, November 22nd, 2014
In Bali, you can hire your driver-guide-photographer to take you to iconic attractions and stunning spots for portraits and snapshots of you and your travel companion. For a modest day trip fee, Wayan at BaliTransport.com will take some memorable photos of your tryst across the Island of the Gods and give you the photos for free at the end of the tour and photo safari. This is certainly easier than asking random strangers to take photos of you and yours with your camera, that may or may not be in focus.
Of course, if you carry a smartphone with a good lens and have long arms, you generally can get some interesting selfies to stow in your online album or instantly post on Facebook. Our editor, The Rainbow Rambler, has compiled a list of places for gay travelers to grab poses that will make their friends back home green with envy.
Best Bali Selfie Spots for LGBT Visitors
1. Mt. Agung in the background (the highest volcano on the island)
Full Story at Rainbow Tourism | Indonesia Gay Travel Resources
2. Tanah Lot Temple at low tide (The most visited temple in Bali)
, November 22nd, 2014
If you want to see anything on the island, you’re either going to need to get a rental car or take a tour. Fortunately, rental cars are fairly reasonable here. We spent about $220 for a midsized car with four doors from Hertz.
A quick island note: first, when we say Highway, remember that everything is relative. On 95% of the island, the “Highway” is a two lane road that would barely qualify for country road status on the mainland, so restaurants and accommodations near the highway are much quieter than you might assume.
You may hear the terms “mauka” and “makai” when you are getting directions on Kauai. Mauka refers to the mountain side of the road, while makai is the sea side.
There are several highway traffic choke points on the island. Between Lihue and Kapa’a is where the worst island traffic lies, especially in the afternoon. Although the island population currently hovers around 65,000, tourism in the high seasons can more than double that number, and the road infrastructure is not built to handle it.
To help, the County built a bypass road that leaves the oceanside just past Wailua and cuts through old sugarcane land inland, coming back to the water at Kapa’a. Using this bypass at a busy time can shave 10-15 minutes off your drive to or from the north shore, though it’s not as pretty as the coastal drive.
Sometimes even the bypass doesn’t help, as we found out one afternoon. There was a nasty car wreck just before the southern end of the bypass, and the highway was shut down for several hours, making traffic brutal. We sat in the car, eventually turning off the radio and sweltering in the afternoon sun, until they finally rerouted traffic off the road through of the side roads. So you gotta just grin and remember the mantra – at least we’re in Hawaii!
There’s another bypass road in Koloa Town – after you leave the Tunnel of Trees going south, you’ll see a sign for the bypass – make a left, and it will take you around Koloa to the resorts down on the eastern side of Poipu. But if you’re going the western part of Poipu, or if it’s just your first time here, you’ll want to go straight ahead to and through Koloa Town.
The speed limits on the island are also absurdly low in some places – 25 mph on the Koloa bypass on a straight road with nothing around it. The police like to sit on the sides of these roads, often hidden or partially hidden from view – they make great speed traps, so speed AYOR.
There are a number of one-way bridges on the north shore, starting just before Hanalei. A note about one-way-bridge etiquette – when you approach one, watch for traffic from the other side. The right-of-way belongs to the car that gets there first. That car crosses the bridge, along with up to six more cars waiting on that side. Then the other side proceeds, again until up to six cars have crossed the bridge.
In practice, all the waiting cars on each side usually go at once. Either way, this helps assure the most efficient flow, rather than going every other car. It’s a bit tricky at first, but you’ll quickly get the hang of it.
While you are on-island, you will run into the occasional tourist or local who has oodles of time on his/her hands, and who insists on driving down the 50 mph two lane road at 30 mph. Just take a deep breath and say to yourself:
“I am in Hawaii.”
Kauai Gay Travel Resources
, November 22nd, 2014
In the 15+ years that they have been recording and performing as a band, they have accomplished something that for most artists is only a dream: they have built a career with a solid foundation, seemingly impenetrable by the shifting sands of the record industry and the economy. For much of the last decade, Sister Hazel http://glynnhouse.com/events has built an empire of ‘Hazelnuts’ through hard work and plain-old, undeniable talent. From a musical perspective, the band has always had the same approach to the creative process. The engine that drives them is based on the fundamental principles that attracted the attention of a major label, garnered hit singles on the radio and endeared them to a legion of avid fans: well-crafted, hook-infused songs complimented by solid instrumentation and lush harmony vocals.
The romantic Glynn House Inn – situated in the heart of New Hampshire’s White Mountains and Lakes Region – offers guests and exceptional experience. A full gluten free breakfast menu is always available. Bring your four-footed canine pal on holiday and reserve one of five pet friendly rooms. Venture away from the Inn and enjoy antiquing, art galleries, boating, fine dining, fishing, golf, hiking, historic sites, skiing, snowmobiling, ‘tax free’ shopping and scenic drives along tranquil country roads. Visit the Glynn House website http://www.glynnhouse.com for additional information about the Inn and local activities.
, November 21st, 2014
Mariette Pathy Allen’s TransCuba is as much an intimate peek into the everyday lives of Cuba’s trans female population as it is a visual record of the country’s growing oppenness to diversity under Raul Castro’s presidency.
Featuring vibrant, full-page photos of transgender women in their daily environments — from their homes, to neighborhood streets, to social outings with friends and partners — the collection’s interspersion of posed and candid photos are a far cry from the media’s sensationalistic portrayals of trans lives. Rather, the women are engaged in quiet, banal moments, or else are looking resolutely at the viewer, demanding to be seen on their own terms and turf.
By Mitch Kellaway – Full Story at the Advocate | Cuba Gay Travel Resources
, November 21st, 2014
The only tenor group with a truly global audience, The Celtic Tenors http://glynnhouse.com/events will give you a night to remember. Whether playing a neighborhood cathedral or major concert halls in international cities like New York, Amsterdam, or Shanghai, you are assured of a professional, sparkling, and, most of all, good humored performance. They genuinely love what they do and you’ll see that shine through in each rendition of beautiful Celtic songs like the haunting “Danny Boy” and exhilarating classics like “Nessun Dorma”.
The romantic Glynn House Inn – situated in the heart of New Hampshire’s spectacular lakes and mountains – offers guests an exceptional experience. A full gluten free breakfast menu is always available. Bring your favorite four-footed canine pal on holiday too and reserve one of five pet friendly rooms. Venture away from the Inn and antiquing, art galleries, boating, fine dining, fishing, golf, hiking, historic sites, ‘tax free’ shopping and scenic drives along tranquil country roads. Visit the Glynn House website http://www.glynnhouse.com for additional information about the Inn and local activities.
, November 21st, 2014
Periodically we’ll feature one of our properties here to let our readers know about some great gay friendly places to stay.
Tahoe’s Best Kept Secret: Holly’s Place is a miniture resort/retreat on 3.5 acres nestled in the pines only 1 block to Lake Tahoe close to all recreation with 8 vacation rentals enclosed We welcome all walks of life and their companions whoever they may be as long as they are friendly, too.
See the Holly’s Place Expanded Listing on Purple Roofs Here
Gay Friendly Bed and Breakfasts, Hotels, and Vacation Rentals in the Sierra Nevada
, November 21st, 2014
We’ve been to several Luaus on the island – and we have a clear winner when it comes to the performances, but the other one has great food and amazing grounds to wander before the show.
Grand Hyatt Luau – Poipu
The Grand Hyatt offers a fantastic luau – probably the best we’ve seen on the island. On a clear day, they hold it outdoors in a wide courtyard on the western side of the resort. The service was great, and the buffet meal was excellent – with all-you-can eat pork, the obligatory poi, and much more to choose from. The dancing was also excellent. There were very beautiful wahine (women) and very handsome, well-built kane (men).
The night we were there was perfect – with a crescent moon and the sky deepening to a cerulean blue as we watched the dancers. If you’re going to see a Luau while on-island, consider this one. There’s also a beautiful tropical central atrium at the Grand Hyatt Hotel, and if you visit at the right time, you may see a number of tropical birds – parrots, macaws, and cockatoos.
Smith’s Tropical Paradise Luau
Smith’s Tropical Paradise sits alongside the Wailua River’s southern bank, just above the highway. The luau here is a little cheaper than the Grand Hyatt, and incudes a tram ride around the property, a chance to walk the gardens, a ceremony to unearth the pig at the imu pit, dinner, and the luau itself.
The food was amazing – the pork tender, the mahi mahi well cooked and seasoned, and the teriyaki steak and chicken were mouthwateringly good. The luau itself was a bit short, clocking in at about an hour, and it seemed a little lacking – the dancers were ok but not great, and it seemed to end too soon. So while you get a fair amount here for what you pay overall, we’d rate this one as the second-best on the island, after the Grand Hyatt Luau.
Kauai Gay Travel Resources
, November 21st, 2014
click any image for full-sized pic
In our travels from coast to coast we generally always drive which is our favorite mode of transportation. We get to meet dozens of people along the way that has “passion” and that is one of the most interesting attributes that we admire in people Whether it is their passion for wine, food, sports, reading, their career or anything else, they have “passion”. We also get to see barns and scenery from “afar” but never close up.
We have a friend here in the greater Kansas City area, Henry, who is a 50 something year old guy. In his regular life, he is a coat and tie professional guy. Instead of exploring the North or South Pole or Africa or Siberia, he would rather explore his home state. And instead of going down the highway at 70 or 75 miles an hour, he likes to travel going only 3 or 4 miles an hour. Yep, he likes to walk! And he has the “passion”. He grew up in Long Island, N.Y. and earned his undergraduate degree at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., and worked in the nation’s capital as a magazine editor and then for 23 years as the owner of a marketing and communications firm. He also has a Master’s degree.
A couple of years ago he walked to Wichita, Kansas which is about 200 miles from Kansas City. It took him 13 days. He does not walk on the Interstate, but rather the back roads so that he can really see the State and meet people as he walks down country roads and even dirt roads. He stays either in motels, B and B’s and sometimes people along the way offer him a room for the night.
This year, he journeyed again by foot and walked the entire State of Kansas! which totaled nearly 500 miles and took 39 days! Dressed in a baseball cap and an orange coat, he took off from his house. Thru rain, winds, hail and hot temperatures, he made this trek. Again, he did not walk the Interstate highway but the back roads. He met a lot of extremely interesting people along the way. And yes, the local county sheriffs would stop him a few times to see what he was doing in their county. He took only one change of clothes and had to “wash and dry” every night. He did have a cell phone and another item he took with him was a large stick / cane. Dogs seem to be a problem sometimes, whether they wanted to chase and bite him or just friendly dogs who wanted to tag along with him. Of course he had a camera with him to document his trek across the state.
What a difference in what one sees when actually walking rather than driving down the highway. Many times while driving we have wanted to stop and take photos of an old barn or other structures or landscape but to actually be right there with plenty of time to take advantage of it would be better.
Recently Henry gave a lecture about his travels. It was a STANDING ROOM ONLY event. As Henry relates, “Most people think of Kansas as a dull, flat place as they zoom by at 70 miles per hour. But when you experience it at 3 miles an hour, you’re simply struck by the color, the beauty and the subtle changes in the landscape. you will also meet some extraordinary people.” We are awaiting his book on his walking adventures which will most likely be titled, “Kansas on Foot: A Long and Winding Walk Across the Sunflower State.
Thank you Henry for having the “passion” to do what you want to do in life. More people should have your passion in their lives. Fortunately, we do too!
It really does not matter what state you live in, you can do this trekking in any state. You can learn and discover things in our own state rather than to circumvent the world! Just have the passion to do something different for a change. You might just learn a few things, like being around different people and learning more about yourself! Happiness can be found in your own backyard! Thanks Henry for having the “passion”!
Always remember to have fun when traveling, meet new people and talk to everyone!
TRAVELING IN OUR FABULOUS GAY WORLD is written by Donald Pile and Ray Williams, Award-winning, Celebrity travel columnists who write for gay publications from coast to coast (And now legally married). Proud members of the IGLTA. You can email them at firstname.lastname@example.org and visit their website at http://gaytravelersataol.blogspot.com/
Rainbow Reykjavik is a small, queer, winter pride festival, organized by Pink Iceland in the end of January. Now in it’s fourth year, the festival attracts between 50 – 100 guests from abroad, ranging in ages and affilition with the LBGTQI alphabet. The 2015 festival starts Thursday January 29th and the full programme includes, a welcome party, dinners, horseback riding, Reykjavik city tour, a Blue Lagoon visit, a tour of spectacular nature, including erupting geysers, tectonic plates and one of the most impressive waterfalls in the world, a northern lights hunt and culminates in the Masquerade themed Pink Party which attracts hundreds of locals. Make sure you check out this mature, inclusive and somewhat unusual Pride festival up north!
West Iceland tends to a be a bit overlooked by those visiting Iceland. This means that when you ‘go west’ you often feel like you have vast swathes of it to yourself. West Iceland is home to incredible nature, including two amazing waterfalls called Barnahoss and Hraunfossar, Langjökull Glacier, from where you can go snowmobiling, glacier walking or visit the Ice Cave and finally, Deildartunguhver hotspring, the highest flow hotspring in Europe. If that wasn’t enough, West Iceland is also home to a small farm dedicated to keeping the Icelandic Goat species alive through the efforts of one very strong woman. There are less than 820 Icelandic goats in existence but the numbers are growing, thanks to Jóhanna Bergmann of Háafell Goat Farm, the cast and crew of Game of Thrones who initiated a crowdfunding campaign, and the thousands who donated! Make sure you visit and say hello to Jóhanna and her goats, they’re all very friendly.