MILITARY HOPS


 Ed Prifogle
 1185 Narragansett Blvd
 Suite 106, Cranston RI
02905   401-785-0411\                                                                                   
NOVEMBER  10, 2004         NO. 14                                                                                                                                                                       
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                                                      Previous Issues

Original Newsletter
Space A Outing -Charleston AB
Aviano Info and Battlefield Tours
European Art Museums
European Trains/Airlines and The Perils of Louise
Travel to Crete and Greece
Dano's  Adventure Part 1
Wonders of the world
European Airlines and Trains(re-issue)
Traveling the Virtual World
Wonders of the World-Enhanced Version
Australia. NZ and South and Central America
Central and Eastern European Countries


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FROM THE EDITOR

ed
Ed Prifogle

This is the 14th edition of the Military Hops newsletter.  Some of the
news that applies to Military Space Available Travelers are:

1. US Navy Dining halls not available for Space Available Travelers in US.
2. The closing of Harstsfeld, Atlanta for as a terminal port for Military Space Available flights.
3. Sign up for Tomi~Ds Honolulu Hawaii get-2-gether' at the Bare Foot Bar (in the Hale Koa Hotel) on the 19th-21st Jan on Dirk's Space A Board.


TABLE OF CONTENTS
  1. South Asia Countries
  2. Casey Desmond
  3. Military Links
  4. LH's First Space A Trip to Spain

1.  South Asia Countries and Major Cities

Before traveling to this list of Asian countries, check out the following site for passport and Visa requirements. Travel to certain countries are to be avoided at this time.  Consult the State Dept Travel Warning Page for detailed information.

Here is a partial list

1.Afghanistan
2. Sri Lanka
3. Parts of Indonesia and the Philippines.


If traveling Miliitary Space Available, click here for Military Space A Travel Info to the Pacific.

asia

Click to enlarge

View the following list of travel reference information to learn more about the countries, how to get there, where to stay, dining and major attractions. For US military base and lodging information in foreign countries, view the Military Living Web Site and Handbooks.





temple
                  Buddhist Temple-Japan




View these selected city and country links :

Start by viewing  Mimi's Asia Web Cams



    angkor wat photo


     
    Angkor Wat- Cambodia




    kuala Lumpur

    Kuala Lumpur Towers-Malaysia




2.  Casey Desmond

My wonderful, talented granddaughter, Casey has started college in Boston and is also in the studio recording her newest songs. To listen to one of her latest creations, Stray click her PICTURE. To learn more about her musical career, view her new web site


caseiy


3.   Links
Military Strategy Site
Military Transport Aircraft Photos
Military Hotel Discounts
List of Governments on the WWW
Airline Spoof Radio



4.  Lewis Hedgpeth's1st Space A Trip To Spain

This trip report appeared on Dirk's Space A Board and was slightly edited by me.

BACKGROUND:

We retired from Navy in 1986 and subsequently went to work for General Dynamics Division in SF bay area. The Navy let us live in Okinawa, Italy, Portugal and up and down the eastern seaboard. So we already had experience and like traveling in foreign countries. In 2000 we quit work all together and moved to Sierra Vista, AZ. Since, we have traveled to Germany for three weeks (not Space A) and all over the US as well as taking a trip down the length of Mexico’s eastern coast to Cancun with our trailer. This SPAIN TRIP was our first Space A.

THE FLIGHTS:

Expected to get to our 2 1⁄2 week adventure in Spain by going out of Norfolk, but didn’t want to take time getting to east coast so we purchased $99 tickets on SW from Phoenix to Norfolk. Had been monitoring Space A activity out of Norfolk every week for 6 weeks and noted that at least two flights were scheduled between Tuesday and Thursday each week into Rota. Our first MV condo started on the 9th of Oct (Saturday). I cut the SpaceA signup kind of close. We would be 60 days on the list on Friday of that week. We got to Norfolk on Monday night (4th of Oct). On way in found on Norfolk recording that a KC-10 was leaving for Rota as we arrived and nothing else was on the board until Friday for Rota. So much for great planning. Woke up early Tuesday morning, checked the Norfolk recording and “Holy Cow” and KC-10 was on the board with show time of 9:00 – hustle.

When we got to the terminal found the show time moved to 13:00 – oh well. Also found that this was KC-10 for yesterday that broke down. Talked to a young man who was in terminal trying to get to Sigonella on this aircraft previous day (he had to extend leave because he had been trying for three days). He said that about 8 people had been waiting and that some gave up and others went to Dover. The aircraft released 7 seats. That meant five active duty and us. LUCKY LUCKY LUCKY. (You’ll notice my favorite saying in my profile). Flight went well until got to Rota and fog prevented landing at 3 AM. On to Moron. Thanks to this board we were prepared! Checked out the 8AM workers bus and YES they had room. Then a young Spanish lady who rides the workers bus to Seville everyday took us under her wing and went so far as to go into the commercial bus terminal in Seville and help us purchase tickets from there to Rota. Every thing fell into place.

Our second MV condos checkout date was 23 Oct. We got to the Rota terminal about 10:00 AM hoping to find something into the East Coast then hopefully get to North Island Naval base in San Diego in a couple of days and use a one way rental car drop. SURPRISE SURPRISE SURPRISE. A C-5 destination – direct – North Island. About 50 Navy Seals were transiting out of Iraq after a 9 month deployment. I could see that they probably didn’t want Space As on the flight so immediately started conversation with a CPO in the group and told him we sure would appreciate them taking us along as “mascots”.

He said that he would plead our case. He indicated that it was iffy because their CO told them to “lock down” the flight. We sat there looking downtrodden and pitiful as possible and they changed their minds. Flight was scheduled for 13 hours with in-flight refuel after 7. In-flight didn’t work – divert to Dover. Expensive because BOQ was full. Rest of trip went as planned and we arrived home on Monday . ..that’s after checking out of the Spanish Condo two days before.

THE LODGING AND TOURIST STUFF:

In getting out of Phoenix into Norfolk had gone on Priceline and gotten a three star motel – Doubletree in Phoenix for $35 and it was plush. Then I did the same thing for our late night arrival into Norfolk; this time at Courtyard by Marriot for $35. When we unexpectedly arrived in Moron instead of Rota we picked up the car in Rota then drove back to complete customs and immigration at the “National Police’s” office in downtown Moron –required within 72 hrs. I jokingly asked folks at the Moron passenger service desk “What if we didn’t do it?” Got a stern answer. Anyway we were very tired at this point and decided to stay in the only Hotel in Moron for about 70 euros. Nice place, great meal. Since we had so much unexpected time on our hands before first reserved condo we decided to go to Toledo.

Stayed at the Santa Isabella hotel 45 euros a night for two nights. Toledo was one of our high points. A very medieval city; narrow streets (people have to get in doorways to let cars pass). Great squares with lots of activities, mucho ambiance. The hotel had a parking garage under it. We took the bus on the second day to Madrid and did the suggested AAA tourist guide walk. Had a great lunch in Plaza Mayor and returned. On the 9th we went to our condo in Peniscola (about 120 miles south of Barcelona) Great place! The beach was clean and wide and 80+ degrees for three days when we arrived. The condo had two bathrooms, bedroom, living and little kitchen. It was on 7th floor with balcony. Elevators worked well and were fast.

We explored up and down the coast with the car and waked to a medieval castle. Some stray, but tame cats had taken residence right outside the hotels main entrance so Phyllis bought some cat treats at the local market. Part of our ritual on way to the beach was “feed cats’. We took the train to Barcelona and stayed one night in a pricey 90 euro hotel, but saw all the required place; The Rambla, Gattis various buildings, The Gothic Quarter, Sight of Barcelona Olympic, etc.

On the 16th we checked out and took a long drive to second MilVets condo near Malaga; town of Colahonda. This was more of a condo style with three floors. This condo had a clothes washer which was very good because we had taken advice of the board and both had packs each weighing under 20#. This meant several sessions of hand washing at previous condo. From here we did a car tour of white villages. We drove into downtown Malaga and always looking for the “Urbana Centro” in several cities (more on this later).

We drove into too many towns to list. Even though I like driving into these places we decided to take a bus tour to Granada and the Alhambra; was ok. On last day we drove down to Gibraltar and visited our ancestors at the top of the rock.  Much of our tourist activity was spent in many city squares having a leisurely glass of wine or beer and/or some tapas. We didn’t do much shopping because our limited luggage space. We got a few trinkets for folks watching the house, etc.

OBSERVATIONS:

The Spanish people smoke too much! I learned quickly to ascertain which way the wind was blowing before sitting at an outside dining area – always upwind. We shifted easily to the late Spanish eating hours with our jet lag to help. We don’t carry much cash going into a new country, just hit the first ATM . .which reminds me I HATE THE WEEK DOLLAR!

GROUND TRANSPORTATION AND NAVIGATING:

We rented a Volkswagen Polo from “CarJet” for three weeks for a total price of $306. This covered 100% of all insurances except side window breakage and they warn about doing things like leaving glove box open when parked, etc. This car was a 4 door, but really could handle only two people. If our bags had been more the 20#s each we wouldn’t have gotten them into what served as a trunk. The car had very little excess power, for passing I had to wind it up near red line in 3rd gear and pray. BUT! It must have gotten over 50 miles to the gallon. I never calculated it but I never put more than 20 euros at any fill up (usually down to 1⁄4 tank).

Parking it was very easy because of size and I could always find a spot. On narrow streets it was no problem. When we go back to Europe I will try to find the same car or equivalent unless we are traveling with another couple. The road atlas we bought on Amazon never seemed to match freeway numbers we saw on Spanish signs so we reverted to looking for destination cities.

The buses we took were great and all had assigned seating unlike greyhound in the US. The round-trip train to Barcelona was about 32 euros a piece (two hour ride from Peniscola) and very comfortable.

For those who don’t cater to technical talk don’t read this -> I have found that it is nearly impossible to read a map in a European city because the street names are usually on the sides of random buildings and often blocked by foliage or whatever. So one can look at the map and know what they’re looking for but not be able to match to what’s outside the window. My approach to exploring the cities worked well in Germany and it worked great in Spain. I always carry my Garmin III GPS and rechargeable batteries for it. There are no road or city references on this GPS in Europe. It doesn’t matter. I turn on the “bread crumb trail” mode just before I enter a city.

Then I just roam looking for Centro Urbano or an interesting shopping/strolling area or square or whatever. When we find something we like we turn off GPS, park car, enjoy, enjoy. Then when ready to leave, turn on GPS and use the on screen record of our entry into the city to get me back out on the same road. Works every time. The only issue with this small portable is finding a suitable place on the dash where it will stay and I can see it. ==tech talk mode off=