Thursday, April 28, 2011

Paradise Day 6

Lifou Island is the largest and most important island in the Loyalty Islands in the archipelago of New Caledonia.  The island is only 81kms (50 miles), and 16 - 24 kms (10 - 15 miles long). The island is flat with no hills or rivers but has abundant vegetation. We visited a village and learnt about they way they lived, cooked and as they are a very religious group of people we visited a couple of churches. The locals were very friendly and the children were gorgeous.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Paradise Day 5

Today it was our day in Vila, Vanuatu but firstly the day started with this spectacular sunrise.

We didn't think much of the town centre and then we walked through the market. I thought Shane was going to throw up with the smell, especially when we came across the dried fish and squid. It didn't bother me that much and I just love seeing the local markets. 
Dried Squid - didn't smell very sweet!!

Then it was time for us to split up - Shane went of to do a big of reef fishing which he really enjoyed, even though he only caught three little fish. I went to the Ekasup Cultural Village. It was really interesting and I learnt so much. Did you know that up until 1985 a village in the northern part of Vanuatu still practiced cannibalism!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The Chief
Unlike in Australia, all the spiders and snakes in Vanuatu are non venomous!!!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Paradise Day 4

Today was our day to visit "Mystery Island" in Vanuatu. This tiny island of only 1.5 square kilometres is uninhabited as the locals from neighbouring islands believe it to be haunted after dark. They do all head to the island when cruise ships come in to sell their wears, but head back to the others island before it gets dark. I did some more snorkeling while Shane did a bit or exploring. On his little exploration he came across this hut with villages selling freshly cooked crayfish (lobsters) at at least 1/4 the price we would pay in Australia. Well being the seafood lovers that we are we just couldn't resist having one and I must say it was absolutely delicious. After a bit more relaxing we thought it be wise if we headed  back to the ship on one of the tender boats as the weather was starting to look a bit wet and we were right. All of a sudden we had the most amazing downpour. That evening was once again spent eating and enjoying great entertainment.
Tiny Mystery Island - Vanuatu
Crystal clear waters of Mystery Island
Villagers performing

Yummy Crayfish (Lobster)

Storm Approaching

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Paradise Day 3

This morning we woke to the first of our beautiful sunrises as we dropped anchor at the
"Isle of Pines" - New Caledonia.
Our 1st beautiful sunrise.
The tender ships to take all the passengers to the island were lowered and off we went to spend our first day in Paradise.
The tender boats are lowered
We had booked ourselves on a tour that took us to the other side of the island and I spent a wonderful few hours snorkeling along the coral reef. The fish that were there were just spectacular. After snorkeling we spent the rest of the day exploring other parts of the island, shopping and enjoying a local beer. We then returned to the ship for another evening of good food and great entertainment. It was this night I realized I can't keep eating 3 big meals every day because I will explode!!
This is why it is called the "Isle of Pines"

Danger Rock at Kanumera Bay, is regarded by the locals villagers as a sacred area and although it is ideal for snorkelling around its base in the crystal clear waters, villagers believe that the souls of their ancestors are now the plentiful
"Striped T-shirt" snake. As a mark of respect it is advised not to snorkel or even touch the rock.
I am guessing some people didn't know of this custom or of the deadly snakes as they were sitting on
the rocks at the base of the rock.

Mmmm nice cold local beer!!
Time to get back on the ship.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Back from Paradise

Yes our beautiful, relaxing holiday to Paradise has ended and we are almost back to reality. As I mentioned in my previous post I had lots of issues with the Internet on the ship so I thought I would bring you all up to speed in the next few days. Today I will cover our first two days and share a few of my photos with you.
Paradise Sensation - Day 1

There was a lot of excitement between Shane and I as we set of on our flight to Sydney where we were to board the ship "Pacific Jewel" for our 10 day Pacific Island cruise. Shane had never been out of Australia before so he was an  excited child. Once on the ship it was time to do some exploring and of course some eating. The Pacific Jewel is owned by P&O and is an English ship. It has 6 restaurants to get either meals that are included or ones that you can pay a surcharge. Our cabin was a double with our very own balcony and what a view we had from that balcony for the whole 10 days. Leaving Sydney Harbour the weather really gave us a wet goodbye from Australia, but the Sydney skyline with the Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Opera House was still an amazing sight. The ship actually sails under the Sydney Harbour Bridge and for some reason it is a very emotional experience and from all of the passengers cheers Shane and I were not the only ones who felt it. There is so many activities and entertainment while on the ship you really don't get bored while sailing to our island destinations. Day one was and early night for us as the 5.00am rise and all our excitement tired us two puppies out.

Paradise Sensation - Day 2
Oh it is so nice having our cabin steward Aidhou (pronounced I do), we don't to think about making beds, replacing towels or anything. Even when we thought we left our cabin clean she would clean and organise our belongings even more. We spent our day and night at sea having some drinks in some of the many bars. I had a go at the Quilling Class and we finished the day off watching a great song and dance show called "You Can Dance"

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Paradise Sensation

Yeah I have finally been able to get on my blog - still can't upload photos yet but it am working on it. Our cruise is just wonderful, I am now addicted to snorkeling and the drink Midori Splice. Today we are supposed to be docking in Noumea, New Caledonia but the is a tropical cyclone brewing so the captain has had to change course and we are now spending an extra day on the ship on our way back to Sydney. The seas so far have been fairly smooth, we just get a rolling motion every now and then. As I have said I am still working on uploading some of my photos - I think some are pretty good - even if I do say so myself.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Dodging food !!

Last night I had a very enjoyable night out with some girlfriends. We went out for dinner to Kobe Teppanyaki Japanese Restaurant. Teppanyaki is always fun to experience with a group of girls. For those out there that may not have had teppanyaki, it is basically very fresh food cooked in front of you while having some of it thrown at you. Yes we all had food thrown at us and we mostly caught it, with lots of laughter. What a great way to spend an evening - great food, lots of laughter and the great company of girlfriends.

Kobe Teppanyaki Restaurant

Good Catch Alice
I am starting to get excited about the 10 day cruise Shane and I are going on next Sunday. We are going to various islands in New Caledonia and Vanuatu. I am going to endeavour to update my blog while we are away, hopefully I won't strike to many internet connection problems.