Where to now? Out Sydney Heads and turn left that be where we are headed landlubbers - welcome back blog readers both new and old. I hope you enjoy.
|Leaving Sydney was an adventure itself - just in case anyone might be wondering the picture above has some icons that can be identified - can you find them all?|
So some sights we enjoyed:
|A high point - view from Mount Pitt|
|Having hired a car we were ready to cover the 8km by 5km island. We had places which we wanted to revisit from dodgy memories and we surprised ourselves with the finds we made.|
|The return to the ship was an event with a low tide and some rough seas - it so didn't look rough but once on a tender it was very bouncy indeed!! Back on board and two more days at sea before the next landfall - lots to enjoy before then.|
Vava'u is va, va Boom
|Arriving at Vava'u involved a lot of wind - and I was definitely Blowin' In the Wind. (another laughing moment).|
|Computer and copy solutions - I think Ian may have needed this one today - check his blog for the story! And always the market.... try saying this one with or without a mouthful of watermelon.|
We ploughed through streets? roads? well tracks maybe - where the greenery was getting a much needed trimming, and I was wearing much of it on the window side of the seat, as the bus hurtled to a beach where we watched an umu being built - well dug out and filled - an underground oven was just the ticket in the afternoon sun!!!
|The sensible woman in green with the megaphone and black umbrella (a particular favourite of mine) knew how to get the lads working! No footwear required for this job - and they didn't hurt themselves at all!!
|One of the delightful girls who were our guides for the adventure. They always looked glamourous - unlike the bus load!!|
See you in Nuku'alofa tomorrow.
Our second shore tour for this port was a visit to Captain Cook's Landing site with a cultural demonstration done by the locals - most acceptable.
But before we arrive some images that wizzed by as the bus, a big one today, headed towards its destination.
|There are lots of churches on this Island - their faith is evidently important and although it seems to be a strong christian influence there is also evidence of a blend of island spirituality as well.|
|One of the main streets. There were about three I think.|
Some local housing.
|At the landing spot!|
|Girls cooking in the umu - yummy. We sampled some chicken and tapioca before we left!!|
|Girls making Tapa cloth from the bark of the Mulberry Tree.|
|A completed piece of tapa cloth with painted decorations done by the girls.|
|Girls doing traditional dance. So the girls were a busy lot - the boys played guitars and sang.|
Sailing tomorrow as we pass by the various locations for the Bounty story - Noumuka Island and Toufa Island.
Bula, Bula from Suva
|Then onto the location where Fletcher Christian and Co set Captain Bligh off in an open boat with 17 loyal men - a mutiny in fact.|
|That's me doing a "Oh no it's a mutiny" look.|
|In spite of the background cloud the smoke, I can assure you, is coming out of the volcano.|
|Early morning arrival in Suva - coming into a harbour with a very narrow access channel - interesting mountain shapes on one side and a city on the other.|
|Headed off into the city after breakfast to find a bustling and happy place being greeted with Bula ( Hello I think) by all and sundry. Shops, markets and people all providing an entertaining morning.|
|Top shopping with Hayley and our personal sales help - great fun!|
|And as we bid farewell to Suva we are entertained by the Police Band - just super! They may be a long way down but they sounded great.|
Shiny, shiny, shiny
On arrival, via tender, at Port Denarau - we were greeted by the doof, doof sounds emanating from The Hard Rock Cafe not quite how I had imagined the day beginning. This Port is 'man made' I believe it was mangrove swamp but it has been claimed and now is a shiny, very shiny resort with all the names - Radisson, Westin, Sofitel - you get the picture.
|So what to do?|
1. Take pictures.
2. Walk around the resorts - too hot - so found a bus that did the rounds of the resorts and we thought maybe further - we were wrong - it's all about the resorts.
|As the bus filled up the children got prime spots!!|
A small town / village similar to Suva and nothing like Port Denarau. Loud music and announcements are the norm it appears for any shopping district! Lots of fireworks for Happy Diwali - an Indian festival.
Some businesses on Main Street.
|A temple at the end of Main Street.|
I'd like to be under the sea
|And I was!! Spectacular day on Dravuni Island a tiny spot in the ocean and one of the 332 islands that collectively make up Fiji.|
|Under the water provided colour, colour and colour and this was just where we jumped off the tender.|
|These are some of the snaps capturing the life underwater on the shores of the island - we even saw a couple of clam shells whose locking lips looked like luscious speckled brown fishy lips.|
|Another super, duper day!! At sea tomorrow and then in Noumea the next day.
Blog you later all.
Bonjour... yes we are in Noumea
|After a hard days rest and reading we have adjusted the clocks again - time travel is way cool - and arising early watched the ship manoeuvre into the harbour of Noumea - on the Grande Terre. A very beautiful place.|
|I'm outside a Melanesian Hut - housed in the museum - lots of thatching on the roof and please remove your shoes before entering.|
|Ian with some seriously tall palms and a tall artefact.....|
|Another delightful day - finished by enjoying a very cold and refreshing ale on deck as we watched Noumea fade in the distance.|