  Crisp white table cloths and candle light ambience. 

24 hour internet - Synchronize Tele # 91 484 6981295 good connection, across from the Enukulam jetty.  Many others in tourist area but this has a 15 min backup for power outages.  Friendly Muslim owners - so it's open on Hindu & Christian holidays - of which there are many in Kerala.

Vypeen Island:
(across from Ft. Cochin)
Ayurvedic: The Study of Life  The Wisdom of Life or Balance of Life,  Consciousness is primary, matter is secondary.


Highly recommended Ayurveda Center
Sree Narayana Holistic Clinic
Vypeen Island Kerala, India
Phone #  +91 484 2502362

Dr P. S. Subhash & wife Mrs. Jancy Subhash
Gentle sincere healers of the body and spirit.  15-21 day detox and healing programs.  Check for shorter stays or treatments.  Medium priced.  Stay at traditional Kerala house along the backwaters with Ayurvedic diet & medicine.  Albin's Glory Homestay:  For clients only, totally inclusive room, board & transportation to Ayurvedic Clinic.  Quiet backwater setting with other clients (many from Germany).

Cherai Beach:
Seamen's Village:  North end of Cherai Beach.  Phone# 0091 - 9847 334486. (300-400r)  Recently bought by a 'Frenchman' these 3 little units, although basic, are completely isolated and quiet, away from the bustle of Indian tourists frolicking on Cherai beach.  This end of the beach has a large stone wall, great for spectacular sunsets, and a few small hotels amongst fishing villages.  Good food at Brighton Beach Resort 500 m down the road (650r rooms off season - 1500 high season Nov-Jan.) Vipin and his family, who used to own Seaman's, are managing it for the new owners.  They are wonderful people, but aside from providing a bottle of boiled water a day you are on your own - which we like.  You can catch a bus from the bridge or ferry in the south, up to Chennai junction - then a rickshaw out for 40r to the north end of the beach - or transfer to a bus that supposedly runs by every 30 min. 

We had Albert try to persuade us to stay at his private home further north up the beach.  Aaryan - Private Beach Home Stay, phone # 9947090049, is a full home with 2 bedrooms, and kitchen.  We told him we only wanted to pay 350r and he sounded like he wanted to negotiate.  Basically off season Feb-Nov (June the high seas and monsoon start) negotiation is the name of the game.  Worth checking out if Seaman's start building newer, more expensive units.  

When you arrive by bus allow a rickshaw driver to take you to Old Munnar (15-20r) to the little side street lined with home stays (Green View or JJ's, etc.  Shop around and get a good price.

We stayed with the extremely friendly folks at the Durga Inn near the end of the little road, phone # 04865 - 230529.  Only open 20 days the small but spotless rooms (350r) came with the usual one hot water faucet, filtered drinking water, crisp sheets and plenty of warm blankets. 

Probably the best part of staying in this area of Old Munnar, besides being quiet is that you can simply get up in the morning and walk into the hills for endless miles.  Fantastic.  Get lost in the verdant tea plantations and spend a whole day without tourists.  A much better option than rattling along for hours in a noisy rickshaw only to stop at places where other tourists stop.


Aloha!  Ideas for a more economic trip to Hawaii.
Book hotels ahead on the internet as there are sometimes really good deals on airfare and hotel.  Check the Lonely Planet for hostels or budget hotels.  Hawaii is a very expensive destination - the lowest priced family owned motels starting at $60/night.  When landing on Oahu you can take a shuttle right into Waikiki for $8 or the best deal in Hawaii is 'The Bus' - you can go anywhere, even around Oahu all day, for $1.50.  Renting a car via the internet is as low as $20/day.  Rent using a credit card that covers collision and damage (such as United Airlines Visa card).  Check your card's coverage - this is a standard feature of credit cards now.  On Oahu enjoy Waikiki and rent a car for 1 day.  Drive towards Diamond Head Crater, Makapu, and follow the ocean all the way to the big waves of the north shore.  A glorious day of beaches, parks and scenery is guaranteed.  Take the highway from northernmost Haleiwa back to Honolulu through the center of the island.  Taking in a day at the Polynesian Cultural Center is also worth the expense once.  A close up look at the customs, crafts and dances of all the Polynesian islanders - who have been brought to Oahu  by the Mormons - for this very purpose.  My favorite tradition is a sunset dinner on the terrace of the Sheraton Moana Surfrider, listening to live music and enjoying hula.  Make a reservation for 5pm.  This is one of the original, classy old hotels in Waikiki and hasn't lost it's charm.  A light dinner of soup/salad/desert is possible for $8-$10 an item.  It is worth it.  Dress up. You can also just walk in from the beach and find a chair to watch the sunset and show from the courtyard.  (The food at the ocean side bar is the same price as the up scale Terrace Restaurant. )  Treat yourself.

The Big Island:

Our favorite island and home, is so big that all the other islands fit into it.  It takes minimum 10 hours to drive around.  Rural coffee farms, forests, and totally laid back little towns await.  You are also treated to beautiful resorts and beaches on the Kona coast, and as you work around south from Kona some highlights are the sacred beach of Honaunau - 'City of Refuge'; molten orange lava flowing from active Kilauea volcano; the eclectic city of Pahoa in Puna, a throw back of the 70's hippy days.   Take the Red Road back into the charming markets and shopping of Hilo before exploring the wide open expanse of the largest ranch in Hawaii - Parker Ranch in Waimea.  Drop in for lunch at the Hilton Waikoloa and ride the monorail or boats around this one of a kind upscale resort - stopping at the dolphin pool to get a close up look at these amazing mammals.  Stop me.  Having lived there for 13 years we know so many places and hidden beaches, etc.  It takes a minimum of 2 days to even see some of these sights.  Start in Kona and spend the night in Hilo.  You have to rent a car on this massive island as buses don't exist.  There are a few lower priced hotels ($50-$70) but the only way to do it cheap would be to rent a car and make reservations to camp at the various county parks scattered around the island.  This must be arranged via the County Parks and Recreation Departments in Hilo or Captain Cook.   Only $3-$5 a night for decent campgrounds but the reservations must be in advance .  Don't even try to camp without your permit - they check and toss out 'lurpers'.  People are friendly at the campgrounds, but lock up your stuff when you leave.  Keep valuables out of sight in your rental car. 

Each island has it's own sights and charm - limited camping is also available on Kauai and Molokai.  Maui is busy, without good camping, but of course the beach hotels are fantastic but expensive.   Inter island flights are currently $40 each direction.






Wise old elephants are worshipped and hold a
place of honor in Sri Lankan temple ceremonies.


A bicycle built for 4!


"Now what was the meaning of life?"


Sigiriya  Fortress offers stunning views of the surrounding area.


Laughter is a universal language.  If you aren't smiling after looking
at these guys something is wrong.


Kerala Kathakali actor in Ft Cochin.   Preparation for this
ancient theater form requires a minimum of 1 1/2 hours
to put on his makeup before the musical begins.


Nets at sunset.


Serene Kerala backwaters.


Moms, Grandmas and Aunties all riding on the backwater ferries
of Kerala. Babies are decorated with black make up.


Spanky and his gang on their way home from school.


Traditional Keralan dancing boasts intriguing costumes and moves.


Tea workers relaxing back at their hut in Munnar.


The crew, having fun together back in Hawaii.
(Daughter Mariah, son Kevin, Mom, alias Gami, & 'moi').


Kayaking and fishing at Chinaman's Hat Park on Oahu;
with son-in-law Shane, Mariah & Kevin.







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Joseph's trip around Sri Lanka