Thursday, February 16, 2017
Uoleva Island, Ha'apai, Tonga
Day 41, arriving Lautoka, Fiji 2:00p, 84, partly cloudy, Sea like glass.
We sat in the front row, with our usual showtime Cosmos last night that we don't even ask for anymore. Our favorite bar waiter, Mathew, just brings them to us. We could tell how much the kids putting on the show loved seeing us there! It was worth going just for that. Our Fiji ports got switch in order due to a berthing conflict, thus we are getting in a little late today. Not to worry..plenty to do til it's time to go for a Mud Bath. Fiji must be pretty big, as we sailed in within sight of land since dawn. We had two lectures this morning, first on the Maori people, the indigenous people of New Zealand. New Zealand is considered to be Polynesian, Polynesia encompassing the area within a triangle formed with Hawaii, Easter Island and New Zealand being the three corners. All of the indigenous people of this area are descendants from a migration out of Taiwan around 400 AD, but New Zealand was the last to be inhabited , probably around 1250 AD. Who knew!! The second lecture was by our infamous pickpocket, on protecting our electronically stored information. We went off on separate tours this afternoon, the guys sightseeing, and the gals to a mud bath! The scenery along the way was beautiful, and the mud bath itself, although rustic, a kick! First we had a welcome ritual, then off to the pools. We covered ourselves with this slimy goo then had to stand in the sun to let it dry. Into the first pool, which had a slimy, muddy bottom, to rinse some off, then into the next pool, which was probably 100 degrees, to try, and I mean TRY, to get the rest off. After toweling off ( and our towels now looked like they had been to, well, a mud bath), we had a massage, laying on our towels. Frankly, the whole experience was a little kids dream of spending a day playing in the mud. It may sound horrible to some old farts, but we had a blast! We didn't get back to the ship til almost 7:00pm, so decided to eat in, which afforded us the opportunity to have cocktails on our balconies while watching a magnificent sunset over Fiji. Hard as I tried, there is no way to capture the colors of the sunset in a photo. We just had BLT's in the room, and skipped the Japanese's Cowboys show.
Day 42. Suva, Fiji. 88, clouds, sun, showers. ( they get ~1" rain every day).
We sailed on seas like glass, and got into Suva around 10:00, then quickly went off on our all day tour, "Navua River by Longboat". After an hour bus trip thru local scenery and villages, we arrived at our embarkment village, where we were welcomed with a "kiva" ceremony, then served lunch, which we all opted to pass on because us chickens are afraid of eating anything off of the ship. We then had time to visit with the locals and do a bit of shopping. Because there was no place to change where we were going, D and BS were forced to buy beautiful sarongs. Hate when that happens..not! We then boarded "longboats" which are like oversized, motorized wooden canoes, holding 6-8 people, for our 45 min. trip upriver. We went thru beautiful scenery, of lush cliffs, waterfalls, cows ( how did they get there? ), unusual flora, and thru many rapids, cat 1-2. At one point we had to get out of the boat and walk around the rapids, because the boat didn't have enough power to carry all of us thru them. "It's like Disney World, except its real!" (BS). We arrived at a stream and disembarked, for our 1/2 mile climb up to a 50' waterfall and pool. The water was cool and beautiful. We jumped in and played in the water for close to an hour. It was, well, like Disney World, except for real! After our time in the pool, we climbed back down for our return to the village, which, as we were with the current, took way less time. The weather had been beautiful, but we did encounter a bit of a downpour on the trip back, which stayed with us all the way back to our ship. We all agreed, this was our favorite tour so far!. Back home, don't know how we had the energy, but we got dressed up and went to CR for dinner and even made it to the show, a cabaret, put on by our male and female lead singers. Fiji was way more scenic, interesting, and full of smart, industrious, talented and friendly people than we had imagined. They claim to be the 10th best vacation destination in the world. We can see why.
Day 43. At Sea, 84, partly cloudy, seas 8-10 feet.
Back to the At Sea routine! Morning lecture on the scandals of the British royals. Jamie game. Today we were missing Cathy and BS, and came in dead last. Sort of tells you something! We had a fun lunch with Barbara, an international lunch, served in the galley. They quite outdid themselves with the presentations as well as the food. The afternoon tech lecture was, again how to put together slideshows. He used his own photos to demo. Most prevalent amongst his pictures in the demo was the one of D and BS at the Mud bath. He had a waterproof camera, so took the photos and passed them on to us. We had dinner in Prime 7, our Valentine dinner..what did we know what with the date change. Show was a new onboard comedian who really did make us laugh. Fun day!
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