|View of the shore as our tender pulled into the dock at Isle of Pines, New Caledonia.|
This itinerary’s ports of call are a little repetitive for us. Having been to most of these ports, we tend to hesitate when considering if it’s of interest to get off the ship. In many cases, since we don’t shop, visiting ports we’ve seen in the past holds little appeal.
|As soon as we disembarked the tender, we walked toward the rows of shops.|
We’d hadn’t visited these two ports of call on this ship’s itinerary in the past: Isle of Pines, New Caledonia, and Mystery Island, Vanuatu, both of which we visited over the past several days, each of which we thoroughly enjoyed seeing and now sharing.
Now on our way to Fiji, we have little interest in getting off the ship after spending a total of four months on two of its hundreds of islands, and thus, we’ll be content to stay on board and enjoy the quiet while other passengers check it out.
|An old structure at the beach.|
We realized this 24-night cruise would consist of many repeated ports, including the arrival in Hawaii in nine days (including crossing the International Dateline). After spending eight months in Hawaii, we may only disembark in Lahaina, Maui, which we’d visited during our six weeks in Maui in 2014. It’s a fun little town, and we’ll surely enjoy seeing it again.
|A roundhouse at the beach in the Isle of Pines.|
However, we didn’t choose this cruise for its ports of call. Instead, we’re using this cruise as a pleasurable means of getting from Point A to Point B; Sydney, Australia to Seattle, Washington, bringing us close to our upcoming Alaskan cruise from Vancouver, British Columbia, ending in Seattle, Washington and then on to family visits in both Minnesota and Nevada.
In our old lives, the prospect of an Alaskan cruise would have sent us to the moon with delight. Although enthusiastic over this cruise, it’s a normal part of our daily lives of world travel, another exciting stop along the way.
|An old structure on the narrow beach road.|
Don’t get me wrong. We don’t take any of these opportunities lightly. But after four and a half years of travel, we’ve settled into an easy acceptance of new spaces, new places, and new adventures, which seem to continue in our path as we navigate from one part of the world to another.
|We walked this path with other passengers to arrive at the central area of the port of call.|
The highlight of our lives indeed is in the “new.” New locations, new people, new cultures, new scenery, and new wildlife certainly seem to set our hearts and minds whirring with excitement.
Of course, our upcoming return to Africa may be the exception. Most likely, it will seem new to us after being away for almost four years, having left South Africa in February 2014 and Morocco in May 2014. (We won’t be returning to Morocco on this upcoming visit, instead of visiting several other countries on the vast continent).
|Helicopter at the local police facility.|
As for the Isle of Pines, New Caledonia, here’s a little information from this site:
On the cemetery, Cimetière des Déportés near Ouro, a pyramid-shaped memorial and the graves of 300 deportees who died here between 1872 and 1880 can be seen.”
|A church or public building?|
As illustrated above, there weren’t a lot of possible sightseeing venues in the small village. However, the scenery, gorgeous beaches, and the shopping certainly bring cruise ships to the area aiding in providing income for the locals as they present their various wares.
Unlike our usual mission to check out the scenery and culture, we found ourselves wandering through the lean-to shops in the popular boutique area, which required a bit of a walk on an uneven path.
|Hibiscus-type flowers were growing along the path to the boutique area.|
Cruise passengers generally gravitate to shopping areas to discover that perfect item to bring home to family and friends. But, instead, we’re more interested in observing local crafts and craftspeople.
In many ports of call, as was the case in both Isle of Pines and Mystery Island (photos coming soon on this island), many of the items offered for sale are trinkets made in China that we’ve seen in other ports of call throughout the world.
Regardless, we enjoy taking many photos, chatting with passengers on the tenders on the round trip back and forth to the ship, and later discussing our varied opinions on what the area had to offer.
|The scene down a private road.|
As is the case for most passengers on cruises, they’re optimistic and upbeat in describing various ports of call rather than expressing any disdain over any potential lack of appeal.
Last night we had a fabulous evening with two couples we met, one of which we’ve spent the past two nights. All from Australia, the conversation was spiked with typical and appealing Aussie speak and good humor, which we’ll miss as we make our way out of the South Pacific in weeks to come.
We are both doing well, enjoying ourselves while feeling settled and familiar with this cruising way of life while over this extended period. Once again, it’s become “home” to us.
Photo from one year ago today, April 28, 2017:
The workaround for grabbing last year’s photo is not working around again due to the poor signal on the ship. Today’s a sea day when everyone is online. We’ll post the missing photos once we move to a new location. Thanks for your patience.