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Posts Tagged ‘travel’

Fiji Part 3

I didn’t intend to leave so long between posts, but I’ve been sick this week and it was all I could manage to get to work each day. Once I got home I collapsed in a heap on the couch.

We chose Matana Beach Resort  primarily so that Gorgeous Man could become certified to do this:

scuba1

He brought back some fabulous photos of the things he saw. (We put my new camera into a waterproof case).

coral1

coral2

pufferfish

Gorgeous Girl’s new camera (another early birthday present) also takes photos underwater. She really got the hang of snorkelling this trip.

Asnorkel

I took this next photo as we were pulling away from the resort’s beach. It doesn’t do justice to the colour of the water.

beach1

Am I boring you yet?

I did work on my travel journal quite a bit while we were away. I still need to get photos printed, but I’ll show you some of the pages in a later post.

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Fiji Part 2

Our first few days at the resort were wet and cold. We were fortunate in that we come from PNG to Fiji via a few days in Australia and so had warm clothes with us. There were guests who hadn’t packed any cool weather clothes at all…

This is the view from the dining room.

bures

Guests eat together with the manager and dive master. There was a set meal each day, but the resort will take dietary requirements into consideration for you.

On our first night we left the dinner table briefly when someone discovered a unique crab.

crabinabottle

Not being able to find a shell the right size it had used a bottle instead.

Despite the rain Gorgeous Girl was very taken with the kayaks.

kayak 1

This yacht pulled into the bay and camped for a night or two off shore. The owners spend 7 months a year sailing around the world in it. Gorgeous Man, Gorgeous Girl and some of the resort staff were lucky enough to be invited on board to have a look around.

Gorgeous Girl also tried her hand at paddling. She was quite good at it.

kayak 2

While they were kayaking, myself and one of the other guests took the opportunity to visit the village next door to the resort. The village was still very traditional and I had to wear a Fiji sulu (sarong) over my three-quarter length pants, I donned a length of cloth I purchased a few years ago in Zambia that I never travel without. We were formally presented to the chief (who we had already met because he came over to the resort most mornings to share coffee and breakfast) and shown the school. I didn’t take any pictures of the village. It just felt too intrusive to be photographing people going about their daily lives (I’d be a terrible photo journalist). But I did take some photos of the school.

school1

school2

Compared to schools I’ve seen in PNG and South Africa it was quite well equipped for a little village school. The resort is trying to help them raise funds for solar panels so that the school can have electricity. The resort itself runs on a generator for a few hours a day as well as having solar panels for power the rest of the time. This is the primary school. High school students board in town which is a 20 minute boat ride away.

I also tried some arty scenery shots with my new camera which was a very early birthday present from Gorgeous Man.

scenerywatermark

Low tide.

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Fiji Part 1

I’ve been a bit stalled with writing about our Fiji holiday. How do you condense 450 pictures into a few blog posts? I’ll try and capture the highlights.

Flying into Fiji is very different from flying into Papua New Guinea. The international airport in Nadi is set up to welcome the tourist visitor and in the arrivals hall visitors are greeted by men playing the ukelele and singing. We took a taxi to our hotel and Gorgeous Girl wasted no time in making use of the playground and pool.

swing

pool

We had one night in Nadi before heading out the next day to Kadavu Island.

It was a 19 seater plane. We were only allowed 15 kilos per person baggage (we had to leave a suitcase in storage at the hotel in Nadi – it was full of supplies for the next six months in PNG, school shoes for Gorgeous Girl etc). One surprise was that after checking the bags we were asked to stand on the baggage scale with our hand baggage so that the total weight on the flight could be calculated.

plane1

The assistant pilot also did the safety briefing and we got to watch them fly the plane.

Our first view of Kadavu.

first view kadavu

Possibly the world’s prettiest runway.

runway Kadavu

We were met at the airport by staff from Dive Kadavu Matana Beach Resort. 

We walked across the road and down to the beach where our transport to the resort waited.

boatfrom airport

The view was breathtaking.

view1

view 2

Gorgeous Girl enjoyed the boat ride.

ainboat

The colour of the water was amazing and it was really clear.

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Take a drive with me

A certain Gorgeous Girl turns seven tomorrow and so we have some grandparents visiting for the special occasion. Last Sunday we left Port Moresby and headed up the mountain towards Soegeri. On the way we stopped at a lookout.

PNG lookout 2

Be prepared to pay the land owners 2 Kina per person to stop at the lookout.

If you walk down some steps…they are as steep as they look

PNG lookout steps

you will see a waterfall.

PNG lookout waterfall 2

We continued on towards the Kokoda Trail (Here in PNG it’s referred to as a Trail, Australians know it as the Kokoda Track). We stopped at McDonald’s corner which commemorates the first engagement between the opposing sides.

PNG McDonald's corner

Then on to the start of the trail. This time the track was not so muddy and we were able to drive all the way down.

PNG Kokoda Trail road

They were expecting some government officials and so the area was decorated.

PNG Kokoda Trail picnic huts

Then it was on to Variarata National Park. This was my first time up there (though Gorgeous Man and Gorgeous Girl have been there a few times). The view from the park was magnificent. Even on a hazy day we could look down on Port Moresby.

PNG Variarata lookout 2

Hope you enjoyed a glimpse of our day.

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Recently a group of us decided to take a drive up to the beginning of the Kokoda Track. Gorgeous Man and Gorgeous Girl have been up here before, but it was the first time for me.

We went out in three vehicles, all of which were 4WD, which turned out to be a blessing. To get to the start of the track you need to leave Port Moresby and drive up the mountains. As we drove it started to rain.

rain

and rain

rain2

The rain eased up a bit and we crossed a one lane bridge.

bridge

and drove along the road

road

Along the way, one of the cars got stuck in the mud on the side of the road and had to be pulled free with a tow rope, but it was not difficult.

Then we came to a hill

hill

and decided that it would be prudent to leave the cars at the top and walk down. It wasn’t raining when we set out and soon we reached the bottom.

trail start

It rained in earnest on the way back up the hill. One good thing about living in the tropics is that the rain is not cold. It was a good day out, but I think our next visit might have to wait until the dry season comes around again.

Thanks to everyone who took the time to comment on my last post. It was great to meet some new to me blog readers and find new blogs to read.

 

 

 

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Last Poland Post

Rather than continue to bore you with a blow by blow description of our time in Poland I’ll make this the last post about the trip. After the conference finished Gorgeous Man and I drove to Lublin to visit the Majdanek concentration camp from World War II. It was a very sad and sobering experience, but I’m glad we made the time to pay our respects. You can read about the numbers in books, but until you see things like this

majdanek shoes

the scale is hard to visualize. This former prisoner dormitory is filled with four hundred thousand pairs of shoes, stacked in these containers. Looking at the shoes you could see the individuality of their owners, bright red shoes, white summer sandals, stern business-like shoes to be worn with a suit and the children’s shoes. Majdanek is one of the best preserved camps, plans to preserve it were put into place before the war was over. It was liberated by the Russian Army prior to the close of the war. Majdanek is close to the city and a wide variety of people were imprisoned here: Polish farmers being relocated, political prisoners, prisoners of war, prisoners of conscience and Jews.

After Lublin we drove back to Warsaw. Using the wizardry of Ravelry’s trip planner I discovered a yarn store only 2.8 kilometres from our accommodation. Getting there proved tricky and I owe a huge “Thank You” to Gorgeous Man who braved peak hour traffic, one way streets, a GPS battery going flat and Polish street signs to find our way there.

Magic Loop is a beautiful yarn store stocking a variety of fabulous yarns and fibre.

Magic loop 1

Mmmmmmalabrigo. The store is really lovely, beautifully laid out and the owner is really friendly and welcoming. A bonus for me was that she also spoke excellent English, because my Polish is non-existent.

magic loop 3

Some fibre came home with me my first visit. The next day Gorgeous Man and I were walking past the store’s block and made another stop to acquire some yarn and fibre for me to make him something special.

polish haul

Now to find a perfect patterns.

 

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More Poland

After our delicious lunch in the palace we were taken to a historical village. This had no signage at all and so it was hard to work out what era this was from, but some of the conference attendees who had grown up in various countries in Eastern Europe (and now live in the USA) commented excitedly that the school room looked exactly like the ones they had attended in the 1960s and 1970s.

school room

In contrast to the palace we had just come from the houses were much smaller.

village house external

To be honest, I prefer this to the palace. Inside was very bright and cheerful.

village house

Picture does not show the beautiful folk art painting on the chest of drawers. Another of the houses on display.

village house2

The pictures on the walls and rafters are made from cutting and gluing paper.

To my excitement there was a spinning wheel (and weaving and yarn associated equipment) in every room.

spinning wheel

I was quite taken with the village church. This was a functioning church until it was relocated to the museum site.

village church

I was also very taken with the windmill.

windmill

I love my orchids in Papua New Guinea, but I miss spring flowers. I enjoyed seeing the wide variety of irises blooming. Here is a particularly fine (and easily accessible) specimen.

iris

We are currently half way through our two week stay in Cairns. Seems odd to be blogging about one trip while I’m on another one…

We’ve all had haircuts and are enjoying the relaxed atmosphere here in Australia. Today I picked up the gazillion photos I’ve taken over the last 8 months which I finally got around to printing. With three weddings last year there are some gorgeous shots of Gorgeous Girl that I’m itching to turn into scrapbooking pages. I just hope I can do them justice. I’m also enjoying not having to drive for 2-3 hours a day doing the school run.

I was lucky enough to be here for the monthly Cairns knitter/crocheting group and got to meet with those lovely ladies again this year. One of them runs an indie-dyeing company and I got to fondle her very beautiful yarn. You can check it out here: Solar Flair Fibres

My thumb is doing better. I’m managing a bit of knitting, but am being very careful not to overdo things.

 

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