|Good Morning, to a day ahead of you in the US (we totally lost January 30, 2010) and other parts of the world (for those of you that are west of us & not in Fiji), it's that international dateline thing that confounds, confuses the best of us in explaining the logic of it but you may think of it when we experience New Year's eve and the parts of the world that celebrate the new year ahead of all others. That is where we are! For all the "rough" sailing we've just gone through, we could also be in a time warp, worm hole, or a "Pacific triangle." When we left Bora Bora, we were supposed to go to Apia, Samoa(a US territory) but was delayed by gale force winds and a "mini-hurricane" (cyclones they call winds over 60 miles an hour in the Pacific-so we had a "mini cyclone"). Because of the delay, the Captain decided to skip our Samoan port of call & proceed to our next destination, Fiji. So, another "paradise" awaits us in this beautiful part of the world, we gain a few hours in our itinerary but loose an anticipated port of call, Apia, Samoa.
We are NOW in the other part of the world that has blue waters, hot, humid & dry temperatures: Fiji! Today, it is hot, dry and so sunny, skin is easily burned without sunscreen or shade!
Anticipation is the best medicine for an enjoyable journal experience (& other things in life), yes?
Again but we hired a driver to take us to several places that are some of the usual tourist "hot spots." "The Garden of the Sleeping Giant" is an environmental, botanical wonderland of orchids, bromiliads, plants, ponds and trees in a spot of hundreds of acres that Raymond Burr (yes, Perry Mason) sponsored, funded and helped make what it is today: beautiful and a good tourist spot in an "independent" (now run by a military dictatorship, since the coop in 2008--not sure how 'independent' that is--the locals seem to like the lack of rampant corruption, though & the "capitalistic" nature of the economy) nation that has sugar refining, alcohol, lumber and tourism as its main industries.
After a couple of hours in the hot humid but rain forest-like environment (Debbie & Ellie did not venture over the acreage of plants but for just a short, beautiful, orchid filled walk & then back to the lodge where it was cooler & had refreshments), we left for a well developed island resort area that featured all the well known worldly hotels, in a spot that afforded access to the voluptuous blue waters (and all the accompanying water activities) of Fiji.
We invited to come along with us, some additional Charlestonians, John & Pat Dolven that are World Cruisers as well. We stopped at the Westin Resort Hotel,after the "Garden of the Sleeping Giant," so we could have access to food, drinks, a pool and beach access. It was simply wonderful and a good "baking" for all of us. After a short few hours (we had to be back to the ship by 17:00 (5 pm or 10 pm, February 1, 2010, your time-see it is confusing) for our sail away at 17:30 (5:30 pm). A wonderful time was had by all and Ellie fulfilled her obligations of making sure the world's beaches were NOT going anywhere. She had a quite delightful excursion, as did we all.
"Our World, Our Way, No Regrets!"