A Travellerspoint blog


Dravuni Island Fiji

Monday, 3 February 2014

Woke to totally overcast sky and humidity had exceeded 100% resulting in a light rain. A quick breakfast and we were on the first tender to go ashore, there were only about 30 of us which made for comfortable seating. The pier was a floating pontoon which undulated with the action of the sea. Made for an interesting walk ashore.

The disembarkation point was in the heart of the village and the local school attracted our attention. With a population of just 200 the island is fortunate to have a school, attendance is compulsory. At this assembly each child was required to show they had a bottle of water, a handkerchief and they had their hands inspected. The arrival of the cruise ship may have been a big deal for the adults but the little ones went about their business quite unfazed.

We walked along the beach and Jenny went so far as to get her feet wet. Bought some shirts and a piece of bright cloth - essentials we just couldn't live without. We returned on the tender before the big queues formed. Washed out my saturated shirt and spent some time at the keyboard.

A 'home made' pie for lunch which was delicious. On past cruises they've been commercial Mrs Mack's that were less than terrific. Spent the best part of the afternoon watching another movie. Jenny liked it, I tolerated it. It was quite quirky a sort of Toy Story with many weird creations - Despicable Me 2. Even the title is weird. We've decided to spend part of the On Board Credit on the ship's DVD.

An enjoyable evening meal again followed some time later with a show in the theatre staring Mark Kristian. I'm sure we've encountered him previously and his jokes are showing their age. He hacked his way through a number of songs and I left being grateful I didn't have to pay to see him.

So that brings us to the end of the Fiji segment of the cruise. It was delightful to see these other parts of this country. The ship rocks and rolls across the Pacific as we head West to New Caledonia. A sea day tomorrow then Noumea on Wednesday.

This link should take you to today's image on my 365 Project http://365project.org/tonydebont/365/2014-02-03
Cheers .. Tony

Posted by greynomadm 10:28 Archived in Fiji Comments (1)

Port Denarau Fiji

Sunday, 2 February 2014

Calm seas again this morning and another interesting sunrise. At 06:00 it was already hot and very humid. Usual routine, breakfast, prepare to go ashore, obtain a tender ticket and wait for the tender. The trip from the ship to the shore was over 40 minutes but there was hardly a splash as we sailed across the shallow bay.

The marina of Port Denarau is the most sophisticated and extensive facility we've encountered. There were shops catering to any and all the needs of tourists from clothing to high end jewellery and duty-free liquor. An extensive range of restaurants providing food from traditional Fijian to pizza and chicken burgers. We spent some time wandering the air conditioned comfort of the shops and watched a public performance by local worriers and young ladies.

After about two hours we'd seen enough and lined up for a tender to take us back to the ship. We were lucky to be assigned a local cruise boat that was much more comfortable than the ship's tenders. After a pleasant trip back to the ship we made our way to Deck 14 for lunch. Filled in a few hours reading and watching another questionable movie "World War Z". Back to the cabin to punch out a few words and sort through today's images.

Jenny's attending a religious service and will be a bit late for dinner. The dining room was lucky to be more than 60% occupied and service was very brisk. A quick stop at the on-board shop to spend some of the On Board Credit and back to the cabin where we decided to catch up on some reading and some sleep.

The ship is underway to our next stop at Dravuni Island tomorrow, another tendered port and we will go ashore even if just to look around. It is the last of four stops in Fiji.

This link should take you to today's image on my 365 Project http://365project.org/tonydebont/365/2014-02-02
Cheers .. Tony

Posted by greynomadm 10:26 Archived in Fiji Comments (0)

Savusavu Fiji

Saturday, 1 February 2014

View 2014-01 Pacific Islands on greynomadm's travel map.

Calm seas and a gentle breeze made my waiting on deck for the sunrise very pleasant. Right on schedule the sun popped over the horizon and there was a beautiful honey colour to the sky. Had our breakfast and prepared for our Ship's Shore Excursion. We reported to the theatre a good 20 minutes ahead of schedule and to our surprise were processed almost immediately finding us aboard the tender by 08:00. A short smooth trip to the floating pontoon ashore at Savusavu and although it was still early the heat and humidity were already oppressive.

Boarded the bus for the 30 minute ride to the copra plantation, reputed to be the only one surviving on the island. The bus trip was a bit rough but the countryside incredibly beautiful. I was impressed by the very tall and very slender palm trees that grew in various places. We arrived at the plantation where we were met by the owner and members of his staff. We'd been warned that the facilities were 'rustic', perfect description.

The complete process from planting to harvesting and extracting the copra was explained with examples of each stage on display. The very tall trees are the 'Fijian Tall' while the shorter trees were various cultivars introduced from other parts of the world. Yields and longevity were the two main criteria used in the selection of seeds selected for planting.

The plantation is located on a beautiful little bay and looks to be an idyllic spot. The owner told us his 500 acre farm is up for sale, his children don't want to take it on and the return on his crop only just covers costs. Stage two of the visit consisted of demonstrations and tastings of the many products that can be derived from the coconut palm. We tasted the flesh of a sprouting coconut, the fresh flesh of a green and a mature nut. There was also some 'millionaire’s salad' made from the inner core of a tree. We drank the coconut milk made by squeezing the grated flesh and the fresh liquid of a green nut which had been topped with a machete and a straw inserted.

For me the highlight was when Thomas - the boss boy - shed his sandals and proceeded to climb a tree and bring down one of the green nuts.
It was a most relaxing morning and with a gentle breeze it made the heat quite bearable. All good things come to an end and we boarded the bus back to town and the tender. Wandered through some of the local shops and bought me a shirt with tribal patterns.

Back to the ship and up to Deck 14 for lunch, couldn't resist the crumbed prawns so had two goes at them. After lunch to the theatre and watched "Now You See Me". A movie with a complex plot and incredible action scenes. Back to the cabin to start this text and look at the 172 images for today. I have to select ONE !!

Excellent dinner and afterwards showtime in the theatre starring Violinist Patrick Roberts. The violin work was quite amazing but occasionally drowned out by the backing music. At the end of the show, the Cruise Director provided a 10 minute impromptu comedy show, not bad for a one-time Pommy Copper.

The ship feels as if it is on an ocean as smooth as silk as we make our way to Port Denarau tomorrow, another tendered port and we will go ashore even if just to look around..

This link should take you to today's image on my 365 Project http://365project.org/tonydebont/365/2014-02-01
Cheers .. Tony

Posted by greynomadm 01:52 Archived in Fiji Comments (0)

Suva Viti Levu Fiji

Friday, 31 January 2014

View 2014-01 Pacific Islands on greynomadm's travel map.

Nice hint of a sunrise as we approached the island of Viti Levu and the port of Suva. We were treated to the regular welcome by the Royal Fiji Police Band looking very sharp in their striking uniforms. The gangplank was in place just after 08:00 but we held back until the bulk of the eager passengers had disembarked.

We found our way to the free shuttle bus that drove us to the front door of one of the main department stores. Found our way to some of the smaller stores where we purchased a backpack and some handkerchiefs for the princely sum of AU$20. Jenny was on the lookout for a new small watch and after about six failed attempts found one she liked. Working out the price in US$ was a bit of a challenge but eventually one of the shop staff took US$20 and exchanged it at the bank for Fiji$37. The store took their Fiji$20 and I was left with Fiji$17 which we'll most likely spend along the way.

Wandered through a supermarket and the fresh market. We are always amazed at the quantity and range of fresh fruit and vegetables for sale.
Back to the ship and into the pleasant air conditioned atmosphere aboard. There isn't much to do before lunch so I'll try to upload the previous day's blog and images.

Lunch in the Horizon Court - Deck 14 after which I thought I'd read for a while. Woke up some time later with Jenny telling me to stop snoring !! Back on deck some time after that to see the farewell by the Police Band, there were people 4 and 5 deep all along the rail on deck 7. Didn't see much but the music was great.

Another delicious dinner and then watched Simon sing songs from the Broadway Hits. He has a marvellous voice and a bit of mischief to make it all interesting.

The ship is almost motionless as we make our way to Savusavu tomorrow, another tendered port and we have a booked ship's tour.
This link should take you to today's image on my 365 Project http://365project.org/tonydebont/365/2014-01-31
Cheers .. Tony

Posted by greynomadm 01:51 Archived in Fiji Comments (0)

Sea Day Three - Sailing to Fiji

Thursday, 30 January 2014

A relatively calm sea, wind about 30 knots and almost total cloud cover this morning. No joy with regard to the sunrise leaving me with a dilemma as to what to capture aboard.

Our routine for sea days is pretty well established, breakfast, read, attend talks, read, lunch, read, watch a movie, get ready for dinner. Each day the same and yet slightly varied. Interesting people met, crew members who are especially attentive. Individuals who ask "Which way is the Theatre ??" A little old lady having trouble getting her cabin door open. The vacuum system that flushes the toilet bowl fails, ring the front desk, someone presses a button, problem solved. Each event quite insignificant but memorable.

After lunch we decided to watch the Afternoon Movie - "Blue Jasmine" staring Cate Blanchett, we walked out 40 minutes into it. Jenny had been nudging me because I was nodding off, so decided to snooze properly -in bed.

Enjoyable dinner and great conversation with the couple on the other half of the table. Originally there had been a privacy screen between us- their request not ours. After a few evenings they asked if we'd mind if it was removed. We agreed and it was whisked away. There was a belated change to the itinerary due to some massive rain storm and flooding at Port Denarau, we are now making for Suva.

Jenny attended the show and I stayed back in the cabin to read and snooze. Quickly fell asleep to the vigorous rocking of the ship, we both find it soothing.

This link should take you to today's image on my 365 Project http://365project.org/tonydebont/365/2014-01-30
Cheers .. Tony

Posted by greynomadm 15:57 Archived in Fiji Comments (0)

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