Travel 2024

You’re lucky nobody tried to open a window.

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I once was on a similar flight. It was a domestic Malaysian from J.B. to Sarawak. Propeller plane with one sputtering engine and NO air. Center seat, sweating profusely and not liking the “adventure”.

That might’ve been preferable, actually.

I flew from Koh Samui to Bangkok on a domestic Thai airline once. We hadn’t finished the initial climb when the flight started wheeling the beverage cart through the cabin. I admired their audacity and efficiency, but I’m still surprised no one was injured.

Yeah - done of those short hops in Thailand are pretty hair-raising.

I was once on a crop duster from Anchorage to Kenai, sitting next to the pilot, when I noticed the door didn’t latch. I nervously told the pilot, and he said “yeah, been meaning to fix that latch. Don’t worry, as long as we’re in the air you couldn’t push it open if you tried.” Pause…”but when we start to land you might want to go ahead and grab that handle”. I held it closed as hard as I could the whole flight.


I flew Spirit Airlines to Las Vegas once…ONCE!


Air Tahiti service 2 weeks ago from Papeete to Raiatea was not bad- flew on an ATR for the first time and we were allowed to bring our own booze.
That made things fun.

For the flight attendants, not so much.

I know we’re not supposed to post links to our own endeavors, but I’m really proud of this, so I’m breaking the rules. I’m ok being banned. Divertimento Cubano, April 16-24, 2023 -


Oh yeah, you’re way banned, because reasons.

We all do want to hear all about it, though.

That was great Neil.

I’m not overly experienced with saltwater flyfishing but I’ve dipped more than my toes into it and your article has every trip I’ve done flashing thru my brain.

And if Geirach fished the flats he might have penned this:

If God really loved my fishing he would put a bright orange stripe down each bonefish’s back

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I’m excited about this.

Neil, that was damn fine. Related well to your difficulty in seeing the fish–had the same issue on first trip to S.Africa–my PH whispering, “He’s right there, see him?” Again, great piece, sir. Well done.

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Neil, I have vicariously enjoyed your fishing trips by reading your accounts. I almost feel like I was along on those trips. Can’t wait for our your Christmas Island trip.


I went there just before the pandemic. It’s one of the top 2 destinations in my life (the other being Croatia). We started in Hanoi for a few days with side trips out to the Ninh Binh Provence, a must see. Spend the day there, rent some bike and just ride around. It’s where they filmed Kong (the movie) and is like Ha Long Bay but on land. Check out the Tam Coc River and hike the Dragon Mountain for some spectacular views. Street food in Hanoi is very, very good but tends towards chinese in style and flavor vs. the south. Leave time to just walk the city, including the federal areas and things like Ho Chi Minh’s tomb. It’s a city of 11m people and 9.5m scooters. I learned there that the Viet cherish life more than anything and are respecters of law and order. Seeing rivers of scooters all going the exact same speed and families all holding hands walking through that river of scooters is awe inspiring and gives me hope for humanity. The rule really is; step off the curb into that flow of machines and you will 100% be ok crossing.

A couple of overarching notes: the people are lovely. All of them. The are welcoming to Americans and want to know your “story”. They will pause their day to learn about you. They have very pragmatic views on the “American war”, seeing it as one part of the overall struggle to birth their self-directed self-governed nation. Starting long before the Americans came. There is still quite a divide between the north and the south. The (relative) wealth of the north is clearly from it being the governmental heart of the nation with very clear development in response to that “industry”. The south has regained some of it’s wealth due to its exceptional agricultural capacity, it’s marine fisheries, it’s natural beauty for tourist $$and their rapid adoption of manufacturing for international consumption. It’s a really interesting contrast and worth inspection. It’s also that place where you’ll see 70 year old PhD’s, doctors, lawyers and the like driving cabs and performing subsidence farming. Many of these are former South Vietnamese high ranking professions and officials that got out of prison right around year 2000 and are unemployable by any legit org there.

I’ll dig up the rest of the itinerary and add it here when I get back from my current trip.


Still a bit bummed that I missed Vietnam when I backpacked through SE Asia several years ago. Originally intended to go, but as so often happens while backpacking with a fairly loose itinerary, I fell in with some folks who had other plans and three months later I had to get on a plane because Harvest was starting in France.

Neil, my wife and I are up in Montana visiting her brother, and we popped into Livingston this morning and went past Dan Bailey’s, where I lusted after a few fly rods for you. Hiking this afternoon, another circuit through Yellowstone tomorrow.


Man, I miss Montana.

Flathead Lake and the surrounding towns is one of my favorite places on earth.

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Next time anyone’s in Colorado, here’s something to strive for, and I want you to catch it with your fly rod


Livingston’s right up there with Mecca and Canterbury as a pilgrimage site.