Japanese Train Operator Apologizes For The Most Unlikely Of Reasons……

Japanese Train Operator Apologizes For The Most Unlikely Of Reasons……

Yes this is slightly off-topic for me, but when I saw the headline it made me smile and shake my head at the same time…..

Metropolitan Intercity Railway Company, a train operator in Tokyo, Japan  expressed regret when one of it’s scheduled trains left a station early on their Tsukuba Express line.  Wait for it……….A whopping 20 seconds early.

The offending train apparently departed the Minami-Nagareyama station 20 seconds prior to schedule, prompting the company to quickly enter damage control for the transgression.

According to the company, the train’s crew failed to check their watches to ensure they left exactly on time and the company issued an apology to customers that may have been adversely impacted by their rush to get out of the station.    The company noted that the train was supposed to leave at 9:44:40am but raced out of the station at 9:44:20am.   The operator also stated that the train crew has since received appropriate training (get it?) to ensure this does not happen again.

The apology from the company came quickly after this unfathomable sin stating, “We deeply apologize for the severe inconvenience imposed upon our customers”.    The operator also indicated that no customers expressed any outrage at this egregious lack of responsibility.    Apparently anyone that missed this train because of the miscue could catch the next train on the same line 4 minutes later.

Imagine if the airline industry adopted this kind of scrutiny to their timetable?  Haha and LOL.   🙂

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EFFECTIVE IMMEDIATELY:  USA and Turkey Mutually Ban Visa Issuance For Visitors / Tourists

EFFECTIVE IMMEDIATELY: USA and Turkey Mutually Ban Visa Issuance For Visitors / Tourists

Over the past few hours, the USA and Turkey have banned the issuance of travel visas that effectively bans American citizens from entering Turkey, and vice versa.   Turkey issued their ban hours ago after the USA instituted the ban earlier on Monday (October 9).

This comes as part of the American protest over the arrest of a Turkish citizen who worked for the US Embassy in Ankara.  The Turks claim the employee has links to Fethullah Gulen, an individual that Turkey believes is behind terrorist attacks within their borders.

Typically, Americans traveling to Turkey simply buy their Visas at the airport in Istanbul or other points of entry and proceed to enter the country with no problem.  However, as a result of this suspension this is no longer possible and Americans traveling to Turkey in the near term will not be allowed to enter the country.   This ban applies to the online Turkish E-Visa system as well.

Turkish Airline flights between the USA and Turkey have not been impacted thus far.   No US based carrier flies to Turkey.

The situation is quite fluid so expect more updates.


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Safari 2017:   Helicopter Run Through The Blyde River Canyon

Safari 2017: Helicopter Run Through The Blyde River Canyon

Over the last 2 weeks, we spent time at 3 different Safari Camps including the Dulini Private Game Reserve, Jaci’s Safari Lodge in the Madikwe Game Reserve and Khaya Ndlovu where we spent time with the Rhino Revolution team.

In order to get between most camps in South Africa, you either have to fly on scheduled Charters, drive for an unGodly amount of hours over horrible terrain, or take a Helicopter.  When it was time to transit between Dulini and Khaya Ndlovu, we decided to hire a Helicopter through Wild Skies Aviation out of Hoedspruit so that we can take in one of South Africa’s most beautiful natural wonders, the Blyde River Canyon.   The canyon is set apart from other canyons as it is the only ‘living’ canyon in the world, meaning that vegetation is found in abundance at the bottom of the canyon.

These photos will explain exactly what I mean! 🙂

a large canyon with trees and mountains

a rocky cliff with trees and mountains in the background

a rocky mountains with trees and clouds

a river with rocks and trees

However, the photos don’t quite do it justice!

As you’ll see in the video (taken with a GoPro mounted on the belly of the chopper), departing from Dulini and heading towards Bushbuckridge and Hoedspruit is fairly uneventful.   However as you approach the lush borders that surround the canyon, the world below is transformed into something magical.  Pay attention at the 30 minute mark and beyond since it is at that point that we enter the canyon and then weave through the canyon walls following the Blyde River out of the canyon and over a series of citrus orchards as we headed to Khaya Ndlovu.



a close-up of a plane