To the theme song of
“The Brady Bunch”
Here’s the story of a gal, Sharole
Who went cruising with 3 very lovely girls
There were 3 brunette’s, and a blonde
Only 1 with curls!
Here’s the story of my hubby, Toby
Who was at home busy with the kids
There are 4 of them with Dad together
And they were all alone
Till one day when this lady hit Noumea
And then there was Mare and Mystery I (island)
Then finaly, there was Isle of Pines
That was my cruise, then back-to the, O’Hara Bunch
The O’Hara Bunch
I was glad to see my O’Hara Bunch……..
That will do it?
Ok I guess I should give more detail.
We set off from Sydney in the late afternoon, catching the sunset on the harbour, it was beautiful sailing out of the heads, via the Harobur bridge. Before too long the mobile phones worked no more and we were free for 9 days, from answer to mum and all our daily lives.
It was 2.5 days to get to the first Island, then Noumea, Mare, Mystery Island, Isle of Pines, then 2.5 days back to Sydney. (minus Vila in picture)
Noumea: We were there on a Sunday so there wasn’t a lot to do there. They had a market set up so we started there. We took a bus ride, which didn’t actually take us far. So before long we were back where we started. Everyone had said how horrible and ugly this place was, well I disagree it was perfectly fine. Lovely beaches and ocean water and the people were fine.
I saw these adorable scootbuggies. Convinced the girlies to hop on board and so we hired 2 for a decent price of $55 each for 2 hours. Certainly better than the price for jet skiing ($190 for 15mins). I will have to fulfill that wish in Lake Powell I think. We had a blast on these things flying around the Island. I got mine upto 60km/hr. It was really a glorified 2 seater ATV or 4WD. Courtney and I even went through McDonalds in it, we made the girl working laugh. I got an ice cream cone for 195 francs, sounded expensive still haven’t figured that out, oh well.
We did some markets shopping and we checked out a supermarket, and managed to find Smurf candy’s. So we each bought one packet for our families back home. I’ll tell you it came and went real quick in my house, less than 3 minutes. They tell me they tasted good :) We got a Polynesian dance before hoping back on the boat to head to the next shore.
Mare: It seemed to take a while before we got off onto this shore we had to got via tenders (safety boats) this time, so we all had to take turns. When we reached the land we took a look about checked out the church and a waterhole and the school with all the cute kids. Went and checked out the water then decided to head over to the other swim area when we realised we didn’t have much time. Determined we paid and hoped in the van and on the way it started to pour with rain.
When we got there we asked the man to wait for us, he said fine and so we took off our clothes and left our bags in his van and ran into the water in the rain. It was beautiful :) Sadly we had to cut it short since the Boat crew started to harrass us to head back to the boat.
See how beautiful the colour of the water is, and the sand so white and soft. We made it back in time to get back on the boat, yep last tender back :)
I’ve wanted to go to Vanuatu for many a year, and today I made it.
Mystery Island: This was a deserted Island, where the locals come across to set up markets for the boats passing by. It has an air strip on it from WW11 on it. Other than that is had some huts and a little house of some sort and that was about it. My favourite part of this stop was just floating in the water for hours. The water was so beautiful we could see right down to the ocean floor 20-30mtrs from the beach.
That said we did come acorss some hostile natives, tried to cook me up for soup. After a battle I came out triumphant, thankfully :) And we made friends.
Isle of Pines: Our last stop before forging home. Here we had paid for a tour, involving a resort and snorkling, with a BBQ lunch and use of their vacilities. Honestly it wasn’t what I expected upon arrival, The view was beautiful and and the pool lovely. Firstly we sunbathed by the pool before too long realising we shouldd get our snorkling out of the way incase the weather went bad.
We took a 15min walk and ended up at a water type hole, where many people were snorkling. I admit I wasn’t skilled at it, I kept gagging, so I threw it aside and just went without. We ran into some native members their which was cool, one had even served a mission in Australia recently. Melem our group leader even climbed a palm tree for us, my he made it look easy. Once again we were on the last tender back to the boat. It was nice getting a break from the constant travelling and I had to wonder how my parents did it with my brother when they migrated back to Australia from England for 6 weeks. I sure don’t have the stomach for it.
You’ll see in the picture above the pines, funny slim things. The Island was named by Captain James Cook. He didn’t even bother to hop off the ship for that discovery.
On the boat: Activities we did were trivia, we saw several acrobatic shows, and stage shows. We visited the gym once and decided not to go back – movement on movement was not pleasant. Nope no bingo – I did find out though it was very popular and as was the casino, which I didn’t even see till the last day or so, lots of people in there gambling. We tried to play air hockey but it was broken :( There were 2 swimming pools however in the times when you would use them it was very much a wave pool and not well attended. We did partake in karaoke and I am proud to say I did my first vocal performance alone to the song “Shine” from Vanessa Amorosi. Jacqui and I also let loose on “Dancing” Queen by ABBA. There also was a dancing area that we attended for some dancing, we figured our best chance of exercise, we did have some fun but found it somewhat seedy as time went on.
I would like to take issue with the carpets on this cruise ship obviously not a seasoned cruise taker, the pattern on these long corridors made me quite oozie, day in and day out. Ok I’m feeling sick just looking at this picture.
I was surprised by the size of the rooms and our large window which I appreciated. We had two animal towels made, a monkey and an elephant.One of the best things for the boat was having our room cleaned and made to look nice everyday by Alvin, he was fantastic. If our clothes weren’t folded he would do it, fresh towels everyday, agh…. what a delight!
Massive crack up was Courtney with these on. I even have a video :)
Now back to mumhood – it was very nice to see my family. I was happy to see all my kids run upto me and maul me, Rocky was lagging behind though, I’m guessing the car seat wasn’t helping matters.